0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence
Dating's more fun when you're DoingSomething.
5-10 seconds: What's the business model?
Subscription-based. It's free to sign up but users pay for the full service.
10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?
Obviously all the big dating sites, but also no one. So far, no one has applied any thought or creativity to the 'What you do on a date?' part of the dating process.
15-20 seconds: What's your USP?
It's a totally new take on the 'traditional' online dating idea. We suggest cool places to go on dates, (or there's a 'Wheel of Date' that can choose for you if you're having trouble making a decision). The idea to to take all the fustiness and pressure out of meeting someone new. The best tweet we've had so far about DoingSomething is "Finally. A dating site that doesn't make me want to dry heave." I want that up on a poster somewhere.
20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?
Self funded. Now that the concept has been proved (got 2,000 members in London in three months) we're looking to take on funding and go to the next level. Given my background as an advertising creative, I'm really looking forward to the stage of spending some marketing dollars to bring in some new customers.
25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?
Working as a senior advertising creative. Prior to that I set up and co-ran my own advertising agency.
30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?
Personal experience. I tried online dating at one of the big sites and found the actual process of 'dating' at best awkward and at worst excruciatingly painful. You just end up in some grotty bar 'interviewing' someone. Or being 'interviewed'.
Then I went on a kite flying date with a Danish girl and I thought 'hang on, this is much better'. And the seed was planted....
35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?
Quitting my job. Making a new enterprise work is a big ask - and launching a dating site is no different - if I'd had the luxury and comfort of a salary I would have ducked out a thousand times already. Take away that comfort and you have to make it work.
40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?
Trying to do everything myself.
45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?
50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?
In dating terms I still like My Single Friend - one of the few innovators in the market. Neat idea. Outside that world I think Taste London (and now they're all over the world) is lovely and simple.
55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?
A much bigger, even better site. We're growing exponentially and the idea has been really well received. We're going through quite a major shift in functionality at the moment and are REALLY (note caps) excited about the next stage.
People have been very complimentary about the site's look and feel - we spent a great deal of time and effort creating a dating site we'd want to date on - so this feedback is really gratifying. The care and attention we've put into the brand has also led to some franchise approaches from all sorts of places - so that's something else we're looking at too.....
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