Emma chamberlain Shuts The Rumors Of Dating Ethan DolanGimlet Media is an award-winning narrative podcasting company that aims to help listeners better understand the world and each other. An email you wish you'd never sent. A tweet or facebook photo you regret posting. Send ReplyAll your most embarrassing stories. Record a voicememo of yourself on your phone and send it to undo gimletmedia. Or leave a voicemail at StartUp Season 2 was some pretty terrible journalism self.
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Great find. Who initiated that conversation, and what transpired therein? At what point did Emma and Lauren meet with Jerry Colonna? Did the meeting with Jerry Colonna result in a renegotiated equity split?
That's why this was bad journalism. It distorted, omitted, obfuscated, and misrepresented facts. Listen again to Episodes 8 and 9 -- I believe you're meant to get the impression that Lauren and Emma met with Jerry Colonna BEFORE deciding to transition from a scalable tech startup where equity is very valuable to a modest, sustainable lifestyle business where the value of equity is nebulous at best.
Gotta say I enjoyed reading your post a lot more than I enjoyed listening to the first episodes I gave up on that season after that - talk about cutting your losses early! Like you point out, I think there's an argument to be made about storytelling, creative licence, etc. Mistakes of the past are lessons for the future, so no doubt they'll be looking at what needs to change in the formula for this not to happen again. Perhaps it's just me splitting hairs, but what "technology" did they produce and sell?
Neither of which says "we're a technology company" to me. This is a pet peeve of mine. People like to call any website a "tech" company. I agree with you, that a real tech company either needs to be building hardware or innovating software. I had a longer post written, but then my internet went out, so I'll keep it short. The initial intent of Dating Ring was to be "the uber for online dating. You could simply request a date, and within a certain amount of time, you'd have one.
Trying to pair that with the personal matchmaking services resulted made it a little impractical, I think. Trying to do one or the other might have been more feasible, albeit not necessarily more successful. The people I was speaking with decided Uber was a services company, not a tech company.
Haha yeah, maybe it would have to be some combination of uber and tinder? But even then you'd need massive scale in order to find people who both a are available on the same night, at the same time, and b actually want to see the other person. I think Uber is a tech company that provides a service.
It doesn't have to be distinctly one or the other, and I think they straddle that line pretty well. This is a great post. Season 1 had a pretty high bar set.
It was original and intriguing. Season 2 was not. You've done really well to highlight some of the frustrations I had with it. Ultimately, I think they chose the wrong story. They didn't have access to enough people, the story was very weak and turned into a dud soon after they got on board. In their defence, going with Dating Ring was a risk. As you pointed out, they likely jumped in when Dating Ring was starting to take off, so it might have been the start of something really big.
I'm sure that's what they were hoping for, for a killer Season 2. But their risk didn't pay off. And by broadcasting what they knew was a mistake for a story, and spreading it out over the planned 10 episodes, with mis-leading narratives, and false pretences, they took their listeners for fools. With an update on Gimlet, I don't see them exactly coming round and admitting their mistake. If they were to do that, it should have been 10 episodes ago. I've been formulating a review of the second season for my podcast review blog but I'm not sure I could say anything you didn't - but I do have a couple things to add.
We don't find out, for example that Dating Ring started out with group dates until well into the season episode three or four and the fact is revealed specifically to move the plot forward at a very specific moment because they needed a way to pivot. It's infuriating! They ripped the rug out from under the audience and totally changed the context of a lot of what had come before.
It would be like JK Rowling getting to the end of Harry Potter and revealing that "oh, and Voldemort actually has a giant throbbing weak spot on the back of his head, basically you touch it and he will fall dead to the ground. There is another moment I'm forgetting right now but it's of the same variety: a fact revealed late in the season that should have been revealed earlier but was withheld to build tension artificially.
And I hadn't considered it before because I hadn't gone back and done the leg work yet, but I do think you're right that there WAS a rift between Gimlet and DR and that it became apparent to Blumberg and Chow that their access was going to dry up in a hurry.
I think that's why the editing is so weird and why it feels so drawn and why the discrepancies are there to at all.
It's like they had a big chunk of recordings up to a certain point and were trying to force it to work with what was happening with the story as it happened. Because, at the end of the day, Blumberg and co recognize a good story. And you can tell the story of a company's demise with humanity much better than the one we got here.
You should definitely write a review! I'd love to read it. Let me know if I can help, I have like 20 pages of notes on the subject.
However maybe more interesting is that the writer accidentally says that the podcast focused on Dating Ring "co-founders Emma Tessler and. Apr 23, - That's the question of the day for Lauren Kay and Emma Tessler, co-founders of Dating Ring, an online matchmaking service. The company is. Emma Tessler - Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer @ Dating Ring.
Agreed on the confusingly timed reveals. In looking for events that I could peg to actual dates, I totally overlooked the group-dating thing.
That was something they changed course on while at Y Combinator: It was at YC that they polled their users, and during the last week at YC when they switched to one-on-one dating. The more I think about it, the more I feel like the unexplained relationship between Gimlet and the Dating Ring which I'm assuming to be a rift was actually the most significant journalistic shortcoming if not ethical breach. Here's what I mean:. Why is Gimlet so willing to take the fall for two uncooperative subjects?
