(Break You Up creator Max Thorley. All images credit: Max Thorley)
Most people hate to have the breakup talk with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, a roommate, or even their cell phone carrier. For Max Thorley, that’s a business opportunity.
‘’I’m keen for them to outsource that misery to me,” he tells Yahoo Makers. “Clients just need to share their feelings and I’ll get the ball rolling in a fun, witty but unequivocal way that softens the blow and allows all parties to move forward in their lives.’’
Thorley, a 23-year-old in Sydney, Australia, is the brains behind a new business called Break You Up and his arsenal includes cleverly crafted emails, tweets, sonnets, and even haikus. A custom message will cost you $10AU (about US$8.)
(When he was still a teenager, Breakuup.com creator Max Thorley sent this text for a friend. It may have planted the seed for his business. )
‘’Most people at some stage find themselves lost for words in uncomfortable or painful situations like relationship splits, shitty jobs with awful bosses or dealing with annoying flatmates they want to kick to the curb,’’ he says.
Breakuup.com isn’t the first website trying to turn a profit from ending a relationship. An English entrepreneur named Jonathan Kiekbusch made headlines for his online dumping services in 2012. In 2010, the somewhat crassly named site iDump4U offered a range of breakup services, from the $10 basic breakup to a $50 “divorce call.”
But Thorley, an ad copywriter by day, is emphasizing his light touch with his breakup skills. He says loves words and believes you can achieve more with humor and good grace than with malice or bullying.
‘’I make it very clear on my website that my service won’t involve any form of bullying or harassment,’’ he says.
(A sample breakup note from Thorley. Touching…)
Thorley has been developing his business plan for the past two months and kicked it off with his website just over a week with a flurry of interest from the Australian media. He appeared on the Down Under version of the Today Show last week to tout his business.
‘’I can’t really say when the light bulb moment occurred but I guess the seed goes back to when I was 15 and helped out a mate who couldn’t summon the courage to end it with his girlfriend,’’ he recalls.
‘’I used his phone to send her a break-up text message using a friendly, respectful tone, and from what I remember she seemed to take it pretty well.’’
Though he’s single now, Thorley says he has experienced both sides of the break-up talk, which helps him maintain a sense of balance and fairness.
While social etiquette has traditionally frowned upon written break-ups (remember the Sex and the City post-it note episode), Thorley says it can offer clear advantages especially in a digital world.
(Another sample email. “It’s a wiring issue…”)
‘’It gives you a chance to choose your words more carefully and to deliver them uninterrupted without the heated emotion involved in face-to-face confrontation,’’ he says.
While the media has seized on the dumping, Thorley thinks the demand for a variety of personal messages will dictate his business direction.
‘’I’m open to all requests including ghosting dating site profiles,’’ says Thorley.
‘’The dating site profile market has huge potential for improvement because so many people default to dull clichés…I’ve my got own Tinder profile up on my website as a bit of fun .’’
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As for quality control, Thorley says individual messages will be checked multiple times before he hands them over to clients.
‘’From there it is the client’s responsibility to assess the recipient’s ability to cope with the message and deal with the consequences,’’ he says.
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