App brings back the blind date

January 18, 2013 9:26:17 PM PST
The Internet has made a truly blind date almost a thing of the past. But now, one of the big names in online dating is trying to bring it back.

Christina Farr is about to do something crazy in the name of research. She's a writer for the tech website VentureBeat and she's writing about an app called Crazy Blind Date.

After scrambling up your picture like a jigsaw puzzle, the app asks you where and when you want to meet someone and gives you some options.

The suggested matches are anything but random. The app comes from OkCupid -- a company founded on using complex math to bring couples together.

Their original app already has millions of users, so to get them to download the new app, OkCupid blacked out all of its photos for a day as a publicity stunt. The immediate response was outrage, but co-founder Sam Yagan says it worked.

"We know of hundreds of dates that have already happened in the first two days," he said.

It took her a few tries, but Farr landed that date, and headed out to a local taqueria.

"I know nothing about this person really, I've got his first name and his age and that's about it," she said.

After a little looking around, she found him, gave him a quick hug, and headed inside to tell him he was part of an experiment. He took it like a champ.

"I mean, the word crazy is in the name of the app and so this has lived up to the expecftation that there would be something crazy about it," Robert Leshner said.

It turns out Farr and Leshner actually have a lot in common. She writes about startups and he runs a startup. They even have a friend in common who actually recognized Farr in the picture.

"He recognized her picture even though it was scrambled," Leshner said.

Yagan admits it was probably luck that they got along so well, but says crazy blind date is all about meeting more people.

"And at the end of the day, even a bad date can be a good story," Yagan said.


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