Amy Webb likes numbers. She also likes men. Here’s what happens when an expert data analyst sets her sights on a love algorithm.
Online dating is the second most popular way for people to meet today, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people don’t attract enough attention with their profile, and others get stuck in a cycle of one terrible date after another.
Fortunately, Amy Webb has discovered a way to personalize the online dating process that can help all of us.
Following a series of bad dates, the worst of which left her with a thousand-dollar dinner bill, Amy, an expert data analyst, had a revelation. The men she was seeing were not all bad men; they just weren’t right for her.
She put her expertise to work on reverse engineering the algorithm that her dating website was based on. Amy realized that the data collected for online dating profiles had two fatal flaws. First, people have trouble being completely honest when filling out questionnaires, and secondly, the type of data that is asked for is typically superficial. The combination of these problems results in people being paired in matchups that have no substance.
Amy took it upon herself to create her own rating system. She listed the characteristics that were important to her in a man, and she rated each potential date based on her personal values. In other words, she would not go on a date unless a man reached a certain ranking in her unique system. This might sound superficial in its own right, but it is actually quite thoughtful when you think of the uncomfortable dates that were likely avoided.
Using her formula, Amy began finding candidates that were more agreeable to her, but they were not all attracted to her. She began analyzing the profiles of women who were attracted to the same type of men she was. What she discovered was that she needed to use different language and tone in her profile to make herself more attractive without changing the content or lying about who she was. Combined with a classy yet provocative profile picture, she used these discoveries to create a “super profile.” If you want to know if it worked, you should ask her husband.
Watch Amy’s humorous and insightful TED Talk.