Harvard graduates are best known to make waves in society in the area of politics. In recent years, however, more graduates – like a certain undergraduate by the name of Mark Zuckerberg – became popular in the field of social networking. These programming prodigies took the social experience online, where chatting, commenting and even poking are transformed to simple functionalities. But another Harvard graduate, Sam Yagan, decided that the social experience would not be complete without dating. Thus, he created OkCupid.
Yagan is not new to the world of online entrepreneurship, but only a few would recognize him outside this arena. The co-founder and current CEO of the fastest-growing free online dating service, Yagan also spearheaded the creation of other businesses, such as TheSpark.com, maker of SparkNotes, and MetaMachine, which developed P2P file-sharing application, eDonkey. He has also been vice-president and publisher at Barnes & Noble.
So why a dating site? He was a math major after all, as well as two of his partners.
According to Yaga, it was his passion to bring a community of people together through free products or online services. He also thought that the model of Match.com, an established dating site, was not right. Thus, he came up with something better – OkCupid. It was his vision to turn the site into an online bar, where friends can meet up and have a good time and at the same time look for potential dates that seem most appealing. It seems that the math major’s idea of dating is spot on, and the best thing about it was he was able to take this idea online.
Eight years out of Harvard, Yagan already has two companies under his belt. Although he is generally less popular than most of his peers, his experience and vision of changing the world through online dating certainly makes up for it.