Make me a match: How matchmaking in search can improve the sharing economy


Companies that have made a successful go of collaborative consumption — the concept of borrowing a product from or sharing it with peers rather than buying it — have done so by fostering trust in their users.  We use services like Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit because those startups have gone to great lengths to make providers of their services seem verified, trustworthy and responsible.

But what if they went one step further to match a person to you based not only on your needs, but your preferences and personality? Companies are exploring matchmaking as a feature that could make the experience of relying on a total stranger to serve your needs a bit more palatable.

Surabhi Gupta, an engineer for Airbnb, spoke on this topic during her talk, “Mastering Marketplace Matchmaking,” at the company’s OpenAir developer conference last Thursday in San Francisco. As Airbnb continues to improve its search algorithm, the…

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