How to Really Fix Online Dating

How to (Really) Fix Online Dating.

How to Really Fix Online Dating


We hear a lot about how “online dating is broken”.  But is it?  Or is it the way we communicate what online dating and membership quality really is?  Before the fixing begins, start ups need to understand what’s really broken, the culture.  Online dating is, in many ways, just as hopeful or sad (depending on how you look at it) as real life.  So in order to inspire change for the better, we need to cultivate it.


Here are 4 practical ways to encourage membership quality in Online Dating:


Create an Environment

Tinder broke the barriers to entry for casual daters’ with simplicity and ease.  There is still room to create an environment that is either more fun, or engaging.  Thumbs up to Loveflutter and Worthy are great examples.  These two created just enough effort to dissuade unwanted behavior, yet made the process fun enough to keep me engaged.  The day online dating becomes fun, like clubbing without the morning regrets, is the day online dating truly triumphs.


Provide Guidance

If offline dating events taught me anything, it’s that people need guidance.  If we left a bunch of singles in a room, and eventually they’ll tear each other apart.  Just look at the comments on YouTube or Twitter.  Errr… Maybe not so dramatic. That is why online daters experience poor behavior, excruciating profiles, and irrationally high expectations.   People’s first instinct is to seek familiarity and security in an insecure environment.  One way I was able to improve  participation and interaction at my events was providing a host.  If social start-ups, such as Dipify, succeed in becoming a host or a friend, users could be more responsive and positive towards each other.  Games anyone?


Work on Communication

Tinder, for example was made a media darling as a hook-up app.  It seems almost unfair to demonize somebody looking for a Tinder hook-up.  Most free dating apps are very vague in what they want to accomplish — neither encourages nor discouraged any sort of behavior.  To settle things, somebody should just come up with an online dating app (just like Tinder) for serious relationships, or the same app strictly for hook-ups— enforced by their own respective policies.  People will eventually gravitate towards what works for them.  I imagine many would utilize both apps.


Start with Marketing

Marketing is the blood of online dating— The trend being to stir up some controversy for the press.  But there is light in the end of the tunnel.  I found Tinder in Bangkok, of all places, boasts many reputable men and women seeking honest friendships. The way Thais adopt new technology is strongly based on referral.  Without the local press painting it as a hot new hookup app, Tinder has a lot less ick moments than local dating sites.  I wonder how long that lasts.


It essence, it doesn’t take fancy gimmicks for start-ups to inspire membership quality; it takes a stronger effort to communicate what membership quality is.  “Membership quality” is cultivated in Frat Houses, Sundays services and real life experiences, and works accordingly.  If start-ups want to build a better community of [blank], they should say so, and market to so.


Do you have ideas to improve online dating? I’d like to hear it @derekonomy.

Snowboarding Changed My Life

How Snowboarding Saved My Life

I struggle to remember any of my birthdays prior to 3 years ago.  My facebook page (joined 2009) had no updates until 2011.  That’s when I was born again; after an old friend spontaneously dragged me five hours out of the city.




My previous years were plagued with heavy alcoholism, drug abuse, and occasional violence.  Although I was never a bad person, never screwed anybody over, I spent years looking over my back.  It seemed no matter how I overcompensated, new beginnings always ended with old stories and occupational hazards.   Depression had been eating away at me for years, as it became less apparent why I should bother to stay clean.  On the outside I looked like any other douche, laughing over normal decibels.  I never told anybody about how hopeless I felt in side.


I really just went to get out of the city and drink in a cabin.  I almost didn’t bother getting on the hill at all.    It had been over 10 years since I last been on a mountain.  I had never snowboarded before.  I was feeling groggy.  It was cold.  One-by-one my friend shot down any excuses I gave him to lounge around.  So I rented equipment and prepared *glug glug glug* to get my ass kicked by the bunny hill.  Bruise after bruise I paid my dues.  Each tumble, a reflection of my life.    staying on my board naturally.  At times I wanted to give up  (also an ongoing trend in my life).  But this time each fall was met with humor, notices of improvement and another swig of my flask.  The more I let loose, the longer I stayed on my board and maintained momentum.  By the time I sobered up, I was tentatively carving, and in love.  Although, next morning I felt every fall from the previous day, I was inexplicably happy.  When I returned to Vancouver, I bought all my gear and continued to snowboard on local mountains every week.  Up there I felt a new person.




One day I came across a YouTube trailer that would forever change my direction.  When I first feasted my eyes on Travis Rice’s incredible feats over nature’s grandest designs, my imagination was overwhelmed with excitement.    I immediately saw that all I ever wanted laid within my backyard —within my reach.  But fiirst, I needed to get better.  There was a lot of catching up to do.  I proceeded to spend every other day on the mountain; each session brought a new surprise.  I descending my first double-black before I did my first black.  I landed my first 50 foot jump shortly after.  Every second of air was minutes of freedom.  Every epic spill, was met with more determination— except for the fractured ribs.


