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Matchmaker, Matchmaker: New Opportunities in Business Matchmaking

by Steve Woodruff  |  
July 23, 2013

Have you ever thought about how matchmaking can apply to business? There is a growing realm of new business opportunities that are open to professionals who know how to get in the middle of things.

Let's call it The New Intermediation.

The following Ugly Graphic depicts how this works.


One manifestation of The New Intermediation is Business Matchmaking.

A matchmaker is a key individual, platform, or company that has deep connections with a pool of people/providers, and then brings the right (targeted) resource to a client with a business or personal need. In other words, a trusted resource in the middle making beneficial connections.

Think of what recruiters (headhunters) do. It’s that kind of intermediation but scaled in new ways and applied to other business problems beyond staffing.

My Impactiviti business (identifying optimal outsource vendors for my pharma clients looking for training/marketing suppliers) is one example of business matchmaking. (See graphic here.)

In Kansas City, George Weyrauch has launched Rock Creative to provide a very similar service for creative/agency types.

Another example familiar to many is HARO (Help A Reporter Out), the news/resource matching service launched by Peter Shankman. Reporters have always had a need to find subject matter experts. Many people who could be valuable resources are invisible to media types. So, HARO was born---a daily e-mail service where journalists looking for sources post what they need, and targeted individuals respond. Simple, brilliant matchmaking. And Peter is smarter than me because HARO is a fed-by-both-sides e-model that was able to be increasingly automated. (I’m not jealous. I’m really not... OK, I’m jealous.)


(On a side note, HARO was bought by Vocus a couple years back. Creating a winning intermediation service can have quite a significant ROI!)

Our world of business has always run more smoothly because of intermediaries. There are bridges that need to be built---today and tomorrow. Gaps are everywhere. The new intermediaries see them and create beneficial connections.

Many roles, of course, have been disintermediated through technology advancements. But other digitally fueled models have arisen. Sometimes, they are e-platforms like and eHarmony (where “matchmaking” is not a metaphor, but is the whole point!)

Do you know of other matchmaking business approaches that you’ve seen recently enabled in our networked world? Do share in the comments!

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Steve Woodruff is the world's only Clarity Therapist. He connects people with their purpose, their message, and with other people in order to create new business opportunities. He writes at the

Steve is an unusual hybrid of conceptualizer, strategist, marketer, analyst, wordsmith, semi-techie, and all-around decent fellow, except when there's bad coffee or lousy wine.

Steve can also be found on Twitter, LinkedIn.

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  • by Laura Spaventa Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Hi Steve,

    We appreciate you mentioning our service in your article as an example of a matchmaking service. Your analysis was interesting and we thoroughly enjoyed your article. Thanks again!

    Vocus PR Manager and HARO's Social Media Community Manager

  • by Harriet Taylor Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    There are many matchmaking type websites out there. I'm a part of one called, which matches online tutors and online learners. It's tackling an important subject (democratizing education!).

    I think there should be a matchmaking website for socks.

    My 2 cents,


  • by Steve Woodruff Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Laura, I've always admired the simplicity and effectiveness of HARO. I think it's a great "everybody wins" biz model!

  • by Steve Woodruff Fri Jul 26, 2013 via blog

    Harriet, that's exactly the kind of positioning (tutors, not socks!) that makes sense. I was talking to a gal a while back whose consultancy intermediates between parents of college-age kids, and all things financial aid/scholarships. There have to be a 1001 needs like this out there.

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