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But Great Expectations blossomed. By the end of , it had traded in that one-room office for a fancy space in Westwood. On a video call, Ullman — who now runs a CBD company called GoodFOR — told me that even before his company had taken off, he knew he was onto something big. Bar owners, needless to say, did not take kindly to the suggestion that video dating rendered them irrelevant.

No more losers. Ullman spread his company across the country on a franchise model. Members aspired to quality. As the service ballooned, it became a small pop culture hit. Ullman became a regular on the talk-show circuit, and he was always a bit of an eccentric figure.

As the company grew, so did the price of membership. But Great Expectations never escaped the stereotype that people who signed up for video dating were inherently desperate. In its orientation videos to new members, the company tried to address that stigma head on.

What am I doing? Then a Great Expectations employee cut in to say that what they were feeling was normal. But it never seemed to convince enough people. The rhythms of video dating, though, have lived on. When a member watched a video they liked, they would indicate it on a written form, which they turned over to Great Expectations. There are other parallels. Normally, selecting a date was impersonal; buying a membergram was the only way for a member to explain why they were interested. And much like Raya, the exclusive celebrity data app used by Channing Tatum, Great Expectations figured out how to cater to famous members.

Only if the celebrity found someone they liked would Great Expectations release the tape to that person; otherwise, no one would know that the celebrity was a member. But the people who dated with Great Expectations also risked a level of awkwardness that modern dating app users are spared.

And running into an unrequited match — or a former date — was not uncommon. But after a few dates, Soehrmann received a request from a nurse named Terri. When they met up, they hit it off. The pair are still married today. Video-dating services may have stumbled into a model of courtship that reflects the online dating world today, but by the s, when the first set of dating sites popped up — starting with Kiss.

Online dating was far cheaper, and it could all be done remotely. A revolt from Great Expectations franchisees , plus an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for overbilling , also did not help. Ullman sold his company to a financial services firm in ; it shut down several years later.

YouTube Link Video dating enthusiast and love fan Jameson Murphy clipped together this montage of prime 80s hunk meat straight from VHS to show us how good daters have it today. We hope you like this article! Please help us grow by sharing:. We won't share your email. You can cancel at any time. We hope you like what you see! Please share: Tweet. Email This Post to a Friend. Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

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So yeah, just think about how much effort and desperation that took next time you think creating a new online dating profile is too much trouble. Watch the entire cringe-worthy video below. And then maybe dash off a thank-you note to the inventor of your favorite dating app. Follow Tech Insider on Facebook and Twitter. Insider logo The word "Insider".

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