UPDATE: We're at the end of our regularly scheduled session (4PM PST / 7PM EST), but I'll check back in later tonight / tomorrow in case there are more questions!

I’m Colin Hodge, cofounder and CEO of Bang With Friends (http://www.reddit.com/r/all/search?q=bangwithfriends), now CEO of DOWN (http://downapp.com).

I had 3 less successful startups before BWF, then created this beautiful accident in January this year. Since then, I helped people get laid and get loved around the world!

Now, in the spirit of Holidays, I’m here to spike your eggnog, get your stocking stuffed, twirl your candy cane, and get down that chimney :)

In the past year my company has been featured on Gawker (http://valleywag.gawker.com/meet-the-28-year-old-ceo-of-bang-with-friends-509602077), the Colbert Report (http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/423653/february-07-2013/-bang-with-friends--app), Fast Company (http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671768/bang-with-friends-the-beginning-of-a-sexual-revolution-on-facebook) and Techcrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/25/bang-with-friends-down/), plus tons more (http://downapp.com/press).

I’ve talked about startups, sex, love, dating and more:(http://www.businessinsider.com/bang-with-friends-colin-hodge-interview-2013-6) (http://www.businessinsider.com/bang-with-friends-is-down-2013-10) (http://www.businessinsider.com/bang-with-friends-colin-hodge-on-apple-2013-10) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZAVAtrgzuM)

Note: most topics are fair game, but there are a few things that I am not able to discuss, such as the agreement with Zynga.

Proof: pic.twitter.com/HBk4BH5wMx

*I'm giving away a care package to the best/most upvoted question so keep 'em coming!

Comments: 267 • Responses: 92  • Date: 

Hugenerd4234 karma

This kind of application seems to be something that would be more attractive to a male user than a female user. What is the ratio of active male users to active female users on the old BWF app since and the new Down app? Also, how to girls react when to introduce yourself as the dude that created Bang With Friends?

ChiefBanginOfficer16 karma

i get two different types of reactions from girls when i tell them i created BWF:

Type 1: super excited, curious, impressed...which usually leads to good times ;)

Type 2: completely shot down and turned off. either they're appalled that i created it ("so you must sleep with all of your friends?"), or they say "i see why it works, but i would never use it myself". i've only had one or two come around after this harsh reaction, and man did i put in some work.

DOWN is definitely more appealing to women than BWF, since it's less apparent if someone sees it on your phone.

Emnight31 karma

Do you recall a really awkward situation while discussing investors or other people? Maybe your family?

ChiefBanginOfficer28 karma

Oh hell yes!

a few come to mind: my dad is a conservative guy and i definitely hesitated to tell him. after the app took off and news spread everywhere, i knew that the time had come and it was better to tell him than to have him find out from someone else. it was the longest pause i've ever had on the phone when i called and told him the name of my new venture. i thought he may disown me or be completely against it, but he actually saw the reasoning behind switching to BWF from my other startup and continues to proudly support me!

i also pitched to tons of investors - from big VC firms to Y Combinator to a lot of angel investors. Pitching at YC was definitely awkward given that i knew some of the partners were so totally against the idea of such a straight-forward, sex-positive, and unabashed company. the looks i got still give me the heebie-jeebies to this day. needless to say, we didn't join YC.

ecret11 karma

Can you offer more detail about your YC interview?

ChiefBanginOfficer7 karma

what specifically are you looking for?

ecret6 karma

Just more details about the yc application process and more details about the pitch. Which of them thought what. What advice did they give. etc..

ChiefBanginOfficer8 karma

sure: one of the partners asked us to apply but warned us that selling all of the partners on an app named "Bang With Friends" would be difficult to impossible. that proved correct. the meeting itself was less of a pitch than other investment meetings and more of a quick Q&A with 5 of them and it went very quickly. i can go into details on who said what, but there was one partner very much against our app, while some of the others loved it.

MishMatheus20 karma

Are you ever going to implement a rating scale so that if you do decide to fuck a friend, you can rate their performance?

ChiefBanginOfficer17 karma

it's a frequent discussion here at the Bang Pad, but we're focused on making as many successful meetings happen first :)

TkBk20 karma

I used BWF, but never had any success. It was only a useful app if (1) you had enough friends that new about it and (2) they were active users.

