When OKCupid, the site where Internet users too cool to date online date online, needed some fresh blood, founders Sam Yagan and Chris Coyne took a page from the sex business to stay afloat: dates on demand. Describing the premise of CrazyBlindDate.com, which matches users by location and a vague sense of mutual compatibility that has more to do with scheduling than anything, Yagan says:
"Men will look at this and say, 'Sweet; I can get a woman delivered to me. But for some women it'll seem creepy. This way they'll only need to bring half a canister of mace."
How many hookups did the site manage? By January, a few months after launch, Yagan and Coyne claimed 50 a night wasn't unusual. The real boon was a surge in OKCupid users — doubled with the influx of CrazyBlindDaters. Of course, unlike the sex biz, all of this matchmaking is without a pricetag. Yagan sees the company as having more in common with Facebook than pay-per-play Match.com, especially when it comes to the price point. "Facebook is a great site, and they don't charge. So what is a lame site like Match.com doing charging?"