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Stop me from doing something stupid


#1

What do you think of very crowded markets… like… Dating Sites… lol

Told you it was stupid… but:

I am an older single person … have used everything out there … they all suck… now, I wonder if one that sucked less and was more modern (not the traditional structure) would get enough critical mass to be viable… hopefully without faking memberships in the beginning like all of them do…

The level if dissatisfaction in those sites is real… I would say 90% of users are dissapointed with their results… That is a real problem to solve… no one has the right answer yet, and I know why… but it is a very big market…

Wonder if it is worth my time…


#2

I worked with a guy that ran a dating site for a while. He knew a lot about image recognition, specifically around certain parts of the human anatomy.

One of the big things AFAIK is fighting spam users.


#3

I just don’t understand why these sites don’t simply shut down some country’s IPs…

I am just wondering… . It is a real problem that is out there to solve… however one could argue that with all the solutions out there it just might be unsolvable…

Eharmony… Elite singles… darn… have you seen how much those companies rake up?

Maybe I am drunken by the size of the market…


#4

The size of the market doesn’t matter, unless you can sell into it.

To start off, do you know why the current dating sites fail?

For that matter, why does most dating fail in the real world?

Is this a problem that can be solved by technology?


#5

Note: you did say stop you, and called it stupid yourself.

Two-sided marketplace businesses are notoriously difficult to build. Why would you set yourself up for failure by starting on a difficulty setting of “every bad guy is replaced with the final boss from the final level”? Your only advantage is that you’re part of your target market. So what? That describes what, 50% of businesses? You wouldn’t hear someone say “I love bread so I’m going to open a bakery” and think “now that’s a decision based on sound business principles!”, would you?

Start on a lower difficulty setting. Don’t try to build a two-sided marketplace.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8231936/gifs/ackbar-trap.jpg


#6

#7

@Serge please listen to the second session of the startup podcast to understand why this is a difficult market to enter


#8

This deserves TWO LIKES!!


#9

Oh I know it’s a trap… lol but darn… the current offerings are so bad… but sometimes I wonder if they are bad because their users are bad… lol

I am flying to a customer today… will read the linked material when I am at the hotel…

Thanks for the good words… lol


#10

I really enjoyed this article… Thanks… that is quite a nice blog you have there… I enjoyed the article about how you are not a typical software entrepreneur… lol

Thanks for this…


#11

I think a productized service in this space could be interesting. See if you can get 100 people to pay $100/month for basically a curated matchmaking service.

That would allow you to get some cash flow sooner than later and provide clear differentiation from the self serve services that have a lot of issues and pain points.

Then long term you try to build a full on product out of it it this could give you a decent path to it.

That said - doing something b2b would probably be much more advisable.


#12

One thing that would have value is one time background and id/picture check before joining the service. Then free forever. Charge guys only, girls get it for free. Charge at level to get 50/50 ratio and market this benefit to guys. Market safety aspect (and verified income level) to girls.

That’s how I would do it.

Edit: you could upsell recurring background checks also.


#13

Almost certainly a waste of your time. Dare I say, it would be “stupid”? :slight_smile: (I feel rude writing that, but you did ask…)

The reason online dating sites generally suck is that they are trying to solve a really hard problem. Probably as hard as the real-life version of dating.


#14

Dating sites suffer from the user participation problem as any other site that’s reliant on the network effect. The problems are similar to trying to start a forum or message board: Most users are passive. Only a small part of them takes part in discussions and only an even smaller part creates new discussions. But to get those active users you already need to have some content.

And with a dating site you have the added difficulty of trying to get people to pay for your “message” board.

Now no one is going to join an empty message board. And surely no one will pay for using an empty dating site. So you got a problem here: You need to seed the “community”. Most dating sites create fake female profiles, etc. But that’s where your dating site begins to suck for users who really want to find a date there.

Imho dating sites are that bad because that’s how the market dynamics in that niche work. Sure in theory you could do it better - but in practice will you be able to? (Also add the problems the other posters mentioned and you must decide if you could do something better with your time than trying to get a dating site off the ground).


#15

Wow I love those ideas! Never even used a dating site before but sounds very interesting!


#16

Kalen let’s just say that my domain name Judge.me lends itself very well to a dating service like this and that’s why I may have put some thought into this before deciding on B2B product reviews :wink:


#17

Hi Serge,

I remembered seeing an article that ID’d some challenges with dating sites. This is probably it:
http://andrewchen.co/why-investors-dont-fund-dating/

Some of these issues are investor-specific but still good to know.

Here’s the HN discussion of it, which should provide more opinions:
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9606572


#18

hahahahahahaha. As they say, “always have a plan B”. As they also always say, “Always make sure your plan B isn’t a dating site”.


#19

TL;DR Don’t do a dating website.

Dating sites are an exercise in futility. You will not find fulfillment in a dating site for the simple reason that most people on dating sites have absolutely no idea on how to enter a relationship. Here is it how it works in the real world:

  1. I see you
  2. I think you’re hot
  3. We hang out and do it ASAP
  4. Instant relationship (ok, hookup culture has changed this to FWB, but I’m old school)
  5. Marriage
  6. Kids
  7. Divorce
  8. Homelessness/Alcoholism
  9. Death

Dating sites think that you can move steps 1,2 online. Haha. No. Do you know what women find attractive? Hint: it’s absolutely NOT the visual. I’ve dated women way out of my physical league who absolutely adore me years after we dated and I am quite possibly the ugliest fucker you’ll meet. They think about me even after they are in relationships which makes me uncomfortable but hey…

Dating sites are made by stupid men who don’t understand how attraction works. Yes, the muscle bro will most definitely get dates and has a leg up. But that’s not the average dude who is usually on such sites.

Quite frankly, women don’t know what attracts them until they see it either.

So we’re all fucked.


#20

I wonder if there is some way to run a dating site like the TV shows Bachelor/Bachelorette. You vet one person yourself (they get it free with the qualification that they have to go on a date with the person they select out of the bracket) while 16 or 32 people enter the bracket to go on a date with them.

Maybe run multiple brackets at a time and sell one entry for $10.

If they are open to the public maybe let other members contact people that didn’t get selected in other brackets that they watched.

Not saying it is better but might be different.