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Harrison started Spokeo in 2006. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Spokeo?
I studied both Electrical Engineering and Economics for undergrad at Stanford. I studied Electrical Engineering for a Master's at Stanford as well.
I started Spokeo in 2006 with several college roommates, including our CTO Mike Daly and CIO Eric Liang, in my parents’ basement. Spokeo was originally founded as a social network aggregator. We helped users manage the slew of social networks that were available at the time into one organized feed with their friends’ updates.
We had to change because we were running out of money. Social network aggregation might get traffic, but few people were willing to pay for the service. After we changed our site from selling ads to selling subscriptions, we realized that people were paying to search for others, not aggregating their own content.
We soon learned that users were actually finding our people search capabilities to be more helpful than the newsfeeds, so we pivoted to a social search engine in 2008 and entered into people’s search market in 2010. As the search capabilities of our product grew, so did our business, and here we are today, generating over $6M and helping over 15M users a month.
Spokeo has added a lot more data and searches features since the social search engine in 2008. We now aggregate over 14 billion records from white pages listings, property records, criminal records, and other public records to provide daily people intelligence for our users. More than 15 million users a month use Spokeo to search and connect with others.
The two clusters of Spokeo use cases are (1) Connectors, and (2) Protectors. Connectors use Spokeo to find their long-lost family members or friends or to find new sales leads. Protectors use Spokeo to research people like their dates or fight fraud, making sure that people are who they say they are.
Spokeo gets its data from reputable data partners who aggregate public records, as well as the public web. We respect different people might feel differently about privacy, so we offer the industry's easiest opt-out and CCPA-compliant features. We are also building identity management and protection features that will be launched later this year.
> Over the years, I’ve learned to always take a deep breath when confronting a big surprise, and a good night’s sleep always helps me get prepared for the next day’s fight.