Race and dating online
Question: What did you find when you started looking into the world of online dating?Dan Ariely: I became interested in online dating because one of the people who were sitting in an office next to me was incredibly miserable, and he was an assistant professor; he just moved to the university where I was at; he was spending long hours; he was not finding anybody to date; he was, couldn’t date students at the university, he was a professor; he didn’t have time to go outside.In fact, when we do surveys to understand what people do, the basic trade off is for each six hours of searching for people and emailing them, you get one cup of coffee.And it's not as if people enjoy online dating, it's not as if they have fun searching people and writing blurbs for them.So I think part of the problem is that the systems don’t give us the right information that we need.And because of this, I think the experience of online dating is generally unsatisfying.
And online dating was a very promising way to think about this solution for a marketplace that wasn’t working very well, and he tried online dating and he was just failing miserably, continuously. So I didn’t ask them to really enroll, I just took their profile sheets and asked people, "Could you fill those out but without your name? So this is kind of an initial observation that something is going wrong in this, in this market.And the online system we created was very much like that.It was about you came up and you got a little avatar, a square or a triangle, some color, and you went into a virtual space in which you could explore it.That's what I give you to search, you're going to use it.There's a million people out there, you want to limit them to 3,000, that's what we're going to, that's what you're going to use.
These things would become incredibly important, right?