Afternoon “T” feat. Kim Kaplan of Snack

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For our recent podcast episode, we had the pleasure of chatting with Kim Kaplan, CEO of Snack, a video dating app that combines the matching algorithms of dating apps with the ability to share your life in real-time.

Check out highlights from the episode below:

What is the story behind Snack?

Okay, so let me put in my backstory, for those who don’t know is that I was part of Plenty of Fish for 10 years, I was one of the early employees who joined very early on and got to see the growth of the company and went through the acquisition. I stuck around for three years post-acquisition and got a great opportunity to work across different organizations inside the match group like Tinder and OkCupid. And then I thought I was done with dating. I left and said, Okay, that’s it. I am so bearish to the space because of how hard it is. And dating is a very hard industry. I was enjoying my life advising startups and doing some angel investing. And then one day I came across this Tik Tok with this woman and she was pointing these four different directions saying, What’s your name? What’s your age? What’s your sign? And I realized that she was trying to use Tik Tok to date and I kind of started going down that rabbit hole like, well, how prevalent is dating on Tik Tok. At that point in time, there were over 13 billion views of the hashtag single and I ended up in dating Tik Tok land and all the content I kept seeing was dating related. And that’s ultimately where the idea for Snack was born.

What does the setup for Snack look like? Why video?

We set up Snack to be a constant thread of videos, I think that was a big shift we made as well – if you think about dating profiles and how they exist today. The way that they exist is you upload your fun images of yourself, you write your paragraph, and you never touch it again, it’s kind of a static version of who you are. Where that’s not social anymore, social is you’re constantly updating your profile, or your friends with what you’re up to, who you’re with, and what’s going on in your life. So we thought why wouldn’t you do that for dating as well. It provides an opportunity for someone to also start a conversation with you because they see the new content that’s coming up. They can react to it and say things like “Oh, that’s such a cute dog, what type of dog is it?” versus those five images where they might not have had something to say about that. So it is more than natural social evolution versus the way datings existed for the last number of decades.

What was one of the first things you learned when you entered the tech space?

I think the thing that gave me the biggest amount of power or opportunity was learning SQL, and being able to dig into the database myself and understand what was happening. And that provided me the tools to ask the right questions, to be able to pull the data myself, and really understand how things were being done. And to this very day, I still do it, I go into the database, I write my own queries, and that I would say, is the superpower that allowed me to excel more than I probably would have otherwise. And it’s interesting when you can kind of look under the hood, and really understand what’s going on how things are being done, that you can just bring your questions differently, you have a different understanding of how the products working. Learning this skill has allowed me to understand things that I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.

Do you have a piece of advice for the future founders?

For me, it’s always been about relationships and forming really strong bonds with people and not taking those relationships for granted and offering something in return. Like I always try to give back and I always try to help other companies and other startups, even while doing Snack. To me, those relationships, helping other people is really important and what I’m finding is that having genuinely done that, for the last 12-15 years, it’s starting to come back and pay back in a number of different ways that I never would have expected. So I think just having genuine genuineness to what you’re trying to do and also asking for help when you need it. Too many people think that they can do it alone. And that’s what I said, the first thing I did when I was fundraising was I asked for help from someone who knew how to fundraise and I got it. I kind of got bounced around, introduced to a bunch of people and all that advice is what landed me a really great fundraising process. So it’s being open to building relationships, asking for advice, and just being really genuine about what you’re doing and why.

Check out the other amazing guests we’ve had on Afternoon “T” here.

Kim Kaplan is the CEO of Snack, a video dating app that combines the matching algorithms of dating apps with the ability to share your life in real-time.