Geolocation, Location, Location: Interview With Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai
In three short years, social apps for smart phones have fundamentally changed how gay men meet and interact. Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of Grindr—the app that provides users with the opportunity to see a plethora of profiles of other men who are nearby using a smart phone's GPS technology—has seen this first-hand. Always an early adopter of technology, the self-professed "gadget guy" believes that it was inevitable that Grindr would come along. Not only was new location-aware technology like the iPhone becoming ubiquitous, but gay culture was also in a state of flux. "I'm a product of AOL chat rooms, especially my gay identity," says Simkhai. "I came out online first and then to the real world or the offline world." In these environments, there was still the opportunity to remain somewhat private, hidden and, yes, closeted. Not everyone shared photos or details about themselves on their profile pages. Websites like Gaydar, Dudesnude, Manhunt, Adam4Adam, Fridae, Friendster and so on