Sam Yagan is commonly known as the “grandfather of online dating”. With friends he met while studying at Harvard University, he founded OkCupid in 2003. During his time at university, he also founded Sparknotes, a study guide company. Yagan later became head of Match.com and also served as a director at Tinder for a while. Like OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, Hinge and Match.com, Tinder is a product of the Match Group.
For OkCupid, Yagan and his friends were looking for a novel solution for online dating. They wanted to use the math and in-depth data to predict compatibility. “We didn’t just want to figure out how people should data, we wanted to develop a model – an algorithm that maps the real world,” Yagan said in a recent interview with NewsABC.net.
So he and his business partners designed a website with a system based on questions and answers. It should help people figure out who to date.
As he looked at the data, he found something surprising. “You can disagree about religion, about pets, and many other things,” said Yagan. However, there are three specific questions that best predict long-term compatibility in a relationship.
Yagan is now taking a break from the online dating business and runs ShopRunner, a service that offers free two-day shipping with the help of various retailers. But he revealed to NewsABC.net the three most important questions that OkCupid data can predict whether a couple will last. Here you are:
1. Do you like horror movies?
This question may seem secondary, but according to Yagan, it can reveal a lot about a person and provide important insights.
“The idea of making a horror film, the idea of going to a movie and being scared, is something deeply unique,” he said.
2. Have you ever traveled to a foreign country for fun alone?
“Traveling to a foreign country alone is the most terrifying thing I could ever imagine,” said Yagan.
3. Have you ever wanted to ditch everything and live on a sailboat?
Yagan would answer “no” to all three questions. He’s never had to do this on an online dating site, however – he married his high school sweetheart and never used any of the dating services he started.
This article was translated from English and edited by Ilona Tomić. You can read the original here.