TSJ talked to Sean Suhl, the founder of a — yes, actually, you DO need it — dating app called Let’s Date (letsdateapp.com).
The Smoking Jacket: This is a pretty project – so nicely designed! What was the thinking behind this? Why the beautiful user interface?
Sean Suhl: We really wanted to create a dater card that could be your social dating identity. The same way you might use your LinkedIn page to find a job, we wanted you to be able to create something that could be your calling card for meeting new people. We felt ensuring the card was beautiful and elegant was important to people who care about how they present themselves to others. The design of the date cards really lets you present yourself in a beautifully simple way.
TSJ: Like an old fashioned calling card… How’d you get the idea to start up a dating site?
SS: We believe that the idea of doing online dating on a computer seems a little old fashion and stilted. We wanted to create a beautiful, simple, non-scammy iPhone experience that made it easy to meet new people.
TSJ: Best case scenario?
SS: You download our app and hook up with an awesome person and maybe you even hit it off.
“We believe you don’t know anything about your attraction
to someone until you spend 15 minutes with them in person.”
TSJ: Worst case scenario?
SS: You tap “Let’s Date” on everyone and no one taps “Let’s Date” on you.
TSJ: Burn! Why do you make a point of saying it’s an app that sets you up to go on a date in a public place? Is that so people who are already out can meet up? Grindr style? Or is the public thing to help people get to know each other better?
SS: We believe you don’t know anything about your attraction to someone until you spend 15 minutes with them in person. Call it pheromones or hormones or chemistry, but whatever it is you just have to meet someone in person to know if you are attracted to them. So we want to get you to that point with as little bullshit and time wasting as possible.
TSJ: How many shitty Internet dates have you been on?
SS: Too many. And ever worse, how many hours of time did I waste talking to women that seemed right up my alley in a picture and a text message conversation only to have our real world meeting demonstrate our lack of chemistry?
TSJ: How many surprisingly good ones?
SS: Any time I went out with a woman who I met on the internet who wound up actually being someone who I wanted to hookup with and maybe even see again, it was surprising. Needless to say, this did not happen as many times as I hoped.
TSJ: What’s with the badges? To show you’re a nice, trustworthy, real human endorsed person? How much does the app cost?
SS: Let’s Date is free. Badges are our way of letting our community police itself. If you go on a date with 3 people and they all say you look like the pictures of yourself in the app, we give you a verified photos badge. We like to keep things simple and helpful.