—a letter from our Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Adam Taylor
Dear MeetMindful members,
I want to take a moment to speak directly to our community in a way I don’t do often. As the technical Co-Founder, I usually rely on our CEO Amy and our writers for this sort of thing, but I have such personal conviction about this announcement that I felt it important to tell the story myself.
MeetMindful was completely free in the early days—long before we knew whether or not the idea had wings. Our thinking was simple: if it doesn’t work when there are no catches (free and ad-free) in a place so aligned for its enthusiastic adoption (Boulder, CO), we’d know it wasn’t meant to be. Thankfully—for our team and the thousands of success stories since 2014—the community DID arrive, was patient with us before we knew what we were doing, and helped us prove this idea was well-worth the commitment.
We’ve learned a lot since those days about building, scaling, and serving a niche product and community.
“Serving” and “niche” are the operative words here. We’ve learned niche products require more support from their customers than “mainstream” equivalents because, while the pool of customers is smaller, the standard of quality for your product is just as high. We also learned organizations like ours with a strong service mission invite another constraint. We had to control our own destiny to ensure the mission was carried out, rather than rely on a startup strategy of raising millions before proving our product was sustainable. While we knew that was one avenue to keep everything free, we couldn’t rationalize the potential for selling our souls (or control over the site’s evolution) along the way.
So we took a different approach and adopted a Premium membership model earlier than some others in our space.
We knew growth would be slower, and that some might be disappointed when they were prompted to hit “pay.” We knew some in our community would say we’d become greedy before understanding this strategy wasn’t about profiteering—it simply bought us time. We knew we’d have to keep our heads down, our focus straight, and our work continuous. We knew that for MeetMindful to get over the hump, we needed to prove that our members valued our service by paying for it. Then we could reference this validation when seeking major support for the next chapter.
Gratefully again, we’ve made it to the next stage of our story with this approach.
We’ve heard you express how excited you were to learn about MeetMindful, only to be later disappointed by our pricing system. For too long, this model has hindered the flourishing of this community. We know it has also impacted your potential to make the most of your time with us.
Today we have the support to adopt a new model—a model that gets out of the way and lets the magic happen.
Matches now chat for FREE on MeetMindful!
I know, we’re excited too. I’ll dig in a little deeper about what this change means below.
When it comes to relationships, we are all unique individuals with unique needs and preferences—that said, we can’t meet everyone. That’s why online dating is so effective—it’s a modern tool for discovering potential partners who align with our values, saving us precious time and reducing “the many” to “the one.” Rather than relying on the wisdom of our friends, luck, serendipity—or, perhaps more relevant to many of us: the cosmos—we can now seek out our soulmate with intention, on our own schedules, in the comfort of our own homes.
Just like a great friend, the more we get to know you, the better we’ll get at introducing you to these potential partners—and them to you. On MeetMindful, the most amazing connections are enjoyed by those who “show up” to the process and fill out their profile. Great profiles create great matches, so we’re raising the bar here, too:
To chat for free with your mutual matches, you now need to complete at least half of your profile.
Fuller profiles aren’t just for matchmaking, either. Take it from us: giving your match something to begin a conversation with leads to more and better conversations, and answering a few profile questions is a signal to your viewers that you’re serious about meeting someone.
You’re on MeetMindful because your values are common among this community, and one of them is authenticity. To help you be successful here are some tips for building an authentic profile to attract the right person.
Intentional Online Behavior
There are a few key areas of “online citizenship” where I believe we can set a better example of behavior and communication as mindful people. With this new MeetMindful, you’ll notice there are no quick-decision interactions on the site. We’re not into the paradigm of “throwing” people to one side or another, or consuming hundreds of profiles per minute. These experiences commoditize people, prey on emotional vulnerabilities, and leverage the feel-good hit of a dopamine rush—not authentic connections. A society fast-fed this diet of each other will become sick and create real-world consequences. We want to stand alongside you and disrupt that quickly-unfolding reality.
What we’ve seen in you is a community that wants to break free of an existing paradigm. No more sending of mixed and retractable signals, no more half-stepping without follow-through, no more swiping for self-stimulation—you’re ready for intentional connection.
To facilitate what we believe are necessary evolutions toward this intentional behavior, we’ve made some mechanical adjustments to the free version of our service:
- Browse one fully-expanded profile at a time.
See ALL the information we have, right away, cleanly presented on each profile—not just their name, age, and photo.
- Browse a limited number of profiles each day.
Sink into a pace that supports actually reading profiles, and treats people like people.
- Like a limited number of profiles each day.
If you get a Like, you now know there’s something behind it—no more casual “spamming” of Likes.
- “Undo” is a thing of the past.
Likes and Hides are done with intention—decisions have real meaning in our community.
- Take a moment between each profile.
We’ve done away with speeding through the community. Take your time. Everyone here is a real, amazing person.
- Again, FREE messaging for mutual matches!
If you both “Like” each other there is no need to pay or second permission to chat. Either member can start the connection!
In addition to these huge changes, we also have a number of other ideas in the works designed to help you truly MEET other members during the browsing experience, and encourage other respectful online behaviors.
I began personally drafting the specifications for this new MeetMindful over a year ago. I worked quietly and sprung it on our team knowing full well it was the sort of “surprise from leadership” that can create fear and discomfort unless everyone believes it’s the right thing to do.
I couldn’t be happier for our members that our team rallied to support this change. We’re committed to working hard with you, the members on refining and delivering this idea, all while supporting the “old” product. We’re incredibly excited and proud of what we’re offering now and we hope you are too!
If you have any feedback for us about what you like, love, or aren’t so crazy about, please let us know at [email protected]. We can’t wait to hear from you.
Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer