Young Guns: Startup Picks Online Friends for You


The average Facebook user has some 130 friends, and with over 350 million active users on the site, there is no shortage of people to keep up with. But how do you manage all those connections? Startup, a Web site that uses astrology to assess relationships, says it can tell you which friends deserve your focus.

The co-founders, 30-year-old Dana Kanze and 31-year-old Mason Sexton, not only share a business, but they share a New York City apartment. The two U Penn graduates founded the company in January 2008 after quitting their day jobs.

The Six Shooter Q&A: Dana Kanze and Mason Sexton

We were at a dinner with some friends, and everyone was talking about how they couldn't keep track of their online contacts. It clicked for us that there was a gap in this area where social networking, traditional dating, and astrology sites converged. We set out to offer relationship assessments to help optimize our social graphs and those of our friends.

Everyone has their ups and downs, but being an entrepreneur accentuates those highs and lows. It's important to convey a sense of positivity to those around you every single day because people are motivated by your creative vision for the company more so than any monetary incentives you can provide.

1) It's really tough to see your idea through if you do it part-time for too long. After deciding your idea has legs, you need to jump in with both feet.

2) It's important to build an in-house team for functions that are core to your product offering, creating a corporate culture rather than just falling into one.

3) Be flexible enough to make tweaks, but don't brashly discard your vision for the company based on preliminary feedback you receive.

We were really inspired by the book Founders at Work, Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston, especially the stories of Flickr and Six Apart involving couples as company co-founders.

We actually offer relationship assessments for free via our online site and mobile-friendly version. These assessments are more sophisticated, comprehensive, and entertaining than compatibility alternatives available for free online today. In the near-term, we only intend to charge for our mobile relationship updates and recommendations available on a daily basis.

We see the company evolving into a lifestyle property that offers recommendations beyond human-to-human relationships to encompass human-to-brand, human-to-employer, and human-to-university relationship offerings. We can leverage the rich, multi-sourced data available in our users' personal and professional profiles to improve all aspects of their lives.