Being a mathematics major at Harvard when you look at the late ’90s, Yagan forever altered the marketplace for student cheat sheets, then dominated by the iconic black-and-yellow CliffsNotes booklets, together with his SparkNotes, a totally free Web-based copycat. Next, Yagan went following the music business, producing the file-sharing device eDonkey. Ahead of the business had been litigated away from existence with a record-industry lawsuit, it boasted the planet’s many popular file-sharing computer software, larger also than Napster.
Now Yagan had attempted to bring liberated to internet dating, a market that is growing by a wide range of, as Yagan saw them, expensive and unsatisfactory rivals like IAC’s (NYSE: IACI) Match.com. Yagan figured he could inflict severe damage on Match, the industry giant with 2007 income of $349 million, along with other big membership web web internet sites such as for instance eHarmony and JDate simply by using the exact same strategy he employed with SparkNotes. “Take a current company, ” he explains, “reduce the revenue that industry creates by providing a totally free item, then claim the rest of the income yourself. “