September 9, 2014

Introducing Tinder for Boats

MY NEW START-UP is going to make me a fortune. I freely admit that it’s very similar to Tinder, the latest and greatest mobile application for online dating. Tinder, which judges people based on appearance alone, has created a worldwide storm among the legions of lonely hearts seeking love and cuddles, but there is one important difference between Tinder and my app:  mine is Tinder for Boats.

Those of you who use Tinder already, and  know the difference between left-swiping and right-swiping, will want to know a little behind the theory driving Tinder for Boats. Well, to start with, we all hate selling a long-loved boat to someone who, we deeply suspect, doesn’t deserve or appreciate it — someone who is simply not going to look after it in the way we did. Now, you can often recognize this sort of person just by looking at them. They don’t do their buttons up right, they wear non-matching socks, they have splodges on their shirts, and rusty rings through their eyebrows. They don’t comb their hair nicely or carry a clean handkerchief.

But it’s very difficult to deny them a purchase after you have met them face-to-face. I mean, what sort of excuse can you offer? “I’m not going to sell my boat to you because you’ve got snot on your  handkerchief.”?

The buyer, on the other hand, doesn’t want to waste his time looking at a boat being sold by an obvious rogue, one of those with shifty eyes and a cunning mouth, whose ears stick out, and has a broken nose and facial tattoos.You can just tell he has stolen this boat, or left at half-a-dozen boatyards a whole trail of unpaid bills that you will inherit if you’re foolish enough to buy the boat.

So TFB (Tinder for Boats) will show two pictures, the seller and the boat in one, and the prospective buyer in the other.

Thus, the buyer can inspect a boat with picture of its seller, and seller can take a good long gander at a prospective buyer. If both of these people swipe right, because they like the looks of each other, they can make mutual contact and do a deal. If, however, one or the other swipes left, then there is no contact and no embarrassment on either side.

Of course, we all understand that the real Tinder is to a certain extent driven by sex. Well, actually, quite a large extent. But then, isn’t everything?  So I should warn you that unscrupulous boat owners with broken noses and sticking-out ears might be tempted to hire sweet young things in provocative outfits to pose as sellers on Tinder for Boats. In that case, just be quite sure in your own mind that you know which goods you’re buying.

Today’s Thought
I gotta tell ya, with our $2.4 billion in profits last year, they gave me a great big bonus. Really, it’s almost obscene.
— Lee Iacocca, Time, 1 Apr 85

“Did I tell you about the cruel blow that fate struck my parents in New York?”
“No — I thought you were born in Seattle.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

1 comment:

Renee said...

Brilliant. I would back this project on Kickstarter.