Online dating entrepreneur
The financial barriers have definitely been the biggest challenge when it’s come to marketing Cheekd.
We initially hired a PR firm a couple of months before our 2010 launch and they managed to get us covered in a few small publications, but after paying them nearly K, I realized I had more passion for the subject, had tons of connections to start out and could do what they were doing and decided to go for it.
The growth of my startup has been solely dependent on PR and marketing alone.
On a shoestring bootstrapped budget, I wasn’t able to continue paying a PR firm but as a very creative, social, ambitious and passionate entrepreneur, I decided to take on the responsibility on my own.
While the physical cards worked anywhere in the world and were a perfect way to break the ice, we found a few barriers; the main one being that our users were still quite intimidated to walk up and slip a card to a total stranger.
Looking into alternative ways we could change the platform, we discovered a way to make these IRL encounters much easier and less intimidating via a mobile solution.
Instead of encouraging users to continue to hide behind a screen, Cheekd pushes you to engage in social settings while paying attention to potential matches in the area.
I’ve learned to welcome the mistakes and even joke that I’ve learned so much from them that I’m going to keep making more of them on purpose.
Cheekd into a hyper-speed mobile dating app that gives users the ability to never miss a real-life potential “love connection” thanks to a cross-platform low energy Bluetooth technology, which sends users an immediate notification when someone (within their criteria) comes within a 30-foot radius of them.
It’s real-time and works on a subway or a plane without any cellular connection.
I’ve taken a crash course in building a business and failing has probably been the greatest lesson of all. My new partner and I are launching a new Bluetooth based business/ networking app that works similarly to Cheekd.
My strongest advice for others considering taking the entrepreneurial leap is if you truly believe in your idea, give up excuses and doubt, surround yourself by a trusted and talented team, bulldoze forward and DON’T. The way that people currently network at both small and large events is a disaster.
Ten thousand dollars lighter and a several years wiser, I’ve been covered in just about everything from The New York Times to Tech Crunch and Forbes.