So, what music are you into?
Pretty standard opener when it comes to chat up lines, but POM is an exciting new dating app that strives to deliver genuine connections on that shared love of music.
They spotted that the dating app market had “become bland and similar” and they want to reinvigorate it by reminding folks that “dating is about the real connections, the face to face experiences and magic of emotion.”
Riselabs talks to Vihan Patel, the entrepreneur behind this new platform, about how it came to be, and what the future holds!
What is POM’s purpose and mission?
“We are a dating app at heart, but we are trying to create meaningful connections. Our app is for music lovers, we are using music to match you, but we match people on what matters the most, which we believe is emotion.
It’s not as simple as both liking Beyoncé, it’s matching people on the emotional response to that music. There are 3 types of dating app; eHarmony you add every aspect of your life, Tinder which is more hook ups and a quick ego boost; only 7% of men who match on tinder actually follow up with a date. Finally, on the other side of the scale you have Hinge who want to help you find meaningful relationships by asking questions. Whilst that is good, I don’t think it has gone far enough.
In our app, we connect to your music library via Spotify. You answer 4 questions about your emotional profile, and that’s it!”
What inspired you to start the app?
“This started when I graduated from university last year during the pandemic; while I was at Cardiff I was hosting student events.
In the 1st year I joined a promotions agency, and became the guy in my halls that gave tickets to my mates. I looked up what they were doing to see how hard it would be to book a club and sell some tickets, so that’s what I did.
I contacted a venue in Cardiff and asked a couple of friends to DJ. I said to them to sell 20 tickets for £20 and they did, the rest was through FB ads. The first event did really well and I built up an events business going around Cardiff universities. It was a good experience.
My penultimate event before lockdown, I threw in a different genre of music. I noticed immediately that the audience that event attracted was completely different. It was so evident in the way they were dancing and interacting with each other, and at the end of the night when I went to settle the tab, I saw that even what they were drinking was different. I figured that the music you listen to shapes you as a person and that snowballed into a dating app.”
What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?
“Where do I start? It was not anything like I thought it would be. I guess on Instagram and LinkedIn it looks glamorous; buying Lamborghini’s at age 22, how hard can that be? I think the hardest part personally was finding people who can believe in and execute your vision as much as you can. I can find someone better than me, but bringing them into the team to execute my vision, that was hard.”
What are your tips for success for your fellow entrepreneurs?
“I’m not sure I’ve hit success just yet, but just start, there is always time. Find people who can do stuff better. For example, I don’t know how to code so I found developers and that’s how it started. Find good people. Raising money or having more money is not the answer to all the problems, building an app is expensive and not easy. You should always act like you don’t have the money so that you find creative solutions to your problems.”
Do you have any book, blog, or podcast recommendations?
“Back when I started I really wanted to get this entrepreneur mindset so I read books and listened to podcasts, but the more I do stuff I’m realising it’s not as helpful as you think, it forces a comparison and no journey is the same. I do enjoy Steven Bartlett’s ‘Diary of a CEO’, and ‘How I built this’ by Guy Raz. Books wise I’m reading ‘The Hard Things About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz.
How did you go about establishing your brand identity? Did you have an idea of how you wanted it to be like?
“That’s an interesting question, yes I did. I’m quite annoying in that aspect, if I have an idea I won’t stop until it looks like that. Sometimes it gets to the point where I will hate it and want to start again. So we’ve rebuilt POM socials 3 or 4 times now and my designers are getting fed up, but if it doesn’t feel right then I can’t get behind it.
Now though, I think we’ve finally settled on this identity which is actually closer to the Day 1 identity we had. But I do change my mind a lot. No-one can see inside your head, so as long as it looks good, you’re fine.”
Is it fair to say an obstacle in finding your brand identity has been yourself?
“I think it is the desire for perfection in your own head. I have this ultimate image of how the app should look and we’ve delayed the launch of it because it didn’t quite fit. But now I’ve learnt that we just have to hit this 80% threshold and then you can release it because it’s never going to be perfect and I think people do need to realise that.
I’m sure if Jeff Bezos looks at amazon.com he hates it. Every founder hates their own website so as long as you’re comfortable to release it, you yourself can be the biggest obstacle.”
With that in mind, what is your favourite brand?
“It’s going to be boring if I say Apple. I think Spotify. They have some of the most incredible UI designers in the whole world. They are really cool. Wetransfer is another favourite, it’s easy and does what it says on the tin.”
What do you think the future holds?
“I think this is the summer for us. I can’t wait to show everyone what we’re about, we’ve been teasing it a lot, it’s been a year in the process. It’s exciting. We’ve got some awesome partnerships, we’ve got an event release really soon, but I can’t tell you too much!
The next 1-2 years you will see some aggressive growth from us in the UK, we won’t make the mistake of trying to rush out of the UK. We’re really going to focus here. 3-5 years hopefully you will see us in a few other countries. I think people are craving human connections.”
Have you been inspired by Vihan? Do you have an app idea that’s been rolling around your head for years? Get in touch with Riselabs, we will help move your concept from your head, to the drawing board, to the app store!
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