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Over the years I have posted many links to Andrew Chen. Andrew has a great guest post written by Aaron Schildkrout, co-counder of HowAboutWe, which Match recently acquired.

While we’re talking about the industry, SFGate has some great stories about the online dating industry.

For IAC, it was just another day at the top of the digital dating food chain. HowAboutWe needed an exit; IAC was the only one buying.

“It was opportunistic,” said Sam Yagan, CEO of IAC’s dating division, Match Group. “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh my God, we need to have HowAboutWe.’ It was an attractive financial transaction.”

Aaron has a few pearls of wisdom for online dating startups.

The online dating industry is a petri dish for delusional startup growth strategies.

Couldn’t agree more. The quick-money times for the online dating industry are over. You better have $5-$10 million to get going, otherwise you’re toast. Case in point, lot’s of niche sites launched, most of the struggling to own their respective markets.

Paid Acquisition / Direct Marketing: For dating, this is by far the most interesting category. It is the ONLY strategy that has ever worked to build a truly mainstream dating brand over time.

I can’t begin to remember how many times I’ve told this to dating site startup entrepreneurs, ignore at your peril. If you raise money, make sure to raise enough to survive at least the first six months, including marketing costs. Otherwise you’re gonna have a bad time.

Lot’s of other fantastic thoughts from Aaron I won’t bother with here. Between the two articles, lots of great information about the dating industry.

Thinking of starting a dating site? Read How to Avoid Delusional Thinking in Start-up Growth Strategy to get an industry veteran’s thoughts on what it takes to be successful in the online dating industry.