Are there any plans with Down to send anonymous alerts to, say, an email address? It'd be great it I could tell my friends to sign up without personally asking them to do so.

ChiefBanginOfficer30 karma

awwww sorry to hear that! we're working on more ways to make sure you can invite your friends without them knowing it was you.

right now, you can use our anonymous email invites from the site once you log in: downapp.com/fuck and click the Share the Love link in the upper right.

patanwilson17 karma

So, hold on, you actually developed an app/website to specifically and literally make it easier for people to fuck each other, correct?

EDIT: I'm going through the links, bit by bit...

EDIT 2: It seems like a nice way to find out if any of the friends you like actually like you back... Not much more... It could open an opportunity for some I guess...

ChiefBanginOfficer16 karma

haha yep, i want to do my part to spread happiness and healthy, honest relationships (in whatever form you want)!

our new apps (on iOS and Android) let you get a date or get down with people. you can discover which friends are into you still, but we've also expanded it to people your friends know (friends-of-friends)!

war_teacher10 karma

Hey what about windows phone? Oh I get it, we're the zoidberg

ChiefBanginOfficer11 karma

see other answer...i love windows phone

goodgirl_123417 karma

How is your app holding up against competing ones such as Tinder?

What's next?

ChiefBanginOfficer12 karma

there's lots of noise in the dating app space for sure! we're doing well and seeing lots of excitement with the new sexy app we released last month. our goal is to stay true to our honest, unabashed roots and enable as many happy real world connections as possible!

we're always working toward making using the apps more delightful and natural so we can become part of everyone's dating life :)

chimaican16 karma

I am a huge fan of your app. I love that it cuts through the ambiguity and prompts conversations and relationships that probably wouldn't have occurred otherwise. I read in TechCrunch that you want to help empower women. Can you elaborate on how you think your app will do this?

ChiefBanginOfficer30 karma

thanks for your support!

our female users have told us that they love how they are now an equal part of the process: they don't get bombarded with messages since you can only talk once there is a match. it's also safer since you know that the other person is real and connected to you.

we want to bring honesty and a more liberated approach to dating without sacrificing what women are asking for: safety, privacy, authenticity. liberated, empowered women use DOWN to rely less on the bullshit of clubs, bars, and traditional dating sites. women are more comfortable saying they are looking to get down or get dates, whatever they fancy at the time, instead of pretending that they do not desire sex like men do or risking shaming.

Theguyinthebushes13 karma

What was the driving force behind BwF What made you decide this is what you wanted to do?

ChiefBanginOfficer18 karma

i started another dating site before BWF called HeardAboutYou, a company i started out of frustrations with dating sites from myself and seemingly everyone i talked to. the concept was similar: two-way matching, login with facebook, you can see friends-of-friends. when i was in boost (www.boost.vc), i started chatting with some friends about how to stand out in the crowded dating market and really make an impact. we decided that most dating sites / apps are bullshit and the dishonesty is frustrating for both genders. we also thought that the curiosity of finding out which friends want you back is stronger than dating friends-of-friends, at least on the surface. so we had some drinks and coded up the first BWF in a few hours, just to see how people would react. they fuckin loved it around the office and spread it to their friends.

EmJay9413 karma

When can your favorite sister come visit you? :)

ChiefBanginOfficer13 karma

whenever she wants, of course!

TheRealJeckel12 karma


ChiefBanginOfficer16 karma

if you've set your privacy to "Only Me", then you will not show up in any searches and we NEVER post anything to your facebook. :)

sup3rmark12 karma

is that a facebook setting or a BWF setting? do you only "NEVER post anything to your facebook" if that seting is set?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

the "Only Me" setting is only applicable to our app for Facebook's Graph Search. regardless of what you choose in that setting, we will NEVER post to your Facebook wall.

Double0KneeGro11 karma

I just learned about Down from this AMA and I just wanted to let you know you're a fucking genius.

ChiefBanginOfficer21 karma

i just learned about Double0KneeGro from this AMA and i just wanted to let you know you're a fucking genius and friend of DOWN!

beaverjam10 karma

Have you ever used BWF yourself?

