Geeky Business

I had one of the best weekends of my life riding on the Founderbus and creating Haystack on the ride.

This all crumbled a little today when it turned out that a guy from Israel had also been working on a dating app “Heystack” and started accusing us of plagiarism. I am abroad on roaming so I will keep it short.

Let me state it clearly from the beginning: We did not copy the idea for Haystack nor did we copy the name.

We came up with it by ourselves during the 96 hours of Founderbus and won the competition with it. That is why we were able to appear on stage. We had never heard of “Heystack” until today. There is 20 people besides the founders that rode on that particular bus and can confirm our story.

Let me take you trough the details on how we came up with the concept:

It all started Thursday evening when all of us met for the first time. We started pitching ourselves and the ideas. And Vaclav - who later became my teammate - pitched a dating idea. He wanted to use the referral model that a lot of employers use to find new candidates to dating.

I saw the potential to combine this with a growth model such as Silp’s which made Facebook the obvious choice for implementation. On top we decided to combine this with social validation.

This is how we ended up with the concept of a dating app that proposes matches to common friends and if they agree they get send a date recommendation. This makes us different from “Heystack”. in our app there is no profiles and you cannot browse them: We turn friends into matchmakers.

Over the next days we then worked on refining the idea and perfecting the pitch.

Finally the name: Haystack is an extremely likely name for a dating app because of the proverb and this is how we came up with it. We discussed many other versions such as DateSocial but settled on Haystack as a working title on Friday evening and then liked it that much on Saturday that we stuck with it.

I am against copycats so these accusations hurt on a personal level. I think it is amazing what we got done in the short amount of time and I hope others can recognize this too.

Incredible coincidence but definitely not copying.