Boss It Like

How To Boss It Like… Ollie Locke, co-founder of Chappy

By Oliver Smith 6 February 2018
Image: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images.

These leaders are changing our world for the better. We find out how they get the job done.

There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures who are changing the world.

From Settled CEO Gemma Young to Provenance founder Jessi Baker, these smart people get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning, we’re talking to Ollie Locke, co-founder of gay dating app Chappy.

Meet Ollie Locke

Locke rose to fame as a TV personality after he appeared in the first season of E4’s Made in Chelsea, during which he became the first person to come out as bisexual on British TV.

He’s also appeared on Britain’s Got More Talent, 8 Out of 10 Cats, The Island with Bear Grylls, and the upcoming E4 reality dating show Celebs Go Dating.

Outside of his TV work, Locke wrote the best-selling book Laid in Chelsea, and in 2016 launched gay dating app Chappy along with co-founders Jack Rogers and Maxim Cheremkhin.

Read more: Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Locke made an app for ‘Mr Right’ AND ‘Mr Right Now’

A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked Locke how he gets it all done…

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

Definitely an early bird – I’m up at 7 am each morning and walk my dog, Bear. It clears my head and gets me started and motivated for the day.

I swear by Octopus, squid and prawn antipasti with red and yellow peppers and capers in a citrus dressing for breakfast, yes really! I never drink coffee!

What apps or methods do you use to be more productive?

I’m a huge advocate of Slack. It’s a great way for me and the team to stay on top of all the various projects we’re working on – which is a lot!

What smartphone do you have?

I have an iPhone X, it’s Space Grey and has 256gb of storage. It’s protected by an enviable Chappy branded phone case!

How many people, outside of family, do you meet in a day?

It’s incredibly difficult balancing my time in the office with meeting those that will be integral to the growth of the business.

I try and meet at least two new people for lunch each week whilst maintaining relationships with others throughout the course of the month.


What book have you read, either recently or in the past, that has inspired you?

I’m currently reading Straight Jacket by Matthew Todd and Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance.

As a tech innovator, Elon is a huge inspiration for me, and Matthew Todd’s personal experience helps me further understand the Chappy audience – which in turn helps me make better business decisions.

What advice would you give for people who are eager to get into your industry?

Have a heart. Digital dating isn’t just about getting matches. For any dating app to truly work you must have heart and compassion – don’t simply treat your audience as ‘users’ or merely ‘downloads’.

Ensure they feel respected and valued online as well as offline.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night? Or do you have a wind-down routine?

While it is important to have downtime, the truth is I’m always on! There’s always something more to do.

However, I wind down by having peppermint tea and I try to be in bed by midnight.


What was your favourite childhood toy?

My Teddy bear, called ‘Bear’ it’s why I named my dog… Bear!

If you could ask your idol one question, who would it be, and what would you ask?

I’d ask the late Peter O’Toole what his secret was. He was an accomplished and charismatic public speaker – he remains my go-to whenever I’m preparing for public speaking engagements.

What do you think your industry will look like in 10 years?

I predict a far more 360° approach to digital dating as dating apps start to really explore building lifestyle brands.

I think it will be as much about being online as offline, as brands create physical spaces, experiences and events linked to their digital offering.

Come back Tuesdays and Thursdays for our next #BossItLike interviews, and get in touch if you know a business leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.