By the next season boarding culture had taken hold of every facet of my life— music, fashion, down time, friends.  My whole lifestyle shifted.  Big city problems gave way to a summer of anticipation.  I did my best to stay clean and healthy.  My hopes were hallmarked by memories of fresh pow, cedar cabins, hot tubs, drinks, fireworks, home cooking, and road trips with loved ones— with the added dream of adventure.  It sounds cliche to say; but everything seems insignificant when you are surrounded by trees and snow.  By December I was spending every other night on the mountain, overlooking the city.




I separated myself from my old night life.  I drifted apart from let go of a lot toxic people.  And as the seasons rolled on, my snowboard circle got bigger and bigger.  It started with just three of us,  always gathering around YouTube videos, whenever we were at a parties.  By spring there was 12 of us.  Soon our frequent, satisfied smiles caught the attentions of more people.  By next season, our road trips involved up to 30 people.  With each new person, my life kept evolving and evolving, spilling over to new Summer past times.


I probably wouldn’t have become a  snowboarder if it wasn’t for the people who continually supported and joined in on my excitement.  It goes to show that friends are the backbone of passions and growth.  Some climbed out of a few steeps with me; others pushed me down them.  Heck, I even loved the countless hours I put in with the newbies.  We bonded over our encouragement and praises.  It’s almost kinda depressing to say, I never really felt that before.  None of us did.  I remember sharing a chuckle about that— I’m starting to have memories too!




At this moment I’m laughing as I compare my driver’s licenses, only 1 year apart.  I could barely recognize myself, nor believe how anybody with common sense could take a mugshot like that.  Every year since 2011, I have been living differently.  Snowboarding was not only an amazing revelation for me; it was an unbelievable impact on the people around me.  Some of us became outdoor, day people— utilizing our weekends.  Some friends eventually kicked nasty habits as well.  I even convinced a few to join me in volunteering time to snowboard with under-privileged youth.  There is a serious trickle effect around inspiration.


It feels like such a long time ago, since I first went on that road trip.  So much has happened since then.  I still have a lot of catching up to do in life.  After a year overseas, I’m home anticipating a new snowboard season.   Right now, even bad days feel like good ones.


Dipify snowboarding 4

I created Dipify to connect people with the experiences my friends and I had.

Everyday We Pass By Awesome People

Everyday we pass by awesome people


Each day we pass hundreds of people.  Chances are we pass someone brilliant everyday.  On public transit.  On the streets.  In the coffee shop.  And all we had to do was say something, and our lives would be blown.  Think of opportunities — the could-have-beens— that slip by us in our lifetime.  And the same goes for the internet.  After all, isn’t YouTube a film festival?  Isn’t Facebook like a reunion— food, friends, and stories?  Somewhere, somebody is in the same space, having the same moment as you.


With Dipify, we created a way to cross paths with new people online; as you would bump into a friend at the movies.  You can possibly bump into friends on Dipify too.  With Dipify you have an online presence; the opportunity to give a nod, or simply pass on by.  Explore the world and naturally connect with netizens, simply by doing whatever it is we do online— watching Youtube, or sharing on Facebook.


But beware.  After 10 minutes, your history erases from Dipify, and you are gone.  Your moment becomes a missed connection.  So speak up when you can.  Don’t be another could have, should have, would have been.


Social serendipity happens more than you think when with Dipify.

How I Changed My Life

A great life isn't about great big things; it's about small things that make a big difference.


If I could say one thing to anybody in a rut, or just not where they want to be:  A great life isn’t about great big things; it’s a about small things that make a big difference.  Success and happiness is a habit, naturally with the things you enjoy.


It doesn’t start with ridiculous mantras; and things we don’t want to do.  Just take a conscious look at your everyday life, starting with your interests.  There are so many things going on in our subconscious.


Here are 7 small things that helped me find inspiration and motivation:



What has a more profound, yet subtle, effect than music?  It’s all around us.  We model our attire after the corresponding subculture.   Sometimes friendships are formed, and rejected, based on musical taste.  Our attitudes are subconsciously molded from it.  Music can lift our spirits, drive us past late hours, or make us victims.  Be conscious and cautious of the mainstream.  Don’t let marketing specialists bombard us with a great beat to shitty message.  ’nuff said.

I use to listen to nothing but hardcore techno and gangsta rap.  If you can make an assumption about what kind of person I was, you get my point.  Switching tunes allowed me to switch gears, and pass some of the people who still say 10 years later, ‘me?  same-o same-o.’  Getting out of the ‘gutter’ mindset allowed me to accept positive changes in my life.  



