MIT Alum’s ‘Carrot Dating’ App Lets Users Bribe Their Way to a First Date

The mobile dating platform urges people to offer tanks of gas or plastic surgery in exchange for some one-on-one time.

Photo via Carrot Dating

Photo via Carrot Dating

An MIT alumnus known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to online dating is taking flak for his latest venture—a mobile app that encourages “bribing” men and women into going out, and compares the process to giving a dog a treat.

Called “Carrot Dating,” users entice potential partners into meeting up by offering them gifts or activities like dining experiences. The mobile app’s creators claim the “unique approach teaches singles to always bring something to the table,” giving people the power to prove what they are worth.

The brains behind the dating platform, Brandon Wade, explains that it works because “women love presents like dogs love treats.”

“Any beautiful girl can be convinced to give you a chance, all she needs is a little incentive,” according to Wade, who is wearing an MIT T-shirt, and dangling carrots on a stick in front of three women in an advertisement used to get people to try the Carrot Dating program. “Giving is the greatest ‘icebreaker,’ and anyone can date the man or woman of their dreams by simply dangling the right ‘carrot.’”

In a phone interview, Wade said he has been called “misogynist,” and accused of promoting a form of prostitution, two claims he said are untrue. “This is far from prostitution. If [two people] ultimately decide there is chemistry between them, then that’s between them,” he said. “It’s all about breaking the ice and having some fun. I really believe dating is superficial anyways. If you don’t get your foot in the door, you won’t even have a shot. This helps people get their foot in the door.”

Wade said he has “suffered from extreme shyness and loneliness growing up,” and apps like Carrot Dating are a solution to those sorts of problems for people like himself, although, he admits he is happily married. “It was a problem I struggled with for a long time, and I have dedicated my life to finding a solution to the problem. I was always the guy standing in the corner with my beer and wishing I was more bold.”

Wade is the founder of SeekingArrangements.com, which has consistently made headlines for its concept of matching up young girls with wealthy, older men, in the form of a “sugar daddy” website.

His newest dating site claims it caters to both men and women, and focuses on tips for daters to use in order to score a date—and possibly more. The app already has 30,000 users signed up in just over a month since it launched. Wade said it took a year to develop the concept, and he spent “a lot of time” putting thought and research into it. In the end, the result was using bribery to get what people want.

“There’s only one method of manipulation that has stood the test of time: bribery. It is the best way to motivate animals to do exactly what you want. Now, with the help of a new mobile application, singles can motivate men and women to go on dates,” according to a press release from the company.

The app claims people can “motivate” each other to go out for the first-time by offering “free meals and drinks,” a tank of gas, or even plastic surgery payments. Bribes are sorted into five categories: “Dining,” “Entertainment,” “Gifts,” “Activities,” and “Popular.”

In order for users to connect and chat with each other, they first have to choose a bribe. Once the bribe has been accepted, both users can schedule their bribery exchange and the first date, according to the creators.

While Carrot Dating claims it is for both men and women to use, in a release, the pitch focuses mainly on giving men an upper hand in a time when women seemingly “have all the power in the online dating world.”

“[Women] receive countless messages from suitors, while men struggle for even a single reply,” according to Wade. “Carrot Dating … is now helping men get noticed by letting them bribe their way to a first date.”

  • Deja DeMoss

    You should of worn a different shirt.

    • Guest

      Obviously this gentleman in the picture is a Jets fan!

    • jake481

      “Should of”? Really?

  • Dissapointed MITer

    Makes me ashamed of my alma mater… take off the damn t-shirt because you don’t deserve it

    • Pooter Bilbo

      Found the feminist.

      • Dissapointed MITer

        good for you

        • Pooter Bilbo

          You and the other feminists can bitch all you want about bribery and misogyny, but the bottom line is we live in a world where first impressions are made on a superficial basis. For the most part, women base first impressions on looks and money. If they didn’t care about money, fast cars, fancy restaurants, and expensive jewelry wouldn’t exist. Not to mention the fact that this is basically just the app manifestation of a man asking a woman “can I buy you a drink?”

          • Guest

            For the most part, women base first impressions on looks and money. If they didn’t care about money, fast cars, fancy restaurants, and expensive jewelry wouldn’t exist.

          • Educated Chick

            In response to “For the most part, women base first impressions on looks and money. If they didn’t care about money, fast cars, fancy restaurants, and expensive jewelry wouldn’t exist.”

            If I was a person who loved to make vast generalizations and stereotype a group of people like you do @Pooter Bilbo, I would easily switch out what you just said and respond with “For the most part, men base first impressions on looks and clothing. If they didn’t care about looks, tight dresses, plastic surgery, and eating disorders wouldn’t exist.” But I’m not an idiot and I think there are guys out there who are smart enough to get girls on their own without money and girls who will appreciate dating a gentleman over a pig who just throws money at them.

            Tell me there aren’t guys wouldn’t want to be paid to go on dates…I think this is more gender neutral than it seems. and this app is stupid.

          • Pooter Bilbo

            “For the most part, men base first impressions on looks and clothing. If
            they didn’t care about looks, tight dresses, plastic surgery, and
            eating disorders wouldn’t exist.”

            I completely agree! Most men are extraordinarily shallow when it comes to first impressions. Just look at the women chosen in the picture above.

