Former Obama Speech Writer, With Memoir Out Today, Met His Fiancé on OkCupid

We sat down for a Q&A with David Litt

“Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years,” released today, marks David Litt’s debut into the book world. The memoir regales readers with stories of what it was like for Litt when, at 24, he became one of the youngest speechwriters in White House history, getting hired by Obama’s team in 2010. We, however, were more interested in the story of how he met Jacqui, his now fiance. Spoiler: it was on OkCupid.

While “Thanks, Obama” largely focuses on Litt’s time with the 44th President, it does dive into other aspects of Litt’s life while he was working at the White House — online dating included, and OkCupid gets a mention. So we sat down with the couple to get the details that the book reviews won’t cover.

Litt’s debut memoir was released today.

First, tell us about your OkCupid experience?

David: As a speechwriter, I like to revise things — so the idea that you could write out your profile and then rewrite it was something that I liked…that you could really let your message sit there before sending it so you could give it some extra thought.

Jacqui: Just to be clear, his first message was one sentence. I had joined OkCupid when I came to D.C. for law school and I wanted to date outside of my social circle; I knew I didn’t want to date other law students.

How did you two meet on OkCupid?

David: I had kept my location parameters to just the Washington area at first but one day I was like fine, I’ll message someone who lives in Virginia.

Jacqui: At the time, I lived in Arlington and had actually just taken a “dating break” when David messaged me.

Hot tip: Expanding your location settings lets you connect with more people who share your tastes — just maybe not your taste in neighborhoods.

Our iconic questions are pretty famous, and we recently added a set of political questions that now have over 5 million responses. How important do you think it is for you and your partner to agree on politics?

Jacqui: My dad’s a Republican and my mom’s a Democrat so I always thought it wasn’t a big deal. And I love arguing — as long as I’m mostly on the same page with the other person.

David: I feel the same way about arguing, but politics and dating are different now. Politics is no longer tangential like it was before. On OkCupid, I’d pick up on clues to how a person felt politically based on interests in things like Parks and Rec versus camo.

The couple got engaged the weekend after election day. “I planned the proposal figuring that Hillary would win,” says David. “The silver lining was that we had a monopoly on good news for two full weeks.”

David, do you think any parallels can be drawn between what it’s like working in the White House and dating?

David: The book is about how, when I started at the White House, I was in way over my head. It covers the /…/

eHarmony Has Eyes For Direct Response On Social

DIGIDAY – Sep 18 – After years of resistance, eHarmony is ready to commit to social media. eHarmony is recruiting marketers to turn the medium, which it has previously used for brand building, into a direct-response channel. CEO, Grant Langston, plans to expand its marketing team. „We have all these [search, display, affiliate and social] functions, but we want to bring in fresh perspectives and try new tricks,“ added Langston. He was coy about what those „new tricks“ could be but revealed the lifestyle articles it publishes on social networks such as Facebook are its „best-performing tool.“ eHarmony’s most recent social media efforts have focused on brand building by using humor.

by Seb Joseph
See full article at Digiday

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Summarized by the Courtland Brooks team


Interview With Besedo CEO, Patrik Frisk

OPW INTERVIEW – Sep 18 – I’ve known of Besedo for several years now. They’ve been diligently serving the dating industry for all those years, and have recently merged with IOSquare to provide a more intelligent and cost-effective means of doing User Generated Content review. Of course, this is a high priority for dating sites to clean up profiles and photos, and protect against abuse, scammers, spammers, the obscene and the obnoxious. Users want a high quality experience without the surprise of finding noxious profiles and content and communications. So Besedo is doing well and have managed to service and maintain the loyalty of Meetic (Match Group) for almost 4 years, no less. Here’s my interview with the CEO, Patrik Frisk. (Full Disclosure: Besedo is a Courtland Brooks client) – Mark Brooks

What does Besedo do?
Besedo is a company that was founded on the principle of helping our clients create trust between their users. Essentially what we do is we help clients with content moderation and customer support. We’ve been doing that for over fifteen years.

What is your founding story?
The principle has always been that we are wanting to help our clients to generate trust between their users. Our founder started the company over fifteen years ago here in Sweden. We have always been working in the marketplaces and with dating companies. We have been quite focused on classifieds. That’s how we got started; that’s how we got into the business. Over the years, the red thread has always been content moderation, creating quality content, making sure that we fight fraud, and all the issues around that. That’s what we’ve been focusing on. We have been working quite anonymously over the last several years; focusing quite a lot on bigger players. Over the last two to three years, we have opened our product strategy and are focusing on smaller clients. I hope we make a lot more noise over what we do and what we know about.

How have things improved and changed?
If we go back, we started by doing services, manual moderation primarily. We did manual content moderation before it was even a term out there. Over the years, we added a lot of technology to support our manual services. Over the last two to three years, we have had a hard focus on building a technology platform that helps us to be even more efficient.

Who are your testimonial clients?
Within the dating world, we have quite a few clients. The most notable ones are Match Meetic Group and Affinitas.

How long has Meetic been with you?
Meetic has been with us for years; three and a half years.

What is the sweet spot, in terms of client size, for Besedo?
The good thing now, Mark, is that we have the capability to handle a variety of clients. We are a company of roughly 600 people. A lot of those are moderators /…/

Q&A With Chappy Founder Ollie Locke

OUT.COM – Sep 17 – Chappy is one of the latest dating apps to hit the gay scene. It allows users to filter out „Mr. Right“ from „Mr. Right Now.“

Q: How did you guys come up with the idea for Chappy?
A: I asked why is every platform only about hookups? Why is it not about dating? And we came together and made Chappy.

Q: How do you see Chappy fitting into this new era of online dating?
A: I think all of us generally want safer, more responsible choices about what we want in relationships, hookups, spontaneous weekends, whatever we’re looking for.

Q: What else is in store for the app?
A: Chappy is different because we’re trying to make it a lifestyle app as well. We want you to be on the app once you’ve found someone.

by Glenn Garner
See full article at

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Summarized by the Courtland Brooks team


Matchmakers In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE – Sep 15 – A luxury matchmaking service, The Bevy, has launched in San Francisco. The Bevy, started in New York in 2014, compares its services to an executive search. It pre-screens and interviews potential candidates before setting up its male clients with a handful of curated contenders. The membership begins at $25k for a one-year. The company reports a 95% success rate. Three Day Rule has 8k members. Services for paying clients start at $4.5k, but the service also has a free database. 60% of it’s clients are female. Both companies report that clients are seeking relief from dating apps. Still, free dating apps can be an equalizer. The newest such offering to San Francisco is The Inner Circle, an app founded in Amsterdam in 2012, whose founder, David Vermeulen, is looking for „inspiring and ambitious“ members who are 25 – 45 and live in major cities.

by Maghan McDowell
See full article at San Francisco Chronicle

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Summarized by the Courtland Brooks team