HowAboutWe Co-Founder Talks Online Dating Sites and the Company’s New Focus

How About We
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Aaron Schildkrout and his friend Brian Schechter founded HowAboutWe four years ago as an alternative to traditional online dating. In a recent article in The New York Observer, he said that the fundamental problem with online dating sites was that they needed to keep subscribers. The sites work best when people are looking for dates, not when they are in relationships and dropping out. Dating sites depend on a huge database of subscribers.

HowAboutWe’s focus is a bit different for an online dating site. For one, they have branched out from their online dating platform to creating a valuable resource for all people interested in dating and relationships.

The primary goal of their dating site is to help people meet offline (and get them there as quickly as possible), so they can move towards forming relationships. Instead of searching through profiles, members can create an idea for a first date, put it out to the network, and see who’s interested. Schildkrout says it’s a way for people to meet more organically.

Because of the site’s focus on date activities, it was a natural progression to create a site for couples who are looking to be inspired. Many couples are bored with the same old dates they do all the time, but don’t have the time to research or a lot of money to do something more unique. This is where HowAboutWe comes in – they curate dates particular to each city they service, and set the whole thing up for a discounted price.

It’s an appealing idea for couples. As Schildkrout says, “We make the booking process and the reservation process extremely easy — you never have to show a voucher, your name’s already on the list. We do all the work for you. We take care of all the details.”

The company is also getting into media content, acquiring sites like The Date Report and Nerve.com and creating two additional new blogs related to dating and relationships. “We built out a world-class editorial team,” says Shildkrout, “and for the last three months, we’ve been working really hard to create a media wing focused on becoming the authoritative voice on all things love, and have grown traffic dramatically in that process.”

Popular apps like Tinder and the bigger or more traditional dating sites like OkCupid don’t seem to bother Shildkrout. He sees Tinder as more of a lightweight hook-up experience and OkCupid as an algorithm-matching experience which might not match you with someone outside your type. He is focused on his product, on connecting people in a real-world way. And he’s looking to build content that gets a conversation started.