Silicon Valley Geek

New Year Q & A with CEO of Linx Dating

New Years is right around the corner. Make 2014 YOUR Year to find the love of your life. I spend a lot of my days talking with prospects about Linx and answering questions about the business. Since there are so many inquiries coming in with 2014 on the horizon, I thought it would be helpful to post a basic Q & A about the Linx network.

Q: It sounds like you work mostly with men who need help dating, true? Can you generalize about your clientele and what they are looking for—long-term relationship, or something more casual?

A: Linx is an offline dating and social network created for the commitment-minded… professionals looking for a hookup or a quick fix are not our target and we have an extensive screening process for all candidates that weeds out those who are not “in it for the long haul.”

Though we do a lot of date coaching work with some of our clients to help them be successful in the early stages of dating (getting past date one, to date two, three, and so on), we are doing this to nurture budding relationships that, projecting ahead, could be perfect matches and ultimately marriage.

Of course, not all Linx clients are on exactly the same timeline, but all of them are seeking, and comfortable with, commitment.

Linx is one of the few matchmaking networks that represents BOTH men and women as clients and, depending on the type of membership, either or both will pay fees.

For example, we represent many females who are struggling as they try to locate a match for marriage. This typical female client is healthy inside and out, feminine, very well-educated (often Ivy League caliber), over-achieving, and has an impressive career. The dating background on such a candidate is usually binary – either (1) she has dated too many eligible, yet emotionally unavailable men, who cannot commit to her and has been repeatedly burned, so now it’s GAME ON, like RIGHT NOW; or (2) on the other extreme, she has not dated that much at all, is not really sure where to turn as she refuses to do online dating (or is highly skeptical of it), has zero interest in dating colleagues from work, and has severe time constraints. We work with all ages of women and represent many women who have been married before and have children (often children in their teens and even out of the house).

And, just like the women, my male clients also have it all going on! When people think Silicon Valley, they think all the men are like young Bill Gates clones running around with “coke bottle glasses” and pocket protectors….sort of like out of Revenge of the Nerds. My clients are anything but socially inept. Like any other guys out there, they have dated in varying degrees.

My typical male client has a graduate degree, a great job, exudes confidence, and now it’s all about finding the right woman. It’s like a light goes off in his head and there is no stopping him. This type of guy settles down and game playing is simply not in his DNA. Even if I gave him a guide to be a player like the schools for PUA (pick up artist), he wouldn’t know how to do it. Many of our male clients are very presentable, polished, and are perfectly social. We represent a lot of male clients at companies such as: GOOG, CSCO, FB, ORCL, Palantir, Box, AAPL, LNKD, eBAY (including lots of hot smaller VC backed start-ups) in the tech space and countless VCs on Sand Hill Road and savvy angel investors who remain pretty off the grid and are pretty private sorts of guys.

One common thread I see, from both my male and female clients, is that they have extraordinarily high standards in what they seek, and they absolutely should, when they come to a service such as Linx. No one is telling them to “settle.” But there is a difference between being discriminating and being picky – the latter connotes an attitude of being unproductively critical and not ever quite being satisfied.

More often than not, when clients first approach me, it is a “needle in a haystack” match that they want in terms of endless objective characteristics. I really work hard to determine what is MOST important to them and to go after those characteristics. For example, what if a woman says she won’t date a guy shorter than 6 feet tall and I manage to locate a man with every other important quality she wants and he is 5’ 10”? She is likely eliminating a huge portion of the population by not being flexible with that…

Not surprisingly, in Silicon Valley, my highly educated and analytical clientele often apply the same methodology to their dating that made them successful in their careers, and that does not always work because here we are dealing with matters of the heart.

Q: A lot of employers like Google strive to give their employees everything they need—food, entertainment, even massages—mostly so they’ll be happy working all the time and never leave. Does that make it more difficult for some to go out with a stranger and work for something—a kiss (or more) and maybe a second date? Since people work all the time, office romances are not unheard of. This happens in other businesses too, obviously, from Washington to Wall Street, but are there particular dangers, or advantages to the office romance here in Silicon Valley?

A: Well, with the kinds of perks that Google or Facebook or Palantir, for example, offer to employees, it is easy to see why an employee, on the margin, might stay at work rather than venture out. Google really started this trend a decade ago as the first startup company that tried to preserve a startup culture – like a fun, innovation playground – as the company grew, and that has become more of an expectation now amongst typical young talent qualified to work at these companies.

