“What should we do tonight?”
It’s always a dreaded question for couples, but it became even more so in 2020. What is there to do besides sit on the couch? Jordan Scott hopes to help. Her date decision-making app, Cobble, is for life after you match with your swipe right. After working on IDK Tonight, an editorial site that offers date night ideas in New York City, Scott said she realized that couples were missing an important piece of tech to help them connect. Here's why she thinks it's more vital than ever.
TMRW: What is Cobble?
Jordan Scott: Once I was in a relationship, I realized there were no apps to solve problems that couples faced, like, “What are we doing tonight?”, “What are we eating later?” or “What are we watching?” I really wanted to take that simple interface of a dating app where you're swiping on people, but instead of people, it's highly curated content. And when you and your significant other both swipes right on an idea, we make it super easy to follow through on whatever that is — whether it's making an outdoor dining reservation, cooking something at home or planning to watch a new show together. This app is very much for people in a committed relationship, post dating and ready for life after the swipe.
How did your site IDK, Tonight evolve into the Cobble app?
I knew that I always wanted to create an app or a product for couples to solve this sort of indecision conversation every night. I come from a journalism background, and I really only knew how to write and that was it. So I decided to start with an editorial site, an Instagram account and a newsletter and just produce content aimed at couples.
"In my experience, when your relationship is not feeling 100%, all the other facets of your wellness and of your life are also not feeling 100%."
My original idea was to share experiences and nights out in New York City, where I could tell couples to go here for dinner and then go here for a nightcap or go to the comedy show and then go see this. My whole goal was always to grow an audience of couples that will hopefully be willing to experiment and try out whatever product I ultimately recommend. It became really clear that, yes, the content was great, but it was missing that tech piece of really driving the decision and driving the knowledge of what two people really, actually want to do. And so that's sort of how Cobble was born.
How did you become an app developer coming from a journalism background?
In the beginning, I had no money to hire anyone. I certainly didn't have the time or the brainpower, quite frankly, to learn how to code myself to really build what I was imagining, and nor could I operate in a silo. So what I ended up doing was really just talking to everyone that I could about my idea. People just offered to help! A man who was in his own startup offered to help. I shared my idea with him, and he became the first full-time employee for Cobble.
That's really how the rest of the team has grown organically, but I think the most important thing that I've learned during all this is if you're the founder, you just have to admit that you don't know 99% of what it's going to take to make this thing real. But if you can sort of share the path and share the love of building something new, then the right people will find you! You really can only go so far by yourself.
Can you talk about relationship wellness and how it is related to Cobble’s mission?
I find it very strange that when we talk about the self-care suggestions of “go to therapy,” “take a bath” or “drink water,” relationship wellness is never included. In my experience, when your relationship is not feeling 100%, all the other facets of your wellness and of your life are also not feeling 100%. The way that I describe relationship wellness is when you’re feeling this connection with your partner, something very similar to when you first got together.
As time goes on and a relationship becomes more committed and established, all of your downtime is pretty much spent with that person. But quality time and thoughtfulness is how you take care of your relationship. That's something that we would really love to help couples discover again. When is that perfect time when you could have focused time together? What can you do that you'll both love and how can we help you get to that decision?
What was it like building a company that recommends experiences and going out right now? How did you pivot and what parts of the business changed as a result of the pandemic?
I spent two years producing content for IDK Tonight and growing this audience and thinking tediously about this path and what it was going to be like. We were sharing our baby with the world after what felt like so much time and effort, planning for a Spring 2020 launch. Then COVID-19 happened and I was thinking, "Let’s hold off. Let's not launch and let’s wait until this is over. People are going to be more excited than ever to use an app like this." After a couple weeks of waiting for this pandemic to be over, I realized there is no way we know what is even going on here. We have all these couples who are so bored at home, let's just augment our content.
Instead of having everything be about going out, let's have our amazing writers produce all this content around what to do at home. Let's curate all these personal events. So we ended up producing enough content over three weeks and we launched. People were swiping and we had more than 20,000 swipes in the first couple weeks. Now we have over 400,000 swipes. This past summer, when New York City opened up a little bit with outdoor dining, those that dipped a toe back out to the world could benefit from our app by making outdoor dining reservations on Cobble!
Your IGTV series “Now's The Time'' focuses on not letting our partnerships fall to the bottom of our to-do list. Why do you believe that couples frequently forget to make their partnership a priority?
I think there's a natural trust between couples. We love each other and you'll be there for me no matter what. While I hope that's true for most relationships, it does become apparent when you haven't been giving it all that much attention or focus. It's just easier to let that fall to the side. One of the reasons that I love Cobble is the magic of making decisions together. Instead of making a plan to meet up at the kitchen and talk about ideas for dinner, there's something magical and fun when I happen to open up the app and my husband and I both swipe right on a really cool new takeout restaurant. I wouldn't have even brought that up! Cobble put it in front of us, and we swiped on it, now we're doing it. I think trying to create that magic is really the goal of Cobble.
How can people who don’t live in New York City use Cobble?
Originally, the Cobble app was centered around New York City, however, anyone can use it anywhere because we launched the “stay in” experience. So all users have to do is tap the location of New York City at the top of the app and switch it to “stay in” and it's applicable no matter where you are. Cobble will be building out more cities in six to 12 months, so be sure to keep an eye out!