David Piccolomini: Hello and welcome to Tinder Tales. This is David Piccolomini once again bringing you the best and worst of online dating. This week on the podcast, I have Mark Brooks, he's the CEO of Courtland Brooks, which is like an internet dating business consulting group. And so he has been around online dating longer than almost anyone. He's been there since, he mentioned some names I hadn't even heard of. He's very cool, very knowledgeable about everything within this. How to make your profiles better, how to look to the future of online dating and everything like that.
He has a great website called Online Personals Watch, which is where they talk to all the big CEOs and everything of all these dating apps and everything. So if you want to learn more about dating apps and all the stuff within them, go to onlinepersonalswatch.com. If you want to follow me on Instagram, I'm at @Piccolomeany.
Come out, hang out in Brooklyn, 1717 Broadway, 7:00 PM. Let's get that comedy, patreon.com/tindertalespod. And oh, we are sponsored by allplayground.net, allplayground.net. The number one source for social media if you are in an alternative lifestyle. Get sexy, get flirty, get fun, allplayground.net. Go there, sign up right now. Do it, I believe in you. I believe in us. I believe in a thing called love. Just listen to the rhythm of my heart. Okay, great. We are fully there, enjoy the episode with Mark Brooks.
Mark Brooks: Yeah.
David: You're doing great.
Mark Brooks: Okay, thank you. Yes, it's fairly new for me.
David: Yeah, that's the whole thing of online dating, adapt.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, exactly. Actually, the guy I used to work with, Plenty of Fish, he had a blog and his mantra was, adapt or die, which I always thought was very aggressive.
David: Especially for Plenty of Fish.
Mark Brooks: Oh yeah, in the business of love, he was about the most aggressive competitor I ever seen.
Mark Brooks: Oh, big time, yeah. He wanted to kill the rest of the industry out right.
David: Sorry, that's just very fascinating because when I think of Plenty of Fish, it's definitely like just never what I would think of is aggressive.
Mark Brooks: Yeah well, the product was, it was free. And the purpose of free was to steal away business from everyone else. And Markus does a very good job with that and it scared the rest of the industry. We really were, we... I mean, I was working with Markus, so it wasn't really... There was a time when I wasn't, when did I join?
David: You were frightened by his power.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, really yeah. So, that would be 2007 through 2013. I was with him.
David: Oh yeah, that makes sense. And then all of a sudden app based dating became the-
Mark Brooks: Yeah, yeah and then I think he must have gotten a little bit scared with that because it was Tinder coming after him then, instead of him going after the rest of the industry.
David: So what I'm hearing is, he literally didn't adapt or die.
Mark Brooks: Oh he did, he sold it. I mean, he sold it for 575 million to Match.
David: Yeah, you know what? Fair enough.
Mark Brooks: And pocketed the lot. That all went to him, the whole lot.
David: Wow, really?
Mark Brooks: Yeah.
David: See, this is part I don't know, all this stuff. I'm mostly, I'm all anecdotal and a lot of personal experience.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, I'll give you the inside track. That's where this will be a little bit different.
David: I'm excited for it.
Mark Brooks: I'm immersed in the business of internet dating, it's all I know. I've been myopic to it since really 2005, but even before that, any work I guess so.
David: No, we're in. Buddy, we're in, we're just going.
Mark Brooks: So I started in Silicon Valley I guess. I mean, my story goes back to, I moved to Silicon Valley. I was selling non contact laser based metrology systems as you do and..
David: What's a metrology system?
Mark Brooks: So say if you've got a wafer and you want to see if it's flat, you can take it to a metrology lab and they'll do a 3D raster across it and tell you if it's flat. They'll look at if there's any bumps, if there's any artifacts on there that are of concern.
David: So it's like digital rendering and stuff like that.
Mark Brooks: It's a 3D measurement. So we're looking at the measurement of a laser, a very small point laser down to the disc, for example. And because we use a laser, it doesn't matter if it's a mirror, we can still get a good measurement off it and then we raster across. And that's a real thing, 100 grand for a device will do that.
David: This makes sense then, because that's a real easy transition to online dating.
Mark Brooks: Exactly, made a lot of sense.
David: Yeah, because I'm always trying to figure out how flat things are when I'm on the apps.
Mark Brooks: Well, I worked with a lot of automation companies. So there is an element, there is actually some sense to it because I was always thinking, what is the most difficult thing to automate, is the bringing together of two compatible people. Aha, so there is a connect.
David: This is just you like keep climbing the automation mountain till you got to online dating?
Mark Brooks: Yeah, I think I got to the top of it, or bottom, whichever way you see it. But in 2000 the industry tanked, semi conductor industry went into the pan. It was not a good time to be in the semi con industry. And so there were two things that were doing quite well in that time, love and chocolate. So I transitioned to love. It was either that or chocolate.
David: Hey listen, if we had both transitioned to chocolate, this could be a very dorky podcast for very different reasons.
Mark Brooks: It's the other thing that people love that doesn't go out of fashion, along with fast food actually, I think, right now.
David: Yeah, well. I mean, it's so convenient. But okay, so you switched over to, you just like let's go, what's available? That's really how you got into...
Mark Brooks: Not quite, no. Actually, I started a club in Silicon Valley. In 1996 when I moved to Silicon Valley, I couldn't find a club I liked, so I started one. And I stuck up a poster in Noah's Bagels, adventure club and people started joining, and joining, and joining, it got to 3,600 members in total. And people started meeting and marrying. That wasn't really the intention, we had a lot of singles in the club. But they started marrying.
David: Yeah, you have 3,600 people, they're going to fuck each other.
Mark Brooks: Right, exactly. Yeah, yeah. But things you can't advertise were a single's club because then it makes it not okay. But it makes it a bit more difficult for people to be relaxed. There was a bit more of a different vibe. So to keep the vibe right, hiking, biking, jumping out of airplanes, wine tastings. We had a lot of fun and then people started marrying and I got invited to some weddings. And it's like, "Holy cow, this is a lot of responsibility, I actually want to do a better job at this. This is kind of nice, this is a lot of impact."
So then I looked around and I worked with a company called Hyper Match in 2000. There was a guy that approached me and that was very early. It was like an early eharmony. He had 2,000 questions on his top level. You could answer 200 questions at the baseline level or you could do several hundred or 2,000 questions at the top level. So it was like early eharmony, really quite brilliant. He had this little widget and he was eminent CAD guy, computer and design software guy. And he created this amazing little widget. So, that was the first company I worked with and we sold it to Easy Board. And then in 2002 I worked with Friendster. I did a little bit of work with them. I ran some parties called Friendster Exposed in Silicone Valley. Yeah, so we had...
