I am a bit skeptical due to their current inability to have multiple, disconnected, and independently privacy-controlled profiles for a single user (e.g., let a user have multiple profiles that are not linked in a way). In 2001, I modified FriendFinder to support both friend social networking and online dating. It turned out not to be successful because members found that interacting with their current friends was a separate process than discovering new friends and dates. We later consolidated the profiles back into one.
Entrepreneurs will always try to apply dating in new markets. The challenge of Twitter Dating is that there is almost no filtering process that increases the value of an interaction. The result is a flood of responses with minimal net value.
Oh, stop… you had me at 139 characters! The most common subject line sent to members of online dating sites is “hi”. The question is more dependent on what the person had to do before they were able to send you that 140 characters… how were they screened? how do you know that they have the potential to be worth loving?
9. What is one thing that you would tell someone pursuing a new start-up as the best piece of business advice you have learned over the past 16+ years as an entrepreneur?
Pick your battles… find the minimum product/service offering features that you need to have in order to have a complete solution and get it done as soon as possible. You can always evolve your solution by listening to your customers.
10. What are one of your favorite websites online and what site drives you crazy? One of my favorite sites online at the moment is and I hate Youtube.
I tend to spend more time thinking about how to build and improve web services than actually using them. I see lots of potential in services that extend your social network offline such as the geo-location sites Foursquare/Gowala. I wish Craigslist would either innovate or forward their free traffic to a site that would. When society hands you a free monopoly, it’s your duty to innovate as if you have fierce competition.
I’d like to thank Andrew for taking the time to answer all of these questions with such insight. It has been a pleasure knowing Andrew Conru over the past few years and watching the Friendfinder Network grow into such a successful business empire.
Embrace surprise. Your dream date may not look like the man from your fantasies. Sometimes, setting aside your list of requirements leads to experiences you would otherwise miss.
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They saw that enabling prospective dates to see their current friends was a dating liability
A key consideration as to what technology can be applied to online dating is the extent to which participants are interacting in real-time. For the most part, online dating is pretty asynchronous – people filter and interact primarily via email message exchanges prior meeting. GPS, Video, VOIP are all tools to enable real-time synchronous interactions. While there are many exciting applications of these technologies to facilitate instant hookups (e.g., among friends or gay bars), they tend not to be embraced in mainstream dating sites.
7. Do you think that Social Networks are a big threat to the dating industry at large? Have you ever heard of the new fad “Twatting” (Twitter Dating)?