Thursday, January 29, 2009

Plenty Of Fish: Online Dating King

AdSense Millionaire, alternate name for this blog post
Markus Frind, CEO of Plenty Of Fish, Blog
How I Started A Dating Empire by Markus Frind By the end of March my site went viral and started growing 2 to 5% a day and it was off to the races from there...... made a whole $5.63 cents my first month, but that was more then enough for me to realize that I wouldn't go broke running the site and I could make a business out of this with enough traffic. ...... I refused to accept defeat of any kind, and I constantly forced myself to test new things. ...... When 2004 rolled around and word of mouth REALLY kicked in and as they say the rest is history. .... I look back now at how ill prepared I was, I didn't know anything about SEO, Advertising, community and I didn't even know what Venture Capital was. Just goes to show you anyone can do anything.
Plenty Of Fish is my idea of a budding Web 5.0 company. (Defining Web 4.0) The fact that it does not have sexy looking 2.0 software, just something barebones, makes it a bigger candidate for 5.0. I am a fan of the site. I am a user. Finding dates is not easy, online or off. Finding The Person is harder. Creating a relationship is not something an online dating site can do for you. But a site like Plenty Of Fish takes some of the unnecessary frills away. Who you like might not like you, who likes you you might not like. In online dating that can be quite painless. Next. Overtures are plentiful. Rejections come by the truckload. You might get an occasional date, a first date but no second date, an email conversations, a chat, no phone number. Race and class issues do come into play, just like offline. Chemistry and communication issues come into play. And ultimately online dating is not really offline. You are trying to get an offline date. Just that you are trying to get that online. But the stats look good. 800,000 relationships per year. That is good.

The business model is fascinating. I have long dreamed of a free online dating site, a Craig's List style site. And this is it. I am excited aboot Plenty Of Fish the way I am excited about Facebook, the way I am excited about Gmail and Blogger and YouTube.

Markus Frind, you got something going on.

