by Marcy Clark
I had the privilege to interview the founders of an exciting new online dating application called Piccee, which harnesses the power of beautiful, evocative images to express our emotions and begin conversations based on subliminal connections. It’s a fascinating new site that could be a big game changer – sign up for a free trial now! Women’s Mafia members and friends can use the early access code 747 for a limited time. www.piccee.com
Women’s Mafia: Can you briefly tell us a little bit about each of the founders and the key role they play at Piccee?
Dr. Ronnie Edell — co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Piccee — is a long-time human behavior specialist and relationship expert, and a bestselling author who has appeared on “Oprah” numerous times as well as all other major national, regional, and local media. His first book, “How to Save Your Marriage from an Affair: Seven Steps to Rebuilding a Broken Trust,” was the first book in the nation on infidelity written by an expert. His bestselling second book, “The Sexually Satisfied Woman: The 5-Step Program for Getting Everything You Want in Bed,” was praised by “The Reader’s Catalog” as one of the best books in print in its category, with the annotation, “Unique in its reliance on the power of the woman.” Dr. Edell is the visionary force behind Piccee.
Craig Lauer — co-founder, COO and CTO of Piccee — was formerly CTO for Dr. Patrick Soon- Shiong, the healthcare visionary and Los Angeles’s wealthiest billionaire. Earlier he served in multiple executive roles — including VP of Technology and VP of Engineering — in multiple key divisions of Fortune 500 company Qualcomm. Craig oversees the Piccee Technical Team, which as if by magic turns the vision of Piccee into practical reality.
Barbara Edell — co-founder and EVP of Piccee — was an earlier co-founder, with Dr. Ronnie Edell and Craig Lauer, of Vision Maker Consultants, a high-tech consultancy to Fortune 500 companies and major U.S. government agencies during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. She has also been an educator and a counseling specialist as well as an entrepreneur for various different businesses. Barbara brings a unique perspective to Piccee and an invaluable female touch.
Matt Dawson — co-founder and President of Piccee — is an extremely popular fitness and wellness professional with a Klout score of 72 and a Twitter feed (@Matt_Dawson) with, at this writing, well over 12,000 followers. Matt is Piccee’s resident Social Media Impresario — he helps promote the Piccee experience through the major social media outlets.
Images that two users chose to describe family (left) and religion (right).
WM: Piccee is an image-focused dating site, rather than text. How does this help people find a good match? What else distinguishes Piccee from the myriad of other digital dating products on the market?
First, you don’t have to write a single word of a profile. Many people struggle with writing text- based profiles. Many individuals don’t like to read text-based profiles. Also, in a text-based profile there are too many opportunities to lie or dissemble. A picture is worth a thousand words. A single picture illustrating an important life-concept — Love, Family, Childhood, Commitment — or even a more lighthearted aspect of ourselves — Food, Travel, Activities, Bucket List — tells us volumes about an individual. Add 16 of these pictures together (or more) and the result is a kaleidoscopic window into another soul. It is very difficult to “fake” yourself using a picture profile. These profiles also allow people to assess another person instantaneously because they engage the right side of the brain, home of visual imagery and intuition. Also, right-brain communication, which is emotional, is the key to interaction in relationships. People cannot communicate as well using left-brain logic. Think of Mr. Spock from the old “Star Trek” series. It is only on those few occasions when he actually felt feelings that we had to root for him and we felt he was “one of us.”
Most importantly, when we see a collection of pictures in a profile that really resonate with us — pictures that we might have chosen ourselves — we feel that this person is a simpatico, someone we could talk to, someone we might have something in common with. This is how relatedness and intimacy begin.
Also important: Piccee fosters authentic communication. Each topic keyword was carefully chosen by Dr. Edell based on his many years of research and field experience. Pictures are chosen by searching through a database of over 1 million images — or you can upload your own. A Piccee picture profile doesn’t convey “this is what I do”; it conveys “this is who I am.” And members can message each other based on the pictures in their profile: “Why did you choose a picture of a hobby horse to illustrate Childhood?”
Images that two different users chose to express “Conversation.”
WM: There are some human behavior and bio-psycho-social theories behind Piccee. Can you briefly explain some of the important philosophy behind the product?
First and foremost is right-brained communication, which engages the visual mind — and the heart. We see a picture of a puppy, we have a feeling — “Oh, how cute!” If this illustrates Love, it is a clear dimension of a person’s experience of love. The picture profile itself uses principles of Gestalt, “the psychology of the whole,” popularized by Fritz Perls in the 1960’s, and earlier by other great thinkers in the fields of philosophy and human behavior. We assess personality from a composite view. We want to see all facets of the diamond, not just one. But Piccee is not meant to be a tool for analysis in any way — it is a tool for fun, and for meeting people. We have purposely kept it light, even though soul-to-soul or heart-to-heart communication can be quite profound.
At the same time, the visual nature of Piccee allows us to return to the splendor, wonder, and awe of that picture-book world of childhood, with its rich visual imagery that seemed to surround us everywhere — we see the world with fresh eyes as we can only do through our visual minds. It is perhaps this return to the sense of wonder and play of childhood that makes people excited most about Piccee.
WM: You recently launched the product on September 1st, so it’s all just begun. It’s an exciting time, but we’d still like to ask where you see the company in five years?
The core of our mission is to enable people all over the world and of all ages to communicate in ways that foster intimacy. Doing so will help people to experience the magic of love. Today, we’re focused on helping single people in the United States. In five years, we fully expect to be global and to grow beyond singles to couples and marriages. Communication is so vital to intimacy, we see this as a lifelong mission. Just as Facebook has become a platform for sharing, and Twitter a platform for personal broadcasting, we see Piccee as becoming a platform for fostering authentic, intimate communication.
WM: Lastly, as I always ask, what can the powerful women in the Women’s Mafia help make happen for you?
The powerful women in the Women’s Mafia can honestly assess and evaluate Piccee and, if they feel it offers something positive to themselves and their friends, spread the word and allow their friends the opportunity to potentially meet someone who can bring them great joy, fulfillment, and love. There is no greater gift in the world than love, and if Piccee allows members of the Women’s Mafia to give that gift to others by proxy, then we cannot be happier. We need more happiness and love in the world.