ChiefBanginOfficer20 karma

Every. Damn. Day.

can't stop, won't stop.

goodgirl_12349 karma

How many successful..."connections" have you personally had through your app?

ChiefBanginOfficer18 karma

More than a few and less than Barney ;) http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m42rujDNPK1qhc6nwo3_500.gif

anonymousvj9 karma

Is there a plan to bring out Windows Phone app sometime ?

ChiefBanginOfficer12 karma

it's not in the plans yet, but if there's enough demand then we will make it happen! i used to work on windows phone @ microsoft so it's near and dear to my heart. <3

OdoyleStillRules3 karma

I demand it also. Is that enough?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

maybe we'll start a sign up page and see if there's enough interest. we're supporting 3 platforms already with a very small team, so it's not easy to support another. would love to bring it to WP though!

CloudCity408 karma

Just installed Down and I noticed that the default app visibility settings on Facebook is to "Friends." This caused an issue with BWF where people could search for friends with the app and discover who has it installed. Can you explain why you have it set up this way?

ChiefBanginOfficer11 karma

we have the default set to "Only Me": http://imgur.com/82onSXZ

LouisAllen8 karma

I have a suggestion for the app - is there any way you could make it so that I don't have my relatives showing up? I know I can "skip" but it still feels awkward having my stepmother's pop up...

ChiefBanginOfficer4 karma

we're working on that! if your relatives are marked as family in facebook then we won't show them. since most people don't use that feature in facebook, we're working on some ways to guess who they are anyway.

leconnaisseur4 karma

THIS! Just discovered the app, my recently divorced aunt showed up :( Also, it only gives me like 20 people. Are those the only friends that installed the app or whats going on there?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

hmm if not everyone is showing up for you, please PM me and we'll get it sorted out for you!

Migadosama7 karma

This product appears entirely relient on facebook. Are there plans in motion to ecpand beyond it for those of us who have abandoned it?

ChiefBanginOfficer4 karma

yes, it's in the plans!

zanmanoodle6 karma

Why don't any of my friends1 want to bang2 me?

1 The remotely attractive female ones

2 With their ladyparts and not, say, a sledgehammer. That is likely a much larger list.

ChiefBanginOfficer5 karma

it's all about confidence! they likely do want to bang you, but you gotta get them on the app (if they're not already). also, perhaps their hot friends want to bang?

re: sledgehammer...i say, whatever floats your boat!

ChiefBanginOfficer5 karma

taking a small break to refill my guinness! brb

michaelma45 karma

Why did you make such an application?

Where did this idea come from?

Do you think this will be a success?

ChiefBanginOfficer5 karma

i started another dating site, HeardAboutYou, because i wanted to make online dating more natural and successful. when i discussed what was missing from that, we kept coming back to the dishonesty and complicated nature of dating sites. it was especially obvious that other sites try to hide sexuality and pretend like women and men aren't looking for sex. it's in their ads, it's in their UI, it's in their marketing, and it's in their products. so we hacked out the first version of BWF while drinking some red bull & vodka* and our friends spread it like wildfire!

yep, we're already hearing about success from our users, and we'll continue to work to make more and more people happy!

  • i should note that red bull & vodkas are definitely not my favorite, but when life gives you free red bull, make the most of it!

CindyGallop5 karma

How're you holding up Colin? :)

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

getting a lil tipsy but all is well, love.

sailorbrendan4 karma

So I totally understand why this is linked to facebook, but I do admit it makes me a little nervous especially in light of all the security stuff that's come out in the past year.

What kind of protections do you have about anonymity and security?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

we deeply care about your privacy, and it's why we made it anonymous in the first place! we don't share anything back to facebook and only use it to see who your friends are.

Horsesnorkel4 karma

Hey Colin, given that the app has a heavy reliance on Facebook to operate successfully, do you think there are growth opportunities outside of a Facebook symbiosis? I guess what I'm asking is what happens if the downward trend for FB usage continues? Make the app standalone?

Cheers for the AMA!

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

spot on - lots of growth possible outside of facebook. right now though, it's crucial in our core markets.

xm454 karma

Sooo, the main thing differentiating your apps from an app like Tinder is the "bang" factor?

