And a few weeks ago, today’s guest sold his company. It basically uses all the mechanics of dating, the stuff you might expect from an app like Tinder, to match you up with people that you might want to network with and meet for coffee and do work with. I get to do all this because of two great sponsors. The idea behind a leveraged buyout is you have a little bit of money. And then you go and you buy a company, you turn it around and then you sell it and boom, right? At the very beginning, I wanted to work in the sport industry, but I understood that it’s a very tricky business. So my mother was very proud of me, and I was getting money. But afterwards I didn’t have the courage to make the leap and quit my job, you know? : It was a mix between Airbnb and Century 21, because when I was younger, I loved to travel around Europe. : It’s an agency, like a broker–yes, exactly, with apartments. Nine years ago in France, people were more patient about new services. Then I give it to him but he doesn’t shoot anything.
I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I’ve interviewed entrepreneurs about how they’ve built their businesses. Demographics mismatch with investors–there are so many reasons why dating sites are tough to build and to grow and to make successful. But you can see I have to wait 13 more hours before I get to go back into it. : As a kid, this is how geeky I was–as a kid, I wanted to do leveraged buyouts. I was on the board of a company with 100 employees. I had a new idea and I was making my business plan. I didn’t think about it as an internet company, but more like you know Century 21? : Because I didn’t know anybody in the tech industry, anybody. I’ll use it on my site and hire designers to make it look nice.” But you didn’t even know to do that? : So two out of three people were bumped, which actually caused you issues with your marketing because you were spending a lot of money to acquire all three people when two of them were being rejected and only one was accepted. Now, you download an app and if you don’t like it, you delete it and it’s over. So I show him how to do it and I hit the button and I shoot one of these aliens and I get ten points.
And one of the fascinating things to me about his company is that it was a dating company. The first will help you organize your books properly–not help you, they’ll do it for you. The second one will actually get you the best developer or designer you’ve ever had. You end up with this big windfall and you get to go do it again and again and again. You really need to know a lot of the [inaudible ] the sport players if you want to succeed. In France, LBO [inaudible ], people didn’t know that in 2004, 2003. I saw that it could be the same, but only for short-time rents. You were like 22 years old when you were working for the LBO firm. So, because the service was free at this time, they keep getting back to the website, even if it was not perfect. Let me continue because you did overcome some of the challenges we’re talking about here and others and some of the challenges Andrew Chen brought up in his blog post. I said, “Let’s just go see this and introduce it to my kid.” So I go in and I look at it. So I get the joystick back from him and I shoot another alien and I get ten points, then ten points.
I’m actually looking at Andrew Chen’s blog right now where he talks about why investors don’t invest in dating companies. So I wanted to work on that, but as I told you, I didn’t have the courage to quit my job. I think they were making more than 0 million revenue in 2007. I saw that the market was going to be segmented and probably that we would have a space in the premium dating. My friend invested at the very beginning of the company. I did not have any business partner who knows marketing. That just goes to show how great it is to start at an LBO firm because you make good money, which sadly you had to give up and your friends make good money, which means you have access to their wallets a little bit and to their intelligence and their connections, which is fantastic. But first, I’ve got to tell people about a company called Bench. Let me tell you something, Ludovic, a few weeks ago I was taking my two-year old son to just spend the day with him. Then I start to move him away slowly because I want to get more points up on the board.
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