A Silicon Valley Valentine’s Day

My favorite day is upon us! Valentine’s Day! The one day a year when unhappy marriages and unimaginative partners find that spark once again! It is this time of year that really reminds me why I am so passionate about investing in love-based start-ups and the amazing ecosystems they create.

To truly honor the day, I figured it would be best to share one of my favorite stories of love-enabled-via-web-services, a story of Aaron and Beth, and no doubt a story of countless couples throughout the Bay Area.

Seven months ago Aaron and Beth were just normal, single San Franciscans, fraught with the overwhelming depression brought on by countless Groupons for couples massages and blissful lovebirds sharing croissants at tiny curbside tables.

So naturally, they tried the only route there is to meet significant others in SF (other than Grindr, of course) —  scout each other as 90+% matches on OkCupid. After they established that neither one of them was a satanist or murderer (although they did both have eerily similar answers to that question about sex-play-violence), talked about how they both love OKTrends, and reiterated that they only wanted to give online dating a “one-shot try,” they decided they were ready to take it to the next step…

Facebook. Boom — real names bitches!!

Following the requisite stalking (doing “name + university,” “name + sex offender,” “name + sexy-time-pics,”  etc. searches on Google, naturally) and mutual friend comparison (OMGAWD Her?! No wai!), Aaron decided to finally go for it, asking Beth if she’d like to go to dinner. Within 15 minutes she’d replied with a poke and a response: “Yes, but the place better be on the 7×7 bucket list and have an artisan cheese board on the menu;)”

Frantic and worried that he would already let Beth down, Aaron turned to that old work-horse of a website, Yelp, for a romantic enclave. Unfortunately, he quickly realized all of the reviews were actually just people exposing their anger management issues. So, being the cutting-edge technophile he was, he booted up to Nosh and Stamped on his iPhone but then quickly realized no one uses either.

Desperate, he found his answer by accidentally clicking the “Explore” button on Foursquare… At once he had the perfect place: Nihon Whisky Lounge. It was clubby, dark, full of booze, and just the right setting for him to get his swerve on.

But when the day finally came for their first date, Aaron realized that he forgot to book a reservation… He called Nihon but to no avail— there wasn’t a table available for two months. Again frantic, he turned to OpenTable and miraculously found a spot at Flour and Water for 11:30PM. He quickly iMessaged Beth with the new details.

When he finally arrived (15 minutes late because Google Maps on iOS doesn’t support biking directions and misguidedly took him down the 101), she was not impressed. But things could only go up from there. After sharing some great conversation and five artful Instagrams of their dessert later, they decided to call it a night, hitching a ride back to his TenderNob studio via Uber. After a night of Bump-ing and TouchGrind-ing, Beth’s Nightstand Central jolted them out of bed at 6:00AM.

The next day, Aaron, being the gentleman he is, ordered her an Edible Arrangement to show her how much he cared. A few more dates, check-ins, and pokes later and the rest is history!

As we learned from this story (one of millions, no doubt), the new dating-centric web 3.0 is at the very fabric of our existence. I can’t want to see what Cupid has planned for all you sexy, fierce entrepre-dreamboats next! xoxo

Toodles,

Clarence

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