OPW INTERVIEW - June 16 - There's a couple of companies in the online dating industry that have done a good job with innovation, and HowAboutWe is a standout in thinking different. Here is our interview with Aaron Schildkrout, Founder and CEO of HowAboutWe.
HowAboutWe is all about getting offline. Tell us more about that.
We wanted to make online dating all about meeting up in the real world. Even with HowAboutWe for Couples we want to make date night happen. Studies show that if you repeatedly surprise each other, then you're 300% more likely to be happy in your relationship.
Delightful closed down after three months. What's your thoughts on what happened?
This is a huge space. There are a lot of companies that got it right in terms of direction, but not necessarily in terms of execution. The big winners are yet to be determined.
You're maintaining the relationship with the people that you've been successful with, rather than losing them to the wind.
The couples space is going to be 20x bigger than the dating space ever will be.
How is the acquisition of Nerve working out?
It's going really well. We have a significantly sized and very skilled editorial team that is now building content for Nerve.com, Swimmingly.com, which is focused on relationships; Famously.com, which is focused on celebrity relationships; and The Date Report, which was our original blog.
I hear that Zoosk revenues are approaching 50/50 for mobile. How's that compare with HowAboutWe?
Views are higher, but revenue is trailing only slightly. We're seeing those two lines converge. Mobile is our most important channel by far. We're seeing the most engagement there. I think that this trend will only continue.
How do you deal with location in your apps?
We want to provide extremely relevant information based on where you are. We connect singles with people who want to date in the same places. Our next "You&Me" release will include a major location feature that lets couples track their adventures together.
It seems like you're bringing together some pieces of the pie which would serve a higher service level – less time invested but more help getting to the date quicker – a' la matchmaker. Is this an area that you believe in?
Very much. There is a large market opportunity around a matchmaking service that is facilitated by the Internet. People who buy luxury goods want a carefully crafted, curated, personalized concierge service-level experience for finding love.
Do you have a wearable game plan?
Finding the user experience in the wearable space that will work in the dating space is tricky. It's much easier in the couples space. We already have a prototype for You&Me on Google Glass.