David: Friendster Exposed?
Mark Brooks: Yeah, Friendster Exposed. So I actually remember, inside track story. So Jonathan Abrams was the fellow who started it and we met in Mountain View. And he said, "I'm working on something, it's going to be huge." Like, "Okay, cool, count me in. I'd like to help." So he said, "I want to run some parties, can you run some parties for me? Because you do events." I was doing...
David: You were like, "Listen, I've got a social club. Already done it."
Mark Brooks: Yeah, made sense. So I did Friendster Exposed. My favorite party was in San Francisco. We did early nightclub sets. So there was this one club that was heaven upstairs and hell downstairs. Literally downstairs in the basement.
David: They had a basement, yeah.
Mark Brooks: It was kind of hell theme, and then there was heaven upstairs. And I remember Jonathan was doing interviews on a rotating bed in heaven and talking to the press surrounded by women. So yeah, early days at Friendster, yeah.
David: It's so funny, just thinking of like-
Mark Brooks: And we were trying to sell Friendster Exposed shirts. He was really upset because not many people were buying Friendster Exposed shirts. Mainly because they were having such a good time, it didn't occur to them.
David: They weren't buying the shirts?
Mark Brooks: No, there was these tee shirts. They're collector's items. If anybody's got a Friendster Exposed shirt now, I mean, this was the precursor to it all, back in 2002.
David: That's just, it's such an insane thing that he's having huge amounts of marketing clout and people are coming to these things, people are really enjoying it. And he's mad about the tee shirts.
Mark Brooks: Because we were trying to find a way to make money and get the word out there. And this was beyond early. This was right at the very beginning of Friendster taking off, which it-
David: But that's the most valuable commodity, is the eyes you [crosstalk 00:10:08].
Mark Brooks: Yeah, getting people to talk about it more, getting the word of mouth rolling, and-
David: We could have been all at a Friendster Exposed event, it would be the Friendster Expo at this point.
Mark Brooks: Well, the problem with Friendster is, we couldn't keep the service running, unfortunately. The code wasn't quite up to the level of scale they were getting to. For example, there was one thing on Friendster where you could see all of your friends, and friends of friends, it was like this map, which was fantastic. But it just killed the service.
David: Yeah, if you millions of people on there, that will-
Mark Brooks: Yeah, people were fascinated by that. But it was just a total dead duck. So we had to remove that and then the problem was, you just couldn't throw service interacts fast enough and the code wasn't up to it and it started breaking. And then Myspace came along and they got it right. They could keep the service up and they allowed fakestering. So Friendster was great because they didn't allow fakestering. So you had to be real. Myspace did allow fakestering and on the one hand, it as lower integrity.
David: Can you define fakestering?
Mark Brooks: Yeah, so the idea is, you create a profile and you can create a could create anybody or anything that you wanted on Myspace. You could have some fun with it, be super creative or crazy. It was a mess, but it was a creative mess. And so the creators went in there, they were empowered, whereas Friendster was shutting people down. And I liked the integrity-
David: Yeah, I subscribed to all my favorite Harry Potter themed bands in 2007.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, anything goes on Myspace.
David: Yeah, basically. There was Harry and the Potters and all this weird, crazy stuff. And you're like, "Yeah, fuck it. I'll just listen to all these bands."
Mark Brooks: Exactly, the bands were on there and the DJs, promoters and that was-
David: Dane Cook from my industry, yeah.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, it was very crazy. But Friendster, I think that's why it took a nosedive really afterwards, unfortunately. They just couldn't keep the service running. So I went over to the dating side of the house. I worked with FriendFinder and OkCupid and then I got three job offers. So I took all three and started Courtland Brooks, which is my consultancy, didn't look back and here we are.
David: Do you like the idea that it's just like one of those weird sitcom dates, where you're like, "Go on three dates at the same time." And you're just like, "Hold on, OkCupid, I just remembered I got to go to the bathroom." And you're like, "Okay, listen, Plenty of Fish, we got to get this... Oh no, my grandma's calling." And running to the next.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, why not? Who was it anyway? The first ones, Webdate. Webdate was way ahead of everybody actually. Webdate was client number two, I think, or three. And they did the first mobile dating app. They got mobile-
Mark Brooks: Yeah, way back. Back in 2005 they had, oh, it was awful back then. Oh my God, it just, it didn't work. You had so many different phones.
David: Yeah, what was the app systems back then like?
Mark Brooks: It was J2ME/brew downloadable app, that was the quintessential experience, or you could have SMS. So there was Lavalife that did SMS, so it was kind of chat backwards and forwards on SMS. Match had a WAP app, so it was through the web, but it wasn't an actual download. So Webdate was the first company to do a download and so that was great because it was more stable, the pictures rendered faster and nicer. It was just the best experience at the time. And that was it.
That was the three, yeah, Match, Lavalife, and Webdate back in 2005, 2006 time. And then of course, iPhone came along and just changed everything. They harmonized. Plus, back then, it was tough to get on deck, so you had to go and talk to the likes of Verizon and Sprint and negotiate a deal for distribution. People complaining about paying out 30% to Apple right now and I look back in time, I think it's actually a very fair deal if you look back at what it used to be because as an app developer, you were getting 20 to 30%. And Verizon, et cetera, were taking 70%. So it's role reversal-
David: Oh yeah, no, I'm all about destroying the phone companies. They are pretty evil.
Mark Brooks: They're all about data now, that's it, they've got bandwidth.
David: Well yeah, turns out super useful. Yeah, you guys should have Friendster Exposed gotten everybody's emails, you would have been huge. But okay, so iPhone changed everything because now you could actually have apps more properly designed and everything and more streamlined.
Mark Brooks: A lot easier for app developers as well because there was a company called, I think it was Trilibus and so you had to go to this company and they would take your app and harmonize it, so it'd work on all the different screens and phones. And it was just a major expense. And after all that, you get 20 or 30%. So it wasn't worthwhile. So I mean, people are complaining about 30%, but they changed everything and now-
David: I'm actually very curious because I don't know anything about like Love Line or any of those. Is it just places like New York or like Silicone Valley and stuff like, that were the early adapters of technology that would use them, basically? Or were they-
Mark Brooks: Actually really started off with the bulletin Boards the BBSs and so there was all sorts of, actually thinking about it, Matchmaker just sold recently and they were BBS initially. They go back to 1983 and I don't even know because I wasn't online back then, so I can't really talk to it. But I came online, I was more mid '90s. So it was BBSs and then there was the first dating services, Web Personals was the first, 1994 and Match.
