While it's still too early to talk about all of the app's features, he said it will include some kind of flagging system to stem abuse and kick off bad users.
"I was matching with people who couldn’t find mutual times to meet, and that was the frustration," he said.If you think Kaplan is heading into a saturated market, he’s heard that before, and he said he thinks his premise of focusing on on-demand dates through video chat could help it stand out as a worthy alternative to apps like Tinder."If we’re the first one to execute, I’m excited to see where it goes," he said."The value is going to be a lot different where all the apps look really similar." To help the app find traction among the masses, Kaplan said he plans to talk to people of different genders, experiences, cultures and backgrounds so that the app works for everyone."I think that can ease the process for some people, take some of the fear out." The app is still in development, but Kaplan said he’s still looking for a technical co-founder to get the app to the beta stage.He’s been working on it since April of last year and has since assembled a small team: Eddy Ahmed, founder of mobile development shop App Jel, is working as QT's part-time CTO and co-founder; and Peter Wallace, founder of viral marketing startup Mettle, just started working, as another co-founder, on the app’s user interface full-time.
Kaplan said he first came up with the idea while he was having dating problems of his own.
As the general manager who helped open and run Juniper, a restaurant in Wellesley, he knew the difficulty of finding time to date people he met on dating apps while working a job with odd hours.
You browse through a bunch of profiles, swipe right on the ones you like, you finally get a match at some point, and then—the texting—the seemingly endless stream of texting and trying to figure out when both you and your date are available. But if it doesn’t, back to the drawing board—and think about all that time and energy it took to go through all that. That’s how first-time entrepreneur Matt Kaplan, who previously worked in the restaurant industry, has been thinking about the problem with dating apps, and he’s working on his own solution: an on-demand dating app called QT (which stands for "Quality Time") that seeks to get past the endless texting and straight to the point with video chat.
And it’s all for that big moment when you meet and there’s that spark… Video chatting with a stranger might sound awkward, but Kaplan told Bost Inno the idea is to create a virtual environment that feels more like a natural one, like a bar, so you can have a more natural conversation to see if any sparks fly.
If it works, you can then move on to have your real first date.
If not, you can at least feel assured you just avoided a bad first date. "With the ability to have your date virtually, the rejection can happen within the four walls," Kaplan said.