40 under 40

Our 2013 edition of the list features young hotshots who are rocking businesses as diverse as air travel, natural gas, and genetic coding, as well as—if you can believe it— government.

22. Sam Yagan

40u40 sam yagan matchcom
  • Age: 36
  • Title: Co-Founder and CEO, OKCupid, CEO, Match Inc.

At Harvard, Yagan and friends created the popular study guide SparkNotes and sold it for $30 million. Then they made a file-sharing service and scaled it fast before shutting down to avoid going to court. In 2003 he and the same friends thought they could make a free alternative to dating sites eHarmony and Match.com, so they created OkCupid, which pioneered the use of data mining in online dating. They sold it to IAC's Match.com in 2011 for $90 million, and last fall Yagan was made CEO of Match Inc. Other companies now use OkCupid's vast trove of social data, and Yagan, a self-professed introvert who is married to his high school sweetheart, stands as the foremost authority in a fast-growing $2 billion industry.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 30 2013 03:41 PM ET
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