David Minns is the creator of many alternative and subversive modern dating apps.
Whichever way you look at it, modern dating is very different than in generations gone by. Like many industries, technology has revolutionised the market and opened new worlds and possibilities to those who are looking to find the one.
Apps such as Tinder, Hinge and Thursday have swept the market and dominated in recent years. While these apps will be typically viewed as leaning towards a heterosexual audience, the market is still filled with options for all lifestyles and backgrounds. Whether you are heterosexual, gay, polyamorous, transgender; seeking fun, friendship or forever, there is a multiplicity of apps catering for the needs and wants of a variety of different lifestyles.
One man who recognised that the idea of traditional dating was outdated is entrepreneur David Minns. He has made it his mission to delve into the dating subculture to understand what people are looking for and to make it easier for people to find their dating preferences, niches and represent themselves fairly.
How it Started
The dad-of-two began building his online dating empire after a career of working in Formula 1, as well as the aeronautical and shipping industries. Whilst it may be a world away from the glitz and glamour of Silverstone and Monaco, David has used his wealth of knowledge and expertise to develop every part of the apps he has created, winning multiple awards on the way.
“I created my first dating product in 2007 called Saucy Dates, which was for the casual dating market. Over the years I created a couple more and it soon became apparent that I could design a dating platform and use this to power multiple sites across a broad range of niches.”
David’s initial success with Saucy Dates pre-dates many of the dating apps that are now used today for similar purposes. It wouldn’t be for another five years that Tinder was born, which is now arguably the most well-known app on the marketplace. This indicates the direction the dating market was beginning to shift to has been happening for well over a decade.
Saucy Dates was the first of many apps designed and founded by David. His back catalogue currently stands at 17 different dating websites and apps catering to niche communities and interests.
Where the Success Lies
With dating sites catering specifically to balding men and partners looking for this type, men with smaller genitals (and the other end of the spectrum), as well as apps for gamers and people looking for larger age gaps, there is clearly a stigma-breaking approach to David’s work.
“My apps are designed to help people who may struggle on a general dating app, and I feel this is important to people’s morale and happiness. Members of a niche dating site have a closer affinity with the service as there is more of a community feel.”
Because many of David’s dating app subjects are unfairly mocked in the dating app world, and oftentimes can be viewed as fairly taboo or risqué, it’s natural for users to initially explore as their interests are piqued. Thankfully for David, and the people of these communities, this has only helped increase their popularity.
“One reason why these apps and sites have been successful and popular is due to their shock value. Online dating is a saturated market, and no one is interested in another site that lets users swipe left and right. I feel you need to offer something different to stand out.”
David’s greatest success has come with Dinky One: a site aiming specifically at males with ‘lighter lunchboxes’ than the average man on the street, and the partners that might find this attractive.
“When Dinky One was launched in March 2020 I really didn’t know how the world would react or if people would even join. Thanks to media interest and peoples’ curiosity, the site’s popularity has been huge.”
The Impact for the Users
The success of Dinky One may have ushered in a whole host of media attention and some jokes to boot; however, this isn’t a joking matter to David.
Since launching he has found unprecedented, and somewhat unexpected, consequences. “Dinky One in particular has proved to be incredibly popular with gay and bisexual men, who now make close to a quarter of the male user base.”
Despite this community not being the sole original target market, Dinky One has become a home for men across various communities and sexual orientations, helping provide a place of respite that’s free from any kind of humiliation. “Dinky One lets smaller men date people outside their circle of friends with the safety that everyone using the site is fully aware. Members can focus on shared interests and get on with dating.”
While the initial interest may come from media attention, it’s fascinating to hear the success David’s apps have had. His message when creating these innovative dating experiences is always the same: “When it comes to dating and sexual relationships, there is pressure on all genders to conform to the ideals set by TV, film and even porn.”
By creating these digital safe spaces for people to find love and friendships without being reduced to one physical attribute or sexual preference, David hopes to rid the dating world of preconceived stigmas and help open our horizons.