CEO / OneGoodLove / Los Angeles
Problem: Dominated by hookup services like Grindr and Manhunt, the gay online-dating space underserves relationship-minded folks.
Solution: OneGoodLove, a sort of eHarmony for the gay and lesbian community, is evolving its matching system. The site asks for preferences in mates—many of which are unique to the gay dating community—and discreetly filters potential matches.
"There's a misperception that older gay couples are the only ones applying for gay marriages and civil unions. But with people coming out earlier and earlier now, gays in their twenties are on the same relationship track as the heterosexual community. Meanwhile, on the gay hookup sites, people are taking it upon themselves to identify publicly what they're not interested in. People say, for instance, 'no Asians.' That's rude, racist, and politically incorrect. So we're putting those kinds of preferences behind the veil, along with other information that's of unique interest to the relationship-focused gay community. 'Are you a top or a bottom?' 'What's your HIV status?' You don't want to announce that you're HIV positive in your profile. But neither do you want to address it three dates in. When you've got a long-term relationship in mind—an LTR, as we say in our profiles—you want to meet people who match your preferences, and vice versa, so everyone knows what they're getting into."
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.