Some background first:
We will be working with a few dating companies as there is an OEM opportunity for one of my portfolio companies. So I started thinking about this business a bit.
Fundamentally, the promise of a dating website is to find the “right” match for you.
Let’s think about some other businesses who also promise to provide you the “right whatever they are selling” for you.
Dell built a business on customization but it is Starbucks took it to the next level. You can go to Starbucks and order a “Grande with whip and glaze Oranges and Creme Frapuccino LIGHT Blended Creme” (courtesy: WikiHow article – How to Order at Starbucks)
You can see examples of “Do It Yourself” and “Build Your Own” options being offered by many businesses.
In other words, you can get that “perfect” item just made for you.
I think people are getting used this so much that now a lot of people try to apply it to human beings. With a few clicks they can go to their choice of dating sites and start looking for that perfect match. They may find someone that is almost there but why stop search when you “might” be able to find that “perfect” one?
So the quest continues
As long as people are in pursuit of perfection in something (in this case a human being) that can never be perfect, the dating business will continue to flourish.