In terms of how I think about it in my head, all of our businesses compete in the marketplace. All of our brands want to win, but we certainly want to fight fair and coordinate as much as we can behind the scenes. What Cliffs Notes was when I was growing up was basically what Spark Notes is now. It’s awesome that in one gig, I can both work on my original baby, work on Match, which is by far the biggest brand, and still get that entrepreneurial passion with Tinder.But to the consumer we want to offer the broadest, most competitive set of products that we can. Then I started a company called Edonkey, which was basically Napster for video. Khazan: Was there anything in your childhood or early adulthood that encouraged you to be more inclined toward entrepreneurship?Back in 2003, the state of the art in online dating was psychologists. We didn’t believe that relationships could be simplified into a formula. Yagan: When you compete against an incumbent, you have to change the rules of the game.If you play the incumbent’s game, you’re usually going to lose. They have more money than you, they have more people than you, and they have a better brand than you.
I never had a lemonade stand, I never had a paper route.
They left their family and their comfortable lives overseas and came here for very uncertain hopes and dreams. The willingness to take risks, the willingness to think differently about your career, those were all things that were ingrained in me.
Yagan: What we learned from Spark Notes in particular—everyone knew Cliffs Notes, everyone used Cliffs Notes.
You fire up Tinder and you can be at a bar with someone in 20 minutes. We just thought we had a better way to do it, and that’s why we started the company. Yagan: We observed the way people date in the real world.
That's not what our Match and Ok Cupid products are designed to do. The way people date in the real world is they collect information on people.