WSJ Article on plentyoffish.

I’ve been getting a lot of attention latelybecause Plentyoffish climbed something like 40 spots on the rankings in 30 days (March/april)  to get into the top 100 sites in the US based on visitors.    And even comscore is reporting Plentyoffish’s usage metrics are going through the roof.   With the average user returning more then every second day to the site.

Its been a strange week already,  Rumors of Bebo being bought for 1 billion,   Techcrunch saying nothing is new and bloggers wanting to quit.     I think there is lots new,  we are on the verge of a massive paradigm shift and  this blog breaks down a paradigm shift well and why so few people see it coming.  

Right now no one knows what to make of me and just writes me off as some odd datapoint,  i’ve come out of nowhere to run a site that no one else has figured out how to do with less than 300 employees.    I feel like the first car, and everyone else is still getting around in carriages drawn by 10′s of horses.    Now if a stranger who has only ever known horses were to ask where are all the horses to pull your car?  How do you explain what a motor is and make that person understand?

32 Responses to “WSJ Article on plentyoffish.”

  1. Stephen Sclafani Says:

    Markus,

    It’s good that you are finally getting some attention from the MSM in this country.

  2. Andrew Johnson Says:

    I don’t know about the rest of your readers, but I hear you loud and clear! A lot of people don’t want to understand because the paradigm shift forces them to change.

  3. Ivan Says:

    Paul Graham said that find a co-founder is a must and he was wrong :) I’m running my brand new site with thoughts similar to your and I’m still waiting for a big article by ex. from Michael Ignoringgton but we should remember that first they ignore us and than … shift happens :) Congrats, Markus. Mr. Gomes’ article was also great.

  4. Razib Says:

    I will rather not explain to him at all! :)

    Canvas of life – The lives of real people around

  5. Dave Starr --- ROI Guy Says:

    Markus, I’m a man aftre your own heart. I’m older than the average guy you’ll see haunting the “what’s happening on line” areas (61) and I have 38 yars government and corporate IT and marketing experience. All those 38 years can be condensed into two bullets … “it can’t be done” or “it wasn’t invented here”.

    I love what you’re doing and wish you ongoing success … but as far as explaining the motor versus the horse … do not bother. If you happen to be religious there is a very well-known parable about casting pearls before swine. If you don’t care for the Biblical stuff, just remember another porcine truism … never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

  6. maurizi0 Says:

    Hi, you have some problems with the links on the article..they all point to a blog.

  7. Mayo Says:

    Markus you are a Light bearer for many of us! You can only expect me to “pop-up” out of nowhere in next 2-3 years as one of biggest “single-techie” a-dating sites in the world!
    I know that “up there” the air is pretty thin… but it is certainly worth to climb the mountain of success!

    BTW i’m emulating your way of “i can’t believe i run my server 8 months on my DSL line”! :D

  8. Chris Says:

    Why would you want to explain it to them? They will never understand if they dont want to. And it does not matter if they do. People that do understand appreciate what you have accomplished, and dont write you off as some odd data point.

  9. Sam Moorcroft Says:

    Marcus, when the VC’s and various other suitors start becoming aggressive, play hard to get – but don’t make the mistake of a Jonathan Abrams…

  10. Marc Says:

    I really like all the comments I see here and I agree with Marcus totally. Sam, I think the problem with VCs is they are redundant. Who the hell needs VCs anymore. That’s part of the paradigm shift in my view. The way I see it, any online startup that requires VC money is a target to be undercut by the bedroom startup. Poor bastards, never had a chance….muahahaha

  11. Saïd Amin Says:

    What’s up good people?

    A couple of thoughts…

    “Right now no one knows what to make of me and just writes me off as some odd datapoint, i’ve come out of nowhere to run a site that no one else has figured out how to do with less than 300 employees.”

    – Who are these “people” who supposedly write you off? Most of the comments on or off this blog are usually positive and complimentary (throw in the occasional “haterade” or ridiculous Markus comments that warrants the sharp critique). I sometimes sense that you (Markus) enjoy creating a situation where it’s you against the world. Maybe this drives you…what you have accomplished is awesome and from the posts above and other blogs, it is clearly motivational for many entrepreneurs who are boot strapping their journey and shooting for the stars (myself included…albeit on some levels).

