The Love Nest

Optimizing for Love: DateSpot's Start

July 18, 2019

Carla Swiryn

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Founder at DateSpot

I’ve always been an optimizer of what's around me. In fact, when I was hired at Google in 2004, that was literally my title: AdWords Optimizer. The title morphed into Account Strategist, but the role was the same - developing and optimizing online advertising accounts. I enjoyed my tenure at one of the fastest growing and most innovative companies of all time, especially as I'd started pre-IPO (don't get too excited, as I was just a temp when they went public). And the events were fun and plentiful...check out my friend Betsy and I at a Google Dance...





But I wanted to venture out and help clients with their ads on my own, so I left and started an online ad agency specializing in innovative businesses. And while that was interesting and challenging, a strange thing happened...I started to lose my passion for the industry. I then stumbled upon a totally new and exciting world...

A longtime friend forwarded me an email of someone she knew who had started a matchmaking company and was looking for someone to launch the San Francisco Bay Area and build the member base from scratch. It sounded crazy, but intriguing. I had a call with Talia Goldstein, fearless founder of Three Day Rule, who explained she needed someone locally to acquire members, plan events and grow the brand. I thought it would be a fun side gig that fit my skills and personality. After a couple months of my involvement, I realized that running my company plus this part-time job was not sustainable time-wise. Plus, I’d wake up in the morning way more excited to work for this other company than my own. So I let a piece of my ego go by giving up my agency to take a chance as TDR's first hired Matchmaker.

It was a dream job in many ways. I had flexibility with my schedule, got paid to be social, admired my teammates, was fascinating by asking about the details of people’s background and love lives, and I had experienced no better feeling than knowing two people are together because of me. It’s kind of like being in love yourself, but knowing you can do it again and again. Here's one of the early local team...





Throughout my tenure of over five years at Three Day Rule, I enjoyed optimizing their processes, from nitty-gritty tech details of the matchmaking dashboard to weighing on on large-scale business decisions. Eventually, I missed being a top decision maker. Once an entrepreneur, it's certainly difficult to never go back. I thought about how to make matchmaking even better for both the matchmakers and the singles serviced. I left, sad to leave such an amazing team, and worked on fleshing out an idea that could help everyone.

I came up with a solution I was invigorated by -- blending the free route that many matchmaking companies have. I'd allow singles to join a private database and meet clients of matchmaking companies, totally free. The major difference is they could fill out one profile and get connected to clients of multiple matchmaking companies. Simultaneously, I'd help matchmakers get the right matches by offering them paid memberships to the database.

This seemed infinitely better than online dating apps because of the attention to compatibility based on a ton of dimensions and having a real person actually talk to and know both people. And it was better than a single matchmaking company because a single person is extending their reach, and can get a version of matchmaking but without the high price tag. I named it DateSpot, which seemed like a simple way to describe a dating hub, allowing for growth in expanding services.

On March 21, 2019, the DateSpot website went live. By June, I had paying clientele and many signups across a variety of ages and backgrounds. By the beginning of July, I had a three-prong social media presence with interesting content, and partnerships with photographers, relationship advisors and stylists were forming.

DateSpot has already gotten incredibly positive feedback from both singles and matchmakers alike, even more than I'd expected. Still, I remain realistic. Creating a startup is a tough path, and making it profitable and successful one is a rare task. Layer on the fact that this business is leanly self-funded (at least for now) makes it a whole other realm of difficulty. But I fiercely believe in this business and the massive good it can provide people. I shouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t.

As my former Google boss's boss's boss's boss Sergey Brin said, "Obviously, everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world." I feel exactly the same way.

I fully admit that I don’t have all the answers. I'm securing as much feedback as possible from as many sources as possible, including DateSpot’s single members, partner matchmakers, and social media.

So this is where you come in. I appreciate your input along the way and am a proponent of kind yet direct honesty. Please follow our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn. Feel free to comment there anytime or email us at support@datespot.love with your thoughts.

I'll continually strive to understand your views and integrate them into the service to match up more people in a better way than has ever existed. Thank you for supporting us. Together we will optimize the process of dating and finding love. Let the adventure begin!

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