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Like many visionary entrepreneurs, Kremen doesn’t have very good management skills.
His life has passed through periods of grave disarray.
In her essay about leaving New York Joan Didion tells a man she’ll take him to a party where he might meet some ‘new faces’, and he laughs at her.
‘It seemed that the last time he had gone to a party where he had been promised “new faces”, there had been 15 people in the room, and he had already slept with five of the women and owed money to all but two of the men.’ Didion doesn’t say, but I’ve always assumed her friend went to the party anyway.
’ 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?
Since Kremen started his company little has changed in the industry.
In 1992, he was a 29-year-old computer scientist and one of the many graduates of Stanford Business School running software companies in the Bay Area. In 1992, that couldn’t be done – modems transmitted information too slowly.
One afternoon a routine email with a purchase order attached to it arrived in his inbox. At the time, emails from women in his line of work were exceedingly rare. Then there was the scarcity of women with online access.
I joined OK Cupid at the age of 30, in late November 2011, with the pseudonym ‘viewfromspace’.
When the time came to write the ‘About’ section of my profile, I quoted Didion’s passage, then added: ‘But now we have internet dating. ’ The Didion bit sounded unpleasant, so I replaced it with a more optimistic statement, about internet dating restoring the city’s possibilities to a life that had become stagnant between work, subway and apartment.