New dating site aims to lead way in NZ

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2014

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Small Business

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Dating site Twosome aims to be the market leader in online dating by the end of the year.

Dylan Bland launched Twosome on Valentines Day and already has more than 1200 users. Bland, who is also behind the Mighty Ape daily deal site and nzflatmates.co.nz, says he hopes to have 200,000 to 300,000 users by year's end.

"We're trying to take the judgment out of online dating."

Twosome caters to people of various ages, sexual orientation and those just looking for friendship, Bland says.

Why did you start your own business?

Owning your own business allows you the freedom to be creative and work on projects you care about. You set your own goals and you're responsible for achieving them. Nobody can place limits on you.

What have been the biggest obstacles in starting up your business?

Balancing my personal needs with wanting to get everything finished as quickly as possible.

Name one thing you've learnt in your business journey so far and from who.

My friend Simon who runs Mighty Ape taught me to focus on things that will make the biggest difference to the success of the business.

To always stay focused on the next most important thing. It's easy to become distracted by minor details.

What are your business and personal goals?

My business goals are to create a site that people love to use and recommend to friends. I hope people's lives are made happier as a result. Personally, I want to work on projects that matter to me and enjoy quality time with friends and family.

Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs?

Choose supportive friends and business partners with similar values and long-term goals.

What have you sacrificed to be an entrepreneur?

You're the one driving development and keeping a project moving. You sacrifice the ability to completely take your hands off the wheel.

Are you prepared for failure?

I think it's smart to expect not everything will work out as planned. The key is to enjoy your work, enjoy the journey.

Who is your business guru, or who do you admire, and why?

It's cliche, but I've always looked up to innovators like Steve Jobs. A lesser-known role model is Ryan Holiday, a young marketer and entrepreneur in the United States.

What would you do if you weren't running your own business?

I can't imagine doing anything different but maybe I would be a writer or journalist.

What do you do in your downtime?

I enjoy cars and driving, gaming, reading and writing. I also love spending time with my friends and family.

What has been your biggest disappointment since you started this journey?

The frustration that things take longer than expected. I'm learning how to be more patient.

Where is your favourite place to relax?

Go to a cafe and enjoy good food while reading a book.

What is one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you?

At university I studied politics and psychology. I have no formal training in business, marketing or computer science. Fairfax NZ

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