Never Let Schooling Interfere with Your Education.

Ariel Norling here. I write about education, technology, and my adventures in entrepreneurship- i.e. everything that I've learned outside of a classroom's walls. I am often sarcastic, sometimes serious, but always infinitely curious.

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The Training Wheels Coming Off: Alternatively Titled “Why I’m Ignoring My Mother”

The past week hasn’t been going so well for me. In the midst of a crazy schedule (launch and finals week do not mix very well), I’ve also been getting periodic phone calls from my mother. This isn’t abnormal, since we are relatively close, but each phone call has revealed my mother becoming increasingly despondent at the reality of me leaving school. The last one ended up in a crying, yelling fit (which never happens) about how I’m “ruining my life” and “not ready for the responsibility.” 

Honestly, I don’t know if I’m ruining my life or if I’m ready for the responsibility that comes with jumping into a startup full-time with no safety net. But I do know that there’s only one way to find out. I wouldn’t be making the leap if I didn’t feel like it was worth it, that I learned a lot from YouShouldDate.Me, or that I didn’t know that school was wrong for me (because I can’t guarantee that this is right for me). 

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An old friend recently messaged me to tell me that he overheard his coworker telling another employee about youshoulddate.me. It’s pretty stunning because they’re in DC and we haven’t advertised or launched yet. I definitely needed that since it’s been an “oh my goodness, there’s so much pressure and I have no idea what we’re doing and we’re out of money” kind of week.

Startup Idea Round 2

After talking to lots of guys (especially guys in tech) about what they would like to see in a dating site, we came to one conclusion. The site needs to be all about socialization- letting people recommend matches to one another, and choosing how many networks and how many degrees of separation users would like to have for viewing potential matches. The core concept remains the same- using people you already know to find matches and only having communication open when both parties say they are interested in the other. Now we’re working on the logistics of building it and how the features would work.

And for all of you visual people… here’s the slideshow I used when discussing the ideas from above.

 

It’s come pretty far since the last iteration I wrote about here.

Here I am giving my presentation about the feedback I got from my first doyoulike.me pitch.

Here I am giving my presentation about the feedback I got from my first doyoulike.me pitch.

doyoulike.me - Startup Idea

I’ve been working on a startup idea, trying to refine the idea, and I really need feedback. The working title is doyoulike.me. It’s an online dating site that uses your existing networks (friends, school, location) to match you with potential dates. You are shown a series of potential matches and select whether you are interested in communicating with them or not. If both users select that they are interested in the other user, then they are allowed to communicate. It would keep users from receiving unsolicited messages and creates a real dating/online dating hybrid. 

We’re trying to refine the idea and figure out what people would want in terms of scope for potential dates- e.g. only Facebook friends, people at your university or in your city, and how to handle security- keeping trollers out and how much information should be visible to other users. We also need feedback from boys!

Here’s the slideshow I used for the my first pitch!