People in Beijing (or in many big cities in Asia, it seems) love to solve the ‘dating’ problem. Almost every three months, a friend presents a business plan to create a platform.

They feel it because there are many people around them who are in their mid or late thirties, and still do not have a partner. (They wanted one, but somehow it has not worked out yet).

It is a big market globally: Tinder is the top grossing app in stores; a Chinese company has made tens of millions creating various niche dating sites; and if you are a subscriber of Netflix, watch Indian Matchmaking – a new documentary series.

However, many of my friends, who of course consider themselves as elites, have fundamental problems understanding dating (and marriage) when trying to create platforms.

A problem they often have is to try to hardcode skills, education and personal traits into the matching platform, and expect these to be the determining factors for successful matches. Some (ladies especially) try to code the requirements (must be from a top university, must own a house, must drive BMW etc.) into the system.

The truth, marriage is commitment for decades, and when you look at that timeline, you look for reliability – you are looking for a person you can reliably spend decades with.

Doing a predictive model to see who is reliable and who is not – well, I have not seen one, and I think it is very difficult to build a reliable model for this.

For those looking for a partner but could not find one (even though there are dozens of candidates right there), they need to reconcile with themselves.

If you want to use a model – it is supply, demand mismatch. When that happens, all you need to do is lower the price. This can be emotionally very difficult for many – how do you face the fact that the person you are going to spend your life with does not meet your first set of criteria?

Otherwise, with time, your value will depreciate, maybe to the point of equilibrium. This is definitely at a different price point.

Dealmaking in this world is about compromises, not about logic and rhetoric.

If you want everything to be smooth and comfortable for you, you might as well just buy a smart robot – probably available very soon.

Otherwise, try to learn from Warren Buffett, identifying long term value investment using the same set of principles.

Good luck!

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at hello@mworks.asia.

 

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