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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Business Development of eHarmony .. Book Review (2005)




Book Review . Family-friendly . Dating . eHarmony . business coach host . writer . editor . Failing in Love For all the Right Reasons . Soul Mate . biz development . business development . Christian Worldview . faith based . ethnic backgrounds . religions . races


Sharing some tips from a book that I reviewed in 2005.

I did not want to focus on the dating from the book, so I focused from the business development from the book.

I received a review copy of eHarmony while being the business coach host, writer, editor for a site.

Development of eHarmony.com has more than 500 questions based on 29 dimensions that their scientific research has shown are crucial to long-term success in relationships.

In 1995 Dr. Neil Clark Warren, moved his counseling practice to a new office in Pasadena. Much of his time was consumed with creating materials to teach people how they could have a better marriage. One day while talking with his son-in-law Greg Forgatch, he told him about a study he had done in which he asked 100 married couples to tell him what makes a great marriage.

His son-in-law asked him had he ever thought of creating a service for singles based on that kind of information?
They began to dream of an educational service based on such empirical data.

This data is share in the book "Failing in Love For all the Right Reasons - How to find your Soul Mate" written by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, founder of eHarmony.com with Ken Abraham.

In 1977 Greg and Dr. Warren traveled to Santa Monica, California, where they met Pete Hurt, the former CEO of MasterCard and the current CEO of Advanta ( a financial services company for small businesses).

Pete became convinced that the only way a matchmaking company could succeed was to expand the pool of available partners. And the most helpful way of doing that seemed to be by means of the Internet.




Pete encouraged Greg and Dr. Warren to develop a program and put it on the Internet. Pete told Dr. Warren that he would be his advisor, only if he would use the Internet.

They took another year and a half to gather and analyze their empirical data.

To collect accurate reliable information, they decided to devise a questionaire for married couples to complete. They developed a team of researchers comprised of PdD's and research assistants, many of whom had worked alongside him when he taught graduate -level psychology classes. Dr. Galen Buck Walter, a brillant former student of his, was one of the first to come on board after Greg Forgatch and their friend Greig Steiner.

Galen introduced them to his friend Steve Carter, who was taking a break from his doctoral program for a while. Steve joined them in their quest. Soon Steve brought in antoher friend, Grant Langston, and they started meeting every day, working on questions they wanted to ask married couples.

A friend of Greg's, Kevin Burke, also assisted them greatly in the process. Kevin is the director of Lucid Marketing, a company with great expertise in public relations. It was Kevin who first almost whimsically tagged the fledgling company and future Internet site with the name "eHarmony.com."

Greg informed Lorrie that we were not going to match individuals on external appearances or bank accounts, but on values, character, and other inner qualities, she caught the vision for what we could do.

As they began developing their eHarmony team, they didn't go to other Internet companies in an attempt to hire away their best people. That would have produced an environment of MBA's, marketing people, and Internet techies who would say, "Well, the last five times we created one of these Internet companies, we did it this way."

Although Dr. Warren and Greg approached the problem from a faith-based, Christian Worldview, they have people of various ethnic backgrounds, races and religious faiths harmoniously working together at eHarmony.

Dr. Warren's wife, Marilyn has a background in fundraising. Marilyn raised more than $150 million during her tenure as a library. From the beginning of eHarmony, Marilyn had been their best public relations person.

They had secured a few financial grants to help get them started and had lined up investors to help them afford the initial launch costs. The equipment and technology wweb site cost more than $3.1 million. They had no clients when they first opened for business in August 2000, it cost more than $300,000 per month in overhead merely to keep the company going.

Not only did they pick up new members to eHarmony following his interview on the nationally broadcasted radio show, they multiplied from barely 4,000 people on their site at the time to more than 350,000 singles on eHarmony within twenty-four months.

In 2002 he was invited to return to the nationally syndicated radio show to represent an update. By then they were adding nearly one thousand new users every day and more than two hundred couples had married after being matched on eHarmony.

The corporate culture at eHarmony is rather laid-back, but it is definitely not sloppy.