OPW INTERVIEW - Feb 6 - We interviewed Gary Kremen last month.
You’re the co-founder and were the first GM of Match.com. How did you get involved with Match and what’s your side of the founding story?
Gary and I are good friends, and we were back then. Gary was looking for somebody to run Match.com. We connected at our reunion and he told me he wanted somebody who really knew how to market women. He thought it was important to get women to Match.com so men would follow.
Gary’s idea was to charge per email or contact. I pushed forward the membership model and of course that’s the model in most online dating sites.
The other important thing was giving people advice on how to use the site better. A lot of people didn’t get that we were creating, not just personals online, but that we were really inventing something. This was back in 1995, before anyone knew about social networking.
What were the companies back them? Webpersonals.com, matchmaker.com and Match.com?
There were a few but they weren’t sophisticated about the marketing and customer acquisitions. They didn’t work with any partnerships and I don’t think they thought about targeting women. We were doing really well at attracting women and keeping them.
On that point you went on after Match.com to work as VP of Women.com. What do women want from idating that many dating sites are missing?
Safety, anonymity and fun is really important . If you take care of this, you’re going to do well. Any respectable dating site gives you enough control to control pics, messages, blocking and filtering etc. I also think that people need more specialized advice.
You are involved with two Internet dating start-ups. Could you tell us about those?
The first one is TheComplete.me and I think it’s very unique and very exciting because it really talks about your social graph on Facebook. The other start-up I’m involved in is “Three Day Rule”. It’s a completely different approach although it shares that social aspect. It’s based in LA and focuses on high end events.