Abundant, Thriving, Active: Where Very hot Or Not’s Co-Founders Are Right now


HOTorNOT co-founder Jim Young with wife Sarah and daughters Vivienne, appropriate and Gemma.

Ahead of there was Facebook , or YouTube, Twitter or Tinder, there was HOTorNOT, the web site where (in the words of co-founder James Hong), “People uploaded their picture for other folks to charge on a scale of one to ten dependent on hotness.”

To a generation of guys and gals in school dorms, this was an invention on a par with fireplace and the wheel: Hrs upon several hours could be squandered, happily, rating the hotness of fellow pupils, school, superstars and European royalty.

“My wife remembers posting her image to HOTorNOT her freshman 12 months in university, years just before we fulfilled,” Jim Younger, HOTorNOT’s other founder, informed ABC Information lately. “She remembers her dorm mates considering it was hilarious and shocking. She is also of the view that in comparison to the kind of content material 1 finds routinely these days on Instagram, Twitter, and so on., HOTorNOT looks practically wholesome.”

Hong and Young after informed Newsweek that their inspired idea was born when the two University of California, Berkeley electrical engineers disagreed more than the attractiveness of a passing female. The web site they introduced in 2000 at first was called “Am I Very hot Or Not.” But like “The Facebook,” its identify quickly got pared down to its essence.

“Monster hit” does not get started to describe HOTorNOT’s accomplishment: In its first 7 days, it was receiving near to two million website page views a working day. In a couple of months, it ascended into NetNielsen’s leading 25 marketing domains. In addition to profits from advertising and marketing, it obtained membership charges from a matchmaking ingredient.

Cracking the online relationship code

When Hong and Young last but not least stepped away in 2008 and offered the web site, it was making the most of sales of about $ five million a yr and profits of about $ two million, in accordance to TechCrunch. The consumer, Avid Daily life Media, reportedly paid $ 20 million for it.

What are Hong and Youthful up to right now?

Young instructed ABC News he’s “busy getting a new dad” to daughters Gemma, six, and Vivienne, three. He’s still in touch with Hong, he stated, but the two are “not as close as we were. I’m on the East Coastline now, in Philadelphia. I really don’t see significantly of the old Internet crew, back again in San Francisco.”

Hong, in an online bio, describes himself right now as a “father, spouse, friend, traveler, entrepreneur, and often angel investor.” Hong follows a philosophy of what he phone calls “regret minimization.”

He instructed ABC News he recognized one particular working day how numerous people would like they’d traveled even though they ended up even now younger. “So, after we offered the firm in ’08, I acquired the travel bug and determined to travel close to the globe,” Hong stated. He also received married, had a son, then a daughter, and yet another child is on the way.

Hong jokingly describes himself as a “house dad” whose first priority is paying time with his kids.

“Lately, though, I decided I wished to begin creating items once again,” he explained. “So, before this calendar year, I brushed up on my coding.” He developed an application for his children — a youngster-risk-free YouTube viewer. It will not yet have a name. “I’m cleansing it up now,” he stated, “so I can set it in the application keep.”

HOTorNOT experienced a powerful influence on the start of some of today’s largest, most effective internet sites, Hong explained, noting that YouTube commenced off as a video clip version of HOTorNOT’s dating provider. HOTorNOT also assisted Zipdash (now Google cellular maps) and Twitter get commenced by supplying them cost-free web hosting, Hong added.

However, Anthony Curtis, a professor of mass communications at the College of North Carolina at Pembroke, questioned how big a legacy HOTorNOT can assert.

“Frankly, I feel there is a minor self-aggrandizement in what he’s saying,” explained Curtis, referring to the self-estimation. “There were so many other items going on back again then — things that cut new floor and established new standards. He was a single of a lot of.”

Curtis reeled off names from yesteryear, including Geocities, FriendsUnited and Myspace. HOTorNOT absolutely pioneered the notion of rating factors,” Curtis conceded. “Now, there is a million people rating factors.”

“Worst on-line dating profile” still draws in males

Young instructed ABC Information he has been associated in a number of commence-ups, some as an angel trader.

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