David: I remember like Onion Personals and stuff like that, yeah, that were all like yeah, you just kind of post your profiles on the thing.
Mark Brooks: Yeah and Spring Street Networks, they're another early one. I think they worked with media houses, right? Onion, The Onion, was that The Onion, Onion personals?
Mark Brooks: I've got you, right, yeah.
David: Yeah, I just remembered that one because to give you where I'm at, I graduated high school in 2007.
Mark Brooks: Got you, okay. I've forgotten it's that far, long ago. I just turned 40 here on Sunday.
David: Listen, just use Tinder Plus, hide your age, it will be fine.
Mark Brooks: I got rings on.
David: Oh perfect, [crosstalk 00:16:29].
Mark Brooks: It's not good, given I'm in the dating industry. Most of the people in the dating industry have got rings on. And so it would be better if we didn't. My team are the ones who know the real experience. But I know the people in the business. That's what I focus on.
David: Yeah, I mean yeah. See, that's where I come in. I'm all like, I've been using online dating in various forms since I was 13.
Mark Brooks: Whoa, 13?
David: Yeah, well, not like dating apps at that point. But I was on AIM and then I would go into chat rooms and it was like, well, everyone here is also a kid, apparently or they're pretending and so I did that. What?
Mark Brooks: ICQ?
David: I feel like with IRC, I think was one of the ones that I used for talking to people through forums and everything, where it was like, oh, we're a forum, but we also have an IRC that you should come join. Which I guess, IRC is just early version of Discord, if we're getting into that kind of thought process on it. And then I went from there, to obviously OkCupid, Tinder, and now all of them-
Mark Brooks: And what's you're favorite?
David: Honestly, I like Tinder a lot. As long as you know how to advertise yourself properly, you can have relatively good success there. And it's pretty simple without actually going through and I feel like personally, Hinge is doing a really good job at attracting the market that it wants to attract. And a lot of times, it's people who are looking to settle down immediately and I'm like, "For the most part that's not how I want to live my life in general, dating or otherwise." I don't have a 9:00 to 5:00 job that I just go to.
Mark Brooks: Right, thing is though, there's a saying that guys will lie about wanting a longterm relationship, and women will lie about wanting a short term one.
David: Yeah, yeah, because yeah, I could definitely see this going somewhere. I also, I mean I don't know, this is from anecdotal, but I feel like a lot of times guys don't know what they want until after they came. And then they're like, "You know what? I could keep hanging out here."
Mark Brooks: Yeah, but once you have sex and you do become more emotionally bound anyway. So the trick is to find someone that you're really compatible with, surely, and then have sex.
David: I mean, I've been open and non-monogamous since I was 22. So I mean, I like sex and I think it can be very fun, it can also be very compassionate in that way. But you can also get to the point where you're like, "Okay, well, this was fun and a good experience. And we can keep hanging out. But also, longterm, I don't know if we'd be a relationship."
Mark Brooks: Right, got you, yeah.
David: Because I think, I don't know, I think both sides end up looking at, or both sides, but people who are dating end up looking at sex and love as like a scarcity principle. And I think that is the wrong way to look at either of them, there's plenty of both if you're willing to open yourself up to it.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, it's a form of communication as well. You really get to know someone when you've got that level of interaction. That's when you're as close as you can possibly be really, physically at least.
David: Yeah, when you're both just operating on like a carnal level. When you're operating without thought, hopefully. Yeah, it's a good-
Mark Brooks: It's funny how some societies are really put offish when it comes to having intercourse and it's like, they're missing out on a vital form of communication before commitment.
David: How so?
Mark Brooks: I think you get to know someone when you have intercourse with them. That's the ultimate form of communication between two people. I mean, I've studied behavioral science and I think people tell you everything if you only observe. I went into studying it with the idea that if people can state what they want, they can tell you who they are. But if you look at their behavior, they'll actually show you who they are. You can really get a better handle on who people are by the way they behave. And so I think it's the way people move, the way people interact with you. I think there's a kind of carnal insight, right? You've got this implicit kind of intuition that you can form an opinion about people based on how they behave with you. And part of that behavior is, how they behave in bed, ultimately.
David: No, that's really, it's an interesting way to think about it. What does it mean when I'm always crying at the end? What does that mean?
Mark Brooks: I don't know, that's I think, I'm not a doctor.
David: Oh yeah. No, it's not emotional, it's just a leak I have. Everything's shooting out, tears-
Mark Brooks: But tell us more.
David: That's a really fascinating idea. Yeah, it's all beauty. Yeah, exactly. I'm kidding, Mark.
Mark Brooks: Please, don't do that again.
David: No, sorry, you sounded like my mom at the end. I know this isn't the time to bring it up-
Mark Brooks: What site did you meet them on, was it alt.com perhaps?
David: Yeah, it was Cougared.
Mark Brooks: Oh Cougared? Oh my goodness, okay.
David: No, no. I actually, I just found out about that one recently. I was with someone and a notification on their phone came up. And I was like, "What's that one?"
Mark Brooks: It's actually from the dating industry side, perspective, it's brilliant because we got a better economic mismatch if you like. I don't know what happens with the guys when they get a wee bit older, but we tend to run out of older guys. There's a bit of a shortage with guys over 55, 65, 75 they're just gone, they're just disappeared. They're not really very active internet dating. But there's no shortage or women.
So it's always difficult to redress that balance. So in some ways, having older women and young guys, because it's the opposite for younger guys. You've got the 20 something woman that is being approached by the 30 something guy, 40 something guy, 50 something guy. I mean, the economics, you've got a 20-year-old guy that's getting approached by, well, who, 18 to 25? I mean, you get a-
David: Maybe, yeah. And that's if they don't, especially most 21-year-old dudes are going to make themselves look like a dickhead, whether they want to or not.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, so it redresses the balance really, from an economic standpoint, and also from a educational standpoint too, really.
David: Now, if only it worked better.
Mark Brooks: So I think, who was that? There's Cougar Live, Cougared, there's a few of these apps.
David: I don't know, I saw it, I looked at it for a couple of minutes and it's crazy though, in New York, even. It was like everyone from her list was like 200 kilometers away or something.
Mark Brooks: Oh, in New York?
