Last Friday we completed sending out the first set of matches to our members. These matches were determined by our matching engine, CHARMM, based on the results of a personality test and the partner preferences that each member specified.
Not everybody received a match – we probably won’t have a sufficiently big pool to satisfy every member’s preferences for the next few weeks. Nevertheless it was an important milestone for the iBluebottle team and for which we are justifiably proud.
It has been almost a year since we first started thinking about building a matchmaking service for professionals. As so often happens, iBluebottle was conceived as a direct response to one of the founders’ unsavoury experience with the existing matrimonial services.
As a matchmaking startup that claims to do things differently, we are keenly aware of the risks ahead. Apart from the usual competitive pressures that every new startup faces, we also have to deal with challenges peculiar to our product and business model.
Any new player in the Indian online matchmaking space risks being tarred by the same unedifying brush by the wary customers. We need to work extra-hard to convince people that we are a different tribe.
iBluebottle’s product is far removed from an impulse purchase, and we are not even talking in monetary terms here. Completing a profile on our website requires a reasonable amount of time and thought. A user would need to convince herself of the efficacy of our approach before she invests her time and emotional capital in becoming a member.
Once she does register with us, she expects that all the sensitive personal information she provides as part of her profile (and we ask for a lot) would remain totally confidential and private. We will do our utmost not to endanger their trust in any way. We are absolutely committed – both in technology and in personnel terms – to safeguard this data.
We have been fortunate to have had great support from our early customers. They have been willing to accept the occasional technical glitch, have provided useful feedback, have argued with us harshly but then came around to give us one more chance and have generally been on our side.
We draw great strength from the fact that our customers care about us and want us to succeed. Recently one of them even expressed her concern about why we were working and answering her email on a Saturday evening. Only a few lucky startups can probably claim that.