I have yet to meet Colin Hodge in person, but after a few conversations spanning the globe, I feel like I have. I think it says more about him than it does about me. He was very generous with his time and thoughts and we had a really interesting conversation. Colin has learned a ton since founding a dating app that ended up being called Down. There were plenty of controversies when the app launched, but frankly, this is not the part of the story that interests me.
Here is what I do find interesting. A computer science graduate from Cornell University left what must have been a great job at Microsoft to strike out on his own and build a company from scratch. He apparently did most of the actual coding himself and, if my math serves me correctly, he was barely 26 years old. Let’s not forget to mention that the app that he created was downloaded a million times, faster than any other app in the last decade. Through all of the ups and downs, including getting kicked out of the Apple app store for a time, Colin remained calm beyond his years and created an insane amount of learnings, all of which could not be covered in a 30-minute recording.
One of the things that Colin definitely discussed with me was the necessity to have a strong support system around you both internally at your startup and also externally. A lot of his experience was quite unanticipated and having the right support system around you can help relieve some of the stress that arises when things inevitably go awry.
We also discussed how he became the Global Growth Expert. After selling Down to Paktor in 2017, Colin worked his growth magic across the Paktor product platform, building out Paktor Labs and traveling the region to teach the Paktor portfolio companies how to grow.