David: I don't know, like I said, I browsed it for like five minutes. But yeah, I was like, "Wait, 200 kilometers." And then I had to do just a lot of quick math, that I don't know how to do and I was like, "I think that's really far."
Mark Brooks: Oh yeah, 22 miles is what people are generally willing to drive. That's the average.
Mark Brooks: What's that, half an hour, 45 minutes? Over an hour, forget it. People aren't willing to drive it really, it's got to be something very special.
David: Yeah, I could see that. New York's like, I've definitely had people be like, "Oh, I'm in the Bronx." I was like, "Ah well, we tried." Yeah, we're eight miles away, but an hour and a half.
Mark Brooks: Right, over a bridge, no bridges.
David: Yeah, although I guess that's where I'll be like, "Hey, let's meet in the middle." And we can usually get that to work better.
Mark Brooks: But New York's not a typical market really, for dating. It's a really high velocity internet dating market. It's one of the best because it's super dense. I mean, pretty much every dating app that's got any following is a critical mass in New York. Where it becomes more problematic is when you're out in the middle of the country, in the middle bit, these tertiary cities, that can be a bit difficult. Then you got to travel. If you've got a particular thing, a particular focus, then you really do need to travel.
David: Because it's not anything that's not like New York, LA, Chicago.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, those are major metros, prime market.
David: Yeah, but then you're in Jackson, Mississippi and you're like, "Well, I've swiped through everybody on Tinder in Jackson, Mississippi in a week and a half." And then I don't-
Mark Brooks: Well, it depends. I mean, you're open lifestyle, right? So that's one of the things that you're looking for and that's a niche, that's a focus. And that in a tertiary city, makes it very difficult. Primary, New York is wide open, it's fantastic. That's a huge market, high velocity and a lot of like minds.
David: Yeah, well that trick is if you're trying to date in an open relationship or be in an open relationship in any smaller city, you just find the nearest board game club and you'll find your people.
Mark Brooks: There we go, yeah.
David: Actually, let's talk about a little bit now, just like dating in, we're in unprecedented times of technology and disease really fighting for our focus.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, crazy days.
David: Yeah, so dating, Corona, what have you noticed? Obviously you're very much data and fact based, so what-
Mark Brooks: So actually there was an interesting study that RealMe just did and they found that I think about 30-
David: What was it? What was the thing?
Mark Brooks: There's an interesting study that RealMe just did.
David: RealMe? Okay.
Mark Brooks: And they did a study of 3,300 internet daters and they found that three in four online daters admitted to lying on their profiles, which is shockingly high really. Not that much of a surprise because I think what's really happening is less lying and more fibbing, people exaggerate. So is their profile 100% true? Very few are 100% true, the minority. And so I think people are-
David: That makes sense. I'm 5’8”, I'm 5’7”, you know what I mean
Mark Brooks: Yeah, so you put your height up a little bit perhaps. You think yeah, I'm 5’10” and three quarters, but in that internet dating profile, I'm 6 foot.
David: Yeah, why not?
Mark Brooks: Yeah, with my cowboy boots on.
David: I'm going to be wearing shoes. The only time it will really backfire is if you date someone who's six foot and they're like, "No, another one."
Mark Brooks: Yeah, exactly, yeah. Well, women will tend to lie about their height the opposite way. So it's height, weight, I'll say perhaps people are aspirational as well. So I would tend to say, if I was on a profile I would tend to say I'm athletic. I'm absolutely not athletic, but I'm aspirational towards being athletic. So is that a lie or a fib? I don't lie, I try and veer towards, especially in a profile, try and-
David: I've jogged in the last week.
Mark Brooks: Exactly, that's it. Yeah, that's fair enough. You're athletic, you must be athletic. Have you got a six pack? You want to have one by next week, yeah.
David: Listen, I am an entrepreneur, hypothetically.
Mark Brooks: Yes. Well no, that sounds accurate.
David: Yeah, exactly. Got a lot of good ideas.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, so what else have we had. RealMe also found that 67% of online daters are less okay with being single right now, which is interesting. And apparently two in three online daters have lowered their standards. So I think what's happened is people are flocking. Business has been good for internet dating companies right now. They're like 20, 30% up, which is amazing. But the behavior's changed as well because we've actually really tried to dissuade people from going out on many dates.
And so a lot of dating apps have moved towards video, which is intriguing. It's been years coming, but the general thing is that people like to consume video, but they don't necessarily like to be in the video and that has now changed, thanks to Zoom. People are getting more comfortable with looking at themselves and doing these videos. The intriguing version of this, which I think is really helpful, a lot of people kind of warm up to one-on-one video dating, is what I'm seeing in one to many. So there's one to many videos taking off and one example-
David: What is that? What do you mean?
Mark Brooks: So the way it works on MeetMe is you can go on and say I want to just see someone that's single and telling me about their day. So you can go in there and you can browse around and find some people who are just doing videos and they're playing their guitar, they're talking about their day. And so it's one to many. And really originated in China, there's a app called Momo that took off and went crazy, one of the fastest growing dating apps ever.
David: I feel like I've heard of Momo, I've never used it. But oh, I've seen MeetMe being advertised, but I don't think I've ever been on it.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, it's all from the Meet Group. There's MeetMe, Skout, Tagged, they've all got this one to many video now. And I remember meeting Geoff, Geoff Cook is the CEO, I met him some years ago in London. And he said, "We're going to do one to many video." It's like, "Oh, that's one to one, right?" "No, no, one to many." Like how on earth does that work? But if you think about it, they're actually doing these games now, so someone who isn't really comfortable with video can go in and have a look at someone dating. Like they do this date night game, so you can actually peer in and see a couple of people-
David: You can watch.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, watching a date going on, first date, which is really slightly freaky. But works very well.
David: Yeah, that's awesome.
Mark Brooks: People can warm up to the concept. It's like, "Okay, that could be me, maybe I'll give it a shot."
David: Well, there's less pressure, especially also if you're like, I can view multiple things, I can kind of get used to the idea while I watch it happen. You don't have to jump in and go like, "Okay, well, I might be meeting my soulmate now."
Mark Brooks: Exactly, yeah, it's scary. And people try and be perfect and they see that people aren't being perfect and that makes it okay, makes it okay to just kind of chillax and go and have a fun time. And that's really what the app is about. They're not that full on about saying, "Hey, we're a singles and internet dating app." It's a place you go hang out, it's rather like a, I think every app is like a different bar, a different culture. So you choose your bar.
David: That's an interesting way to look at it, yeah.
