This week we talk to Chris Dutton, founder of the iconic CEO Magazine who has just launched a new venture. Hello Tiger has been set up to reinvent the way Aussies connect online by prioritising genuine and authentic communication.
ISB: What was the inspiration behind you founding Hello Tiger?
CD: The inspiration was hearing so many people experiencing problems with other dating apps – fake profile pictures, boring messages, the process is a hassle, time wasters, catfishing etc. I thought there must be another way to put something better out there for the community; the world was crying out for a genuine, authentic dating app. It was also important to make it free to stop the major players earning millions from people simply looking for love, hence the Hello Tiger community was born.
ISB: What was the biggest challenge in getting the enterprise off the ground, and how did you overcome it?
CD: The biggest challenge has probably been time. As with any new idea, the founder/s want to get it live straight away but things like research, app development, legals, patents, enhancements, testing, bug fixes – these all take time. This can be frustrating when you know your product will be fantastic and make a real difference in the end. Overcoming the frustration with time restrictions is simply about stepping into a positive mindset – realising that your product will be better off for the prolonged attention to detail. Never give up, great things take time.
ISB: What is your USP that sets you apart from your competitors.
CD: Fake profile pictures are eliminated in Hello Tiger as you can’t upload a picture and profiles don’t exist in the now traditional way we’re used to. You have to take a selfie on the spot to use the app – if people want to use other dating apps and chat to users whose photos may or may not be a true representation of themselves, or, if they personally want to create an illusion of themselves, that’s fine, but Hello Tiger isn’t for them. We are all about confidence, authenticity, and keeping things real – it’s a genuine community we’re curating.
Our very distinct video chat feature allows people to communicate in real time and see if that instant connection is real and worth pursuing. No one wants to be messaging for weeks on end to have your first face to face date fall flat, get that part over and done with (in a really adventurous way), from the very beginning.
ISB: How has the pandemic impacted the early stage of the business?
CD: It’s been a positive for the business as people have become so accustomed to video calls and virtual meetings with the likes of Zoom taking over workplaces during lockdown. It’s become the new norm. When you go on a date for the first time, you know straight away whether there is a connection there or not. By using video chat, Hello Tiger prioritises this part of the dating process to make it more genuine, faster, and hassle free to find that significant other.
ISB: What is your vision for the growth and development of Hello Tiger in the next couple of years?
CD: In addition to growing the community of people that want a better, more authentic dating app experience, one of the enhancements we will be including is adding artificial intelligence to further improve the app and user experience. We will also be expanding overseas and rolling Hello Tiger out globally – the world is ready for a positive change in the dating space, and a better way to meet others that involves real time video technology is finally here.
ISB: And, finally, what is the #1 piece of advice you’d give to other aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own tech business?
CD: There are many pieces of advice, however the number one would be to trust yourself and your idea if (a) you really believe in it, and (b) you are doing it to help others. If you start a business with the intention of making a difference and improving people’s lives, then success will come. Trust yourself, back yourself, don’t let self-doubt creep in. Surround yourself with the best minds, listen to their valuable opinions whether you agree with them or not, but above all, follow that gut feeling.