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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.I joined OK Cupid at the age of 30, in late November 2011, with the pseudonym ‘viewfromspace’.

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In more administrative fields, however, a growing number of women had email. He left his job, hired some programmers with his credit card, and created an email-based dating service.

Subscribers were given anonymous addresses from which to send out their profiles with a photo attached.

I sat on a stool at the centre of the bar, ordered a beer, and refreshed the feeds on my mobile. A basketball game played on several monitors at once. I allowed myself a moment’s longing for my living room and its couch.

Then I pretended to watch the game on a monitor that allowed me to look the other way. I refreshed the feed that indicated whether other people in the neighbourhood were sitting alone in bars. An OK Cupid Locals invitation has to start with the word ‘Let’s’:‘Let’s go now you and I’ always comes into my mind, but I’ve never broadcast an OK Cupid chat signal, I just respond. Every era has its own utopian possibilities: ours is the chance to make our lives more bearable through technology.

The photos arrived as hard copy, and Kremen and his employees scanned them in by hand.

Interested single people who did not yet have email could participate by fax.

By 1994 modems had got faster, so Kremen moved to take his company online.

He and four male partners formed Electric Classifieds Inc, a business premised on the idea of re-creating online the classifieds section of newspapers, beginning with the personals.

’ 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?

It turned out that Kremen had once driven, or been driven, into the river. In Miami Kremen recounted the genesis of his ideas about internet dating to a room full of matchmakers. If he could create such a database and charge a fee to access it, he would most probably turn a profit.

Subscribers completed a questionnaire, indicating the kind of relationship they wanted – ‘marriage partner, steady date, golf partner or travel companion’.

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