Profile: Speeddate.com

Startup Offers 3-Minute Online Dating

By RACHEL KONRAD – 10.3.2007


Speeddate.com
founders Simon Tisminezky, right, and Dan Abelon, left, pose with their
Web site at their office in San Mateo, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007.
Speeddate.com is going virtual, sparing singles the inconvenience of
leaving the couch. The company will host its first invitation-only
event Thursday night, with three-minute sessions for up to 100 San
Francisco Bay Area residents. Individuals will meet at least 15
prospective partners in an hour. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

 

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — A new online dating service believes you
can determine the love of your life after a three-minute video chat.

Originally
a project by a Stanford University business class, Speeddate.com
combines online dating and round robin-style speed dating, where
singles spend eight minutes or less interviewing potential matches.

The
San Mateo-based company is scheduled to host its first event Thursday,
with three-minute sessions for up to 100 people who live in the San
Francisco Bay area. Individuals will meet at least 15 prospective
partners in an hour.



"People go through the long process of
filling out profiles and sending e-mails, maybe for weeks or months,
and within two seconds of seeing the other person they realized they
had no chemistry," co-founder Dan Abelon said. "We thought this would
be a good solution."

Speeddate.com members provide only a few key
details, including their sex and age; the desired sex and age of their
partner; and their ZIP code. After logging in, they click through a
series of Web pages featuring people who meet their criteria, connected
via live video. The service is now free, though there might be a
subscription fee in the future.

After each three-minute session,
people click a box to indicate whether they want to interact again. If
both say yes, Speeddate.com allows them to correspond through the site.

Other
popular sites, such as Match.com, allow members to say much more about
themselves and what they are seeking, including religion and annual
salary.

Rivals say an hour on Speeddate.com might be more fun
than watching TV reruns — but the notion that it could produce
long-term partnerships is laughable.

"Physical attraction is a
very poor predictor of long-term relationship satisfaction," said J.
Galen Buckwalter, vice president of research and development at
Pasadena-based eHarmony.com, which has 17 million registered users who
fill out in-depth questionnaires. "If people are looking for matches
with whom they can have a long-term relationship, they are well-advised
not to focus solely on chemistry."

 

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