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Five Success Stories to Get You Started (Up)

Five Success Stories to Get You Started (Up)


by Zima

Irony: The ‘key’ to success is right under the ‘backspace’…

You know what’s really great about SkaDate Dating Software? No, it’s not the fact that the script is one of the best value/quality combinations out there, or its devotion to bringing fun back into dating. It’s not even our well-documented continuous love-hate relationship with Lady Gaga.

It is, in fact, the amazing flexibility the users get in building just the right matchmaking and/or social network. This, in turn, places any site owner on the perfect trajectory for success, shadowing the rises of the more prominent market players.

I kid you not, just look at our portfolio for just a few first-rate examples. As for the big guys – their success stories can give us all that extra nudge in inspiration. Here I’ve picked the five that really stand out.

5. Plenty of Fish and the Music Video Enthusiast

Plenty of Fish is one of those websites that became incredibly successful through the sheer determination of its founder. You would think that a company ranked 2 in the US market share standings would need a far bigger staff than just a dozen of employees. But in fact the road to initial success was paved by only one man – Markus Frind, a graduate of British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Frind ran the service single-handedly for three years until 2007, at which point he probably thought that it was no longer fun to swim alone in all those pools of cash. He also thought that a little music will not hurt his business and he was right. While the membership continued to explode, Plenty of Fish was featured in music videos of Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Flo Rida, Akon, Jason Derulo and Britney Spears.

4. eHarmony and a 76-year-old Scientist

One thing you need to know about eHarmony is that in 2009 it generated more than $1.0 billion in cumulative revenues. Fine, maybe it’s not the only thing you need to know about the company, but that number is damn impressive and inspiring. Just like the person who co-founded that company.

In fact, Neil Clark Warren was born to inspire others and actually made a mint doing so. What else can you expect from a 76-year-old professional inspirational speaker, who holds a PhD in clinical psychology? Quite a lot actually, including the creation of a web-service with a specific intent of building strong marriages. In the Industry that was first associated exclusively with quick hook-ups, the determination to give the world a real solution for building strong families is inspiring indeed.

3. Ashley Madison and a 40-year-old Lawyer

But if the idea of strong families does not excite you, what does? Infidelity? Well, let’s put an ironic twist on our narrative and continue with Ashley Madison – a highly profitable dating site and social network catering specifically to the needs of people who want to date outside their established relationships.

And the mastermind behind the service? The judge of the Miss Tiger Woods Mistress Pageant, former sports agent and former lawyer Noel Biderman. Still think there is little inspiring about the man? Consider that MSNBC compared Biderman to Hugh Hefner, while his path to success lied through largely uncharted territory of constantly fighting media wars, defending his right for a spot under the sun. Moral dilemmas aside, Biderman’s motto of “Life is short. Have an affair” works. At least in the business-affair way.

The writer wanted a picture of a heart, but editors found this one more ‘inspiring’.

2. OKCupid and a Bunch of Harvard Students

Like many cool things on the Internet, OKCupid is the creation of a bunch of Harvard grads. Unlike many cool things created by Harvard grads, said bunch remains consistently funny and creative in their exploits. Also, OKCupid has over 3.5 million active users. It’s pretty big.

The Harvard lads in question are Christian Rudder, Chris CoyneSam Yagan and Max Krohn. If these names don’t tell you anything, that doesn’t mean you haven’t heard of their projects. SparkNotes? Yep, it’s them.

In 1999 this group of friends came up with a idea to publish free online study guides on a variety of subjects. You know, the type of study guides that drive professors mad, because they believe students no longer read literature and just use SparkNotes’ summaries. The site’s offshoot The Spark was one of the funnier destinations on the Internet while Rudder was in charge, alas it is no longer active after the companies switched owners.

Still, anyone familiar with the guys’ next creation (OKCupid) can attest that the service still feels pretty fresh with all the fun questionnaires and matchmaking algorithms.  Plus it brought the founders a cool $50 million after the sale to the IAC. And Rudder? He plays in an Indie Folk band called Bishop Allen. How’s that for an inspiration?

1. and the Man Who Invented

This one is the real monster in the bunch. Without even looking at the numbers, everyone recognizes as the true leader in the Online Dating Industry. Even people who are indifferent about Internet dating have likely heard about the company. But how did the site and people behind it got here?

Back in 1985 Gary Alan Kremen was already using the Internet, while the rest of us were busy wondering Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Oh, and if you have to ask who’s Gary Kremen is, then you haven’t heard of little sites like, and, yes,  Kremen was the guy who registered said domains, so you already see that he knew what most people wanted from life. With sex, jobs, and housing covered, the next logical step was dating, thus, followed soon.

Kremen launched the service in 1995, becoming the first person to introduce the Internet to the world of classified ads (or the other way around). Unfortunately he left the company a year later over the disputes with venture capitalists, thus missing all the fun of the site switching numerous hands over the next 15 years.

Today Kremen remains a respected businessman (currently chairing the Clean Power Finance, Inc.), an avid startuper, and a cult figure for anyone in the online dating industry. Oh, and he is millionaire of course, estimating his personal worth at $10 million.

* * *

So, what we can learn from all these stories is that with an entrepreneurial spark (which you obviously have since you’ve found this blog), right tools (which we obviously have here with SkaDate Dating Software), and a bit of inspiration (which the above post obviously gives plenty of) you are already on the right track to the top. Remember, the US Census Bureau says that there are 33 million singles online out there. Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s make them happy!

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