Weekly 39: Lessons from the story of Bang With Friends

May 16, 2023

In this week’s edition, we’re sharing a fantastic founder story containing everything you could want; millions of dollars, epic highs, crazy lows, lawsuits, comebacks, sexy office parties and more.

Got your attention? Read on.

The story of Bang With Friends

You know you’ve created a cultural phenomenon when the nation’s largest college Christian group declares your creation “the evilest app ever.”

Colin Hodge is the founder of DOWN, a dating and hookup app formerly known as Bang With Friends. At one point, the app was #1 in Apple App Store’s dating category and had millions of users. But then came lawsuits, a rebrand, an acquisition, and a failed IPO before Colin became one of the few entrepreneurs to sell their company and later buy it back at a better price.

We’re delighted to help Colin share his story, and some of the lessons within, including:

Disruptive tech should evoke strong reactions — If you’re testing potential startup ideas, favor those with noticeable and even polarizing responses.Be interesting, be provocative, be different — Too many entrepreneurs worry about getting the perfect story about their startup out there, rather than pragmatically leaning into one aspect of their story that makes them worth talking about.Startup life is just staying alive — make the difficult decisions: downsize, cut features or whole products, and be scrappy.Avoid selling when you’re feeling desperate — This can mean arranging a quick respite for yourself or calling in favors from others to help buy yourself some more time and perspective.Learn to wear many hats — When funds or staffing are low, take on new areas in your startup, learning from others’ first-hand accounts and your own trial and error to get those areas “good enough.”

👉 Read the brilliant, crazy story of Bang With Friends here: The Bang With Friends Story: Under The Covers

Till next time,

Dave Schools, Amardeep Parmar and Stephen Moore

Weekly 🔥 39: Lessons from the story of Bang With Friends was originally published in Entrepreneur’s Handbook on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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