This is a guest article by Ben Mitchell, the CEO of mobile dating startup CheekyBoo.
As the director of a new dating app, there is one question that I constantly ask myself: why do some dating apps succeed whilst others fail?
After researching the market and reading hundreds of articles and in-depth interviews with dating app creators, I came up with a list of possible answers to my question, while I was developing CheekyBoo.
When I dreamt up CheekyBoo, it was like a light bulb moment. I had stumbled across the answer to the problem that all single men and women have. It was genius; it was like I had the answer to world peace. Surely I would receive international acclaim within weeks? How wrong was I! No one can prepare you for how much rejection you will have to face in this industry. This can be demoralising and always runs the risk of you taking it personally. The dating industry is saturated with apps, all struggling to make it to the top. Ensuring that you stay positive and focussed is key. There is so much competition in what is actually a very simple market — dating. The knock backs can be hard, and if you let them, can get to you and this can lead to the failing of the app. As head of your ship you must carry on, keep going on whichever path you have decided to take. Giving up when things get hard must be one of the reasons why some dating apps fail.
It’s no secret that to take any new technical product into the market, you need deep pockets. After the research and design costs come the technical development costs, after this comes the launch costs and if this has not emptied your pockets, then the ongoing marketing and PR most definitely will! Without investors, dating apps rarely survive – the market place is so competitive that you have to be able to promote your app in smarter and better ways than your competitors. The constant requirement for technical development updates also draws heavily on the budget. Could the piggy bank running dry be why some apps make it to the market then fail?
More and more reports are being published on the potential dangers of personal data being used and abused. There is no disputing that this is a very serious issue and rightly so – user data needs to be protected at all costs and not exploited. This now adds additional resource, management and cost to each dating app company structure. With this additional responsibility, will some dating apps be able to compete, or will this mean the end for some?
There is of course one fundamental point that I have not mentioned, and it is in hindsight the most logical, when considering why some dating apps work and some fail, and it’s about us as humans. By the way we have developed, we have made ourselves into a society of consumers who are always looking for the next best thing. I believe that the main reason some apps work and some fail is that as representatives in this industry, we have a duty to keep our users happy, to keep our users engaged, and keep our users interested and able to use the most up to date technology. The dating apps that work are the clever ones that recognise this, and devote resources to development and keeping up to date with ever-evolving human trends, and identify what our users want and deliver. In my opinion, the dating apps that fail are the ones that fail their users.
Read our interview with Ben Mitchell here.