Instead, after two years of rapid growth, its Web traffic was flat-lining while competitors were growing rapidly.By early 2007, Yagan realized his window of opportunity was closing.In 2009, the site’s founders analyzed responses from more than 500,000 users and discovered that including the word “atheist” in a first message to another user was more likely to garner a reply than any other religious descriptor except Christian.
He needed to jump-start his company or face a slow death.
To deliver to advertisers and turn a profit, Yagan figured he needed eight million users and two million regular daters, roughly eight times his current traffic.
Before the company was litigated out of existence by a record-industry lawsuit, it boasted the world's most popular file-sharing software, bigger even than Napster.
Now Yagan had set out to bring to online dating, a growing market dominated by a number of, as Yagan saw them, expensive and unsatisfactory competitors like IAC's (NYSE: IACI)
They might come from a hired hand penning her responses.