PlateWave social networking app for UK driversEnlarge Photo
Marc Ackerley is either extremely vain, extremely delusional, or an extreme genius. Possibly all three.
According to the Daily Mail, the 58-year-old British car fan was lucky in business but unlucky in love -- or so he thought. Then, he began getting calls from his Ferrari dealer, who said that "a number" of women had been ringing the showroom, asking to be put in touch with the man motoring around town in the F430.
Somehow, this failed to raise any red flags with Ackerley. On the contrary, he liked the thought of being stalked by all the single ladies, simply because of the car he drives. In fact, he liked it so much, that he began to worry about the throngs of willing women with whom he wasn't crossing paths. How many calls had he missed? How many dates never happened simply because women couldn't reach him?
Ackerly probably could've called up Tom Jones and asked for pointers on how to manage his anxieties. Instead, he opted for a 21st-century solution: he hired someone to build a social network that lets users to find people via license plate. The network, called PlateWave, maintains a database of users' plates, which can be searched to track down that person who looked kind of cute shoving a Big Mac in her face as she whizzed past you at 90 mph.
If this sounds familiar, it should: it's exactly the same concept behind Bump.com, which rolled out in the U.S. in 2010 and has since gone exactly nowhere. We're not sure if that's due to a lack of marketing dollars, or because people finally agreed that it's creepy/dangerous to let strangers reach out and touch you just because they glimpsed you and/or your car in a parking lot.
Sadly, PlateWave hasn't slaked Mr. Ackerley's thirst for relationships: for now, he remains unattached. If we were in the business of offering courtship advice, we'd suggest the guy drive something less powerful than a Ferrari. At least those hordes of women would have an easier time catching him.