"Why the hell are you building a dating site?"
People ask me all the time, “why the hell are you building an online dating site? Aren’t there thousands of them out there already?”
And every time, my answer is the same:
Because the internet is way too powerful to just keep swiping, matching, and fishing. There's got to be a better way to meet dates online.
With all the technology that’s out there, I do not believe swiping left or right, answering personality tests and searching through selfies can really help people start meeting someone new and starting a relationship.
I really believe On For Friday offers a better way, and that we are going to change the way online dating sites work.
The dating sites today aren't innovating, and they just keep playing copycat. We are bringing true innovation to the industry.
Building On For Friday has been a long and winding adventure, but realizing the need for a better dating service was a quick and powerful discovery.
I moved to Philadelphia in 2011, and while I had a great group of friends at school, I was really looking to expand my social circle, and start dating someone and seeing the city.
So, I joined some dating sites, filled out my profile, and starting looking for the type of artsy, quirky, motivated woman I thought I’d be interested in.
As soon as I started using the dating sites, something just felt off. Beyond the fake profiles, sketchy subscription policies and abundance of inauthentic messages, I was especially surprised to see how different these sites were from the types of social media platforms that were becoming so popular, like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
How come these dating sites don’t look, feel, or act anything like these social sites?
Where’s the posting, sharing, commenting and content?
Where are the trending topics?
How come there’s no local culture to a dating site - yet the people I’m looking for all live around me?
I started talking to a lot of people and it turns out, many felt the same.
That’s when I started drawing up a better version of an online dating site - one that acted more like a social networking platform. Because isn't that what dating really is?
I envisioned a dating site that included all those really awesome features that were connecting hundreds of millions of people around the globe on Facebook and elsewhere, and could really help people find someone who is compatible. At the very least, you should have some cool stuff to look at while you're browsing through profiles!
And so the progress of building the site began - but that’s a story for another day.
Check out our original mock up here (We used to call it A Mutual Friend, so when you met someone, you could nonchalantly say, “Oh yea, I met him through a mutual friend …”) Down below is the first drawing in my notebook from back in 2011, compared to our current homepage.
2011 vs. 2016 (people were just starting to use their mobile phone for Internet when I started! How crazy!)