Ashley Madison is a website that brings adulterers together. The website is very feminine in graphic style and tone.
But there is no person named Ashley Madison. It was created by Noel Biderman, a married father of two small children. His wife, after a long sigh, says the anti-marriage line that Biderman uses professionally, is not at all like him. The business is just a business.
Biderman was a sports agent, juggling the wives and mistresses of professional basketball players, when he had the idea for making money from arranging adultery. He reasoned that men would turn up for any sex site. The key was to get women to sign up - married women, not just the prostitutes who also flock to all sex sites.
Here Biderman had what I think is the critical business insight of Ashley Madison, named for the two most popular girl's names of 2002, the year he started:
"For them to go and have anonymous affairs, I was almost gonna have to create that paradigm," Biderman says. "And to do that I felt that women were going to have to feel that there was...I don't want to say a woman behind it, but definitely that they were the focal point."