Great post Josh Nussbaum. I’d welcome your thoughts on Dating. Barriers of entry are high considering that to be a viable dating marketplace you must quickly aggregate users and reach a critical mass, otherwise new users will see there aren’t more users joining and they will abandon the app. Its the chicken-or-the-egg problem compounded by the capital intensity/user acquisition problem.
At Love Lab, we decided that instead of being a dating app with verification (marketplace) we wanted to be a verification app for dating (aggregator). Our thesis is that by emerging as the first and only aggregator of authentic dating profiles on the web we can enhance every dating app, site or service there is. On Love Lab users anonymously self-verify and register their email, phone number, Facebook, photos (with facial detection and recognition), age and real life identities. They can even authorize a national criminal background check, all for free. In the Settings of the app registered users can decide whether or not they wish to be searchable based on their email, phone number or personalized Love Lab ID.
Our goal is to be the one and only universal dating directory so individuals can take their trust level with them everywhere they date; online and offline. Meet a girl in a bar? Tell her to look you up on Love Lab with your phone number or Love Lab ID before you expect her to meet you for a date. Want to be sure they’re not lying about their age? See if they’re verified on Love Lab first.
Until we reach critical mass, during product-market fit, we’re keeping this free. Then, once the initial free background check expires after 30 days our customers can purchase a new check good for another 30 days for $5. We plan to eventually integrate with the most popular dating apps and sites and bundle our service into theirs so users can log in with Love Lab and port over their trust level or build their trust level right there within the four corners of the app.
We’ve added some other bells and whistles to keep people coming back not just verify themselves and others, but to communicate using ephemeral multimedia messaging so they can be ultimately be sure that what they see online is what they’ll get in person. I’d sincerely appreciate your thoughts.