Alumna Develops Couples’ Dating App for ‘Life After the Swipe’

With Jordan Scott’s idk tonight, you’ll never run out of date night ideas.

Gallatin 2015 alumna Jordan Scott created idk tonight, scheduled to release in October. (Photo by Li-Chun Pan)

Swipe left, swipe right, swipe left. Online daters are more than familiar with this game. But what happens after you settle down with a right swipe? Jordan Scott, 2015 Gallatin graduate, recognized that there was an excess of dating apps on the market, but nothing for the happily coupled. Scott’s editorial site and brand idk tonight focuses on “The life after the swipe,” with content geared towards couples.

Scott attributes the initial idea for the business to the holistic writing journey she experienced while at NYU. She followed the journalism track at CAS, took screenwriting classes at Tisch and studied fiction writing. She pitched her concentration as “Writing the Family” to her Gallatin colloquium.

“I never thought I would start a business, and yet my major was about creating my own,” Scott said. “Picking and choosing, and kind of building this thing out of nothing.”

Her entrepreneurial journey began the same semester she moved into Lipton (then Hayden) Residence Hall. When Scott arrived at NYU in the fall of 2012, she was a 17-year-old determined to reap all the benefits the city had to offer. She secured a marketing internship her very first semester at a blowout company. As a sophomore, she made her first foray into the journalism world as a features intern at Cosmopolitan.

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However, after years of working for media companies such as NBC, Yahoo and NY1, her last journalism job at CBS This Morning made her realize that she wanted to start her own business.

“I was exhausted; I couldn’t point to a job I wanted there and I had this barely-there idea of something,” Scott said. “I just thought to myself if I try this and fail in four years, I’ll still be super young and try to go and get a job somewhere else.”

Scott saw no downside to pursuing entrepreneurship. If things went sideways, she could bring her experience to future endeavors. She took the risk knowing that she had supportive parents and an encouraging fiance by her side and invested her savings to bring idk tonight to life.

“Once I realized there was this lack of really anything out there for couples, the only thing I knew how to do was write,” Scott said. “So I just decided to start with curating these date plans for couples in New York.”

Scott decided to use her love for storytelling, to address hangry couples’ inability to make decisions. She acknowledged the perennial problem of where to go and what to do.

“We are starting with date night, right? That’s so super low stakes, but very important,” Scott said. “My fiance and I fight about what we are eating on a nightly basis, so it feels like these weird, small, maybe not important things like date night are actually so huge.”

She started developing her potential solution by pairing different places and different experiences to create curated date nights, which she supplemented with a brief explanation, price level, vibe description and suggested dishes or drinks. She released these dates on the website and gave them a shoutout on idk tonight’s Instagram. She also created weekly newsletters to keep subscribers updated on the new hot spots in town.

As the website grew, so did the staff at idk tonight. She has hired freelance writers and now regularly collaborates with couples to showcase their date experiences.

“What I loved so much about journalism, and why I loved my education at NYU and Gallatin, was I loved the storytelling part of it,” Scott said. “I have collected so many great writers, who write content for us that are just so good at researching these experiences, writing them really succinctly. It’s been awesome still being able to surround myself with writers.”

However, she is now ready to take idk tonight to the next level. Scott, who fully embraces her favorite quote, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it,” is working nonstop on the latest innovation from the brand — a couples’ decision-making app. Inspired by dating apps, this “decision-making app” will match couples with restaurants, bars, events or other activities that they can enjoy together.

“We are just trying to make it easier for couples to make decisions, communicate in general, because I think, it’s cliche, but it’s very key to the success of most relationships,” Scott said. “Basically resulting in … happier, healthier relationships.”

Even though the details of the app’s functionality are still under wraps, there is already a waiting list for the beta version scheduled for release in October. One secret will be revealed when the name of the app is announced Monday on the brand’s Instagram.

Scott also aims to expand the engine to any relationship that involves decision-making. She hopes to take advantage of the scalability of the need for decision-making worldwide.

“You know, there is this huge infinite possibility of decisions,” Scott said. “Once you are in a relationship, your life is just a series of decisions you are making together.”

A version of this article appears in the Sunday, Sept. 23, 2019, print edition. Email Elif Kesikbas at [email protected]

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