Startup #5 –

In honor of yesterday’s post, today’s startup is very simple.  A dating site with a single member: Glenn.  Ha, just kidding, buddy (I just couldn’t think of a good name for this idea).  However, I was thinking more about dating sites and thought I’d throw out one more idea.

Let’s look at dating sites from two points of view.  First, the ladies.  I’ve discussed online dating with several female friends and there are a few major issues they currently have.  One, they get lots of dating requests, but the vast majority are from people they are not interested in.  Either they are too old or boring or just plain sketchy.  Which leads to number two, which is when they do find someone who looks good on (e)paper, they don’t have any way to tell if the guy is safe or if he’s going to show up in one of those big vans with no windows.

All right, now for the guys.  First, you have to go through a ton of effort to find someone who looks like someone you’d like to date.  Then, chances are the girl has so many other messages that she never responds to yours.  Finally, if she does decide to take a chance on you, it takes several days or weeks of writing back and forth online before she trusts you enough to meet up for some coffee.

Here’s an idea that gets around many of those issues and (unlike most ideas on this site!) actually has a chance to make some decent money.  The site would be a “premium” dating site, where the female members would be invited to join by searching social networking sites and hand-selecting the best looking and most interesting people.  Note that the site would not be open to the general public.  You would need to be personally invited to join.  

So now you have a site full of only the most eligible bachelorettes, time to open the floodgates for the men, right?  No.  Anyone can browse the profiles, but to make contact you’d have to become a member.  Easy?  No, it is very difficult, along with going through an extensive screen process (background check, etc..) you’d have to pay a steep fee, probably around $1,000 right up front. 

OK, now let’s look at the advantages from both sides.  The women get a little ego boost right up front by being selected in the first place.  Once they are in the site, they won’t get nearly the same number of dating requests, but the ones they do get are from guys who have been pre-screened and fairly financially stable.  The advantages for the guys are pretty obvious, a hand-picked list of attractive and interesting girls who have time to read your messages and won’t be as scared of you as a standard dating site.  Yes, the money hurts, but dating is expensive!  Plus, if two members agree to go on a date, the site could “foot the bill” AKA refund $50 back to the guy for the first 5 dates.

Quick note for anyone who is calling me a chauvenistic pig right now – this could 100% be turned around where the guys are hand-selected and the girls would have to pay.

Anyone know of any premium dating sites already out there?  Think this could work?  Can you picture the lucky student who finds the want ad: “Male/Female needed to search MySpace for attractive Female/Males.  $X/hr + commission”


4 responses to “Startup #5 –

  1. Yes you probably are a bit chauvanist but also it has been done before only with “married but looking for an extra something” sites.

    The deal with these site is women get to join for free but the men need to pay the site big bucks (and many of them do it seems)

    The other bunch that do it are the swingers site. There you have a kind of peer review system (and high membership fees to deter timewasters)

    You couldn’t turn it round because I really don’t think girls would pay. We have enough time keeping guys away as it is.

    Though I admit I’d be up for stalking the fit blokes on my space if someone wants to pay me….


  2. Thanks for the comments, PJ, the idea definitely has a little bit of a “sleeze” factor in it, but the model that I’d like to go for is similar to this one:

    It’s a local singles “adventure and social activity” group that brings together single Seattlites for fun networking-types of events. It sounds normal on the surface, but there’s something very interesting going on when you actually try to apply – the cost is ridiculously high (several thousand dollars!). But they actually get a lot of people to sign up. Why? Exactly for the reasons listed above. You know you are getting someone who is safe, interesting (they prescreen), and financially very well off. Interestingly enough, the girls pay as well, and contrary to popular belief, they are actually willing to do it (I wouldn’t have thought so either)

    But yeah, agree that it’s tough to do this in a classy way – that’s why I’m just investing a few minutes to post it and not quitting my day job to go get it done. 🙂

    Thanks also for my new “What I’m currently doing” Twitter post: Stalking the fit blokes on MySpace

  3. A little story behind about what I have done, and where I have been, to try and get this site to take off before I landed here asking for your help.

    Getting traffic to is a lot harder then I thought it would be.
    So many people say I need to change the name. But, every name that is even close to a dating site name is taken. I have spent several hours on godaddy researching names. And still no luck. My soga does not stop there. I get a lot people telling me that I need to find my nitch and go with it. Well, I think I need to find a way to get the people there to see what I have to offer them other then versus another dating site. The crazy thing is I spent the money and got up and going and now here is the crazy part, I thought that it would blow up offering a free web site for anyone to use! Ok granted there is bigger sites out there, my thought was that if it was just a local site then it would be a hit with the local singles not having to chat with a person half way across the world. They could browse and chat with locals. Ok, so now I have this web site and it’s looks good. I pat my self on the back for a job well done. I sat back and looked at what a great job I did. Then it hits me, “Ummm Glenn you have no members and not a bunch of money for Advertisement”, Ok so I thought how does one get a single person to join a dating site that has no one on it. Well here is what I did not do, create a bunch of fake profiles. I wanted to be a real web site with actual people. Not a boughten database that has been offered to me several times over. So here is what I did do. I printed off a few hundred flyers and walked around at night around the local bars and clubs and put flyers on cars. That went good until I found an owner of a car drunk off his a$$ and not very happy about my flyer on his windshield! Ok at the time it was a good Idea but after all most getting an a$$ kicking with a new meaning to blood sweat and tears in my work I quite that, but not with out a pay off. I had about 10 people join up! I thought is now on it’s way so I bit the bullet and advertised on a local radio station and tried to tell every one I came across to check out Over some time I was up to 100 people. Now we look like a Dating Site. Then it all stopped, the people quit coming except for 2 or 3 here and there. what happened to all my traffic? I went onto other dating sites the big named web sites and looked at Lincoln Nebraska singles they had about the same number of profiles as I did. And I knew I could do better then that. So I contacted my local News Paper and after several calls to them I think I wore them down and got them to do a story on and soon the traffic was coming again I had a 100 more new people join and I thought I struck gold and I was on my way once again. Nope it all stopped again except for a couple of new joins here and there.So at this point I decided to take to a new level and go World Wide and I started posting to free link sites and got involved in the banner exchange programs. Yes even Britain and France I have tried all I could including submitting to all the major search engines, And I have been unsuccessful at getting this web site to take off and I was on the verge of quitting. But my motto is failure is not an option so I did the unthinkable and went public with my all most failure, and posted to a public forum and asked the WWW to please tell me what I am doing wrong and asked for any and all help to get this web site up and going. And so here I am taking in all the great suggestions that I can to make this all happen. So if you have any suggestions that may help me out please post it here and I will consider trying it. I am confident that will take off if I can get others to join it from out of town, state or even country as it is a multi lango site. Thanks in an advance.

    Glenn Shriner

  4. I think you are on to something here! I am redoing and I think i will give this a try.

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