Mark Brooks: OkCupid, or Match, or Hinge, or you go into a MeetMe and there's an entertainment aspect. I think that's really important to keep people around and that's what you go to a bar for. You go to meet people and be entertained. So they bottled that quite nicely.
David: And so if you can do like what MeetMe is doing, which is where you have a different entertainment aspect and then if you happen to meet someone, great.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And there's also a safety aspect as well. I think people tend to approach internet dating with rose colored glasses. In fact, there's something called halo effect. And the guy who told me about this is Dan Ariely some years ago, in 2004. I was at Cupid and my boss said, "Go talk to this guy at MIT." And it turned out to be Dan Ariely, who's the guy behind Predictively Irrational, a very noted behavioral economist. And I sat down with him and he said-
David: I actually have heard about all this.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, he's quite fascinated with dating actually. He's spent a bit of time looking at internet dating over the years. But he said, one of the things that happens is when someone goes onto a dating app and they see someone that has some attributes that are close to what they're looking for, then they'll tend to fill in the blanks. They'll say okay, they're like a woman looking for a guy, she's into dogs, he's into dogs, wow, he must be brilliant, right? Obviously he's got a picture with a dog and they tend to fill in the gaps, positively, right? Is halo effect, so rose colored glasses basically.
David: Yeah, if you're looking for something, you're way more likely to find it, even if you don't actually find what you're looking for. You're just like, "Oh, this matches 70% of the pattern, I'll fill in the rest." And then you're like, "Hopefully that 30% isn't that he's a huge alcoholic."
Mark Brooks: Exactly, yeah. And then we can't cover everything. In fact, the more information we get on a profile, the worse it is for people who actually wanted to date that person. There's kind of a optimal profile length because people are also eliminatory. On a short profile, they'll fill in the blanks, but on a long profile, they'll eliminate. That's another reason Tinder's great because it's a short profile and a photograph, right? There's not that much to go on, but it's enough to know if you want to talk more.
David: I think it's a basic first impression, which is like, I think, better overall. I mean, I do like Hinge because it's like three prompts.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, simple, easy.
David: Yeah, once you get into it, sometimes I read someone's OkCupid novel and I'm like, "I don't want to send you a message that's like three paragraphs." Actually, we have a mutual friend, Steve Dean.
Mark Brooks: Oh yeah, great, excellent.
David: I love Steve, yeah. Him and I hang out in New York sometimes-
Mark Brooks: He's a phenomenon.
David: Oh, every time I felt like a robot, I would just talk to Steve and be like, "Oh no, I've still got some empathy left."
Mark Brooks: Oh yes. Yeah, I've known Steve a few years now. He's also open and he's on the Courtland Brooks team and he's also on a couple of hundred dating apps. I think I saw a video [crosstalk 00:34:12] a couple of hundred. Yeah, two peas in a pod then, great. I was going to ask you, I almost going to ask if you knew Steve. I was going to ask you afterwards, that's great, yeah. Two peas in a pod.
David: Yeah, yeah. He would show me the messages he writes on OkCupid. And he just wrote like eight paragraphs to this person. I'm like, "You don't know them." He's like, "Yeah, but this works for me and it works for them. Everybody responds to this."
Mark Brooks: Yeah, great, he dates everywhere though, it's not just on dating apps. He'll go on Yelp for example, he's dating off Yelp.
David: Oh yeah, oh, he'll go anywhere. He'll be like, "How do I figure out the way to connect people in every way."
Mark Brooks: He's quite altruistic, he likes to help people connect, yeah. He's very good like that.
David: Yeah, Steve Dean, good person. Don't get us wrong, but we're talking. You can listen to those episodes, I've recorded three with him-
Mark Brooks: Oh really? Excellent, I will do, good.
David: Yes, okay, yeah-
Mark Brooks: Didn't know. My God.
David: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh no, I love Steve, we've messaged each other during the pandemic, keep up. Anyway, back to you.
But yeah, so that's what I like about the app. It's like, that's what it should be. It should just be a first impression. See if you guys have any ability to connect. People are like, "But I don't know." It's like, "Well, you don't know a guy in a bar either."
Mark Brooks: Yeah and there is that safety aspect. I mean, in a bar you get a sense of behavior. But what I don't like about the bar scene is again, there's that halo effect and the alcohol effect as well. I mean, you see someone, you think, hey. You fill in the gaps and then you're off. I'm just thinking about one example I had years ago. So it was Plenty of Fish, I think it was a Saturday I got a call from Markus from Plenty of Fish, he's the CEO of Plenty of Fish and he said, "I just had a call in, and the proverbial is about to hit the fan." The police had called in and one of America's Most Wanted was on Plenty of Fish, literally. The guy had been on America's Most Wanted a couple of nights before and then someone had spotted him dating, actively in Minnesota on Plenty of Fish. Nightmare, absolute bloody nightmare.
David: One of the fish is a piranha.
Mark Brooks: Absolutely, my God. Baseball cap on, he looked fairly innocuous. But he'd been in one of the southern states, murdered an elderly couple, stolen their pickup, driven up north and was actively dating on Plenty of Fish in Minnesota I think it was.
David: That's insane.
Mark Brooks: Basically he handed over the contact information for a couple of the women that he'd been dating, actively dating. And then the very next day the police rounded him up, picked him up. Yeah, I mean, well where do we go with that? Because I was looking after PR at the time and it was like, holy cow. Well look, we got to just do the right thing, just find this guy. And then the spin was, if you're on Plenty of Fish and you have bad intent, then Markus was going to hand your ass in to the police very quickly.
David: Yeah, sure there are murderers on online dating apps, we find them and turn them in.
Mark Brooks: Yeah and it's very unfair when Myspace went through the wringers on this, it was because I remember a time when there was headline after headline, murderer on Myspace. It's like, well of course, there are. Of course there are. Why is this is a surprise? Of course, the responsibility of dating apps and social networks to some extent, is to kind of lower the odds, right? I mean, for one thing, somebody can be tracked down on a dating app. They've got a trail.
David: Right, it's actually way safer than like a Craigslist where you don't have any-
Mark Brooks: Exactly, exactly, or a bar. I mean, there's no recourse, is there? You've got the camera somewhere outside maybe, but ultimately we do have a bit more chance of catching the bad folks when they do bad things. But that's our goal these days, right now. I mean, that's the beauty of video, is you can do the first date online and have that kind of extra element of not having to go out. I think people are going to settle in and enjoy that, and generally do that first date online, why not?
