Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The price of love

As it is Valentine's day I will depart from my usual carping about the latest creative marketing of the technology industry and observe that, according to the BBC, the escalating price of love (or at least the price of dating services) has caused on-line dating revenues to actually drop in the US. Fortunately those romantic Europeans (perhaps the Germans or Swiss, tantalizingly it is not clear) have kept their end up, with Europe's on-line dating market growing 43% this year. It is a tribute to the power of marketing that we all feel obliged to splash out on cards, presents, overpriced flowers and squeeze into overcrowded restaurants all on the same day. However it would seem that we can blame the Romans and even their predecessors for this one rather than a modern greeting card company for this particular annual celebration.

There surely have to be a range of opportunities for technology companies here. For a start, on-line restaurant booking services like Toptable in the UK make it a little easier to find that elusive table. Perhaps someone could come up with a roses futures market that allowed one to hedge against the predictable hike in the price of roses on or around the 14th February? There are already on-line greeting card services, though good luck convincing your loved one that an on-line card is an adequate substitute for a real card.

I can't find a single software acquisition happening today - our industry just has no romance...

Happy Valentine's day to you all.


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