            But the important distinction to make is the difference between first impressions and prolonged interaction. First impressions are always going to be superficial because they are snap judgements made based on observable traits. This doesn’t mean everyone is superficial 100% of the time, it simply means that the face value judgements people make when they decide whether or not to go on a first date are usually superficial ones. This service helps those who don’t have much superficial appeal–either in attractiveness or confidence–get “their foot in the door.” Obviously, a meaningful relationship will never be built solely through this process, but it isn’t intended to work that way. I think that’s the detail everyone is getting hung up on.

          • Pooter Bilbo

            Also, if women/men/people were so altruistic in their first impressions and date selections why would this service need to exist and appear to be gaining in popularity?

          • Lise

            “If they didn’t care about money, fast cars, fancy restaurants, and expensive jewelry wouldn’t exist.” Please, tell everyone how all men would rather drive slow cars, eat at McDonald’s, and wear plastic watches if women didn’t exist. Most people (in the developed world) want objects of value for no other reason than to feel a sense of accomplishment.

    • Stefan

      Having successful businessmen/trolls from your university is shameful?

      • Dissapointed MITer

        Having alumni who do shameful things is shameful regardless of whether they are successful businessmen/women

        • Stefan

          You state that as if it were fact. Why is what he is doing objectively shameful?

          • Dissapointed MITer

            I think its difficult to define something as objectively shameful since we start getting into morals and ethics. That said, I can state what I think on the matter however I want to and you are welcome to disagree.

    • Sofarsogrim

      In my experience women don’t care how much money you make. I make a decent salary and I’ve gone out with many poor college students. None of them ever asked how much money I made and most of them offered to pay for their own drinks/dinner. So I don’t see how this app would work except for greedy unscrupulous women who are using you.

  • Lise

    Taking shallowness to the next level. Real women/men make their own money and want a partner that brings personal fulfillment to the table.

    • Randall

      Look who’s talking. Read the last line of your other post. “Take a look at yourself.” Saying he doesn’t deserve a beautiful woman because of the way he looks is the epitome of shallowness.

      • Lise

        No, he deserves someone on his level. We all deserve someone on our level for physical attractiveness, intelligence, emotional maturity etc. etc. In reality, those things balance out overall and we can overlook flaws here and there, but a person with below-average looks should not be going out there with the expectation that he/she has to find “love” with an objectively beautiful person.

      • Brynndragon

        No, he doesn’t deserve a beautiful woman because he doesn’t treat women like people, he treats us like fuckbots who need the right sort of input to put out for him.

  • Lise

    “Any beautiful girl can be convinced to give you a chance, all she needs is a little incentive”. Right. So guys, the take-home message: only ever chat up “beautiful” girls. Less-than-beautiful? Not good enough. And don’t even THINK about average, that shit ain’t worth your money, amirite bros? Being shy is not an excuse for being an asshole, Brandon Wade. Maybe if you had actually tried to become a genuinely interesting person you wouldn’t be resorting to encouraging everyone to pay for sex/love. (And maybe stop thinking that you deserve a textbook “beautiful” girl, because jesus christ take a look at yourself).

    • Stefan

      He’s a clever and shrewd business man. He comes up with ideas that intentionally cause people to get all up in arms over them. Articles get written, people share them saying “OMG THIS GUY IS A JERK”. Free publicity.

      Sounds like an intelligent and interesting guy to me.

      • Lise

        Maybe to some people all publicity = good publicity, but the rest of us believe otherwise. He has shown to the world what a shallow-minded, immature, disrespectful, mislead child he is and disgusted a good number of intelligent people, which is just as well because you get what you deserve in the end.

  • Stella Baker

    It’s always amusing when those who lack intelligence and a personality share their views and perceptions of dating.

  • Marie

    Wow! This makes us all look so damn shallow.

    • Andrew Wifred

      Humanity is, generally speaking, quite shallow. He is just tapping into the market.

  • Casey

    The focus on women and alcohol delivery service, really? Come on MIT graduates, I thought the smartest guys in the room wanted to put their minds around making the world a better place.

  • Al A. Thompson

    Surprised by how primitively virtue- and absolute-invoking a lot of the commenters here seem.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Q3ZtWswkA Phaerisee

      We are a nation of want-to-be Thomas Aquinas’s. I met one earlier on CNN who told me to stop using “fancy” words.

  • Boston_Commenter_4872

    Speaking as a male MIT alum, this guy is a total embarrassment to us. It’s not cool, it’s not funny, it’s not even a little okay. Just stop.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Q3ZtWswkA Phaerisee

      But at the end of the day I am sure you get the last laugh.

  • fred s

    This has the potential to be dangerous. Not cool. You could imagine some guy with some money enticing a naive minor. Not good.

  • Chris Consalvo

    funny how its you who sounds most swallow lol “deserves someone on his level” ….fyi no one deserves anything in life…you live you die you get what you go out and make happen…no one is entitled to anything. if he found a way to get a girl who he finds attractive by creating an app..he deserves it..he worked for it he made it happen….

    • Lise

      Please, tell me how striving to be with someone equal to yourself is so “swallow”. Learn2Logic (and spell).

      Everyone always wants the better end of the deal in a two-person situation, so the natural equilibrium is going to settle on everyone more or less finding their equal. It’s better to realize this fact than to always want someone better than you and be disappointed all your life.

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