Thursday, August 07, 2003

Last single person, turn off the

It has just dawned on me that if forums like Match really are fundamentally more efficient at putting couples together than were traditional dating methods, we should see a measurable decline in the number of single people in America over the next 10 years as a percentage of the population, and possibly an absolute decline. Aside from some hard core of want-to-be-alone people, most single people are "waiting for the right one" and if you can find the right one faster, their numbers will go down. While there will always be churn and turnover, this should be a measureable artifact. It's kind of like the way that just-in-time inventory systems reduced the amount of stuff sitting in warehouses...

...associated wonder -- did all the Internet job sites reduce the number of unemployed, there during the bubble, through a similar effect? There aren't necessarily enough jobs for people (or people for jobs, for that matter) in the way that men and women are both approximately the same in number, and approximately the same in intent. So the two cases are clearly not directly comparable... but may be analagous.