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In 2011 they sold the company for million to IAC, the corporation that now owns Match.Like Match, OK Cupid has its users fill out a questionnaire.Subscribers completed a questionnaire, indicating the kind of relationship they wanted – ‘marriage partner, steady date, golf partner or travel companion’.Users posted photos: ‘A customer could choose to show himself in various favourite activities and clothing to give the viewing customer a stronger sense of personality and physical character.’The business plan cited a market forecast that suggested 50 per cent of the adult population would be single by 2000 (a 2008 poll found 48 per cent of American adults were single, compared to 28 per cent in 1960).At the time, single people, particularly those over the age of 30, were still seen as a stigmatised group with which few wanted to associate.But the age at which Americans marry was rising steadily and the divorce rate was high.In her essay about leaving New York Joan Didion tells a man she’ll take him to a party where he might meet some ‘new faces’, and he laughs at her.‘It seemed that the last time he had gone to a party where he had been promised “new faces”, there had been 15 people in the room, and he had already slept with five of the women and owed money to all but two of the men.’ Didion doesn’t say, but I’ve always assumed her friend went to the party anyway.
Subscribers were given anonymous addresses from which to send out their profiles with a photo attached.
In 1992, he was a 29-year-old computer scientist and one of the many graduates of Stanford Business School running software companies in the Bay Area. In 1992, that couldn’t be done – modems transmitted information too slowly.
One afternoon a routine email with a purchase order attached to it arrived in his inbox. At the time, emails from women in his line of work were exceedingly rare. Then there was the scarcity of women with online access.
’ The Zumbro flows south of Minneapolis past Rochester, home of the Mayo Clinic. ’ Then he had another idea: what if he had a database of all the single women in the world?
It turned out that Kremen had once driven, or been driven, into the river. In Miami Kremen recounted the genesis of his ideas about internet dating to a room full of matchmakers. If he could create such a database and charge a fee to access it, he would most probably turn a profit.Because in its early days the internet was prevalent in worlds that had historically excluded women – the military, finance, mathematics and engineering – women were not online in big numbers.