Hater

 

Hater is a dating app that allows you to connect with others based on a mutual hatred of things. 

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PHOTOS: Jena Cumbo

An excerpt from an interview with Founder Brendan Alper. 

What did you do for work/living before the app existed? 

I worked at Goldman for 5 years and another bank called Nomura for another year. I knew after 5 years at Goldman, it wasn’t my style, but it was a good way to make money. 

Most of my friends at Goldman hate Goldman…

Yeah, it wasn’t fun. It’s for some people for sure. But I’m not trying to hate on people that work there. 

You mean you’re not trying to be a hater?

Exactly.

Okay, so at what point did you realize what app you wanted to create? 

It started off as a joke, a wouldn’t-it-be-funny-if and then we kept playing around with it and it seemed like it could work as an actual idea. People seemed to come together around things they hate. It surprisingly brings people together. And then I did some research on it and there are actual studies that show that hating on things brings people a lot closer. And they’re willing to be more honest and open about things they hate. We thought it was a good contrast to other lovey-dovey things out there – I like art, I like surfing – but who really cares?

So how many hours a week do you work?

70.

Is that better or worse than Goldman? 

Worse. I had a pretty good situation at Goldman, but it’s different in that it doesn’t really feel like work—as cliché as that is.

What sacrifices have you made in line of your work?

Paycheck is the big one. Luckily we’ve gotten a bit of funding so now its helping. The other one is opportunity cost. I know that if I had continued on the finance path, which theoretically is the failsafe, this year gone could’ve been spent advancing my career in finance. And, I think that’s a year—a year I could have been advancing my career, but I don’t care too much about that. So I don’t spend too much time thinking about it.

What are the things that you hate? 

Ironically, I don’t hate very much. I’m probably a terrible person to start this app. I’m a very go-with-the-flow kind of guy. But I do hate tying my shoes, for whatever reason. I think it’s a huge hassle and I wish I could have some Velcro shoes.

They still make them. I think you can have them. 

 My girlfriend would kill me. 

Fair enough.

But I hate other things: winter, when the subway is delayed, and I’m a slow walker. I like to take my time, so I hate when people pressure me to walk fast.

Would you describe yourself as an optimist? 

Um..no. I don’t think so. But I don’t think that overlaps with the fact that I am always accepting of things. If somebody likes that thing, why should I hate that thing? 

So you’re not a judgy bear…

Yeah, which probably makes me a bad candidate for my app. My app provides you with different topics like Donald Trump, slow walkers, or tying your shoes. And you decide whether you essentially like those things or hate those things. And it forces you to make a decision. In that sense, I could hate things, but I’m not outspoken. I actually hate when people are one sided about things. And they don’t try to see the other side. 

 

- Interviewed by Z.T., ROKO Labs.