I don’t think I’ve written about my friend Gary on this blog. Today you’ll meet another person from my porn-past.
In this photo, the man on the left is Gary Kremen. He is the founder of the online dating site Match.com, but also owned the domain name sex.com as well. At one time he was my business partner. In fact, when I was in the porn world he was the first business partner I had. We went into business together 3 years after I started in the adult business. The partnership didn’t last very long, but our friendship continues to this day.
My friendship with Gary began because he was intrigued by the porn business. He’d originally meant the “sex” domain to work hand in hand with Match.com as a sort of sex education website. Those plans changed when a con man named Stephen Cohen stole the domain from him and turned it into a porn site. Gary spent several years and millions of dollars getting the domain back. By the time it was again in his possession it was making so much money from porn advertising that he left it “as-is” and officially became a pornographer. I remember being at his 40th birthday party where his mother introduced her children to those who didn’t know them by saying, “This is my daughter the photographer, and my son the pornographer”. At the time, it was amusing.
Gary had never meant to be a pornographer. He eventually sold the sex.com domain for $14 million after being awarded a $65 million judgment against the con man who stole it from him as well as another multi-million dollar judgment against Network Solutions, the company that transferred ownership of the domain to Stephen Cohen to begin with.
This morning I read this article, talking about Gary’s latest venture: his plans to provide financing for solar energy to the masses. In the photo taken above Gary and I were discussing that very plan over dinner here in my hometown. I think it’s a great idea, and I really hope it catches on.
The gist of Gary’s plan is to make solar financing very similar to vehicle financing. Think of a car dealership: when a person finds the car they wish to buy, the dealer is able to offer financing on the spot. Gary wants his company to be THE financing option when a solar energy salesperson is speaking with a prospective client. The salesperson can offer solar energy products, and immediately set the customer up with financing through Clean Power Finance, Gary’s company.
He may be a bit ahead of his time, but I won’t be at all surprised if this latest venture is just as financially successful as his previous endeavors. You go, Gary!