It’s understandable, after a long hard day of ‘mining salt’ we want nothing more than to laugh at some ‘losers'; feel someway towards others;  root for something; or just anything to escape the drudgery of our day.  If we change the channel once in awhile we may see everyday proof that unimaginable qualities are within human capabilities— courage, resilience, compassion, determination & etc .   Listen to people’s stories.  Expand our horizons.   And if that’s too boring, turn off the TV, and look else where.  Resist escapeing to TV land for the sake of boredom.

I don’t watch much TV anymore.  I find if I can’t watch a show sober, it’s a clear indicator I shouldn’t be watching it AT ALL.  Some shows are hilarious in small dosages.   But for the sake of yourself and people around you, don’t pour yourself a drink, roll up a blunt and watch a marathon of anything— brainwashing yourself.  


everyday proof humans are unimaginably resilient



When I see a good movie, it inspires and motivates me.  But when I continuously bombard myself with shitty movies, life gradually seems so meaningless.  I’m in no way picky— even the most unreal fantasies are able to enthusiastically entertain an otherwise ordinary moral.  I love heroic movies, and movies that challenge our way of thinking.  Don’t be afraid to take a chance on something that isn’t seriously Hollywood.   Any great movie at the right time can really help put things in perspective and carry a positive momentum for weeks.  However, If you find yourself venturing too deep into the Netflix catalog, time to smash your Playstation.

Flying a lot helps.  I tend to choose “sleepers” on 16 hrs.  Movies like ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ and ‘Flick’.  I rarely play Theater roulette anymore— afraid if I risk watching Michael Bay’s “they’re still going to see the movie!” movie I can’t un-watch it, like I did with Transformers 2 and 3— what were those movies about again?



Look good; feel good.  You honestly never know what the day will bring.  The best you can do is be prepared to accept every opportunity— sporting with threads that bring confidence.  It’s a nice habit.  If you dress like you are going to take a nap, you are mentally going to take a nap.  Take some joy or pride in your fashion statement.  Just getting dressed in the morning sometimes makes my day.

There are plenty of reasons to hate high fashion, but there are no of reasons to go out in something you can’t be confident in.  Thinking back to all the times my friends and I missed the boat because one of us “needed” to go home and change, is a slap in the face.  My clothes aren’t just a reflection upon myself, it’s a reflection of the company I keep.  Dressing properly is a way to honor my friends.  People really do appreciate it.  Just don’t be a show off.



Reading is not something that comes natural to all.  Expanding our minds does not have an immediate, tangible benefit— opposed to the  glamorous night life is literally waiting outside the window.  But the occasional moment and new perspective is worth the risk.   A great book, leading to a million dollar idea, is more probable than a lottery jackpot.  Tap into some of history’s greatest minds.  You should be so lucky if a book was written about a friend.  Imagine these authors as somebody you would want a beer with.


people I want a drink with


I attribute some of my greatest ideas to my “dry” taste in books.  I think certain economic or sociology books helps me understand the world and, in turn, myself.  I didn’t use to read much, despite enjoying it when I did.  It all began at my lowest moment in life (a story for another time), that I decided to pick out ‘the Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking’ by Christopher Hansard, from the stocked bookshelf of my rented Hong Kong apartment..



It’s medical fact, that exercise releases neurotransmitters into your brain, like when you are gorging on chocolate, having sex, and smoking a spliff.  Anybody who tells me they don’t enjoy fresh air and a bit of movement, are doing it wrong.  You don’t have to climb a mountain.  Sometimes all it takes are friends, an excuse to road trip, and great experience to develop a healthy obsession.  So get out there and do something.  You can get ideas from my best ways to make friends and feel great!

I credit a lot of positivity in my life to snowboarding.  So much I volunteer my time to under-privileged youth on the mountain.  And it all started from a friend dragging me on a road trip.  Reluctantly getting off my ass and drive 5 hours eventually lead me to some of the great things in my life… A story for another time.


Impact doesn’t take a whole lot of effort; it takes a conscious one.  If life ain’t working out for you, take a chance on something new.  Making a little conscious effort in what you consume here and there can make a big difference over time.  Even if you don’t feel it, one day you may wake up a new person and opportunities start opening up.  Inspiration hits your on the head when you least expect it.


Of course it doesn’t hurt to have a few friends along for the ride.  Check out Dipify, a messenger that introduces you people exploring the same things as you..


I hope this article helps you.  Please feel free to share some of your stories.


Best Ways To Meet New People & Feel Great

How to meet new friends


You don’t just want to meet people; you want to meet awesome people.

I am writing this as a former singles’ event planner, and a person who enjoys making new, awesome friends.

