Startup Case Study

Speed Date by Kate

Peer-to-peer Online dating C2C
Speed Date by Kate website screenshot

Overview

Kate Beernaert

Kate is the founder of Speed Date by Kate, a small business which brings together young singles for fun speed dating events.

Kate contacted me to help bring her speed dating business online. She wanted to create an online platform which would enhance her offline business, and combine a bit of online dating technology with speed dating.

Concept

When Kate approached me for my help, she had several goals in mind. She wanted to streamline her guest's experience at her offline speed dating events, make it easier for guests to book events, and also speed up the process of matching daters after the events were complete.

She also wanted to help expand her guests' pool of potential relationship connections by letting them join an online dating platform after attending a speed dating event.

Keeping Kate's goals in mind, I came up with the following core features:

  • Event registration and marketing
    Kate wanted potential speed daters to find out about her events and book a seat online.

  • Automatic matching
    Guests at speed dating events meet many people in one night for short mini dates. After their dates, they decide secretly if they want to meet the other person again. At the end of the night, it was Kate's job to take the secret wishes of each dater, and match up daters who both wanted to see each other again. Matches would then receive each others contact information. This was a cumbersome, error prone, and non-private process, which Kate wanted to improve and automate.

  • Expand the pool of potential mates for each guest
    Speed dating events are limited in size, and guests only have a certain amount of time to chat. Kate wanted to help her guests meet more people.

Solutions

  • Event registration system
    To allow guests to book a seat online, I built an online booking system for the platform. Users could choose a particular event to attend, enter their personal details, see the venue on a map, and make their payment online.
    This made it much easier for guests to book a seat at an event, and increased Kate's revenue.

  • Viral marketing features
    I created a feature to offer daters a discount at the time of booking if they shared the event on Facebook. Users who signed up through this share would also receive a discount. I also integrated various marketing and analytics APIs to help Kate track her sales and platform metrics.
    This increased attendance at events along with income.

  • Automatic matching algorithm
    I created a very simple algorithm to match up daters after events. Daters would enter their matches into the platform, and the system would notify them if they matched another users at the same event. If so, they would be permitted to chat on the platform. The algorithm also ranked popular daters, to give them a small boost in the online dating section.
    Users loved this feature, because they would no longer have to reveal their dating preferences to Kate (which some found embarrassing).

  • Real time chat
    I created a live chat system on the platform, that daters could use after they matched.
    Users liked this, since it allowed them to chat further after an event, and also control whether or not they would reveal their private contact information.

  • Online dating profiles
    After events, guests had the option to make themselves public on the platform, and allow daters from other events to contact them via chat. Users could create mini profiles, to help describe themselves to other daters.
    This helped daters meet more people, and also gave Kate more opportunities to arrange events to connect these daters in the future.

Technologies used

Ruby on Rails JavaScript / ES6 AngularJS Node.js Websockets PostgreSQL Redis Sidekiq SCSS / CSS3 VPS Twitter API Facebook API HAML / HTML5 RSpec

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