ChiefBanginOfficer4 karma

we believe in the power of knowing the other person is real and connected to you. the honesty of both parties saying what they are interested in is crucial to get rid of the stigma of digital dating.

Kahnbrochill4 karma

I wish something like this were more common when I was in college sigh

Cool idea though! Kudos to you for helping out some shy college freshman have a good time.

ChiefBanginOfficer8 karma

this is the exact feedback we heard from tons of investors and media personalities! haha


Sepheus4 karma

Can you explain the bangability score?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

your bangability score is calculated by looking at how many dates/downs you've gotten and combining that with your friend network. It's a fun way to see how you rank among your friends

Terminal_Lance5 karma

I still don't get it. Right now, my score is 705 with 44/145 female friends and 30/44 that I would bang. The highest score out of my friends is 1264.

What does that mean?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

it's not meant to be easily broken down to see the count of each metric - it's our secret sauce to help us show you better matches. but we show it to you so you can see how you stack up against your friends for fun :)

SloppySynapses3 karma

Why are a bunch of the people on the app showing up as

"Get Down


before I've ever even used the app? oddly enough it's mainly the girls I would actually hook up with...did the app use data from another app or something? I've only ever used tinder...

ChiefBanginOfficer7 karma

that shouldn't happen...perhaps you or someone you know logged in previously? you can PM me to get this sorted out

MmeBunneh3 karma

I was always curious and rather amused that someone would create an app with such a purpose of, well... getting into the skillet and cracking some eggs... That was a bad attempt at a joke.

Anyways I remember when I first read articles about your app that it was not LGBTQ friendly. After I saw your AMA I decided to finally check out your app. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the front page automatically went to women instead of men so thank you for adding that!

My question however lies with the Bangability score.

  • Am I to assume that everyone starts at 0? Or does everyone start at a random number?
  • I realize the score is calculated by the views and the "Down to bang" clicks. Which of those two are more calculated into the score?
  • Is there a maximum score possible?
  • What is the lowest score?

I'm a bit confused as I'm seeing my friends who have scores above a thousand and I'm not sure if I should assume they're using the app or if their friends are and if clicking on them weighs in more than clicking on "Down to bang" instead. Additionally I have a score and I'm confused as to how I got the score (even after knowing what two factors are calculated into it) which is why I asked about the 0 part since I assumed I'd be at a 0.

Sorry for going on and on, I wasn't expecting to post (as I assumed the app was just for heterosexual individuals) but after seeing some stuff I can see why this app is getting so popular. Thanks for hosting the AMA!

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

thanks so much for the kind words, MmeBunneh! we've supported filtering by gender since the early days, but i think a lot of people missed the buttons on the website. our mobile apps make it a lot clearer how to do that. we also do try to choose smart filters for you based on your preferences from facebook (hence why you saw females automatically).

the bangability score doesn't start at 0, but the average is around 700. it's meant to be a fun way to compare yourself to your friends, and we also use it in our matching algorithm. we weigh "Get Date" and "Get Down" actions more heavily than views. there isn't a max score technically, but the highest i've seen (didn't check against the whole system) is around 40,000. most people have been viewed at least a few times and even chosen a few times, so having a score equivalent to 0 is unlikely.

MmeBunneh2 karma

Oh wow, thank you so much for answering all of my questions! That's really interesting to know that someone has a score of 40,000. They must be really attractive haha.

I must say that I like the way your algorithm works as it seems a bit more balanced per say compared to starting it off immediately at 0.

As said, thanks for doing this AMA. I'm extremely and pleasantly surprised to see how you responded to my questions and to other individuals. I remember reading some articles earlier this year and wondered what type of person you were. I must say that you definitely come off as a genuine person!

I hope that this keeps working for you, I'm happy that a lot of the stuff I read earlier in the year turned out to be wrong!

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

it's nice feedback like this that keeps me going. cheers!

malaclypse3 karma

How do you quantify 'Taking over SXSW 2013"?

