Do you live or work in west London?
Yes, I live and work in Kensington.
What’s your favourite thing about the area?
Where do I begin? Kensington is the best area in the best city in the world. The architecture, the fashion, the style, the people. Everything. Few places in London retain a community feel, but Kensington does. I bump into people I know all the time when I am out and about and I just love it. It’s also right beside everything else you could want to do: go to Mayfair, Piccadilly, the Royal Parks and so forth. There is not a better place to live, in my opinion, in the world.
Describe your perfect day and evening in west London… Any favourite haunts?
I’m a fitness fanatic so I start my day early by going to the gym which is a fitness mecca. As I work from home, I frequent in various coffee shops around Kensington. A new one has recently opened on Kensington High Street called Labakery. If you haven’t tried it, you should! They do the best coffee in Kensington and the food is very good too.
In the evening I love to go for evening strolls around the area to collect my thoughts after a very busy day. I am usually working late, however! Once life goes back to normal, I will definitely be dining out a lot.
You’re the founder of Blind Cupid, a new matchmaking app launching exclusively in west London, what inspired you to come up with the concept?
I did five years of research into the questions ‘can we ascertain who any one individual is and, if so, can we commercialise this knowledge?’
Blind Cupid is a matchmaking app (not a dating app) that gets to the heart of how you think and how you communicate. It has an 80% success rate and – I hope – will revolutionise the matchmaking market throughout the world.
I wanted to create the product because I looked at the market and I thought that it could be so much better. Dating apps are terrible – they only give you access to other people. If you find someone on existing apps in a long-lasting sense, it is down to luck. They don’t make any attempt to find out who you are as a person so what is a match? Someone that you find attractive? There’s a lot more to relationships than looks and often photos are deceiving — and I say that from personal experience too.
What kind of research went into creating it?
Most people think that psychology is behind our algorithms. It isn’t per se. To put it succinctly, we deal in causes not effects. We looked at and studied the how people think and why they think the way they do (causes) and not what they think (effects).
Two people can agree on issues, no matter how polarising they may be, and they’d be forgiven for thinking that this is an indicator of compatibility but in most cases it isn’t. The compatibility is in the why. If you share the same rationale (cause) for having the view that you do, then you’re compatible. If you don’t, but you just happen to agree on an issue, you’re not compatible. The science behind this is complex – which is why it took five years to research.
Why is the app launching exclusively in Kensington and Chelsea?
Because K&C has the highest pain-points demographically, meaning that it has a slightly older and single audience who want a relationship but can’t find an efficient means of getting one. Be it 30s and over who have never used dating apps or those approaching 30 who are sick of current dating apps because they don’t provide accurate matches.
What would you say are the pluses and minuses of dating apps, in terms of the impact they’ve had on contemporary dating?
Dating apps solved the quantity problem – now any of us can get loads of dates easily. But they did not solve the quality problem – finding the right person to date. That’s what Blind Cupid does.
In my opinion, dating apps (meaning superficial swiping) are bad for mental health. Who you spend your life with is probably the most important decision you’ll ever make. Swiping on thousands of people a month can become addictive, it leads to bad dating decisions and it has lead to more casual dating than serious dating. This last point I think has caused detriment to the lives of dating app users because they don’t take the time to consider what they want in a person and to find ‘the one’.
Instead, once one relationship ends they just re-download the same app they found their ex on and resume swiping. It’s a bad cycle which I think is bad for mental health.
Like with most things, though, it depends on how you use it. Not everyone will use superficial apps in the same way. For many, they have nothing else to use when they are looking for a serious relationship. I can’t wait for these people to hear about and then use Blind Cupid. They shouldn’t give up hope just yet!
What effect has a global pandemic had on romance?
The matchmaking market is actually booming. It’s always growing exponentially and it seems to be recession and now covid-proof.
A lot of our investors won’t invest in other markets because of lockdown measures (understandable) but they want to invest in ours because it seems nothing can stop it growing at such a fast pace.
As an investment opportunity, what does Blind Cupid offer investors?
Simply, Blind Cupid offers investors the ability to invest in the next generation of matchmaking which has the potential to produce huge amounts of revenue. Think of it like this: everything at the moment in this market is Nokia, and we are creating the iPhone of matchmaking.
What’s your average day like as a CEO?
Busy! But in a good way. I love what I do so it never really feels laborious. I often work 16 hours a day. If I finish what I had planned for the day, I bring tomorrow into today. That’s how I work and that is probably a big part of the reason as to why I have put the team together that I have, built a product with an 80% success rate and so forth.
If you love what you do, the energy you bring to the table is unlike anything else. In terms of a typical day, I begin it by going to the gym — unless I have many emails to wake up to at 5am which can sometimes happen. I then begin to work through to lunch, then go to a cafe (as I currently work from home) for a few hours and continue to work.
My day does calm down a bit when it comes to the evening, unless I am doing business with people in the US. I try to read in the evening and socialise when I can.
How do you plan to round up 2020?
By raising considerable capital – which we are well on our way to do – for Blind Cupid so that we can actualise our dreams as a company.
I also plan on going back to Scotland to my family home for Christmas to relax in front of a fire before what I am sure will be my best year yet in 2021!