For whatever reason you may need to restart (or tune-up) your social life, it could be rough getting back into full swing of social things.  Maybe you are fun, positive and always look people in the eyes;  but just don’t want to visit anymore clubs, or creep out at the mall.

These are the best social activities to meet people:


Meet Snowboarders and Make Friends on DipifySports

Fresh air, tight bodies, and exercise, is good for your health.  So naturally, co-ed sports are a fine place to tune your life.  Volley ball is great if you like beaches, and softball if you like beer.  I’m part of a local snowboard group.  I’ll throw jogging and yoga into this fitness related category as well.  Try different groups until you find one that catches your heart (in the social sense).  There are also different levels; so don’t be afraid to try new sports.  Sports are a great way place to meet active people.


Meet new people and make friends in Taiwan on DipifyVolunteer

Not all volunteer work is boring or a ploy for unpaid labor.  They can be as fun as cooking classes (for homeless) and free snowboarding (with underprivileged children).  After a long fulfilling day of fun, it’s common to have a brew afterwards, and share experiences with other volunteers.   Maybe even dip into some of that extra vacation time, and go abroad.  An uncle met his wife volunteering overseas.  This is a  fulfilling way to meet passionate doers.


Meet People in New YorkParties / Charities

Nothing brings compassionate people together like a good cause.  There are always so many different causes that charities come in all forms—  parties or concerts.  It’s much easier to convince a wing-man / friend to partake in a good cause, than to just get drunk.  Even if you go solo, you won’t get any “pity looks.”  After all, you are there for a reason.  Great conversations with generous people to be had there.  Even better if you actually care about the cause.


Meet photographers and make friends on DipifyActivity groups

Of course I’d be absent minded if I didn’t mention there are paid and free memberships for singles activities.  There are people of all ages getting together to try new things, that usually require a pal.  Things like snowmobiling, dancing, comedy shows, or simply dinner are some of the things that go on everyday of the calendar.  There is no pressure to find a date, unlike speed dating.  And of course there are free groups found on the web (ie meetup) but you often get what you paid for… nothing.


Meet, Chat and Flirt with cooks and make friends on DipifyClasses

Knowledge and skills are sexy.  And learning can be satisfying.  Learn how to cook, build stuff or maybe decorate.  If you are a creative person, no better way to meet other creative minds.  If you appreciate the benefits of a little TLC, classes are a great way to meet someone who shares that philosophy.



The Future of online dating and social networking is hereOnline

For the time ( and maybe cash ) strapped, there is always online dating.  I’ve met a few awesome people from around the world on there.    And, I’d feel silly not to mention Dipify, the messenger that introduces you to awesome people through serendipity— the most natural way to meet like-minded people.



Remember, starting is the hardest part.  But if you focus on enjoying yourself, everything gets better.  The above activities are not only a good way to meet awesome people, but also feel great at the same time.  And everybody around can enjoy your boost in confidence and good stories.


Got any other ideas?  I want to hear them (below).  Feel free to share your experiences.


What tibet actually looks like

THE Top Reason to Travel to China (34 Pictures)

What tibet actually looks like


A lot of people still fear China.  Others see it as a land of opportunity.  If you were to visit for one reason, make it this one…




To travel to China is as much a discovery of self as it is sightseeing.


We get a glimpse of generations past.  The pushing, the hustling is very real, much like how it was like at home, generations before us.  Witness what it was like to come out of an industrial revolution into a time where new opportunities were unregulated.  The term the ‘wild west’ is still relevant in many regions.  Test yourself in these times and circumstances.


Don’t worry, if it gets too real, there are modern luxuries.  Shanghai, and Hong Kong, like most city metropolises, are all the same as you would expect.  Shopping, Nightclubs, Trendy Restaurants.  I hardly find it a reason to travel—more a reason to vacation.  Long story short, the people love the same things we do.  So don’t think you’ll go without.  Plenty of travel guides around.


When you’re done with the malls and the dim sum, fast forward to cities built merely as conventions.    The dedication to the exchange of ideas and collaboration is mind blowing.   There is this misconception that China’s economy is about cheap labor and enormous population.  But it’s the lack of infrastructure and unlimited possibilities makes China a land a blank canvas for innovation.  The facts don’t always fit the picture in the press.  But in China we can see it on the streets, buildings, and youth.




We have an opportunity to see a country who has progress so much since the 90’s (!?!) into a world power, in our immediate generation.  Like a story unfolding before our eyes, we get to see what works for China.  And we get to imagine what works for us in these circumstances.  You may find we (as individuals) are merely separated by time and politics.  Maybe in time we’ll be able to address our fears and ignorance.  Maybe even fall in love.


In short,  China is the past, present, and future colliding into singularity.