ChiefBanginOfficer12 karma


tons of coverage and most people there during SXSWi told us it was the most talked about. even had PR firms reach out to us to find out how we did it, telling us it was the top app there. the SXSW org 'banned' us from it, had thousands of people use our specific app for the event, and had lots of hookups happen through the app there.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3006918/bang-friends-bang-sxsw-gets-banned-austin-still-hooks http://betabeat.com/2013/03/sxsw-sex-by-southwest-bang-with-friends-mobile-app-funding/ http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/08/bang-with-sxsw http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/bang-with-sxsw-gets-naughty-with-festival-goers-and-sxsw-organizers-alike/

arpowers3 karma

How the hell did you manage to get 1 Million users so fast? What was the viral engine that worked for you or was it all the press?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

we seeded it with a few friends in the office and told them not to tell too many people (at the time, i was fundraising for my other startup). it started spreading anyway, so we added in facebook requests to invite friends. from there it took off, coinciding with the first article about us on brobible.com.

we had a carefully chosen brand, very simple product, and a great story - 3 anonymous guys in california created this while drinking one night - so tons of press outlets around the world picked it up.

after a bit, we also added anonymous invitations via email (you can still use these on our site to invite your friends without them knowing it's from you).

skjq4442 karma

After all that has happened, do you have any regrets?

How do you plan to move forward from here?

What is the feeling you get when you look in the mirror and realize you helped lots of people everywhere get laid?

Can you see why kids love cinnamon toast crunch?

ChiefBanginOfficer4 karma

i was in a serious 2+ year relationship when BWF launched...i wish that whole thing would have gone differently. we've had plenty of failures over the past year as well, but i don't regret them since i've learned more this year than the previous 5.

i haven't achieved my goal of making digital dating completely natural and a perfect fit into our everyday lives. that's what's next.

i was introduced at my brother's wedding as "The Internet's #1 Wingman". it brings a huge...smile to my face to think of all of the people finding love and lust. and whenever someone does thank me in person, i can't help but blush and grab a drink with them!

big fan of cinnamon toast crunch here. still a kid at heart, so i definitely can see why kids love it!

zrizzles2 karma

can you tell us more about why you had to change the name? BWF is so original.

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

although we loved BWF, we felt that we needed a brand that most people wouldn't be embarrassed to admit they use. of course, we needed a new name to be on the Apple App Store, and the lawsuit with Zynga pushed up our timing.

jlew24asu2 karma

this app doesnt make much sense to me. The app only shows FB friends, which are mostly actual close friends and family. why would I want to bang these people? or am I not understanding how this app works?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

DOWN on mobile shows your facebook friends and their friends. maybe you have a friend on facebook that you like but didn't want to risk the friendship by making the first move. or maybe some of your facebook friends have cute friends that you'd like to meet...

killer_horseradish2 karma

Any stories of your friends using your app and it being successful or unsuccessful?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

plenty! the 2nd day after we launched, a friend came into the office with the biggest smile on his face. he started high-fiving everyone and then gave me a huge bear hug. i guess the french girl he invited clicked him back and they were set to spend the weekend together!

see some more stories we've heard here: http://happyendings.downapp.com

goodgirl_12342 karma

Were you always so sex-positive? You cite your father as conservative.

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

like many college students, my views have evolved from my high school days. i've been sex-positive in a less publicly visible way most of my life though :)

billionairepimp2 karma

Did you do anything special to get the first girls to use the app? Or were they just like "cool let's do this!"?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

most people have a curiosity about which friends have thought about them as more than friends, so when you get an invitation (either directly from a friend or anonymously) that says a friend is into you, most people want to see.

sonicwarhol2 karma


ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

we may expand beyond facebook in the future

CercleRouge2 karma

So is everybody you encounter on the app already signed up on Down, OR is it simply ALL of your Facebook friends regardless of if they have the app or not?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

we want you to be able to anonymously use the app, so we show all of your friends. plus, if they join later and you already marked them, you already have a potential match for them!

Electroguy2 karma

My phone got screwed 4 times... but i dont have enough friends. Why not let Bluetooth troll for you as you walk around a bar/venue. Keep a list of your hits, then let you get back at them anonymously through the internet? Seems like a better way to meet..

