At last, number three in our series of people who have decided that they’d like a source of income other than their ad agency earnings.
Matt Janes, late of RKCR/Y&R (what is about the entrepreneurial spirit in that place? I think it’s the proximity to the grim horrors of Camden High Street that incentivises them to get rich), decided to set up a website as a response to his slightly joyless experience of internet dating (I think he’s referring to the format rather than the standard of the ladies he met).
It’s called doingsomething and it promises to be a refreshing change from the usual dating websites (here’s a clickthrough to the site). It suggests activities for the date so that you do something rather than sit in a bar or restaurant and interview each other while secretly hoping for either a quick shag or a quick end to the deathly misery in which you are currently embroiled.
So, other than that, what do you want to know?
Over to Matt:
It cost me 6 months of my time which can be costed in all manner of ways. And it cost me a significant amount of money to pay for the design and build. I’d prefer to not to specify the figure, but let’s just say I could have walked into a car showroom and bought a brand new car with the money. Instead, I got a brand new website. Which car showroom I could have walked into, I’ll leave to your imagination.
Who did it?
The design is by one Johnny Lighthands. He swears this is his real name but I’ve never believed him. And still don’t. It was programmed by a Mr Kip Parker. All of the writing was done by a professional* copywriter.
How long did it take?
It took 4 months to build/design/program. 2 months to test. Unlike say, an app, which is done and then put on a digital shelf for people to buy, a social networking website needs constant care and attention. It’s always being improved and maintained, which has both an actual and time cost going forward.
3. How do you get it out there?
I’m promoting it using elbow grease. So, while it’s in the Beta phase, I’m just trying to get it talked about and blogged about as much as possible. I want to get the right kind of people on it, which will set the tone for the site. Once that’s happened, I’ll do a proper launch. I’m also handing out dinky little business card fliers.
And, and, and… One really exciting thing about promoting it is forming partnerships with cool stuff in London you could do on a date. To that end, we’re talking to The Tate, who might be up for a partnership. And we’ve partnered with Hawksmoor restaurant too, so they will then tell their customers about doingsomething which is kind of an interesting/unusual way to find out about a dating website.
4. Do you have to leave your job?
I left my job to set this up, so at the moment, this is all I do. That may change once the hard work of launching it passes.
5. How does the site stand out?
The site stands out in the dating market in terms of idea and execution, I hope. (Spot the ex-Creative.)
No one else is doing a site that focusses on what you do on a date. And no other dating site has the same tone of voice, visual style or sense of fun. Someone emailed me to say “this is so the kind of thing I’d go on, so much better than Match and the like” which is about as flattering a bit of feedback as I could hope for. I don’t want to get into slagging off the competition, but I would say doingsomething is proudly fun, non corporate, London focussed, non-lame and it has a Wheel of Date.
No one else has got one of those.
None. Saved up and did it with my own ill gotten gains. Nothing quite focusses the mind like that.
Or tightens the sphincter.
At some point, I will charge subscriptions for being on it. Hopefully people will be OK with this, as apart from it being a really good site in and of itself, I’ll also be negotiating discounts on things to do on dates. So, the idea is your subscription (which will be less than other sites in the first place) will pay for itself in a couple of dates.
So there you go. Carry on with your job or leave it and do something else entirely.
The choice is yours.