JON BOEDE, CO-FOUNDER MATCHMAKER: In 1984, my friend and I were running [dating] bulletin boards. The Internet obliterated the bulletin board world. Boede converted the business to a website. Lycos bought for $44.5 million. By 2004 there wasn’t much left of it.
GARY KREMEN, FOUNDER MATCH: I started Match in ’93. I needed to get married. I wrote some software that matched people through email and attached profiles. Kremen partnered with VCs who sold Match.com to Cendant for $7m in 1998. Nine months later, Cendant sold it to IAC for ~$50m.
JONATHAN CRUTCHLEY, FOUNDER MANHUNT.NET: Jonathan was a successful Boston real estate investor. In 1992, he bought half of a popular gay telephone chat line that became Manhunt.net. Phone-line revenues peaked ~year 2000. We organized events at gay bars and advertised in gay newspapers in new York and Philadelphia.
ANDREW CONRU, FOUNDER FRIEND FINDER: In 1993 I started WebPersonals.com. It had ~150k members by the time I sold it in early ’95. Conru then focused on FriendFinder. People started uploading risqué photos. I put a link on the site: “If you’re looking for erotic relationships, click here” to a duplicate of the site, AdultFriendFinder. Conru sold for $500m in 2007.
MANDY GINSBERG, PRESIDENT MATCH: I don’t know how to prove it, but there’s been a shift. We started to see a lot more people who felt comfortable putting out personalized things, commenting on things, uploading their own pictures of things.
SAM YAGAN, CO-FOUNDER OKCUPID: We’re helping erode the stigma for the entire industry. I think it helps that we’re free, which makes it all seem less intentional.
MARKUS FRIND, FOUNDER PLENTYOFFISH: The reason for our success is that we actually helped people meet. Our mobile traffic was around 6% in the under-30 category. Now it’s sitting at 70%.
The future of online dating might very well be its own demise, a movement toward a place where the distinction between meeting in the real world and meeting online no longer exists.
by John Ortved
The full article was originally published at Bullet, but is no longer available.