12 Feb 2016
Jess, Meet Ken
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Jessica Deckinger (MBA 2008)

What inspired you to found Jess, Meet Ken?

Our true love story inspired us to start Jess, Meet Ken! Ken’s best friend Adele posted him online. Ken thought it made him look goofy (which he is) but Adele knew how to sell him better than he could sell himself. I saw the post and emailed Adele to ask about him. Adele and I chatted and then Adele made the introduction.

How is your company different from others in the space?

The main difference is that women use Jess, Meet Ken to introduce their best guys to other women. All the guys on our app must be nominated by a woman in his life who knows him best. A woman who can tell why he’s so great, from a woman’s perspective. What’s really cool is that when a couple matches they can chat, or the two women (the match and the nominator) can talk.

What did you draw from your experiences at HBS that have helped you as an entrepreneur?

HBS taught me to juggle and manage my time more efficiently than I ever had prior to my RC (first) year. I learned that my personal life and family HAVE to be the top priority for me, even when there are 10,000 other things I could be doing professionally. I learned over and over that the "soft" stuff is really the hard stuff professionally. I learned how to get to the punchline quickly when pitching my idea to a group of peers or potential investors. Most importantly, I learned that all of the technical knowledge in the world can't outweigh the power of relationships in supporting the growth and development of an entrepreneurial venture, or anything else in life.

Given that Valentine’s Day is coming up, any advice on how to balance the rigors of entrepreneurship and still make time for your personal life?

Yes. Stop what you’re doing, whatever you’re doing right now and go do something with the people you care about. Putting stopping points into your daily routine is the only way to ensure balance. The work will still be there tomorrow. We promise.

What’s an interesting or fun fact about yourself or your company?

We once had a Chihuahua named Brad.


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