They did a whole segment on how the Dating Ring's existence was altered by StartUp We asked for [X] but they delivered [Y] instead. They made it impossible for us to tell this story the way it should have been told.Emma chamberlain Shuts The Rumors Of Dating Ethan Dolan
We're at fault too, of course -- we should have done certain things differently -- but a big reason why this season has all the narrative continuity of a fever dream is because our subjects froze us out. We can't say that'll never happen again, because that's not how journalism works, but we promise we'll be upfront with you about our process when our process has been compromised.
But they didn't do that. That's a bizarre assumption given the demographic. And the fact that they haven't addressed it makes me question their integrity. Great post, I don't feel as negatively towards the series as I think you do, but I find it hard to disagree with any of your points. I think a lot of this can be explained by a lack of material being stretched over a set number of episodes - as you said, most likely due to an uncooperative company.
Some valid points here. For No 2, in their defense maybe the former CTO didn't want to be interviewed? It seems a pretty obvious person to include, fair question though. The apparent rift is a pretty big stretch too, there are many things that could have caused DR's radio silence, mainly the company falling into a death spiral.
I think you're being way to hard on these folks. This kind of storytelling as you said, they make no claim of journalism has never been done before and its entirely possible that they profiled a company that had one blip on the radar just as it was about to implode. That happens in real life all the time, and it made for some good radio.
I enjoyed season 1 much more as well but definitely not because Startup was being dishonest here, more like the company and market place were just not that interesting and ultimately failed, that's part of most startups and businesses too.
To the Dating Ring Community: After an amazing five years of getting the chance to set up members, Dating Ring shut its doors on August 31, We set out. Sep 10, - Emma Eiber Tessler and Benjamin Samuel Jacoff were married Sept. She is also a founder of Dating Ring, a matchmaking company based. Dating Ring is an online dating site that users professional matchmakers for Area, East Coast, Northeastern US Founded Date Founders Emma Tessler.
We were spoiled with Gimlet. I'm admittedly being hard on them, and I hope it doesn't seem meanspirited. I was mostly trying to explain why I was personally disappointed.
If StartUp isn't trying to uphold any journalistic standard, it's unfair of me to hold them to one.
Emma dating ring
They should have at least said, "We reached out to Katie to talk about her time at Dating Ring, but she declined to comment. Sure they were having issues, just not the issue Alex said they were having. Alex shepherded Lauren and Emma into this room ostensibly because he didn't feel comfortable with Lauren first hearing about Emma's dissatisfaction re: equity on the podcast. But by the time they taped that segment, Lauren and Emma had already had a conversation re: equity. So why didn't Alex at least pretend that elephant had been addressed?
I'm not saying the conversation wasn't illuminating, I'm saying it was staged under false pretenses, and that wasn't necessary, causing me to question its real purpose and value. But according to the podcast, the Dating Ring wasn't in a death spiral at that point; in fact, they were allegedly thriving at a never-before-achieved level, bringing in 10x more clients per week than they did pre-StartUp.
It doesn't add up. Again I don't mean to be overly critical, I'm just saying why I felt the season failed as journalism, which is a high bar to begin with, and not one they claimed to be clearing. I guess it was just a letdown after Season 1. But I'll be back for Season 3! They referred to themselves as "journalists" several times over the course of the ep. DashSnowden, thanks for your post. You made excellent points, and started a fascinating conversation I've been hungry to see.
And you didn't even mention how this season did a lot of weird reveals. Like "we discovered people didn't like group dates. That didn't come up before.
Or when they mentioned that they didn't just want to be "the Uber of dating", they wanted to literally be Uber for on-demand dating. Except that never really went anywhere at all, before or after they said it. I acknowledge that some of these points are valid.
But to me, story telling is more important and I enjoyed the season. Business issues that were raised generally resonated. If this were the Iran nuclear negotiations, getting the details right would be more critical.
But as you say, this doesn't claim to be journalism. It doesn't have to be the Iran nuclear negotiations! I think the most apt comparison is Serial: That podcast was put to an intense degree of scrutiny and it came back virtually bulletproof. However, you could argue that comparing Serial to StartUp is like comparing The Wire to CSI: Miami, and maybe you'd be right -- it's not that one is better than the other, it's that they're not even remotely similar.
I do agree that there was much to enjoy this season! I learned a lot about Y Combinator, the difficulties of being a woman trying to raise funds, and the struggles of running an online dating business, and I did find all that very informative! Agree with DashSnowden, if the goal of the podcast was to be entertaining, I think it was successful. I enjoyed listening to every single episode.
Yes, maybe Startup didn't plan on the Dating Ring to "fail", but it's good to see what the reality is. Most startup end up failing and it's difficult. I may be naive but I don't think they are trying to build the show in a way that would entice future startups to participate. People heard them crying, having a breakdowns, realizing that they're failing. This doesn't seem very appealing to me! It could be something as normal as "our company is in trouble and we aren't the kind of people who can blow smoke up people's asses about how awesome we're doing.
