Monday, March 28, 2016

"Dine" app does all the wrong things

"Lemme Smash?"

You can read the original article, which has a step by step walkthrough of the Dine app, here. But I want to examine this app because it's fun to see what they are getting wrong, and when in six months you've never heard of them again, you'll know why.

First of all they are combining all the horrible things about OKCupid with the parts of Tinder that are stressful and awful. Do you like to fill out forms? Then you'll love the OKCupid style of old-school dating, where they "match" you based on your interests. It works, but there is a high barrier of entry, like doing a tax form to get laid. Also: Dinner dates are the worst kinds of dates. High pressure and not likely to result in success for either party.

And of course, by not offering an Android client they are demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge of how network effects work - which is that every single person on Earth has a Tinder account and uses it, whereas Bumble and the other iPhone only networks fight for the "affluent" crowd with gimmicky features. 

The problem is that VCs often design apps based on what users SAY they want, instead of what they actually want. For example, girls often say they hate guys who take shirtless selfie shots, but all guys know if they want to get right swiped you should probably include a shirtless selfie. People are counter-intuitive like that. "Oh you hate guys who have nice cars? Sure you do." The data suggests otherwise. 

Better use of VC money would be an application that can "verify" your height. The female dating calculation often will compromise on how affluent a mate is at the moment, but never on how tall they are. I will demonstrate why in the following scientific graph titled "Why girls don't care about money but will ask you how tall you are before they volunteer to go out with you":

If you're a girl you already know this chart by heart. A lot of the guys who were born with money are douchebags not worth dating (or basically, cokeheads). So if you're in the younger crew, rolling with your iPhone, you're not always looking to connect only with guys who are going to splurge on the latest hot restaurant. You're betting on their future, not their present. But they're not going to grow or shrink significantly. So a tape measure dating app is better than a "take me to dinner" dating app, when it comes to the next big thing. Which is why Tinder has pictures in the first place.

I will close with today's screenshot: Yohanna, who is ruining the market curves in all directions.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Paying for OKCupid is Stupid

Often you talk to people who are "established" (a.k.a. too old to smoke pot anymore) and recently divorced and back in the dating scene, and they comment on how they are not sure how to meet members of the opposite sex, and that online dating isn't working out as well as they were hoping. A lot of very successful people are frankly, just scared of online dating.

Also, for women, it SEEMS easy at first, but then it is hard to move the process along to its desired conclusion. There are a lot of steps in between "Swipe Right" and "actually meet someone". Guys are often quick to connect and flirt, and then heavily reluctant to offer an actual date and move it to the next step.

Well, as a friendly hacker-type, I am here to make it more fun and increase your chances of success using modern technology as a ground breaker. 

Instead of paying for OKCupid or Tinder, accept the fact that EVERY social website is a dating website. My roommate B does most of her dating prelims on Instagram, which Facebook was very well aware of when they bought Instagram. But Twitter and AirBNB are just as good for making actual connections with people. And in some cases, much better. First of all, you can buy ads on Twitter.

Remember the point of Tinder: To build real connections.

Take a look at the following screenshot of an example Twitter ad campaign I ran, pointing at this blog. Keep in mind, you can carefully target your Twitter ads to just people who follow the people YOU think are interesting, such as a particular band or politician or comedian. And of course, you can target them by gender and age and all sorts of other things, but most importantly, by zip code or geographic region. 

As you can see below from the analytics page: 1% of the girls who saw the Edward Snowden Blogpost link clicked on it. 

You have to have a funny blogpost to point them to, but that's easy! Even your Instagram page will do.

Getting 100 people you might want to date interested in you because they read your funny blog is a much better bang for your buck than anything OKCupid or Tinder can offer you, and it's easy to do and not that expensive!

I link to my OKCupid profile secretly on this blog so I can see who visited, assuming they are also logged into OKCupid at the time. ;)

Twitter ads are there to help companies build real connections with people, but because of that, they work better for dating than dating sites do. You know how all the dating books tell you to meet that guy when he's out and about, rather than when he's cruising a bar? This is the same principle. Twitter=out and about; OKCupid: Cruising a bar. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Valentines Day Without a Label

I like to undress things with labels. <cough>

A new terminology for me that B introduced me to is "put a label on it" and all the associated insinuations. Because while the gradient from "dating" to "boyfriend" used to be razor thin, in your thirties apparently this becomes a vast swamp of opportunity.

While I found a "open marriage" predictably horrible and weird and the idea of being "Poly" seems like a thousand times more work than it's worth, the reality is that human relationships don't have to be binary -  either exclusive or non-exclusive. Either friends or coworkers or lovers.

It's strange going through Valentines day without a label though.