Ben Mussi is single in Seattle, and hasn’t been dating much at all lately because he’s been busy building a dating app for singles in Seattle.
But there’s hope for Mussi – and the love lives of others who call Seattle home – as his Seattle Dating App officially launched on Thursday with the intention of reimagining the way people use apps to connect with other people.
Mussi, our latest Geek of the Week, has lived in Seattle for about 15 years. He’s an IT manager by day, with a degree in Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering from MIT and a Master of Business Administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.
Before starting work on his own app, Mussi was single for about a year and half and used a number of the big, popular apps such as Tinder, OKCupid and Hinge to meet people. But he wasn’t satisfied with the experience and set out to build something better.
I began talking with friends about their dating experiences and realized that many people were feeling frustrated with dating apps in Seattle
“In my opinion, the Seattle Dating App has an elegant, world-class look to it,” Mussi said. “I also love the schedule feature that only shows people who are available when you are and the neighborhood feature that only shows people in specific areas you pick. ”
These features make the Seattle Dating App more efficient than other apps because you save time only swiping and chatting with people who can be available when and where you are
Those features were crowd-selected by Instagram users with a hyper-local focus, targeting 65 neighborhoods across the region. Advertising and in-app purchases will fuel the revenue, with the app designed to help local businesses and event promoters connect with the dating community by framing their offerings as date ideas rather than as advertisements.
“If one thinks of the big dating apps like the big beer companies from the 1900’s, the Seattle Dating App is like the microbreweries that disrupted their dominance by catering to local tastes and preferences,” Mussi said.
The Seattle Dating App team consists of Mussi along with five people working on tech aspects and two on bassadors around the Seattle area.
Now that he’s a guy not just looking for his own dates, but trying to help other people do the same thing, Mussi sees a cloud lifting on the notoriously gloomy outlook that has hung over Seattle’s dating scene.
“The Seattle area attracts some of the most interesting and diverse people from around the U.S. and the globe,” he said. “The city itself is also very vibrant and has a ton of amazing places to check out. Now we have the Seattle Dating App. As users come up with new ideas to make dating even better, we can continuously improve with feature updates.”
What do you do, and why do you do it? I started the Seattle Dating App in after seeing an article that stated Seattle was the worst city for dating, largely due to the “Seattle Freeze” and the recent influx of career-focused people to the city.
I had been single for about a year and had turned to a number of dating strapon chat zone apps in order to meet people. Convinced that Seattle deserves better, I started work on defining how the Seattle Dating App could improve the dating experience in Seattle. After exploring a number of concepts, I realized that the only way the app would work is if Seattleites picked the features and how the app should look. I relinquished creative control of the app and decided to crowd-source the app’s design using Instagram polls. Amazingly, many early adopters were excited by the vision of a hyper-local dating app for Seattle. With time, the best ideas were incorporated into the app.