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

thanks for the thought!

we believe in the power of knowing that person is connected to you and the safety that comes with that. we are looking into adding some more things around location, though...

thefrozen12 karma


ChiefBanginOfficer4 karma

hi thefrozen1, we actually are on a mission to make technology that helps us be more social instead of the anti-social trend that has happened. that's why we believe so much in the power of knowing your match is in the same friend network as you - so you're that much more likely to have a real world social interaction.

i love colbert and he's hilarious..you'll notice his commentary points out the old way of doing things is pretty shitty with his sarcasm.

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

15 min to go before i gotta peace out for our holiday party - get your Qs in!

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

Starting responses now :)

SuckItKarma2 karma

How many virgins have lost their v card with your app?

ChiefBanginOfficer14 karma

oddly enough, facebook doesn't provide 'virginity' as a profile field for us to use :P

red__________dit2 karma

Could you please elaborate on what the Bangability score actually means from a statistical standpoint? I have a score of 742 (just made an account), and my top friend is this super hot girl at 1200. What does my score of 742 say about my number of dates/downs?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

your bangability score is calculated by looking at how many dates/downs you've gotten and combining that with your friend network. It's a fun way to see how you rank among your friends. the average score is around 700.

Jackaxel2 karma

Thanks for doing the AMA. I was wondering how much coding you do yourself, and how to go about finding good programmers if one doesn't have the skills? I am working on a puzzle game I created and don't know where to go with it. Also, can you explain the process of getting funding? Thanks.

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

yep, i do a lot of the coding myself still. it's very difficult to find good programmers who fit your company (or if you're alone, personal) personality. best advice i have is to get a prototype or more going so you can get others excited about what you are doing and so they can see that you're serious about working on it. don't underestimate the 'other' work that comes with creating a tech startup, either. there's tons of work outside of coding :)

funding is a pain but the landscape is rapidly changing. try building buzz on crowdfunding sites or at least to add visibility. don't be too afraid of something taking your idea - you need lots of people to see it in order to find some who are interested in funding it. the process varies so much depending on the source of funding, the founders, the field, etc.

NegativeFriction2 karma

What's your go-to pickup line? Gotta have a fallback for girls you're not friends with yet!

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

"fancy meeting you here!"

dwhite852 karma


ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

lots of users have told us that they reactivated their facebook accounts just to join BWF / DOWN!

we have some ideas for those hold outs, but facebook is definitely the best way right now to see your friend network.

mochat971 karma

How long did it take for you to become successful? My app has been in the play store for about 6 months and has been growing slowly.

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

this is my 4th startup. i would rank the first as a minor success (started at 16 and it paid for a lot of my college), the 2nd as mostly a failure but it's still running for people who have the app, and the 3rd turned into BWF with a pivot. the key to is to keep at it and be religiously devoted to doing something every day that improves your chances of success. good luck!

mochat971 karma

Thanks. Two more questions: how many years did it take for you to actually get a lot of money? And how did you promote your app? I'm really worried about my app's success, sorry.

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

well i personally don't have much money, but we did raise money for the company :P

it took around 4 months to raise the round (we paused it a few times), but much longer to close out the paperwork.

promotion: reach out to all of the review sites and see if you can get them to take a look. take feedback to heart - oftentimes your vision for the product needs adjustment to fit the market.

randomer902101 karma

What is the technology that you guys use?

Services :- Ruby on Rails > Heroku > Memcached > Postgresql

Android :- java with facebook parse etc..

iOS : objective c

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

i think you answered the question yourself :)

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

I'm back to answer a few more questions that built up since our end time yesterday!

wanttobeacop1 karma

Why did you get booted from the app store? How did you feel when your identity was outed?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

We think it was more of a knee-jerk reaction to the heavy press around our app launch, and with a company name like "Bang With Friends", someone in Apple decided that they had to take a stand. There are plenty of other apps with more risque content, and even some that are explicitly made for hookups, but they flew under the radar. They cited 16.1 in their app guidelines, for the record. We're ecstatic to be back on iOS and creating a uniquely sexy experience there for our users.

