If a solution existed online to connect two underserved demographics already synchronized offline, would it be interesting? I began tossing this question around in my mind after a painstaking trip to Bloomingdale’s with an ex-girlfriend in downtown New York City. Between eyeing exit signs and my watch face, I pestered her about exit plans as she shopped nonchalantly rack to rack, floor to floor. Fed up, she confessed “I really just wish I had a gay best friend.” This wasn’t the first time she brought it up. Something she described as a missing component in her life and one who could replace me in such retail circumstances. Fast-forward some years and I met a gay graphic designer in San Francisco’s tech community who, naturally, I had to bounce this idea off of. I didn’t get through more than ten seconds of my pitch. He was in.
By taking a niche approach to a familiar effort – enabling relationships online – the idea was to turn heads towards a unique, underserved market: straight women and gay men. If you are a female, Bestie v1.0 shows you all gay men available in your area, allows you to browse their profiles, and enables chat functionality through a social status mechanism users give and collect disguised as what we called, a Princess Point. In equal fashion, they could be revoked if the engagement was off color or unfriendly. The ideal user journey would end with the creation of a new, meaningful friendship.
As Product Manager, Design Director, and co-iOS Developer, Bestie is currently in alpha.