Tech Coast Review
The startup and tech news weblog for Southern California
Showing posts with label Dating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dating. Show all posts

Friday, January 4, 2008

If  your looking at at web 2.0 speed dating site and it seems like Deja Vu, you'd be right, we reviewed Woome exactly one month ago.  So what about SpeedDate?  Well first of all, they are not based in Southern California, however the cofounder of SpeedDate, Simon Tisminezky, is from San Diego so we figured it was relevant enough to profile how SpeedDate compares to local favorite Woome.

The Good
The two cofounders of SpeedDate are from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, and we know those guys have produced some pretty successful entrepreneurs.  Simon and Dan have picked a good business where instead of being just another metoo social networking video site, they focus specifically on connecting people to date fast.  Besides Woome there's no other major competitors in this space, so no matter what, they are in pretty good shape. They also recently received a patent for certain aspects of online speed dating, that while I doubt makes their intellectual property highly defensible, it does show that they are working with a mindset of trying to innovate in the dating industry.  Lastly, I feel pretty confident that the SpeedDate team have some good marketing tricks up their sleeve to help spur user growth, considering that they received some good coverage with their creative PR stunt hooking up bloggers for a public speed dating session (which was fairly entertaining).  

The Bad
I'm not a big fan of Woome, but I definitely like it better than SpeedDate.  Woome looks and feels cooler, and when were talking about speed dating, cool matters.  Of course, this stuff is highly subjective, but something about SpeedDate just feels less polished.  Also because Woome comparisons will abound with SpeedDate, I'm highly interested in what they think can differentiate SpeedDate from Woome, because at this point they are running second in both user traffic and general media opinion. In fact, I asked pointblank for the differentiator in my correspondence with the team, and never really received a solid answer. 

I wasn't a fan of web 2.0 speed dating when I reviewed Woome and I'm still not.  Either way though I recognize there's a market for it, and even if Speeddate runs second to Woome, both companies seem in good position to capitalize. 



Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Los Angeles/San Francisco based WooMe recently went from private test mode to open to the public.  The concept is basically speed dating, meets video conferencing, meets social networking. Due to their inclusion in the TechCrunch top 40 they have received a good amount of online press (VentureBeat, Mashable,  SomewhatFrank, et all) and this is evident with over 50,000 "speed introductions" in their first two weeks of being live.

The basic premise is that you get to chat with people of the opposite sex for 1 minute and decide on which ones woo'd you. Then for only 1 dollar you can contact them and get your real date on.

The Good:
Testing Woome went very smoothly.  There was never a hiccup, the service was fast and responsive during the stream. I also really liked woome's look, it definitely is a nice update to dating 1.0 sites like or eharmony. In genernal, I think, Woome's concept is well executed, and caters perfectly to the new generation who have short attention spans, gravitate toward speed dating, and are used to Myspace/Facebook.  Also compared to something like eharmony, you can't beat the price.

The Bad:
I've never really used a dating site to find a date but my general impression is that it must suck.  I could elaborate on the guy to girl ratio problem, the question of what kind of people you are me
eting who are using a 60 second webcam slot to figure out who to meetup with, and on and on - but I suppose people already know this.  This is probably why video based speed dating hasn't attracted much interest before.   Sometimes when something new comes out, its because the idea hasn't really been explored before or because the technology isn't ready, in this case I figure the 10 billion dollar dating industry has basically consider video technology and left it in the ring for pornstars and the like.

Woome is the first to the concept of speed dating 2.0, so you've got to give them credit.  They also have a definate coolness factor that other dating services lack.  Finally you really can't beat the price (1 dollar per person you are interested in) and its a refreshingly different business model.  But at the end of the day I'm not sure that any of this is enough to bring dating to the masses (but hey what do I know, I'm not single).



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