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The problem: The media had more or less ignored the launch.With the exception of some blog mentions and a product placement deal with an Austin radio station, KROX, no media outlets covered Crazy Blind during the first month. Yagan says he paid the station ,600 with the understanding that Deb O'Keefe, a morning deejay, would go on a blind date and endorse the website.Thanks to links from blogs, including the popular Tech Crunch, Ok Cupid's rank on Google's results page for the search has jumped from fourth place to first place.Yagan says the attention should make it easier to raise money and hire more engineers.Furthermore, he worried that Ok Cupid risked being seen as just another widget maker in a crowded marketplace.As various promotional options were exhausted, Yagan found his thoughts turning back to a wacky idea he and Coyne had once tossed around: a dating site with "a blind-date button." What had been little more than a running joke suddenly seemed like a way to stand out from the crowd.That way daters could contact one another without exchanging phone numbers.Yagan decided to kick off Crazy Blind in Austin because he thought people in a socially liberal university town would be more likely to seek blind dates.
"Men will look at this and say, 'Sweet; I can get a woman delivered to me,' " says Yagan. This way they'll only need to bring half a canister of mace." To further mollify wary users, he also set up a text messaging system that routed messages through his company's servers.
They began work on Crazy Blind in July 2007 and assigned three of the company's nine engineers to build the website.
The site made it easy for users to go on blind dates within hours of signing up.
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.
If those numbers weren't daunting enough, new free dating sites were popping up and beating Yagan at his game. Plentyof Fish.com, run by a solo entrepreneur with one full-time employee, was also wildly profitable, earning some $10 million a year.