David: It's like, oh, let's just video chat for 15 minutes, see if we get along at all. If we're having any good conversation, great, perfect. Then we're now in it and we can go grab a drink, we can go to a park, or I can make [inaudible 00:38:46] and we can make dinner now. We can do all these things. We've already established just the first like, okay, we're interested in exploring this, not just falling apart. Just you're on a date and you're like, "You got a sibling? I don't know what to ask you any more. You've turned down all three of my interesting questions."
Mark Brooks: Yeah, I mean, body language as well. And sense of humor's huge. Having a good match of sense of humor. And I think part of that comes from body language as well. We see each other and kind of you start gelling, don't you? See if you're a good match.
David: You can start almost developing like inside jokes pretty early on. That's actually, as far as good dating goes, just general dating tips, it's like if by the end of the date, you have inside jokes, you've killed it as a date.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, it's the first thing inkling of chemistry.
David: Sorry, with your accent, that was just a wonderful phrase.
Mark Brooks: Oh really? Oh, okay.
David: The first inkling of chemistry, it's just like-
Mark Brooks: What accent?
David: I don't know. But it's proper something.
Mark Brooks: Okay. I've spent a lot of money trying to get rid of accent. Years in training.
Mark Brooks: No, I'm kidding.
David: It's like, you don't know the gift that you have.
Mark Brooks: Well, the problem is, I come to America and people think I'm Australian. I go to England and people think I'm Canadian, it's all messed up now.
David: Are you English?
Mark Brooks: I'm English.
David: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's what I thought.
Mark Brooks: I've lived in America for quite a few years and so-
David: I figured what with the Silicone Valley talk.
Mark Brooks: It's fine after a couple of beers, then I revert to Northern English, I'm good then.
David: Oh, is that the... Yeah, yeah, yeah. I literally know that from Doctor Who, what that accent is.
Mark Brooks: You're a Doctor Who fan?
David: I got into it and then three doctors into the new seasons, I kind of fell off it, yeah.
Mark Brooks: Oh really? Oh, okay.
David: Yeah, Matt Smith kind of lost me after a certain point.
Mark Brooks: My kids are into it.
David: But I really like Eccleston and Tennant.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:40:50], we don't rest. Dating.
David: Yeah, which listen, honestly, you're asking me about my hobbies and I appreciate it.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, especially Doctor Who. My God, that's an avenue we've got to go down, I'm British. Doctor Who, yeah, yeah, yeah.
David: Oh yeah, for sure, yeah. And my friend actually used to do stand up for the conventions in America. She was doing all the Doctor Who conventions, she was like their stand up that would come to these.
Mark Brooks: Wow.
David: Yeah, I'm friends with a lot of dorks, myself included. I have literally a board game collection of like 40 board games. So yeah, speaking of open relationships. Anyway, so yeah, I mean, I think video dating, overall, it is something I almost have to train myself to do though and I think the younger generation won't have that same.
Mark Brooks: Why? Let me turn that around, why?
David: Because of when I started doing it, I was doing online dating, but all my dates had to be, like we could do a phone call, but people were weird about phone calls, so it'd be like, "Oh, we have to go meet, we have to go do this." And I think especially if you're starting to date now, like you're 18 to 20 something, either you're saying, "Fuck it, we're just all going to bars anyway because who cares?" Or house parties, or if you're a little bit responsible, you're going on Hinge or some of these things and you're like, "Well, let's video chat. Let's see if we like each other. Let's do that." And if you've grown up accustomed to the technology, the switch doesn't even happen.
Mark Brooks: Yeah and then there's TikTok, my God. I mean, my daughters are wow. I mean, they're not scared of video. They're just totally egocentric and showing off and they're looking for that dopamine hit, by having someone interact and-
David: Like their... Yeah, yeah. So even that generation, that's what I'm saying. Like the younger generation, every aspect of their life has been videotaped. So like, "Oh, I just video chat first anyway." And by that point it will be in our eyes and we'll just do that, tap our heads and be like, "Okay, we're video chatting with fucking Mark."
Mark Brooks: Yeah, yeah, that's the way it's going to go, that's interesting, embedibles. I just saw, and plantables, I think they're calling them. I just read an article about that, that's getting really freaky there, imagine.
David: Yeah, I'm pretty into it, honestly.
Mark Brooks: Ditto, I welcome it. But that makes us unusual. I think people are a bit wary at implantables.
David: Well yeah, sure. But if someone's going to want to control my body, they're not going to pick this body, I don't think. They're not going to go after this as like the, "Yeah, you two fight each other."
Mark Brooks: In fact, what was that?
David: Although, actually, maybe they will. You know what? I'm a little more scared again. I think the bigger problem will be if something short circuits.
Mark Brooks: Yeah and requires batteries. I think that was what the article was about that I was reading. It's like we need to move away from batteries because you don't want to have to dig in and change a bloody battery over.
David: No, you got to go into your, every three years you got to get, like an IUD. You just got to go get it replaced.
Mark Brooks: Oh, there's a interesting video on kind of super forward thinking next generation internet dating, it's like there's a fantastic video with a guy getting dating coaching while he's on a date. You've seen that one?
David: Oh yes. Well no, I haven't seen that. It's just, it's actually a premise of a Black Mirror episode also.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, which one was that then? It was the Hang the DJ or-
David: It's the Christmas Special. No, no, it's the Christmas Special one, where Jon Hamm is literally in the guy's ear like the whole date. And he was like okay, yeah. And it's like, yeah, who's smoother than Jon Hamm?
Mark Brooks: Yeah, I wonder if that's where it's going to go. What do you think?
David: I wouldn't be surprised if it starts getting into more of that. Like if someone's wearing glasses and you can see and hear exactly what's happening, you can then just start kind of training people to be like, "Okay, chill, relax. Stop that, stop. Hey, don't look out."
Mark Brooks: I wonder if this could be a form of entertainment though. If we get really kind of forward thinking. It's like could this be something that's actually reality TV-
David: I mean, we already do that, but just not with a date. I mean, literally like Love Island, all these things are like, hey, can people fall in love? And it's like oh, if you get someone who actually is an experienced, a very experienced dater to go in and actually be their voice. Yup, for sure, that's definitely a reality TV. Okay, Mark, by the way, this conversation is now copyrighted.
Mark Brooks: IP, yeah.
David: Yeah, exactly.
Mark Brooks: Lock it down.
