Niko Diakogiannis, a 2012 University of Connecticut computer science graduate and founder of Picme, spoke about his dating app, his goals and tips for students aiming for similar goals.
Diakogiannis founded Picme seven months ago, an app which focuses on connecting people who may not be able to meet in-person. Through pictures shared between users within 24 hours of matching with each other, he said he hopes to establish deeper connections between users.
“I’m targeting anyone who doesn’t have time to meet people in-person but still wants something similar to the experience of getting to know someone in-person,” Diakogiannis said. “I want to appeal to people who are tired of the surface-level connections of other apps and want to build more personal connections.”
When Diakogiannis was studying to attend medical school, he said he found it difficult to meet people in-person. He used dating apps during this time, and this was what spurred his idea for Picme.
“I was studying to go to medical school and noticed that a big issue for me was that it was hard to go out and meet people due to time constraints,” Diakogiannis said. “I had used dating apps myself, but I wanted to create a place where you could be yourself, and you could get to know someone on your own time and gradually build a connection with them before meeting them in-person.”
Diakogiannis said other dating apps at the time were not optimized for usage in the modern day. He compared them to older dating websites that moved onto smartphones with no major changes.
“All of these dating apps today are like an early-2000s dating website, just in your pocket. They aren’t optimized to improve on dating with the added features mobile phones brought to being able to communicate with people,” Diakogiannis said. “I wanted to mix dating with a social app where you can share parts of your life with someone in order to introduce them to who you are as a person.”
Diakogiannis said people who are looking to provide feedback can go through the avenues of App Store ratings or comments on the app’s Facebook page. He said the reviews have been positive so far.
“Users are welcome to try the app out and give us a rating on the App Store. We also welcome any personal feedback on our Facebook page,” Diakogiannis said. “So far, the feedback has been very positive. People love being able to express themselves more than they can on other apps.”
Diakogiannis said any students interested in pursuing similar goals should be ready to give their all to their projects. He said it takes sacrifices, but anyone can achieve what they set out to do.
“My biggest piece of advice would be to always push yourself to accomplish 120% of what you think you can. I believe anyone can accomplish anything they want if they put their mind to it,” Diakogiannis said. “Building an app takes a lot of sacrifices and long days and nights, but if it’s something you believe in, you will get it done.”