eHarmony Ideas [Seriously]

Don’t ask me why, but I’ve been thinking a bit about eHarmony lately. It could be the relentless TV campaign of people who have finally found one another or a shout out to Super Crunchers but the system that eHarmony uses seems like it could have benefits across multiple industries.

Consider it for a moment. The founder of the site, Dr. Neil Warren, studied couples who had been married for years and were happy with their partner. He developed a system of key relationship attributes (individuals backgrounds, interests, location, family, religion, personality traits, etc) and created a system to link people based on deep, similar traits. His method might not be proven, but based on the stats from eHarmony, he’s matched a ton of couples who are happy and now do a ton of testimonials for the site.

For all accounts, the idea that successful relationships can be mapped against an algorithm is an interesting one. That we can just figure out what the formula for a successful relationship is and apply it to two people who have never met. Two minutes and we’ll tell you the rest of your life.

OK. Maybe their are some flaws. I’m sure the process doesn’t work every time and that people on eHarmony don’t always meet their soul mate after they’ve paid to contact their “matches”. But still – a lot of people believe that this works. And for some it has.

My question is, why don’t algorithms like eHarmony’s exist for other categories?

Take job finding sites like Monster, Career Builder or TalentEgg (run by a friend of mine). Right now, the big ones allow you to post your resumes and search a deep data base of all the jobs that have been posted by corporations. Once you find a few that you’re interested in, you just apply right there and hope for an interview.

Couldn’t we do a bit better than that? When Seth Godin is writing about how important your job is, someone has to listen, right? Why don’t we look at people who are happy with their companies and find out the key attributes that make for a successful employee-company relationship? That way, when I search for a job I’m interested in on one of these sites, I not only know the basics, I know whether I’ll be a good fit or not – for the long term.

What about if we translated this into real life and created bars that guaranteed a similar demographic of person? For example, what if you knew that when you went out you were going to a place where everyone shared the same interests, had the same tastes and was compatible? It would make talking to strangers a hell of a lot easier.

That being said, it might get a bit bland as well.

All in all, the idea of an system to guarantee at match (whether it be relationship, job, charity, etc) by comparing key insights and information is interesting. Where else do you think something like this could work?


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