Amanda Bradford just launched a dating app called The League, which is designed to be used by beautiful, ambitious, intelligent people — you know who you are! — while keeping out the riffraff. Are you in our league? No surprise that some people find this app silly. Or sad. Or offensive. But don't you dare point that out, because Amanda Bradford does not tolerate haters and will use her algorithm to ban you from The League, forever.
Allow me to explain. On Jan. 22, Business Insider ran a story about Bradford and The League, describing the app as "a more selective Tinder that's only for the most interesting and motivated single people," and saying that Bradford "wants to match tons of power couples." To get in, you have to be "carefully selected by Bradford's team using an are-you-cool-enough algorithm her tech team built." If you get in, you can invite one friend, but "All other singles have to wait in a virtual line and hope they're top-notch enough to join The League's elite pool of prospects," Business Insider reported. These are young San Franciscans who live in the Marina and Pacific Heights and hang out at The Battery, the members-only club for techies.
On Monday of this week, a guy named Victor Ng made a bitchy little crack on Facebook about the story, pointing out that a woman whose League profile appeared in the story was a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and that, as a fellow CMU grad, "I am thoroughly embarrassed."
Ng also pointed out that this "elite" person had listed such "elite" interests as Zara, sushi, snowboarding and Crate and Barrel. "They should rebrand this app `The Basics,'" Ng snarked.
Amanda Bradford (photo) did not appreciate this! For she too is a graduate of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, as well as the even more prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business, and she is the CEO of a company that just raised $2.1 million in seed funding to create this world-changing, power-couple-forming app. Furthermore, t
he woman that Ng was mocking happens to be one of Bradford's best friends, and she is also a CMU graduate, not to mention "insanely talented,"and "gorgeous, smart, creative and an inspiration." Also, that woman's profile was a fake. They created it just to show a generic example of what a profile on The League might look like. But presumably both women really do love Crate and Barrel, and as far as I'm concerned they should not have to apologize for that, because who doesn't love tasteful but remarkably affordable furniture?
So Bradford posted a comment under Ng's post and informed Ng that he is a douchebag and that her data scientist will use their algorithm to filter him out and now he would never get at any of those elite ladies on The League. Zing!
Ng responded by pointing out how ridiculous it was for a CEO to be investing so much time and effort into responding to a silly little wisecrack about her app's lousy marketing, while adding that he grew up on food stamps, put himself through Carnegie Mellon with loans and scholarships, and is in a happy relationship with a wonderful dude, but thanks for making sure none of those elite women on The League will stumble across him!
Perhaps realizing that her behavior was not CEO-like, Bradford took down her comment. Ng, who had saved it, put it back up.
Then he added this little bon mot as a kicker:
San Francisco: It's junior high school, but for adults.
PS: yes, I do realize that this is all great publicity for The League, and I half suspect that the whole Victor Ng thing was a stunt organized in order to help this sad little dating app rise up out of the noisy crowd of dating apps. If that's the case, then I tip my hat to Amanda Bradford. Well played, Ms. Bradford. Well played.