Well hello there, world!

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Today marks our first day of full-time work on a new service to change the way people find roommates. What better way to commemorate the occasion than with our first blog post? We have a few things to tell you!

First things first: What is Symbi?

Symbi presents a different way of finding roommates. Here’s what we’re learning about how people find roommates today:

Step 1. E-mail any friends in the area.

Step 2. Blast it on Facebook.

Step 3. Pray.

Step 4. Resort to Craigslist and hope for the best.

Step 5. Buy a tub of ice cream and a box of tissues.

Let’s say this actually works out, and after weeks or even months of struggles, you do end up signing a lease. These solutions focus only on the apartment (Craigslist) or the timing (reaching out through friends), leaving the whole question of roommate compatibility to luck! As we all know (some all too well), your roommate can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Roommates who are compatible and sign another lease together also save hundreds of dollars they would be spending on moving costs and furniture – not to mention the significant amount of time and stress required in moving.

Isn’t there a better way? In a big city (we’re starting with NYC), there are a huge number of people looking for a similar apartment whose personality and behaviors would be compatible with yours, but you have no way of finding them and trusting them.

Enter Symbi. We aim to build a trusted network of verified users and ask them questions. This allows us to use data-driven algorithms to match people up based on compatibility and behaviors. We aim to find you a roommate that won’t make you want to kick them out of the apartment within the first ten minutes.

We believe roommates should be symbiotic… like this!

False percula clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris), Indonesia (photo: Eric Cheng)

Cool. So who are you, anyway?

We’re Simone and Peter, the founders of Symbi. Simone was a Senior Program Manager Lead at Microsoft, working on Bing’s web result relevance using machine-learned and rule-based algorithms. Peter was a Software Engineer at Xbox Live, building large-scale distributed services, powering social interactions, real-time experiences, and big-data analytics.

We came up with Symbi after hearing the struggles of so many friends trying to find a decent roommate. We envisioned a match.com for roommates, using the power of big data to match people together based on compatibility. We’ve been working on this idea ever since, and eventually became convinced that we wanted to work on this full-time!

So now you know who we are and what we’re up to. Check back here for more posts about our journey as a new start-up and what we’re learning.

See you soon!

-Simone and Peter

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