If you think about it, the culture at these companies for 20 and even early 30-somethings is not unalike the dorm experience at a top university – project teams bond over what they do all day… it’s more about living to work than it is about working to live, and so you do everything together. The movie “The Internship” might have been fiction and was probably a bit exaggerated but it was pretty much on target. With that in mind, it is not surprising that this culture (like college dorms) would lead to inter-office dating. When you have lots of smart, eligible people around that can empathize on each other’s current life mission, it is very attractive, casual, and convenient. At Facebook, for example, it is known to be very common.

All of that said, most companies, of course, frown upon their employees dating one another. And many of my women clients (and some men, too) tell me that they do not want to do this primarily because it could jeopardize how hard they have worked to get to where they have gotten at such young ages and thus harm their reputations – it often is not worth it. Others have even said “you have one shot” if you do this and it had better be “the one.” This statement is very akin to the clients we have at Stanford University GSB. Otherwise, you could get a reputation that sticks with you.

Reputation is everything and only you can control this. Once you start dipping the pen in the ink at work, the problem can be that people talk, gossip, and the spotlight can be on the person you’re dating and not what you are really meant to be focused on – which is work. So it can be a calculated risk.

Announcing New Search | 27-Year Old Attractive Female in Palo Alto

Our client is a beautiful, funny, and sweet 27 year old who is Caucasian, 5’9″, athletic and feminine. She is a true California girl with bright blond hair, blue eyes, a fair, clear complexion, long legs, and is busty.

She is stylish, very feminine, and active- sharing with us that 2014 is her year to get serious with her yoga practice. She enjoys walks, the occasion hike, spin class, and cardio to keep active and healthy.

O
ur client moved from San Francisco to Palo Alto to be near her work in high-tech investments. She works for a top-tier firm in the Silicon Valley and finds great fulfillment in her work. She is well educated, hard working, responsible, and very smart.

Although she is only 27 years old, she is ready to get serious when it comes to finding love. She’s had a couple of serious relationships although has never been married and would consider herself to be marriage minded. She’s excellent with children and would embrace the opportunity to have a family of her own one day! In fact, she is pretty traditional and would like to raise a family adhering to more traditional gender roles. couple+cooking

She is down-to-earth, loyal, balanced, sensitive (yet strong-willed), an independent thinker, compassionate, and loving. Her hobbies outside of the scope of work are: her close friendships, family (who are local to the Bay Area), cooking (she’s a skilled cook), volunteering, snowboarding, and travel. She has continued her education through various classes Stanford University and would love to learn calligraphy this year.

Her best suited match is hands down a guy who will make her laugh! He is between the ages of 28-40 years old. He is Caucasian or Asian American (yet tall). Height is important to make this match work. You are between the range of 5’10”-sky is the limit. Personality is key. Did we mention you are funny (maybe with a humorous yet slightly cynical view of the world)?

You are social, masculine, intelligent, family centric (ideally you have a great relationship with your family), responsible, and full of integrity. In terms of career- you’re a professional who is ambitious and well-liked by your colleagues.

If you are eligible or know anyone who might make a great match for this young client of ours, please email Amy at: amy@linxdating.com

There are NO FEES with this opportunity to potentially find the love of your life.

Just In! Another Match Me To!

From an anonymous female reader….

I’m loving your blog; Ben Rattray would definitely be be at the top of my list too. An attractive and intelligent man positively impacting the world? Yes, please!JGbPexwcbPbWFYl-556x313-noPad

Looks like a trend in Silicon Valley is that females are desiring the holistic embodiment of a guy. He is cute (wide ranging definition of course), intelligent, influential, dynamic, well rounded, and creating positive impact for the world around him. Are there more guys like Ben out there who might not be as well-known?

Extra Extra | Casting Call

CASTING CALL : SINGLE YOUNG MEN FOR TV STORY !!! News_Flash_-_Retro_Clip_Art_17344964
I am looking for a youthful single guy in Silicon Valley to be the lead character for a very high-end TV news story who tends to date older women 40+. This is for a media project filming next Thursday April 25th in Palo Alto for national TV. Amazing exposure if you are single and searching! Questions/got you intrigued?
Email me asap if you’re my guy! amy@linxdating.comRubiks-Cube-Adult-Hat

Date Ready on a Budget

I just picked up a copy of ELLE and discovered some new fashion sites to browse. One in particular piqued my interest called Closet Rich. A site coined as “Curated Fashion Resale.”  As I am always thinking about how my clients can look fabulous for their exciting dates and at the same time appeal to the ever visual male creature, the notion of curated resale, isn’t a bad one…especially if you like designer and a little trendy on a budget.

