Q: How did you manage to grow Match.com, particularly in a climate as miserable as this one?
A: We’ve been really improving the product. We’ve invested tons in growth. We spend money on marketing to make sure people are coming in, and we spend an incredible amount on product development.
Q: You’re a former mergers and acquisitions lawyer. At Match, you added 28 brands. What’s the secret to identifying a good acquisition?
A: I’m a big fan of acquisitions in areas where you already have a competence. You need to make sure those companies have a market.
Q: What would you tell students who were trying to decide what industry to go into? What would you tell them about online dating?
A: First, it is a dramatically underpenetrated area. Second, you really change people’s lives with Match.com and other services. The success stories and feedback we get from our customers when they meet somebody special is a benefit that doesn’t exist in 98% of the other opportunities out there. And finally, technology is fundamentally changing this whole experience.
Q: You worked under both Martha Stewart and Barry Diller. What did you learn about leadership from them?
A: I learned that passion and conviction are two of the most important tools of success, and yet they both need to be tempered by listening.
Q: You’re single. Do you use Match?
A: I have used Match. It was hard to do while I was the CEO of Match because it led to a very bizarre interchange, once on the date. They’d ask, “What do you do?” And I’d say, “I’m the CEO of Match.”
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