Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Max Kenny, founder of TwoPeas.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
TwoPeas is a mobile dating App designed to help you connect with the people you want to meet. We help people foster deeper connections by matching them on who they are rather than what they look like. Our proprietary algorithm provides connections only when a person is a potential match for the user, based on what's important to them.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
At this early stage of our business, we are determined to refine the app to create the most positive environment for our existing user base. So far we’ve seen TwoPeas grow organically through strong word of mouth from our early-stage users. Creating this business is something I was determined to do, with the support of my family and friends I have been able to get it off the ground. Now the app is out of its beta-phase, we are launching a social strategy to prompt further growth. Once we’ve got our product market fit nailed, we’re looking to turn up the heat on the marketing front via a capital round.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
People have become disillusioned by online dating offerings, according to a recent study, 75% of those using online dating were left disappointed, wanting something more than just a casual encounter. With a large portion of millennials feeling frustrated that they are unable to find what they’re looking for on platforms like Tinder. We need to convince potential users out there that while the dating app market may seem saturated by shallow apps designed to make you addicted to the platform, there are options out there that can help millennials form deeper connections.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
It’s different for a few reasons. The most obvious is that it doesn’t use the swipe model used by Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble. It uses a question-based algorithm. Unlike other algorithm-based dating apps like OkCupid, the TwoPeas structure allows users to develop their own personal algorithm by identifying their deal breakers and desires, weighting their relative importance and then using this to form connections. Rather than a one way questionaire, you are matched based on your own characteristics and also the characteristics you’d like in a potential partner. Other algorithms assume they know what a user wants. Basically, the app is very quickly able to get a gauge of who each user is and what it is they are looking for - creating a more efficient matching process.
The idea is that you can cut the noise out of online dating very quickly when you use TwoPeas - you’re more likely to get what you’re looking for rather than sifting through thousands of profiles.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Mixpanel is incredibly useful when it comes to monitoring the app on a day-to-day basis. It provides real-time analytics which is incredibly useful for keeping my finger on the pulse of the community. It enables me to make decisions about how to evolve the product to make sure our users receive an ever improving experience.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
It may seem cliché, but “the customer always comes first” is a motto I choose to live by when it comes to TwoPeas. We care about what happens within our community and take an active approach to maintaining it. I think a big problem with the other players in the market is that they don’t take a customer-centric approach to the way they operate their dating platforms. We aim to make sure every user feels comfortable on the platform and ensure we are doing everything we can to help them fulfil their unique desires through our product. That’s why TwoPeas also takes a zero tolerance approach to harassment and boots people off the platform if they behave inappropriately.