“This is one of the biggest problems that humans face and one of the first times in human history there was some innovation,” says Michael Norton, a psychologist at Harvard Business School.
Finding the right partner, whether for life or for Saturday night, is so important to so many people that you would think we might have cracked it by now.
By assembling a vast array of date-worthy people in a searchable format, online dating seems like it should be a huge improvement on the old-fashioned methods of meeting people at work, through friends, or in bars and nightclubs.
But it’s not clear that the innovation of online dating is helping very much.
The second was that it took for ever — the typical survey respondent spent 12 hours a week browsing through profiles and sending and receiving messages, yielding less than two hours of offline interaction.
"And in the intervening 20 years between when I first dated and now, I'd learned a lot about markets." His book, "Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned From Online Dating" (Harvard Business Review Press; January 2014), breaks down online dating into basic economic principles. Some people say Twitter blew their IPO by underpricing the stock. Demand is driven not by the product but by other users.This was the third problem: people tended to have high expectations before the dates they had arranged online but felt disenchanted afterwards.To adapt a Woody Allen joke: not only are the dates terrible but there are so few of them.I eventually ended up meeting somebody who I’ve been very happy with for about two and a half years now.The ending of my personal story is, I think, a great indicator of the importance of picking the right market. We work a hundred yards apart, and we had many friends in common.