Tinder CEO Elie Seidman runs a digital company, but loves paper and pen

The Tinder CEO reveals his tips and tools for getting the most out of every day.

Tinder CEO Elie Seidman runs a digital company, but loves paper and pen
[Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images]

When it comes to online dating, Elie Seidman knows what makes people swipe right. As CEO of Tinder, the innovative digital matchmaking app, he has helped thousands of people make a connection and, for better or worse, reinvented the dating world along the way. After taking over the company from founder Sean Rad in January 2018, Seidman, who previously ran dating site OkCupid, has helped grow Tinder into a global brand and digital innovation leader.


Here, he reveals his tips and tools for getting the most out of every day.

[Photo: Marble Rye Photography, courtesy of Blue Bottle Coffee]
What’s your on switch?

Having kids has made me an early riser. My day begins at 5 a.m. On a good morning, I’ll go to Equinox and do a core workout inspired by training I took at David Kirsch‘s gym when I lived in New York. Then I’ll swim. I’m a coffee aficionado, and when I get home, I’ll make Blue Bottle pour-over coffee while listening to NPR.

Before heading into the office, I like to put together priorities for the day: the things that must be done today, and work out how they ladder up into the rest of the week/month/year’s priorities. Doing this ensures that my schedule doesn’t control me, because I’m mindful of the big picture.

What’s your off switch? 

Since I’m an early riser, I also tend to end the day on the early side. Many mornings, I’m out of the house before my wife and kids are up, so I make a point of getting home for dinner most nights of the week, and I’ll put my kids to bed. My wife and I will catch up over a Cabernet. My mother is French, so my appreciation of wine started early.


I watch very little television and end all screen time a few hours before going to sleep. I love books and like to read fiction to wind down. A great book pulls my mind somewhere else.

What books are on your nightstand? 

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This book is ultimately about the role of luck in life. It made me think about the magic of randomness and reminds me to be appreciative and grateful. We often attribute too much control over our own destiny, when in fact so much is related to luck. Correlation is frequently mistaken for causation.

The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy by Bill Walsh

This is, in my opinion, the best book on leadership by far. It’s by a football coach, but it’s not actually about football. The core idea is the results are symptoms and you need to manage the process. If you are successful in managing the process, the symptom (or result) takes care of itself. For so much of what we do, it’s how good the team is and how well it works together. The results are a symptom of that team cohesion.


The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World by Lucette Lagnado

My mother grew up in France, but she was born in Egypt. This book is about the world her parents lived in. It’s a beautiful and sad story about the joys of living. It’s about the beauty of day-to-day life. This book has deeply impacted me. It reminds me to be present every day. I spend very little time thinking about what my life will be in 5, 10, or 15 years. Your life is essentially your days; so if you want a good life, focus on having good days.

[Photo: courtesy of IWC]
What classic product do you still use because you believe nobody’s ever improved on it?

I love gadgets. Honestly, there are so many things I could talk about here. I have an analog IWC Big Pilot watch. I’ve had it for 15 years, and I don’t see a need to get anything else. The 1987 Toyota FJ60 Land Cruiser. It’s a classic for a reason. The 1980s Mercedes 300 TD is an indestructible car with an engine known for easily going a million miles. A headphone amp with vacuum tubes. The sound produced from vacuum tubes is entirely unique. And paper and pen. Nothing will ever improve upon it.


About the author

Melissa Locker is a writer and world renowned fish telepathist.