At first, I was pretty pissed off with getting outed. We had big plans to reveal who created BWF and were in talks with a TV show to do it on there. After getting over that disappointment, it was really fun and quite the relief to not have to keep the secret anymore!

goodgirl_12341 karma

How do you make money with a free app? What's in it for the investors?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

we're focused on providing value to our users first, but such a crucial human need definitely has proven demand and monetization.

mesopotamius2 karma

Not to be disparaging, but the vagueness of your answer forces me to assume the monetization happens when you sell user data to advertising companies. What, specifically, are some alternative revenue sources you envision?

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

we simply haven't decided 100% on monetization yet since we're not focused on that. but the industry already has some proven ways: subscriptions, freemium features, etc.

YOYOYOYO12391 karma

Awesome great to have you here!

I'm a young Harvard student launching an iOS app in 3 weeks. We're VC backed, but still totally new to the game. Any tips?

I'd love to talk with you about this over PM if you have time.

ChiefBanginOfficer10 karma

thanks for having me here!

congrats on the funding - that's a battle in and of itself.

i'd love to play just a tip with you, so feel free to PM. haha

but one tip can be public: ship quickly. it's too tempting to wait for perfection in a product, but you HAVE to fight that urge and show the world what you've got to learn from it!

Ajiakix1 karma


ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

great idea then, ajiakix! :)

we actually don't see that activity a lot. if we did, we could easily do some limits to keep people more honest. most people are genuinely interested in using DOWN as a real utility, so marking everyone would take away the excitement and results for them.

goodgirl_12341 karma

Is the face of Down, "Miranda, 23", real? Is she a friend?

ChiefBanginOfficer4 karma

yes, she's a real life girl! can't share any more details, sorry.

Simon_Plenderson1 karma

What is the average age of your usersbase?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

around 23, but varies by country.

yagotme1 karma


ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

best: hearing from my friends who find success, along with from users who discover long hidden interest with a friend.

worst: those who are unsuccessful and have a defeatist attitude. we're going to make it work for you!

randomer902101 karma

Would you consider integrating with another platform other than Facebook e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn etc... ? Given that younger folk are no longer using FB and most middle aged men/cougars are on LinkedIn.

Potentially finding matches based on more than just friends on FB. e.g. followers or more deeply integrated on interest based preferences, similar pictures shared, worked at the same company blah blah blah...

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

yep, we've looked at that. we're a small team so we have to stay focused right now, but we will be expanding beyond facebook in the future!

goodgirl_12341 karma

Oh I also heard you're hitting up SXSW again in 2014. What kind of hijinx can we look forward to?

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

we're still planning since there's a lot to live up to...stay tuned!

AZULEyourFACE1 karma

Can you tell who is the hottest girl in someones friend network?

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

yes! when you're logged in at http://downapp.com, you can see your own bangability score along with your top 5 scores from your friend network.

Glyder1 karma

Hey Colin. You've had quite a year. Congrats on coming back stronger than ever. Love the new name/branding! I am curious to know what kept you motivated to keep pushing forward through the adversity.

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

hey glyder, thanks for that!

first, i remind myself that every startup goes through highs and lows, and it's important to keep things in perspective. i get to work on something that is insanely fun and rewarding, and i get to be 100% true to myself instead of putting on a different face for work.

another thing i tried to do with bwf was build a support group that spanned my friends, family, and other entrepreneurs. my friends (special shout out to drew, kofi, bryan) and family have been incredibly crucial to my sanity. my cofounder omri has been great when shit gets real, and my teammate nadav has been a crucial part of getting through the stress since may. cindy gallop (of MakeLoveNotPorn) is an incredible partner, confidant, and inspiration. build your support group and you can get through way more than you expected!

heebsydoesit1 karma

Does my GF have an account?

ChiefBanginOfficer4 karma

sources say....

not anymore :P

GoodVibrationsToys1 karma

Hi Colin, It's Risa, The Director of Branding and Advertising at Good Vibrations. We are a values-driven toy company that started here in 1977. We firmly believe that "pleasure is your birthright" and that healthy attitudes about sex are imperative when it comes to making choices about self-care and safe sex.

Do you help your app users learn about safe sex or self-care via the app and if so, how? And if not, why not?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

hi risa! i love what you do @ good vibrations.

our infamous 'how to' page at http://downapp.com/how was the first step we took regarding safe sex, but we also handed out over 12,000 free BWF condoms at SXSW and many more later.

