How Online Dating Cherishes the Notion That "The One" Is Out There For You

It may surprise you to learn that the entrepreneur behind dating sites like OKCupid and Match.com got his start by creating SparkNotes.com and Edonkey, a video-sharing site.

It may surprise you to learn that the entrepreneur behind OKCupid and current CEO of Match.com got his start by creating SparkNotes.com and Edonkey, a video-sharing site. Indeed Sam Yagan is more a doctor of business than a doctor of love, though that doesn't stop him from seeing romance through the lens of his company. Before OKCupid existed, Yagan knew that Match.com ruled the roost:


"If you play the incumbent’s game, you’re usually going to lose. The phrase I always said, you can't out-Match.com Match.com. ... But if you can change the game—not make it about doing beautiful TV campaigns and charging people $20 a month for a subscription—and create a new game, that game being one of 'get customers to talk about you by word of mouth,' use viral tactics, make it free. All of a sudden you have an advantage."

While social scientists have suggested that having too many choices may be paralyzing, especially when it comes to love, Yagan turns into a surprising romantic. His explanation of the high divorce rate is that people have too few choices and can only select from their immediate surroundings. By expanding the number of choices you have, you increase the likelihood of finding the person who is *truly* compatible with you. It's beginning to sound as if, despite the innumerable choices, online dating can help you find The One.

In his Big Think interview, OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder voices his concern over who owns online data and how a right to privacy might become a privilege of the wealthy:

Photo credit: Shutterstock

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less
Sponsored

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less