I am totally new on the site but did notice one little sort of annoying thing as a potential customer. A lot of cute things my eyes zoomed in on are “sold out.” A site as such should constantly replenish sold out pieces with new inventory. Please note, I have not purchased from this site, so cannot speak to the experience. Anyways, here are a few date appropriate items I found for you readers.

1b9269e5484f4314894e2ca10e71e0a6_820x820This could be super cute with fab black pumps and simple Kate Spade gum drop earrings…some bangles…and a little clutch. 
Whitley Kross

Geo print strapless knee length w/ ruffle waist

Size: S
Condition: Excellent

Questions? emailorders@closetrich.com.

SKU: KK034$96 $85

b1c642eceac84937af1edd54d7de6441_820x820ee696aea2613445cb6b27dcb2468dd53_820x820 A girl needs to use good underpinnings aka Spanx if you are over 30….squeeze it all in dolly…pair sexy stilettos or metallic heels, fun chandelier earrings. 

Kelly Wearstler

knit front and silk Dress
Size: S
Condition Excellent
Questions? email orders@closetrich.com
SKU: CZ010
$13012dca73ee03d4692a0275ae3d1063a64_820x820

This is a cute look  for date two or three. Pair with chic flat boots for winter. Perfect for a casual day date where you are doing something like a farmers market stroll with coffee or sightseeing together. 

Vintage
Red white and blue long sleeve button up dress

Size: Small
Condition: Great – one front button missing, reflected in price, see image for detail
SKU: NV002
$75cb4b23082abc4582a1b132844741c0a5_820x82080b130940138416c8ef98c92d0bd3394_820x820This is sold out but a super hot dress, right? Love the strappy elastic back and white skirt by Alicia and Olivia. This is a great first date dress. Pair it with any color fabulous heel- think bright pops of color like yellow, pink, green…anything really and a fantastic pashmina with a little subtle sequin embellishment or with an edgy leather jacket. Remove jacket or pashmina when you sit down for dinner. He will be drooling with hopes of a second date when you wear this! Also the back lends itself to the perfect place for his hand to touch your skin walking down the street.  

Valentine’s Date Scenario II: Adventurous and Quirky

hope you enjoyed the outfits our friends at Tog + Porter put together for my ‘Over the Moon For You’ date.  This next date I gave them is for a very different couple, dating scenario and relationship status. This young couple is on their second date, so while booking a date on Valentine’s definitely indicates a strong mutual interest, it’s best they keep things light and fun. Adventurous_Quirky

He takes his match to the House of Air trampoline park in San Francisco for some jumping around for this Valentine’s Day. Her hearts aflutter with the date invitation, but what does a girl wear for something so sporty and active? He suggests cocktails and sushi in Cow Hollow to follow. She wants to be perceived as low maintenance and wants the transition from bouncing around at the park into dinner date to be smooth sailing.

They are in the early stages of dating, so she isn’t at the comfort level of fully being herself and “requiring” 20 minutes to freshen up back at his pad post park romp. She knows he will probably be in a freshly washed hoodie and jeans but doesn’t want to dress like a nerd too. One drink leads to two, two to three and tummies full with delicious sushi.

She makes a bold move inviting him to her home for date three to cook together. She’s never been one to “ask a guy out” but it’s 2013 and for her, there are no “rules.” He accepts and leans over for a kiss! She loves how quirky he is and he loves how confident she is. He tells her he thinks her outfit is super cute and was impressed how low maintenance she is compared to other girls. She nods and grins.

Before they can help find the perfect outfit for this young lady, the stylists at Tog + Porter said they would need a little more info about her. They wanted answers to all the questions they’d ask in one of their face-to-face Skype style consults. What’s a normal day look like for her? What’s her budget? Style goals? Of course, I would know all of this about any of my clients, so I rattled off a plausible profile.

