AMA: Sam Yagan, Co-Founder, OkCupid & CEO, Match, Inc.
Hi, I’m Sam Yagan, Co-Founder, OkCupid & CEO, Match, Inc. Ask me anything.
I’ll be taking your questions for half an hour starting at 4:00PM CT on November 1st.
Update: The AMA is now closed, thank you everyone who participated.
-The Built In Chicago Team
Hey Sam, thanks for taking the time!
So with a product like OKCupid, or any soical platform where the product is actually the platform itself, what are the questions you should be asking when you're about to launch? I am about to launch a social network of my own and I want to make sure I'm asking the right questions and analyzing the parts of my ux which will be the true catalysts for growth.
I'd like to ask a few questions regarding the moment of launching of a dating site:
- How many users had OkCupid in the very first day? How many after a week and a month?
- In your opinion, what is the mininum number of users a dating site should have at the moment of launch?
- How did you attract first users to OkCupid? I mean what exactly did you do before the launch?
Thanks for yor answers in advance!
Hey Sam! Looking forward to your AMA.
I wanted to ask.. when starting a community similar to Match or OkCupid, what do you suggest a company can do to get that initial content rolling? It'll start empty obviously, so when people first sign on, there's not much there.. then engagement will be low, then it won't catch on. What can we do about that?
Sam, what do you think the concept of a dating-specific ad network?
1. Dating sites garner a very specific type of audience with specific intent
2. Users are transient (churns every 3 months so you get fresh eye balls)
3. Audience can be highly segmented, allowing for laser targeting, unlike content sites that are currently mixed in at generic ad networks
1. Cut out expensive agency middle-men
2. More control and transparency for dating sites and advertisers
3. More efficient ecosystem based on bidding and use of performance metrics instead of just blanket CPMs
4. Highly sought-after targeting capabilities by advertisers
Would love to hear your thoughts on this and/or how to efficiently monetize at free or freemium dating sites.
Hey Mr. Cupid,
Just wondering - Being a founder of a successful dating site must have some perks. How many girls have you gone out with on your own platform? What's your conversion rate? jk...
I have two questions that I'd love answers to:
1. Where did you find your first OkCupid users?
2. How do you sustain membership when the goal is to essentially help your users find someone so that they won't have to date, and in turn use your site, anymore?
Thanks for doing this Sam.
What do you feel was the most sucessful way of increasing user activity on OkCupid?
Was it a particular feature? UI Tweeks?
Most entrepreneurs, designers and developers create this picture in their head how their product should/will be used, but once you get it in users hands they usually surprise you. So, what were a few assumpitions you had during Okcupid and now with Match about users behavior that totally took you by suprise, positively and negatively? In addition how did the team adapat to these changes and implement or remove things to enhance the overall user experience?
How do you know when it's time to launch? If you've built the architecture to address 1 or 2 of 3 of target markets, do you launch the company and address the other target market(s) as you move forward, or do you wait until everything is ready before launch? If it's the former, will it confuse potential customers and complicate branding and marketing strategy? Or is it better to have some presence earlier versus total presence later? They say timing is everything - does it hold true for start-ups?
Thank you for doing this. It's very much appreciated.
It seems that any small business needs a "growth hack" of sorts to give them a boost over their competition and a bit of traction. What was a few of your initial "growth hacks" to get started with OkCupid?
With your experience at Excelerate Labs, how do you approach putting a value, typically through equity, on having a mentor(s)?
I wanted to ask - out of everything you've learned about people getting matched through questions, do you have any insight into the most important pieces of information that people need to know about eachother before they will decide to message each other, or even meet in real life?
Ellen from PeopleHunt in NY
How did you initially fund the your start up costs?
- Corey J.
Mr. Yagan, I am working with a social start-up and want to get your input on the most efficient way people meet. Is there any evidence to suggest whether search-based sites, such as Match.com, are any more or less effective if long-lasting relationships compared to match-based sites, where the company provides the user with selected people?
I worked at 1871 but we never met. I would like to what type of market/companies/startups would you invest money so I can hit the lottery as well. Thank you.
How much luck have you had getting core users to evangelize your platform? What kind of incentives have worked?
I was just curious if you read my article, http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/entrepreneur-s-thought-when-goliath-e... here in Built In Chicago and wondering what your experience is so far in entering the roommate matching space. Are there any pain points or advice you'd be willing to share? Cheers!