Official: The Relationship APP That Every Influencer Is Talking About
May 23, 2022
Official App was named #5 on Apple’s Top Lifestyle Apps lists outranking Hinge, Bumble, and Amazon Alexa. Popular TV found this so interesting, which led us to interview Founder Zac Stern on everything from his favorite celebrity couple to his impressive background.
Popular TV took a minute with Founder Zac Stern on this new-age relationship-building app. Here is what he had to say:
Popular TV would love to know if you could ask any celebrity couple to onboard the app. Who would it be? and why?
Easy– I have dreamed about the day this couple decides to #GetOfficial. It would have to be Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. I genuinely believe their relationship is one to be emulated and that they are as perfect as can be, from the witty banter that they throw at each other on Instagram to just the kindness that each gives off. I cannot wait until that day happens.
You, as the founder of Official – what was your inspiration to be an entrepreneur in the tech app/relationship space? How was it to launch?
While working in VC, I analyzed the business models of everything from jetpacks to cancer research; dating apps somehow fall within that range. When looking at a business, you learn that you want to keep your customer. Relatively obvious, but not when it comes to dating apps. Dating apps lose their customers when they do their job correctly, but the same thing happens when they do their job poorly or when an outside force accomplishes their “goal.” From a financial perspective, I realized that it made more sense to focus on helping people stay together because the longer they are together, the longer they want to be our customers. Official switched the incentives so that when our users are happy in their relationship, we win, and if our users struggle in their relationship, we lose.
We launched our Beta version on February 14th, 2021, Valentine’s Day. Even though I was familiar with startups from being in the VC world, nothing could have prepared me for my first product launch as a founder. Launch day was surreal, exciting, and terrifying.
I was lucky enough to score an interview that day with the Mayor of Miami, so I was in Miami for the actual launch. That morning I remember having a breakdown in my hotel room, thinking that no one would download the app. I was texting one of my best friends since college who has seen Official grow from an idea that I pitched him during undergrad, and he asked me what I would consider a success for the launch. I told him that my goal was 500 downloads on the first day and 1,500 within the first week. Fast forward a few hours, and the app crashed from over 10k downloads that first day. It was an exciting problem to have but something that came with its own problems.
Since then, every time we re-launch the app, a similar timeline unfolds. I break down because I don’t think the app is good enough, and then we exceed our goals. It’s a great feeling to know that people want your product and that it has a purpose.
Speaking of relationships, how does Official App help cultivate relationships and/or mend them if needed? We all need a little bit of relationship help!
Official’s goal is to help couples by promoting self-discovery and enhancing communication between partners. We do this because we know how important it is to communicate with your partner and help you find and experience new activities.
Within the app, we allow couples to check in with each other in multiple ways to promote conversation both on and off the app. We let our users tell their partner how they are feeling, guess how their partner is feeling, and tell their partner they are in the mood.
Official also allows you to discover more things around you to try with your partner from a literal sense like restaurants, concerts, or events, but also at home dates or things to try in the bedroom. We let our couples swipe left for no, right for yes, or up in the intimacy section for maybe, and this creates an opt-in process to indicate what each person wants to do. While it’s simple, it lets couples discover new things that they both want to do.
We also let couples share their dates and experiences privately or publicly. Users post memories within the app to remember what they do with their partner. By posting publicly, couples can show off that crazy exciting or unique date that they did. Official is a community of people who love love; we want to encourage everyone to have the best relationship.
One of the most important things is that we don’t try to make couples feel like they can only communicate on the app. I firmly believe that Official can be an excellent catalyst for communication, but should not be the only way you communicate.
You have created a universal concept. Does this app reach other countries? If so, without naming every country, who can download the app?
Love is a universal language, but unfortunately, our small team doesn’t have the power to translate content to every language. We have content in almost every country and are adding more dates and experiences every day with the help of our users. You can find the app in the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Sweden, Ireland, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, and Kosovo. While the countries seem random, it’s because we have team members around the world, so we couldn’t not have them brag about it to their friends and family.
Our viewers want to know about you! What are your aspirations, hobbies, and daily activities that keep you grounded during this time of such success? What keeps you motivated as a young entrepreneur?
Being a founder is hard. I put a lot of pressure on myself and attach too much of my self-image to the success of Official. This makes good days great, but bad days can be soul-crushing. I need to remind myself that I am not my company and remember why I built Official in the first place: to help people be better partners and have more fun in their relationships.
When participating in activities outside of Official, I constantly need to be engaged; otherwise, my mind wanders. My biggest passion is cooking. Cooking allows me to relax even while running Official. Also, I’m a proud nerd. I enjoy Backgammon and Chess, but also privy to video games.
One of my personal goals in life is never truly to grow up. When I was younger, I always dreamed about being a grown-up and being able to do whatever I wanted and eat chocolate for breakfast. Now that I am an adult, or at least the age of one, I realize that being a kid at heart is important. In all honesty, the overwhelming desire to grow up that I had when I was younger is one of my biggest regrets from my younger years– I wish I would have enjoyed my childhood more.
Where do you see Official App in 5 years?
This is perhaps my favorite answer because I think the possibilities are endless with a company like Official. Right now, our focus is on couples, but there are so many tangential markets that touch our relationships, and that’s where I see Official expanding. I always liked to say that we are the first relationship media company. My goal is to grow Official to help any relationship you have, whether it’s with your partner, family, friends, or even yourself; Official will be the defacto platform for any relationship in five years. I have a few ideas on how to get there, but I can’t give it all away just yet ;)
Lastly, if you could tell our audience anything upcoming or why they should log on to @Getofficalapp, what would you tell them?
Official will be growing and will have ups and downs like any relationship. Our motto is to be dating every one of our users. We will be here for you whenever you need us. It’s really up to you when it makes the most sense for you and your partner to call it Official. We have a lot of exciting things coming out soon. Hopefully, the audience will be early adopters who say they found it first.
BY: POPULAR STAFF