She’s in marketing by day and typically opts for casual skirts, trousers and day dresses. Her budget is more J Crew than Neiman Marcus and up to this point, she has relied on her mom to take her out shopping for a lot of her wardrobe since her salary is rather modest.

Her date is a super lax “Silicon Valley geek” coder type who opts for Zuck-like hoodies, jeans, and flip flops pretty much every time she has ever seen him. He’s cute but she never thought she’d be so into a guy so laid back in his style. She needs to look cute yet super comfortable doing her lemon drops and channeling her ‘perfect 10′ Nadia Comaneci moves.Adventurous_Quirky_Option 1

Flying high doesn’t mean you have to leave cute and flirtatious at home. We love the feminine fit and flare of this adorable peplum jersey top paired with easy and memorable red straight leg pants and notice-me shoes. Since we know this client is budget conscience, we’ve broken down the total cost of the look: Peplum Top: $59, Maria Pants: $98, Sam Edelman Flats: $105, Bijouterie Bracelet: $25, BCBG Handbag: $98. Total cost: $385.

This second look is more relaxed in an effortlessly sexy kind of way. It’s based around an off-the-shoulder tunic sweater in a breathtaking hue paired with dark skinnies and an easy on and off bootie, topped off with a touch of glam. Wearing a tank or cami underneath is a good idea, just in case you break a sweat doing toe-touches. And even if the tunic never comes off, a peek of lace never hurts.Adventurous_Quirky_Option2

 

Again, they’ve broken down the cost of each item like they would in any T+P shipment: Wide Neck Tunic Sweater: $79, Multi Stone Necklace: $39, Paige Skyline Straight Skinnies: $169, Lace Cami $23, Dolce Vita Ankle boot: $159. Total Cost: $469.

Like what you see? Let the stylists at Tog + Porter help you look your best for any occasion. If you want help with your Valentine’s Day outfit, be sure and sign up ASAP as time is running out. Similarly, if you are a guy who wants to totally outsource your dating, ping me. I’m happy to be your romantic concierge 

Still struggling on what to do for Valentine’s? Did you read Date Scenario I for a classic night out on the town? Also, stay tuned for Date Scenario III: My House for Dinner. Coming Soon!

Busiest January Ever!

It’s only January 15th and we are swamped! Love all of you writing us and clients coming in to renew and catch up with us as well. Today we had a meeting with a gorgeous 50-something woman, followed up a catch up with a 50-something VIP gentleman who is super sexy and successful (if you are a 30-40 gorgeous gal, ping me ASAP…this guy wants marriage and babies!), and a lovely interview with a charming and sophisticated 28-year old East Coast bred female who is preppy and smart!  Lots of calls today with clients and matchmaking too.San Mateo-20130115-00762 copy

Lovely fresh flowers at our office this week…..

Tomorrow we have interviews with two gentleman, one who is an accomplished scientist in the Valley and beyond cerebral (early 40’s) and another who is a late 40’s very good looking (slightly shy) venture capitalist.  I love LOVE love my job!

I just ran into two separate couples that I set up over the weekend too. One was at a dinner locally with my hubbie. I did a double take and saw one of our younger Linx couples (both mid 20’s) sitting together with his mother at dinner in the booth next to us. So cute! He introduced me to his mother after their dinner. This couple is so fabulous and living together! Both their VERY FIRST introduction through Linx. Talk about success. The next day, I ran into another Linx couple (both are in their 60’s). He was her first match and she was his second introduction. They were seeing a film together (Life of Pi…a major mist see but be prepared for a serious tear jerker) and I had never seen her so happy before! At peace, radiant, happy, and looking healthy. To find that elusive chemistry….San Mateo-20130115-00763

I‘ve also gotten good feedback from clients about matches they (at first) were a little skeptical about. Maybe from a different look, career, or age. Being open-minded and having a malleable mind and approach is KEY to successful matchmaking. Too restrictive, unrealistic, or close-minded simply doesn’t work for us at Linx. You must let go of the list and trust in this unique ultra-personalized process of matchmaking to see the success you desire. Sometimes matches do not work out after a few dates or months. That is life. Nothing is predicable yet in being open, you substantially increase your odds of meeting that incredible match to call your future husband or wife! IMG-20130114-00759My project is almost finished. A cozy new “passionate” nook in my study. Walls are done. Now waiting to get some art work for my mom to complete the look.