For years, eHarmony was a leader in the online dating world. Founded in 2000, it promised “more meaningful connections that lead to fulfilling marriages”.
The company’s unique selling point was its 29 Dimensions of Compatibility and in 2008, about 15,000 people were taking the eHarmony questionnaire every day. In 2009, the company’s annual revenue was reported to be $250 million and today, their website ranks in the top 14,000 in the world.
Then Tinder came along. Unlike its forerunner, it promised none of the end goal. No perfect match, no science-based compatibility, no lure of long-term relationships. Instead, Tinder just matches its users based on location and gender.
Tinder’s website ranks in the top 1,200 in the world. Its annual revenue is more than $800 million and in 2018, it was reported that the app had more than 10 million daily users.
Where eHarmony’s business model is based on rigorous scientific research and enabling quality human connections, Tinder’s approach is much more simplistic: other singles near you, at volume, for free.
The interesting thing about product development is that you don’t have to solve all the world’s problems. You just have to offer something that people want. And sometimes simplicity brings with it the most success.