Pentosin1 karma

I havent tried Down yet, but it is just essencial the same as BWF? You just made it because BWF was booted from Apples store?

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

we've changed a ton in DOWN v2 (now on iOS and Android) - you should def check it out!

theguysspot1 karma


ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

hey there dizzle! i remember the interview - thanks!

tibataw1 karma

Can I ask a naive question? How do you get a social network like this off the ground? It seems like it would suffer from the fact that it's not interesting until enough people have signed up.

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

yes, it is very difficult to launch a new social network. by doing facebook sign in and spreading naturally through friend groups there, we avoided a lot of the issues with critical mass. one of the hardest things though is since using the app is anonymous, it's not simple to send invites to get your friends on the app...

Thisicangetbehind1 karma

Have you actually heard of the app leading to real world hookups? Also, Down just seems like a Tinder clone, with an extra button. Do you think users will flock in number to this new app for booty?

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

yes, we've heard of lots of real world successes! we launched in jan this year and are very much on our own path to making the dating world better (we're definitely not following any competitor's footsteps). check out our apps on iOS and Android to get a taste for our fresh approach compared to the copycats in the market ;) we've seen lots of users join already and our users tell us they love the honest approach we take, including clearly stating your intent with your love or lust interest.

lechero1 karma


ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

sure: tons of coverage and most people there during SXSWi told us it was the most talked about. even had PR firms reach out to us to find out how we did it, telling us it was the top app there. the SXSW org 'banned' us from it, had thousands of people use our specific app for the event, and had lots of hookups happen through the app there. http://www.fastcompany.com/3006918/bang-friends-bang-sxsw-gets-banned-austin-still-hooks http://betabeat.com/2013/03/sxsw-sex-by-southwest-bang-with-friends-mobile-app-funding/ http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/08/bang-with-sxsw http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/bang-with-sxsw-gets-naughty-with-festival-goers-and-sxsw-organizers-alike/

beakermike1 karma

Im super impressed with this.

i love the idea of writing apps, and these startups (i even have some ideas of my own) but never got into coding.

and now i think its too late.

great job though

ChiefBanginOfficer2 karma

thanks! it's never too late - try to make a minimal version of your app (i mean super bare bones) and see where it goes!

bleedfromtheanus0 karma

Might have already been asked but I downloaded the app and every single female on there was one of my facebook friends, even married ones that I am 99% sure didn't even download the app. I instantly deleted it. Why am I only shown my friends who don't even have the app?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

many of your friends likely have the app, but we purposely keep you anonymous as users of the app to protect your privacy.

SirViracocha0 karma

Why is your app such a taboo to those who report about it?

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

people are very used to hearing sanitized marketing from companies, and we made a point of being honest and sex-positive in a way that no one else dared.

commenterjoe0 karma

implying everyone knows about an underground app you made for sxsw.

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

you seem fun.

Wrestlingisgood0 karma

Do you think your product promotes love or sex?

Was sex a primary motivation or is this more of a flirty dating app?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

we promote happiness, which comes in many forms. some of our users have reached out to tell us about their long term relationships that formed because of the app, and some others tell us about their one night stands. either way, sex is a crucial aspect of healthy and happy relationships.

a primary motivation of ours is being a force and outlet for honest, sex-positive dating!

somjuan-1 karma

Have you used it? What's your favorite experience?

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

yes, every day! my favorite experience is actually seeing friends find success with DOWN :)

YarLady-1 karma

So like Hinge, but for people looking sex and not an actual relationship?

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

it's like that but on a larger scale and you can discover friends + friends-of-friends. we have people matching for dates and for getting down, so lots of relationships happen in addition to the sex on DOWN :D

Localgirl1-1 karma

What do you see as your best avenue for expansion? Do you see yourself refining "Down" or will it be a segue to other Connection type apps. I could see an "Invest with Friends" type thing where people want to discreetly look for investors.

ChiefBanginOfficer1 karma

there are a few other fields where this model could work, but right now we're focused on making the fuckin best dating app anywhere!

Jessie_James-3 karma

Are you going to answer any questions?

ChiefBanginOfficer3 karma

Yep, starting responses in a few minutes!