David: We have a podcast, they can't do it any more. So actually, we're getting closer to the end of the podcast. So I'd be curious, what do you think actually goes into a really good profile? Like dating advice, help, tips for people from your experience behind the scenes. What actually makes it like-
Mark Brooks: I think the mistake that a lot of people fall into is generics. They don't make themselves stand out, right? For example, classic example, I like to go for walks on the beach. It's like, okay, cool. Well, so does everybody else on the planet. But what is it about the walk on the beach that makes you special? Is it that you take your dog out at six o'clock in the morning and go for a run? Or do you go out at six o'clock in the evening with a glass of wine and take a stroll? It's like, is it the taking the shoes off and going up to ankles?
I mean, just stuff like that. It doesn't sound like much, but it's the specifics that really count. It's like, what is it that fires you up about this world? What makes you different, and unique, and interesting? What really brings you joy? I mean, I think that's the heart of it, really. Putting in your profile what brings you joy and that's one of those things that you invite people to then create the halo effect on you. They'll see something, some commonality. I like to go for six o'clock morning runs with my dog. It's like, so do I, wow, that's amazing. I like playing-
David: Yeah, immediately turned off.
Mark Brooks: I like playing badminton, it's like this weird thing. And it's one of those things that looking, my wife is not at all interested in sci-fi movies. It's like so on the one hand there's a lot of little things that we can indicate we're interested in, that make us unique. But it's not the absolute that someone else has to really, opposites can attract.
David: Well beyond even opposites, if you have all the same interests, it doesn't mean that your personalities are going to gel. I've met people on paper, who are perfect, and then we hang out for two dates and I'm like, "No, this is a lot." And then I've dated, my last ex, Jess, would be like when it came to movies and a lot of entertainment options, we weren't completely on the same page with a lot of it. But just us interacting was so much better than most people and our general demeanor around each other was great. But it's like, who cares that you do not want to watch this dumb reality TV show about two people battle with medieval weapons.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, yeah, really. I mean, thing is you open up each of your worlds to new experiences, right?
Mark Brooks: So to get people thinking, a lot of it's a hook. It's like if you got a hook in the profile, something to talk about, then you can start communicating. And that's where the rubber really hits the road. That's when you really know, once you've started communicating, you get some, especially on video, it's like voices is very important, but video is better for guys, dare I say it. Voice is very important for women, from what I'm hearing, far better than text-
David: From what you've been told.
Mark Brooks: I mean, the problem with text is, it's very difficult to communicate emotion and really make yourself stand out. But once you've got that hook from the profile, that gets the conversation going, you're attracted to each other with real profile, good photographs that are not glamor shots. Glamor shots aren't good. But having something that's recent, that kind of shows off somewhat of your characters, like what kind of sports you want to play, head shot, body shot. Just making sure that you've got enough, but not too much in the profile and the set of photographs that you've got, and a hook. And it's the hook that gets you noticed and then gets the conversation rolling.
David: Can you tell me some hooks?
Mark Brooks: Oh God, what did do? I actually did a classified. Oh, just remembering what the hell I did in this crazy classified ad that I did years ago that was actually quite successful in Los Angeles. I just moved to Los Angeles, I was 23, and I put in classifieds, "Do you like sponge?" I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I just put, "Do you like sponge?"
David: Do you like sponge?
Mark Brooks: Yeah. I just thought, I don't know why I did that. But it got me attention. I met a lovely girl. I think I said, "Do you like sponge? How about coffee and cream?" I don't know what the hell I did. It was something stupid like that. And it was different, it was like, it made her stop and we dated for a while and it did the trick. So oh, boy. Hello, Jennifer.
David: Do you like sponge?
Mark Brooks: Still keep contact with her years later, yeah.
David: Like yeah, I mean, standing out is huge. And if you can like put out enough of you. So from what I'm getting, it's being specific to you, like what actually. And then standing out and if you can show what you're passionate about and what you really care about, that is infectious and people want to be around those people.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, exactly, yeah. And it's memorable and it's something they can talk to their friends about. I think one of the things that we do in the dating industry, is we do load people up with lots of choice, which is good and bad, because there's the paradox of choice. Once we get so many people into the mill, then they'll mill around and not leave, which is good for business. So it's not good for business to have people bail into a longterm relationship. I mean, it's nice because they say nice things about us, but ultimately, I think it's important to be aware of the economics of internet dating.
And that is that we're in some ways a rotten business because if we do a really good job, we wave goodbye to our users. So we want to do a good enough job that people rave about us, but we don't want to wave goodbye to our users. So we do have levers that we can pull, and one of the levers is giving you lots of choice, more than you actually need. And that's why Hinge is kind of interesting because they say, "We're the dating app designed to be deleted." I love that, that says it all. And I think they really do stand for that. But it's not good for business, if you think about it.
David: Well, I guess the idea behind it is that the amount of women on Tinder that are like, I know this is a hookup app, but I'm not here for hookups. I'm like, it's not a hookup app if everyone of you tells me it is, but you're not here for it. That's not what that is. But Hinge is like, "Hey, we're not a hookup app." They're trying to get more of that and then the other thing is, I don't know.
I feel like people are so constantly in and out of relationships, that if you get someone to be in a relationship for three years and it's off of Hinge and it's the best relationship they've had, until it's not. They'll tell everyone of their friends that they met off of Hinge and then people will join. And then those people will get in relationships and then the first one will break up, cycle back. And I think, I don't know, I think you're right, ideally optimal, in full capitalism, you want everybody to be on your app.
Mark Brooks: Yeah and we want people to have a good experience and not have a bad one. The worst thing for us is when people rock up to a date and they don't recognize the date. That's really bad. It's a horrible experience. You're like, "Holy cow, who is this person? They look nothing like their photograph." That's why video's nice and what's even worse than that is when they have just a really bad experience with someone who's actually not safe, not good, not honest and not you know?
Mark Brooks: So there is this aspect now that we're a bit more, we've got a better set of tools to draw on for kind of getting a sense of safety, imbuing a sense of trust. So I'm working with RealMe, they're doing background checks and they're doing it in a very different, interesting way. They're giving kind of a green light, they're showing kind of a scale, rather just saying, "Hey, this person's a felon." They're actually showing a gradation, which is nice to give people a general indication. That's appropriate for the dating space. We need to honor people's privacy, but we also need to give an indication of safety. And that's been a tough nut to crack, mainly because a lot of the databases were very dated, the felony checks, the sex offender checks. They were horribly dated, and a lot of felons get talked down to what is it? Not misdemeanor-
Mark Brooks: Not that, the other one. There's felony, something in the middle, then misdemeanor I think.
