This inspiring story is of a rising startup called Blink started by Taly Matiteyahu which is changing the looks-first approach to dating and allowing people to more meaningfully connect with each other without padded profiles or professional dating profile gurus. Blink envisions a world where people put who someone is, rather than what someone looks like, first. Here is the story of Blink in Taly’s own words.

Introduce us to the idea of Blink 

We believe that the “one” might not be the person you’re immediately or most attracted to and that physical attraction grows as connections flourish. Unlike other dating apps, where users eliminate prospective partners based on superficial snap judgements, Blink allows members to move beyond a looks-first approach to meeting potential partners.

Blink does this through a two-part matching process consisting of a Blink Date (10-minute virtual blind speed date) and a Glance (reviewing nameless & profile-less photos). Blink schedules members for Blink Dates, after which each member evaluates the date to let us know how it went.

Since we know love isn’t blind and mutual physical attraction plays a role in dating, our Glance feature lets members identify people they might be physically compatible with. We only match people based on mutual positive feedback from both the Blink Date and Glance.

Blink was built for people looking to make real connections and build meaningful relationships. Our members are tired of swipe culture and games and are ready to take the time to connect on a deeper level, understanding that judging someone based on a curated set of photos eliminates a huge pool of potentially great matches. In an industry dominated by superficiality, Blink offers something fresh and new.

What’s your strategy story? What led you to start Blink?

Blink was born in 2012 after I ate at a blackout restaurant and befriended a couple I dined with. It was incredible to realize how much more open and vulnerable we were willing to be while we were just voices in the dark. There’s so much power in connecting with someone when you aren’t subconsciously making conclusions about who they are based on what they look like… or worrying about what conclusions they might be drawing based on your own appearance.

It wasn’t until March 2020 that I began working on Blink. Part of the timing related to popular culture – with the popularity of Love is Blind on Netflix, it seemed like a great time to build a virtual blind speed dating app.

Beyond that, as the reality of day-to-day life during a pandemic evolved, the dating landscape changed dramatically – people are far more likely to have the phone and video dates before in-person dates. While one day we’ll be able to eat at restaurants and go to concerts and the movies again, phone and video dates are likely here to stay given the efficiency and safety they add to the online dating process.

What marketing, operation strategies are you adopting at Blink?

 As a startup dating app, we’re primarily focused on building our membership and getting the word out about Blink to prospective audiences. As a self-funded startup, we embrace a bootstrapping mindset.

Operationally, we’ve prioritized designing and developing the app since we know the bar is so high for the consumer market, meaning most of our financial resources are allocated to technical development. We employ low-cost and earned marketing strategies since these are areas we are able to stretch the budget, put in our own elbow grease, and still have an impact. While the app was in development, we focused on building our waitlist, engaging with future members, and optimizing SEO.

So much lean-startup methodology encourages founders to spend money with ad campaigns. We tried this tactic, but were turned away from most of our desired channels given restrictions on marketing in the dating space and the inability to obtain necessary advertising approvals pre-app-launch, which meant most startup advice for how to generate buzz and gain an audience did not apply to us.

We focused on sharing blog posts, building our email list, engaging with relationship and dating coaches on social media, and finding podcasts that tap into communities we’re looking to engage with.

Now that we’re nearing our beta launch, we’re being creative with how we can connect with potential users, including hosting virtual events for local groups and creating content that people can interact and engage with.

Any strategy mistakes you have made and what did you learn?

Branding can make or break a company, especially in the high-demand, high-expectations dating market. When I first founded the company, I didn’t have a name for the concept.

One evening, it struck me – BLINK! The closed eye is a great metaphor for a blind date, and speed dates go by in the blink of an eye. How perfect, right? I moved full steam ahead, forming the LLC, purchasing a domain, designing our branding, among other things.

It wasn’t until months later when I was Googling “Blink dating app” that I discovered there were at least two other, now-defunct dating apps called Blink. A lesson to other founders? Google your potential name before going full steam ahead!

Finally what advice do you have for your fellow entrepreneur readers?

Building a successful company is hard and wrapping your arms around how to actually start one is the first hurdle. When it comes to turning ideas into reality, the process is so overwhelming that we can become paralyzed and simply stop.

For anyone who finds themselves in this situation, jot down everything you need to do. Once you have the list, tackle it item by item. As you dive in and start crossing tasks off, more items will get added… until one day you realize you’ve crossed off all the original items, at which point you should celebrate completing the initial stage of starting your business!

Disclaimer: The information in the above story is provided by the startup and The Strategy Story takes no responsibility for the authenticity of the product and services offered by the startup. Reader’s discretion is advised.

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