On route, I even considered writing down conversation topics on the back of my hand in case we had nothing in common. He gave me a quick hug, and I promptly informed him about the news crew waiting outside.
Bobby — aka Robert Leshner, the cofounder of Internet privacy company Safe Shepherd — took it like a pro.
Venture Beat teamed up with ABC7 News reporter Jonathan Bloom for this project: I would go on an actual blind date, and the San Francisco network affiliate of ABC would interview my date on the spot. Setting up the app and the service is easy: Just download the free app on your i Phone or Android and connect to Ok Cupid if you’re already a member (or create a new account if you’re not).
You can’t contact your prospective date until an hour beforehand, when the app lets you message back and forth.A few hours prior to our “date”, a mutual friend recognized me from my scrambled photo. Three margaritas later, I was thoroughly enjoying myself, and I learned all about Bobby’s startup. Ok Cupid may address some of my initial concerns over time.I received a note from Bobby confirming that he was actually planning to show up and informing me he’d be wearing a blue sweater.Feeling duplicitous — ABC7 News was already on its way to televise the date — I ventured over to the restaurant.A word of warning: San Francisco is one of those cities where everyone knows everyone in their sector, particularly in the tech community, and the image scrambling is pretty easy to see through, so I was able to discern a few familiar faces when browsing the app. Alternatively, you can browse a dozen or so existing dates and pick the one that’s most convenient.
Next, the app prompts you to create a date (“8 p.m. You’ll need to wait for confirmation from your potential date. After a few tries (my first blind date candidate never got back to me, and the second couldn’t meet up before 8 p.m.), I locked down a date with Bobby, a twenty-something with brown hair.