This is an interesting story.
For those of you who don't know, Rainbow Road is like uber for college students - but free. Give rides, earn coins, use those coins to get free rides.
I came up with this idea at LAX airport when I wanted to go 3 miles to in-n-out burger and uber/lyft was charging me $15!
Not. Gonna. Happen.
Fast forward a week and, as we all know, Michael says the best way to know if people would use your product is to....
...talk to them! (genius idea btw)
I knew my target audience was college students (duh), but it was the end of summer and I wondered where they would be hanging out. Sure, there was a college nearby, but summer classes were over and fall semester had not started yet...
How do I reach them?
An idea popped into my head, "hmmmm. I know for a fact that college students are on tinder and bumble, and with it being summer, I bet they are all on there even more, trying to find a sweet summer romance.
Well this is where the case study (feel free to replicate) begins:
1 - So I downloaded Tinder and Bumble on my phone
2 - I looked up on google: "best tinder profile bios", and I went with one that seemed pretty unanimous. ("Looking for someone who has seen the DVD logo hit the corner perfectly") - its good to make your bio something that basically anyone can get a good chuckle at. Girls or guys. They key goal is specifically quantity of matches. The more the merrier.
3 - I am no brad pitt, johnny depp, or young leo...
Again, goal is quantity of matches.
So, I went onto a NY models website and picked a handsome dude. His instagram was linked (real life pictures), so I went to it and picked five or so good pictures that I thought would get me matches. Now, some of you might find this a little wrong - using someone else's pictures to get matches - but I was doing this for market research and not dates, sue me.
4 - Now that I had my bio setup and pictures for Tinder and Bumble, I started swiping. Swiped for about 2 hours and then put my phone down. I came back about an hour later and I had a multitude of matches (you could even go as far as a plethora of matches).
5 - This is probably the most important tip.
So pay attention.
The psychology of someone who has just matched with an attractive person is geared towards "pleasing & agreeing". For example: any question I asked about my app would by default get a good response/answer because it just moves the ball closer to meeting up in person. This is where I found the strength of my idea.
I started off with a little small talk, then I said this:
"Hey, random question. My friend has this idea for an app that he thinks is genius, I think its dumb and will never work... tell me who's right?"
Now the truth will come out. If the match goes out of their way, and tells you that YOU'RE wrong, and they actually like the idea for the app... you're onto something.
Press more, argue back, really put the pressure on - which is what I did.
"are you kidding me??"
"what about creeps in your car that you don't even know"
"you would spend your own time AND gas money to give strangers rides just for a free ride in return??"
Pushing back and playing devil's advocate really helps to see how far they will go disagreeing with you in support of your app, and provides valuable product feedback for future reference/iteration.
6 - One final step.
After the debating was over, to truly test their allegiance with your idea/app, you can collect a phone number or email from them to let them know when the app will go live. Most are surprised that "its actually going to be a thing?"... but most will give a phone number/email. And that is a decent way to get your first 100 users :)
So, there's one way to use dating apps to do product research.
Feel free to use it, and don't be shy to ask any questions you might have.