At Startup Weekend Twin Cities in November, Eric Brandes and his team developed a new take on online dating and were selected as the winner for the event. Eric tells about where the idea came from, how they got started and what’s in the future for DuelingDates.com.
The original idea for a double dating website was something that had been rolling around in my head for the last year or so. I had just never gotten around to making it. I was talked in to doing a pitch of the idea at Twin Cities Start-up weekend. Long story short, the idea was a hit and our execution was even better.
Our team ended up winning the entire thing, which was pretty darned good for a team run by someone who didn’t even want to pitch their idea in the first place! I can’t speak for everyone on the team, but I know there is some pretty strong interest in seeing this thing through so it’s full steam ahead on the project for now.
Behind the scenes, we’re using the Microsoft stack to build and support the application. It’s an ASP.NET MVC 2 app hosted in IIS and using SQL Server for the back-end data store.
We started using Twilio because we needed a way to send SMS messages to people who were setting up, and being set up on, dates. There’s something more immediate and urgent about text messages that we liked in this instance. In any case, integrating with Twilio could not have been easier. It was literally just sign-up and start sending texts. We were able to integrate the SMS sending functionality to our app in about 30 minutes from start to finish. The whole thing ended up being around 15 lines of additional code. We used the REST API to communicate with Twilio, so the solution was really platform agnostic. It was the most painless portion of the whole start-up weekend :)
We’ve put together a screencast of the site in action. The live site should be up in a couple of weeks.
Twilio is some seriously cool technology. I’ve seen other demos for some of the things it can do and I’m very impressed. Thanks for supporting Startup Weekend!