In this day and age finding love has become a more-than complicated issue for some. Long work hours, an overall sense of independence amongst young people and a 24-hour technological world, are some of the causes. Because of these problems many people have turned to dating sites that, "promise results within six months," or your money back. If it’s going to take six months to find me a date while I pay for the searching, I rather invest the money in shoes!
Enter Sam Yagan. He understands my conundrum, shared by "millions out there," as he explains. Sam is one of the creators of a different type of dating site. A site where people don’t pay a subscription; fill out witty questionnaires that help them draw down their list of possible love matches; and can have, pretty much, no expectations in a good way.
"At OkCupid.com we don’t promise to find you a partner or your money back, the time you spend in the site reflects results, we are not pressuring you to use that membership for all its worth" said Sam, CEO and co-founder of OkCupid. At the same time, Sam said that the time people spend on the site could be entertaining, because their profile and formatting styles are much more nonchalant. In the hopes of improving services he has done personal research, finding a way to make online dating even more entertaining.
"I talked to users and friends who are single and debating about online dating. Many women have complaints about traditional online dating, because it’s too much work. You need a profile, a photo, a quiz, all these things, and at the end you don’t get a date. Guys argue that there is no spontaneity in online dating, there’s no chance to say â€˜lets go on a date tonight!’ So, we though of how to create a site that’s not a lot of work and has spontaneity."
The Eureka moment came with CrazyBlindDate.com, and since its launch last November the site is becoming popular. As the name implies the new site under OkCpid.com is about, well, blind dating. Crazy blind dating, to be exact. People in the major cities served by the site at the moment, log in their contact details, likes and dislikes, length of the blind date, and a time and location where the date can take place. After that the system takes over and tries to match the requested types of persons with the time and location given to set up a date, cutting the middle friend who is known to ask, "wanna go on a date with this friend of mine?" There is nobody to blame, and maybe much to gain.
"We wanted a site that got you off the site and outside dating. There’s nothing to do except log in info for the date and get out, it’s revolutionary because it turned the model out of itself. With 5 minutes of work you could have a date tonight or tomorrow," added Sam.
Although it can be unnerving, going on a date with a total stranger you can’t even get basic facts on, the concept is indeed revolutionary. As Sam puts it, this new site is like going to the bar and meeting a stranger you set up a date with. Because contact information is only used by the computer system to set up dates and text or email users about the confirmation details, the fear of getting calls from that odd individual you met with is not present.
"The concern for safety or comfort is a very common first reaction. Upon reflection users consider that they are in public setting and can say for how long they want to meet," said Sam. "We are the only ones that use and know the user’s cell number and we protect users by making their information private as well. People can also see other’s date reviews so that they decide not to go if the person is ruled as rude, for example."
If the fear of getting paired with your total opposite is still present, there are also double-blind dates you can set up with a friend. Finally, there are "either" dates where you can join a previously scheduled double date that’s missing a couple. Since the launch of the site, Sam said the response has been tremendous. The system has already set up over a thousand dates.
Thanks to date reviews people share their experiences and word of mouth has accounted for new users. One of the users has even been on 16-plus dates since she joined at the end of November.
"We don’t see it as competitive site for OkCupid.com because it’s our task as a company to innovate as much as possible in the online dating world. If this is the future of dating we want to lead it," added Sam.
The two sites compliment each other since CrazyBlindDate.com uses the database of users from OkCupid.com to match people, having the ability to choose from thousands of users. So far, 20% of users said they have gone on a second date with the person they were set up with, and many feel "a connection."
Our voluntary guinea pig, Elizabeth*, tried the service and was amazed by the quick process and date setup. Overall she had a good experience. "I had a good time, it was an exciting way to meet someone and although there were no sparks we still enjoyed the coffee!" our brave tester added.
Although, in her second try our tester had to cancel, due to scheduling issues. â€˜I felt so bad because the texts are encouraging. But, I cancelled and got this sassy e-mail saying, â€˜Guess you already knew it because you did it! It was shocking and amusing and it made me want to set up a new date to make it up."
For Sam, defining success is relative. What he is most happy with is the fact that people are going out and meeting others all over. The goal for this new project is to go live in more cities and be widely accepted as the "off-line" dating site.
"Me and my partners checked what we could offer for free because that’s what I love to do, offer things free. People pay for porn, gambling and dating as top three online things. I’m married so porn is out and I can’t offer free gambling; so dating was or thing and there was nobody offering free services so we came up with a good product and its been immensely popular since. Now, we just keep innovating," Sam aid.
*Our tester’s last name was omitted to protect anonymity and privacy.