Today, I wanted to share an interview we just had with Lori Cheek, Founder and CEO of Cheek’d dating service. So perhaps some of you are asking what is Cheek’d?
The Cheek’d website itself describes the service by saying, ‘Cheek’d makes introducing yourself to an intriguing stranger less intimidating by combining the charm of witty, old school calling cards with the power of the internet. It’s like online dating, backwards’.
Here is how it works, in a nutshell: When you register at Cheek’d you get a set of cards with unique saying on them. Those cards you then use to make introductions to those who you maybe romantically interested in. My first impression was that this concept combines the power of the internet with a classy version of the paper napkin pickup. I totally loved it! So when I saw the creator of the concept on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ this past week I was thrilled to see the service was still around and growing. (Video of that appearance below)
First off, if a dating site were judged by its ability get press, Lori Cheek may just have the next Match.com. Over the past few years the Cheek’d dating site has been featured in dozens of the most prominent news and technology websites including the The New York Times, Washington Post, Forbes, Tech Crunch and countless others.
While the appearance on, ‘Shark Tank’ did not result in an investment proposal from any of the 5 hosts, one thing was clear. Lori Cheek has, ‘no quit’ in her. Since the show she has been staying very busy with more inquiries than ever while also see a spike in those getting, Cheek’d!
We think Cheek’d is an ingenious way to encourage people to think outside of the box when it comes to meeting people and we appreciate Lori taking the time to visit with us. Here is the interview.
1. How did you get involved in the Online Dating Industry?
In February of 2008, I was out to dinner with an architectural colleague. As we were leaving the restaurant, he’d scribbled, “want to have dinner?” on the back of his business card and slipped it to an attractive woman as we were leaving the restaurant. He left with a date. I left with an idea. After over two years of brainstorming of how to remove the “business” out of the business card, I launched Cheekd.com. Sporting pick up lines such as “act natural, we can get awkward later” and “I’m hitting on you,” Cheek’d, coined by The New York Times as “the next generation of online dating” introduces a personal approach to online dating by moving the initial encounter offline with a smooth physical introduction.
2. What is on the horizon for your dating site?
In a time where it seems like we’re more connected than ever, we’re actually losing the physical connection that counts. I’ve envisioned Cheek’d like this in the near future… You’ve set up the characteristics of your dream date on a profile and when the application senses that someone fits the description is nearby, your app alerts you that they’re in range, then it advises you that “the love of your life” might just be coming around the corner in 3…2…1…
3. Do you feel online dating sites change the way people interact as far as dating goes? Or do you feel it’s merely a tool and society changes on it’s own.
While potential suitors can easily be found in our pajamas at the ease of a keystroke and we can exchange witty banter back and forth with these intriguing strangers at home in complete solitude, the ease of online shopping has taken the work (and the fun) out of finding potential dates in the real world. Even a quick and simple Facebook status update on your smartphone could let the “love of your life” sneak right past you.
4. Tell us more about your sites latest plans…
While Match.com claims that one in five relationships begin online, Cheek’d was created for the other four. Our latest addition allows Cheek’d members to browse the profiles of other members nearby and flick virtual icebreaking Cheek’d cards via the mobile app available on iOS and Android. Now Cheek’d is solving missed connections both physically and virtually.
5. Have you ever used an online dating site? If so which one?
Over ten years ago, one of my best friends made me get on Match.com to try to move on from an ex. After completing the exhausting profile process, I immediately noticed that a client had viewed my profile. Although he was also on Match, I was mortified that my “business” life so quickly overlapped with the privacy of my “personal” dating life. I immediately canceled my membership and continued to look for love… in the real world until I created my own solution. I “Cheek’d” a man two summers ago and now we’re engaged.
6. If you could change one thing about the dating industry tomorrow what would it be?
I’m personally trying to make this change with Cheek’d. I’m trying to bring online dating back to the streets by giving members a tool to make a real life introduction a little humorous yet less intimidating.
7. What is the single biggest challenge of operating a dating site?
Constant innovation and trying to create the most organic way for people to meet.
8. What’s missing in the world of online dating?
Is love in the cards for you? (Find out at that link)