The photos arrived as hard copy, and Kremen and his employees scanned them in by hand.
In 2011 they sold the company for $50 million to IAC, the corporation that now owns Match.
Like Match, OK Cupid has its users fill out a questionnaire.
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.
As late as 1996 America Online estimated that of its five million users, 79 per cent were men.
’ 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.When I met him, at a conference on the internet dating industry in Miami last January, he asked where I was from.‘Ah, Minnesota,’ he said: ‘Have you ever been to the Zumbro River?He turned his back to me to watch the monitor over the pool tables, where the pool players now applauded some exploit. That night I scrolled until I found a handsome man who had written a benign invitation: ‘Let’s get a drink.’ I looked at his profile. The man generally held responsible for internet dating as we know it today is a native of Illinois called Gary Kremen, but Kremen was out of the internet dating business altogether by 1997, just around the time people were signing up for the internet en masse.Today he runs a solar energy financing company, is an elected official in Los Altos Hills, California and is better known for his protracted legal battle over the ownership of the pornography website than he is for inventing internet dating.Niche dating sites have proliferated, new technology has made new ways of meeting people possible and new gimmicks hit the market every day, but as I knew from my own experience, the fundamental characteristics of the online dating profile have remained static.