Catherine Cook is an American entrepreneur, credited as the co-founder of the website myYearbook.com. myYearbook.com is a social networking site much like any other platform but it is mainly directed at teenagers.
The website was an idea of Catherine and her brother David Cook. The website the siblings started in high school is currently one of the top 25 most visited websites in the United States. Even though it started very humble with members from a single high school, the website grew rapidly and accommodates over 30 million members now.
Coming from a very normal household and building a huge business, Catherine is truly a very big inspiration for many entrepreneurs out there.
Her website myYearbook.com was later acquired and currently is a part of The Meet Group Inc. After its acquisition, the website changed its name to MeetMe and still continues its operations successfully.
Who Is Catherine Cook?
Catherine Cook is an American entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of the popular website myYearbook.com. Catherine was only 15 years old when he and her brother got the idea for the website. They developed the idea with the help of their older brother Geoff Cook.
Catherine is regarded as a very successful young entrepreneur for the success of myYearbook.com.
Catherine and her brother Dave were studying at Montgomery High school when they got the idea for the website. Dave was a junior and Catherine was just a sophomore.
They also had an older brother who graduated from Harvard named Geoff Cook. Geoff also has a history similar to his younger siblings. He founded and sold a company when he was just an undergraduate at Harvard.
Catherine Cook and Dave seek the help of their younger brother and Geoff Cook was the initial investor in the idea.
The brother-sister duo planned their strategies very well and were able to keep the needed push for their platform at their school and the rest is history. What started off at just a single high school is one of the top 25 most visited websites in the United States.
Catherine Cook And myYearbook.com
Catherine Cook had the idea to develop myYearbook Website when she was just 15 years old. She was accompanied by her brother Dave to the venture too. The siblings just moved to New Jersey and were just getting acquainted with their town and their new school, Montgomery High School.
While Catherine was going through the yearbook from her school, it struck her that it was not a good way to meet new people. Her brother Dave, who was also with her, agreed to it and the siblings thought about the issue deeply.
Later, they came up with a solution, to make the yearbook or kind of information available online so that it would be easier to meet new people. Catherine and Dave did their best work to make the rough initial version of their myYearbook.com.
As they both were just high school students, they had to put in extra effort, stay past their bedtime, and also ask for help from their older brother to put the idea together. Their older brother Geoff was also the initial inverter of the platform.
After the platform was up and about, Catherine and Dae also used some of the marketing strategies that they had up their sleeves to get the students talking about their website and it worked out in their favor.
Dave and Catherine wore myYearbook.com branded t-shirts to school which grabbed the attention of the students very easily. The test run of the website by just applying it only in their school proved to be successful and it went viral.
Catherine Cook – Success And Future through myYearbook.com
As the platform was very much liked by the students, people started approaching the siblings with suggestions to improve the website. They designed it according to the preferences of the users and the rest is history.
The website reached 100,000 user count within just a month and after a course of successful nine months, the website had almost 1,000,000 users.
Almost after a year, managing the website was not easy and the siblings had to find an additional income source for that. Even after one year and a huge number of users, they were not monetized.
Recalling their statement, the priority was given to increasing the number of users on the platform rather than moving forward with monetization. The siblings were able to raise almost $17 million series A round in 2006, with First Round Capital and US Venture Partners.
Catherine Cook – Becoming A Millionaire
After the success of a new business venture, a typical teenager would hesitate to go to college. But that was not the case with Catherine or her brothers. All three of the Cook kids completed their graduation.
While Catherine Cook enrolled at Georgetown University, her brother Dave joined Colorado University in Boulder. Catherine also mentioned that her teachers were very understanding and helped her to manage her business and studies simultaneously.
It was in 2011 that the siblings took the decision to sell their website to another company. Catherine was just 21 years old back then. They sold their myYearbook.com to the Latino social networking site Quepasa. The deal was reported for $100 million.
After myYearbook.com was acquired by Quepasa, they renamed it ‘MeetMe.’ The explanation given for the change was that while Yearbook gave the possibility of connecting with people that we already know, MeetMe made it sound more like the services the website then offered.
Most recently in 2020, MeetMe was acquired by the eharmony parent company Parhip Group and the acquisition was announced to be completed in September 2020.
Through her successful venture that she started in her teens, Catherine Cook earned the title of one of the youngest self-made millionaires in the world. She was only 21 when she sold her company for $100 million. Her story is a real inspiration for people who aspire to do great things with their life.