What happens when 2 become 1?

In the transition from singled to coupled, it's been interesting to find the things that I used to easily decide on as one person become much more difficult as two. Oddly enough, it's the simple questions that actually seem to consume more time. For example, the question of what we should watch together on Netflix remains a conundrum.

While Mashable spoofs this brilliantly, I can't help wondering why this feature doesn't really exist. Given that both my husband and I have profiles where we watch our distinct shows, there must be a way to use Netflix's recommendation engine to find a good intersection of things that we might both be interested in and haven't already seen. To be fair, our watching patterns are quite different but this seems like exactly the kind of problem that big data would be better at solving than the two of us.

Like Netflix, there are multiple products that we both use which could allow us to share profiles for matching information. So, here are a few newlywed questions that I would love to use data to answer:

  • where can a carnivore and a vegetarian go out to dinner and both be happy?
    • OpenTable/Reserve
    • Yelp
  • what wine would work well for both meals at said dinner out?
    • OpenTable/Reserve
    • Delectable
  • what should we do this weekend?
    • Sosh (I miss this product!)
    • Swarm
    • Eventbrite

Of course, these are all small things and there's not much risk in getting the answer wrong even in a worst case scenario. However, the ability to take two sets that may be markedly different and find the right intersection can be widely applied.

Ultimately, this process is about using data to negotiate a resolution that makes both sides happy. And whether that's Netflix night or a lasting peace treaty, having a neutral party that can propose solutions based on real inputs could be incredibly powerful.