The site could just grow and grow and grow. It could keep performing the same basic functions and just keep adding more and more people all over the world. And it could also keep improving its basic algorithms. The profiles you browse through helps the site determine what kind of profiles to show you.
How PlentyOfFish Conquered Online Dating Inc. serving up 1.6 billion webpages each month. ..... Plenty of Fish is on track to book revenue of $10 million for 2008, with profit margins in excess of 50 percent. Then, six minutes and 38 seconds after beginning his workday, Frind closes his Web browser and announces, "All done." ...... unknown and undistinguished. He hasn't gone to MIT, Stanford, or any other four-year college for that matter ....... bouncing, aimlessly, from job to job, but he is secretly ambitious. He builds his company by himself and from his apartment. ....... Frind takes it easy, working no more than 20 hours a week during the busiest times and usually no more than 10. Five years later, he is running one of the largest websites on the planet and paying himself more than $5 million a year. ........ Quiet, soft-featured, and ordinary looking, he is the kind of person who can get lost in a roomful of people ......... introverted, smart, and a little awkward. "Markus is one of those engineers who is just more comfortable sitting in front of a computer than he is talking to someone face to face" ......... Frind can be disarmingly frank, delivering vitriolic quips with a self-assured cheerfulness that feels almost mean. Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), he says, is "a complete joke," Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is "a cult," and Match is "dying." ........ the 23 hours a day in which he doesn't work ........ most comfortable with the world at arm's length. "He never raises his voice," Kanciar says later. "And he doesn't like conflict." ......... prefers to remain a silent observer of others ...... seems perpetually lost in thought ......... In a way, he's thinking about the company all the time. ........ a lonely childhood ....... graduating from a technical school in 1999 with a two-year degree in computer programming ...... got a job at an online shopping mall. Then, the dot-com bubble burst, and he spent the next two years bouncing from failed start-up to failing start-up. ........ For most of 2002, he was unemployed. ....... When he did have work, it felt like torture. His fellow engineers seemed to be writing deliberately inscrutable code in order to protect their jobs. ............ cleaning up other people's messes taught Frind how to quickly simplify complex code. In his spare time, he started working on a piece of software that was designed to find prime numbers in arithmetic progression. ......... He finished the hobby project in 2002, and, two years later, his program discovered a string of 23 prime numbers, the longest ever. (Frind's record has since been surpassed, but not before it was cited by UCLA mathematician and Fields Medal winner Terence Tao.) ......... would devote a couple of weeks to mastering Microsoft's new tool for building websites,, and he would do it by building the hardest kind of website he could think of. .......... Online dating was an inspired choice. Not only does the act of building an intricate web of electronic winks, smiles, and nudges require significant programming skills ...... Hot or Not was acquired for $20 million in cash ......... Working a few hours an evening for two weeks, Frind built a crude dating site, which he named Plenty of Fish. It was desperately simple -- just an unadorned list of plain-text personals ads. But it promised something that no big dating company offered: free. ........... Rather than try to compete directly with Match, the industry leader, he created a website that cost almost nothing to run ......... Even better, he had created a perfect place for paid dating sites to spend their huge advertising budgets. ........ a picture of determination and naiveté. ........ From March to November 2003, his site expanded from 40 members to 10,000. Frind used his home computer as a Web server -- an unusual but cost-effective choice -- and spent his time trying to game Google with the tricks he picked up on the forums. In July, Google introduced a free tool called AdSense, which allowed small companies to automatically sell advertisements and display them on their websites. Frind made just $5 in his first month, but by the end of the year, he was making more than $3,300 a month .......... Frind has few friends in business, no mentors, and no investors. ............. Websites that venture capitalists would have spent tens of millions of dollars building in 1998 can now be started with tens of dollars. ............. has stayed simple, cheap, and lean even as his revenue and profits have grown ....... Plenty of Fish is a designer's nightmare; at once minimalist and inelegant ........ "I don't listen to the users," he says. "The people who suggest things are the vocal minority who have stupid ideas that only apply to their little niches." ........... When a member starts browsing through profiles, the site records his or her preferences and then narrows down its 10 million users to a more manageable group of potential mates. ......... the site creates 800,000 successful relationships a year. .......... almost no staff ....... been able to run a massive database with almost no computer hardware ......... the social news site Digg generates about 250 million page views each month, or roughly one-sixth of Plenty of Fish's monthly traffic, and employs 80 people. Most websites as busy as Frind's use hundreds of servers. Frind has just eight. ............ comes from writing efficient code ....... Frind approaches business in much the same way. "It's a strategy game," he says. "You're trying to take over the world, one country at a time." .......... "I spent every waking minute when I wasn't at my day job reading, studying, and learning. ....... returned to one of his old Internet hangouts, a forum called WebmasterWorld, and posted a brief how-to guide entitled "How I Made a Million in Three Months." It contained a blueprint for the success of Plenty of Fish: Pick a market in which the competition charges money for its service, build a lean operation with a "dead simple" free website, and pay for it using Google AdSense. ............ By 2006, Plenty of Fish was serving 200 million pages each month ....... $10,000 a day through AdSense ........ "He came out of nowhere, and he didn't seem to give a shit" ............ the stunt worked. Frind's site was the talk of the blogosphere, driving gobs of new users to the site. Plenty of Fish's growth accelerated dramatically, hitting one billion page views a month by 2007. .......... He still hadn't figured out how to get e-mail on his cell phone. ........ a guy who works an hour a day, who doesn't travel much, and who doesn't have any hobbies beyond war games .......... an aversion to doing harm can be more valuable than an overeagerness for self-improvement.
How I started A Dating Empire « The Paradigm Shift
Looking To Acquire I’m letting hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues slip through my fingers every year by sending people to competitors sites. ..... paid sites are currently consolidating and the growth for the industry is flat ...... I think there is a lot of opportunity right now and a opening to create a major paid site right now.

Special Report: Angel Investing 2009

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