CB - July 28 - I was interviewed for the French magazine, NEON, and the article is now in print. Here's the full interview I had with the reporter.
1. What's the difference between a dating site and a matching site?
An internet dating site focuses on allowing users to search for themselves. An internet-based matchmaking site focuses on actually providing a limited set of match recommendations. Matchmaking sites often have compatibility analyses. Their services are more in line with what a traditional matchmaker does. But they still typically fall far short of traditional matchmaker services. For example, they don't help with coaching, date venue selection and post-date feedback. i.e., why didn't she call me back?
2. What SHOULD dating / matching websites looked like in 10 years?
They won't exist. We'll move to mobile and wearable computers. Dating is mobile. So the industry has experienced a rapid transition to mobile, with some dating sites that were focused on mobile dating two years ago now at 85% mobile traffic. Most services are now over 50% mobile. The next trend will be into wearable computing.
3. And what do you think they WILL look like?
Mobile dating and wearable computing based services will become vastly more intimate with users. The problem with internet dating today is that people lie, and they don't really know exactly what they want. But we know that people behaviors give us a better indicator of who they are, and what they really want. Wearable computers will tap into observable and measurable behaviors, and work with other apps to mine this data. So I see trusted brands emerging as winners. Because the utility and success of future wearable computing based dating will rely on access to this data, and that data access will only be granted to trusted brands. So dating services with poor reputations will feel the hurt.
4. Do you think online dating we evole in an online life coaching?
As we move into wearable computing, yes. As iDating becomes wDating, we'll be able to access more observable and measurable behaviors, and so coaches will be able to provide real time feedback and advice. i.e. don't go into that restaurant, she doesn't like Thai food. or The smell sensor register B.O. so change into another shirt.
5. You spoked about google glass... Does that mean online dating is not going to stay on internet websites or mobile apps, but will develop in wearable computing?
In the 10 year time frame this is inevitable. In the 2 year time frame, this industry hasn't a clue what is about to hit it. My job by starting wearable.ai and speaking at Glazedcon.com is to learn, recruit a team, and help bridge the iDating industry into the new medium of wearable computing and to not 'miss the boat.'
6. To conclude, with all this innovations, do you think that dating or matching websites are going to make us find the true love with the right person and avoid divorces?
People pay traditional matchmakers thousands of Euros. There's huge value in dating/matchmaking. And this is a fascinating and sexy business. So I see more innovators taking a fancy to this business. But I don't see the money flow. The investment in the business is lackluster because the multiples are known. We know 10% of people who enter a profile become paying users. And they pay for 3 months. Then maybe (5-20%) they'll come back in 12-18 months for another membership round.
This is an old internet business. So it doesn't attract VC money, because companies no longer exit for crazy prospective multiples of EBITDA. There are no whatsapp's in the idating industry. But I think we will see a new wearable computing dating service company emerge that will rival Match/Meetic in 10 years.ᐧ