All The Beautiful People

Have you noticed that Tinder and Hinge show a disproportionately high percentage of attractive people? Swiping through Tinder is the electronic equivalent of being a guy at the UCA Nationals: hotties everywhere.  Have you also noticed that the first people Tinder shows you are almost always matches if you like them? I’ve noticed:

  1. The first people Tinder shows you are almost always a match if you like them back. 
  2. Tinder ranks your attractiveness based on how often people of the other gender ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ you using an Elo rating system (this is an educated guess)
  3. We know that people can be penalized on Tinder and will see ‘there is no one in you area’ when obviously this isn’t the case. 

The Elo rating part is very cool because it also means that Tinder can predict with  good accuracy whether or not two people will match aesthetically. But that gives no clue as to whether the people are actually a good match. It also means that Tinder can show everyone lots of very attractive people (less likely to match with, most of us) and in doing so make using the app more fun. It makes sense, would you keep Tindering if you saw mostly unattractive people? This is part of their secret sauce.

 

Quantification Of You

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This year CES heralded the ‘smart’ toothbrush. To some a joke, to other the future. It’s a toothbrush that records your brushing habits and exports it your mobile devices. The takeaway is everything action we take and the everything that we do can be quantified. New products of the last 3 years:

  • Nike FuelBand or FitBit measures your physical activity over distance.
  • Nike also has new shoes that are wif-fi enabled to analyze your form running/walking in addition to doing everything the FuelBand does.
  • The SleepTime app can measure react to your phases of sleep.
  • Smart toothbrushes now provide stats on how well we’re executing our morning routine.
  • Countless weight loss apps keep track of your diet, calories, workout routines, et cetera.

The quantification of everything is here. But it really began in 1926 when the first standardized multiple choice SAT tests were administered. Today colleges review applicants using on high school transcripts, SAT/ACT, and AP scores. Grad schools review applicants based on college transcripts and GMAT/LSAT/GRE. What’s interesting is that the data that employers have to predict the success of a candidate is far less solid. Academic performance does not always translate to real world performance.

If you’re interviewing for a sales position and a candidate has a 3.7 GPA, a BA in Psychology from Stanford, a 745 GMAT, and an MBA from Northwestern, this candidate looks good. He has had 3 product management positions in the last 4 years at mid-tier companies. The candidate is affable, knowledgable, and your team agrees he has the skills to add to your company’s core competencies. Your problem is you have a 3 dozen candidate with similar credentials.

If you could have any data on the candidate what would it be? As a sales lead, wouldn’t you want to know how other people respond to him? Are they captured by him or are they bored? How often does he elicit each of the 7 basic human emotions: anger, fear, disgust, contempt, joy, sadness, surprise? How would this candidate impact how others reflect on your brand? How will his personality fit with your existing team? Going further we could implore, is he honest? Does he have resolve or does he exhaust easily? How many hours can he function at peak performance?

This is the data I want but right now the closest I can get is anecdotal stories from the candidate and his previous employers (biased, and also biased). It doesn’t have to be this way. I can imagine a near future where the essential personal qualities of a individual are quantifiable. Google glass and other audio/visual recognition tools provide the opportunity to capture and quantify this data. Every hire from your barista to the CEO of Goldman Sachs will be affected by it. It’s the quantification of you and the toothbrush at CES this year is a small step towards that world.

 
 

Movie Review: MITT

Much better than expected. In the general election people were surprised to hear me say I have a great deal of respect for Mitt Romney because of his family values, and I think this documentary showcases these very well. I was surprised by the sincerity of his empathy for those struggling. I was also surprised by his humility and self-awareness. If voters saw this side of Mitt Romney, he’d probably be President right now.

On. Demand.

She’s 15 minutes late and I’m fidgeting with my phone at O’Nieals SoHo, unsure if the flowers are overkill, and waiting to order the oysters at just the right time so that they will be served moments after she arrives. Wednesday was my first ‘Hinge’ date.

For the past 6 months I’ve said ‘Like’ or ‘Nope’ to probably over 1000 girls on Tinder, which is fun. But I never followed through with any matches. Why? Because besides the self-curated best-version of self images Tinder shares, I know absolutely nothing about these girls. They could be beautiful but dumb as bricks or beautiful and crazy. The only thing I know is that they’re beautiful, and there are a lot of beautiful girls in Manhattan. Not all of them deserve 4 hours of my company over dinner.

Hinge is different. Hinge presents you with people who are friends of your friends or 3rd degree connections. Since most of my friends are Manhattanites, college educated, and pretty awesome, I think this is a good start.

Next week I’m going on a group date with 2 friends through Grouper (www.grouper.com). My first impression of Grouper was that it was for people who were just too shy to approach girls at bars and that’s why I resisted joining for 12 months. But I’ve realized that Grouper is actually pretty fucking amazing. It’s dating on demand, with no pressure, no obligation, and in the company of your guy friends (not to mention you’re actually getting a date w/three girls, not one). It’s stress free and at the date and time of my choosing.  This may be the best thing ever.

What’s really amazing is how there is very little left in life that isn’t on-demand. TV? On-demand. Private driver? Uber. Private plane? NetJets. Food? Seamless. Entertainment? Netflix. A nice ride for the day? Zipcar. News? Pulse. Social interaction? Facebook. A house/apartment anywhere in the world? AirBNB.

And now dating.

The small things

When you AirBNB your apartment, come home, and discover the guests left 2 cases of Corona in the fridge.