David: Oh, this is showing how big of nerds we are.
Mark Brooks: America system and the nice thing in America-
David: I thought it was felony and misdemeanor.
Mark Brooks: This is all open. In England we don't, I don't think we have this ability even. But at least in America you've got the ability to get some insight. And so that I think, is where a lot of the dating apps now are graduating. That they can actually get access to this kind of data and give some indication of safety, which is important, before people-
David: Yeah well, I would say it's also that thing of like, well isn't, there's like Noonlight now.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, right, yeah. That's different. That's the panic button. So there's Noonlight-
David: Oh, that's a panic button.
Mark Brooks: .. which is backed by Match. And then there's UrSafe, which is the one that's open right now. They've also partnered with RealMe and the idea is that if you've got the UrSafe app of Noonlight, then you can hit a panic button. You can also set it up to ring up after a certain amount of time, a check in, which is great. The very first one I ever heard about was really funny, it was called Getmooh, G-E-T-M-O-O-H, dead now.
But it was get me out of here. And so the idea was you can set it up and have it say, "Your house is on fire." So you're like, "Oh my God, my house is on fire, I've got to get..." It would call you and give you a voicemail and then you had the ability to get out of there, if you wanted to. But you UrSafe and Noonlight, they're fantastic, everybody should be offering those. I think they should be standard issue.
David: Yeah, but this is more about getting it, so that you don't need those, so that you can like-
Mark Brooks: Well, there's still the aspect of indication of safety and people tell you everything if you only observe, right? I mean, so the RealMe is drawing on a whole bunch of data, which even goes into social to some extent. There's some ability now, to look into social and look at the way people are communicating, to get a sense of who they are. So the river runs pretty deep and I think it's important to have some insight from what's available and do it in a way that honors privacy. It's a fine line to walk, but they're walking it quite well.
David: Because yeah, then there's things like, oh, can we get access to your Facebook for the last two years and see all the things that you've said and done and been like-
Mark Brooks: So there's Sentiments, there's another tool. Oh gosh, I can't remember the name of it. Oh boy, there's another tool that's being bandied around the dating industry and it allows them to kind of get an idea of sentiment, within conversations and just get a sense of who people are. And on the social side, that's less important I think. But on the dating side, it's very important because people are putting themselves out there. We're full on emotion, people are looking for everything from casual onto super serious, matrimonial even. We're in a very emotional high trust space, more so than social because on social, you go on social to hang out with people you already know. On internet dating apps, what we're doing, is introducing people to others that they do not know. And so there's higher threat, there's higher emotions. We've got to be the defenders. We've got to incrementally, well, not incrementally. At least incrementally improve on the bar.
David: Absolutely, well because especially if a guy doesn't know a woman and then gets any minuscule thing of rejection, a lot of times I've seen them fly off the handle. I've seen it. You get all these things where it's like, oh, you're creating negative experiences within the same app. User based, but it's like if you could start measuring that out more, instead of just a report.
Mark Brooks: That's a toughie. So how do you think people should let people know when they're not interested?
David: I mean, for women right now, I think the safest move is to just unmatch. I know it's not the nicest, because I actually have a friend who was banned on Tinder because she was like, "Oh, I let people down and they flipped out on me and unmatched me and they probably reported me." And if you get so many reports on Tinder, you're just auto banned. It doesn't matter, that's been Tinder's problem with trans people and other things like that, where they just are like, "Well our rule is like so many strikes and you're gone."
Mark Brooks: Yeah, that's a toughie. I know on Plenty of Fish, we were very aggressive with deleting people and that's because we simply didn't resources when we were free, to really communicate. In fact, I remember the CEO being asked what he did for customer service and his response was, "We don't do customer service." That's it. It was free, how could he possibly? Everybody else was charging, had resources, he didn't. I mean, if people were bailing because after interacting with a particular profile, I think what was going on is that he would just delete them, because if they were then consistently bailing-
David: They're toxic for business.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, it's bad for business. The numbers tend to show you everything. If you look at the numbers, the way people behave online, that will give you an indication of if that person is behaving well or in some way just scaring people off. And I think that's one of the things that Plenty of Fish was looking at back then. And so there were so many people that were annoyed at Plenty of Fish because their profile had been deleted. It's like, "Well, I hate to say it, but there probably was a reason for that." You might have been a false positive, or a false negative rather. But ultimately, Plenty of Fish, that's the territory, unfortunately, zero resources for customer service, yeah. That's the price to pay.
David: Your party got to popular, this is Friendster Exposed all over again. If someone's acting out, you're just going to bounce them.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, that was fun, yeah.
David: That's actually, that's a good rule that I've never thought of exactly. But if you're acting shitty at a bar, they bounce you.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, right. Exactly, yeah and dating apps model the real world, but improve on it, right? That's the goal. So the real world is, every bar, every app has their own culture and scene, level of openness. Matrimony for example, I love Matrimony in India, my friend runs it. Amazing, they've got 3,500 employees, they're doing extremely well. All super serious. You go there because you want to get married. And then hey, at the other end of the scale is the likes of FriendFinder and whatever you want you can find.
David: PURE, PURE.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, PURE of course. PURE, yeah, even now.
David: Which is yeah, just for your profile's up for an hour.
Mark Brooks: Steve told you about that one, didn't he?
David: I think he might have been the first one. It was him, or this other guy, Billy. But yeah, one of those two. He loves PURE. Not, you know what I mean.
Mark Brooks: Yeah, that's a very PURE-
David: Fascinated by it.
Mark Brooks: It's simpler than Tinder, just show up.
David: It's a good feeling that is where I got chlamydia, but anyway.
Mark Brooks: Oh, there we go. Exactly, the truth comes out.
David: From Steve, what are you talking about? No, I'm just kidding. Mark, thank you so much for doing the podcast.
Mark Brooks: Cheers, David. Fantastic, I appreciate your time. Thank you, thank you for inviting me.
David: Boom, that was the episode, see? You learned more than you thought. Onlinepersonalswatch.com, Courtland Brooks Consulting Company @Piccolomeany, P-I-C-C-O-L-O-M-E-A-N-Y on Instagram and Ambush Comedy every Tuesday at The Tiny Cupboard in Bushwick 1717 Broadway, 7:00 PM, free show. Come check it out and patreon.com/tindertalespod, allplayground.net, probably something I'm forgetting. Review it on iTunes, you've already clicked off by now. But if you're the person who's listening this long, just go on iTunes. It makes the show find more people, it forces it. Okay, that's everything. Goodbye.