Unrelenting positivity can be delusional or it can be what gets you through. And if you don't believe in yourself and your company from the tips of your toenails on up, it's going to be extraodinarily hard to keep the PR machine going. That was my first thought prior to hearing the finale -- I actually wondered if the StartUp finale would end with the Dating Ring closing its doors entirely.
In fact, the finale presented one of the season's very few bits of empirical data, in a conversation between Alex Blumberg and Lauren Kay. Per that conversation, prior to the airing of StartUp's Season 2 premiere, the Dating Ring was adding between customers per cycle I'm assuming this is per week but it's not clear.
So why go silent in WEEK 3? They weren't in trouble and they wouldn't have been blowing smoke; the company was actually doing awesome! I can understand displaying humility and reserve -- I'm not saying they should have been on Twitter 10 times a day saying, "Guys this thing is blowing up! We have so many new members; join now so we can match you with your soulmate! However, I do find it odd that they stopped communicating publicly altogether during this period of exponential growth and massive publicity.
These aren't media-shy women quite the opposite and they're accustomed to working the PR machine even in lean times: The week that StartUp's Season 2 premiere aired, they did fairly extensive interviews with the New York Times and Fortune Mag.
Crowing about how well your company is doing, when that company relies on having LOTS of members, is what you do. Join the party, everyone else is! That many new users means a lot more plates spinning I mean It's also possible they lost the passwords? Or maybe they decided for other reasons that free promotion and an active social presence would be detrimental to growth?
But I guess I can't prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. If it helps, they both kept their personal accounts relatively active throughout this period, and Lauren even answered a handful of benign questions related to things she'd said on StartUp, they just didn't use those accounts to share links to StartUp, nor did they say after April 30"Hey we're the stars of this cool podcast, you guys should listen!
It seems like this is what a season or some episodes look like when the subject isn't cooperative. And by "cooperative" I don't just mean whether they'll talk to you, because Dating Ring certainly did, all the time. I also mean the situation that's in part out of any one person's hands and impossible to predict. With this giant list of critique, the patchwork used to make a long arc out of a story that was closing too early becomes more evident. I am so supportive of Gimlet and the folks behind it.
I chalk it up to a really unfortunate situation that honestly may be the nature of the beast in the start up world. I wonder if this will affect their choices next time. Remember that they're a start-up, but a successful one. They might not have the tools and maybe no one does to ID a company that will soar or plummet. And I mean no disrespect towards Dating Ring or any entrepreneurs. I enjoyed season 2. Not perfect, but good enough to keep me interested.
Not sure how good it was as journalism, but I liked it as documentary. It seems the Startup team started reporting a little too late, but not too late enough.
It's probably pretty tricky to find a company that is in the very early stages of formation, and they are willing to have so much of their process documented, and actually be interesting. But the tape wasn't rolling -- too many conversations happened off-mic.
Too few details were revealed. The co-founders were cagy and guarded. The stuff they delivered was self-serving pap. Who cares how Lauren's mother felt about the Dating Ring's transition from a tech startup to a lifestyle company? Who cares about how Emma met her boyfriend? How is that in any way relevant when we were never told, for example, how many people were employed by the Dating Ring, and whether any of those people were laid off due to the transition?
Episode 3 had covered the Dating Ring's post-YC fundraising — which started I'm talking here about Episode 8, when Lauren and Emma are dragged in to. View Emma Tessler's profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. Emma has 3 Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer at The Dating Ring. The latest Tweets from Emma Tessler (@emmatessler). Cofounder of @thedatingring. @ycombinatior alum. Floundering hot mess on S2 of @podcaststartup.
I'm not convinced we'll get a third season of StartUp because I think, for Gimlet, the storytelling logistics are too treacherous and unpredictable. Meanwhile, there's no real upside for the business being profiled. This isn't Shark Tank -- these people aren't selling a revolutionary new sponge, and they're not putting their product on prime time TV in front of 8 million viewers, and maybe bringing on Mark Cuban as an investor and strategic partner.
It's not Bar Rescue either: Alex Blumberg isn't spending a hundred grand remodeling these startups' shitty offices, re-training their dispirited employees, and reigniting their founders' passion -- all presented for maximum uplift, and aired in front of 2 million viewers. This is a podcast that requests near-total access and offers no reward beyond warts-and-all exposure to a relatively small group of listenersper week with a very particular taste profile. Meanwhile, these founders are trying to launch businesses, and by participating, they're more likely to come off as liars, frauds, and fools than visionaries.
Same behavior as witnessed on their social media accounts: They shared Episode 1 of the podcast on their own website's front page -- and that's the ONLY episode they shared -- and they also did a post in their site's "blog" section in April titled "Why We Chose To Bare All To StartUp.
It's certainly not like they were using the site to actively promote themselves or the podcast after that initial burst of enthusiasm. She was fine with the first charge, but didn't want to pay for the second one, because she hadn't found someone yet. No doubt.