    Craig, from CraigsList.com is revered. I think that his fishnet for praise & admiration is larger b/c of how he treats and feels about his community. Craig loves his members and doesn’t care a whole lot about maximizing revenue. Heck, he still answers customer inquiries. PofF (aka Markus), doesn’t care all too much about customer inquires, spammers, etc….what drives Markus (for better or worse), are page views. Yup, page views. From his blog to the few times we have hung out, this drive and passion of his shines through every time. Page views correlate to Canadian dollars earned through advertising. Markus wants to run the largest internet dating site in the world; on some levels it’s an ego driven, “who has the biggest Johnson contest” but who cares, he wants to be the biggest and bring the paid dating industry to its knees. Nothing wrong with that…it’s the man’s passion and I respect him for the go getter that he is.

    All that being said, the victim’s cry of “nobody gets it”, “why am I not a Bigger story” just doesn’t resonate….plenty of people do get it Markus…especially aspiring entrepreneurs who want to be just like you; wealthy from limited resources and big ideas and for some, as the center of attention. Those that don’t revere what you are entrepreneurs and everyday people who do not relate with the perceived Napoleon and ego driven attitude…the average person can not relate with you with you b/c you choose to not be one of them…personally, I think that answering customer inquires is the first step towards accomplishing this.

    Life is good.

    Shine,
    -S

    Btw, VCs – does Markus need any VCs, really? His cash flow must be killer, what’s he really need a VC for? Plus, to take money or hire folks fudges up his compelling one man show narrative. Personally, I’d love for PofF to be the largest dating site on the net. Like Markus I started my company with zippo and to this date have not receive funding; root for guys like Markus but I just think that Markus’ story will only be more compelling if he chooses to relate with more people…when he does, I will only become a bigger fan =)

  12. Neil Says:

    suck on that Markus,

    BTW, the cheapest way to get to your magical billion page views is to translate the site into multiple languages. Witness Hotornot.com versus sexyono.com

    Personally I think anyone in this industry who doesnt have Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Chinese needs to get up to speed.

  13. Markus Says:

    I answer 10′s of thousands of emails and manually approve a huge amount of stuff that goes through the site. Just because I don’t talk about “customer service” 24/7 doesn’t mean its not done and scammers are virtually non existant on plentyoffish. Not sure where you are getting your info from. Since i’ve automated most of it and for the most part solved scamming it becomes a huge competitive advantage and something that would make no sense to talk about.
    Given the latest comscore numbers there is little doubt plentyoffish is the largest dating site on the net. As for “datapoint” My complaint is that so few people realize what new technology is and fail to adapt to it. But that happens every time there is a paradigm shift. As for creating a personality cult that is something I have no desire for.

  14. Lejer.ro Says:

    Congratulations from Romania:)
    Words about your website came through email. We’re here 10 people, that congratulate your realization.
    About customer service.. numbers you said .. brings me a head acke. But what can you expect, when there’s a big number of online people, all wanting, posting, and so on.
    A mind though: Clustering it’s one of the best new ‘addons’ today, no?

  15. jonathan frate Says:

    You’ve been getting a lot of attention lately. Are you paying for a PR agent right now to promote you to the MSM? Have you tried to measure the impact on your traffic each time you get another article written about you?

  16. Markus Says:

    Main stream is finding me. They get faxed the top 100 sites every week and I started showing up on there. Given that there are so few “social” sites and most sites in the top 100 are owned by Mega corperations or ad networks I stick out in a BIG way.

  17. rob Says:

    hey bro

    how do we get access to comscore stats?

    thanks
    -rob

  18. 5 Star Affiliate Marketing Blogs, Google and SEO Blog Says:

    28 year old Dating Affiliate Pulls in 5-10 MILLION a Year

    I’ve blogged about Markus before and many of you may know his story. Markus Frind is an affiliate that pulls in $5-10 Million a year at his dating site PlentyofFish, which he runs pretty much single-handedly from his Vancouver apartment. This week h…

  19. Andy Says:

    Hi,

    I read your story in the WSJ, came on your site and filled out a profile. It looks like a great site. Maybe I’ll meet a local NYT or WSJ-reading babe!

    Andy

  20. Terry Taillard Says:

    Markus:

    Congtratulations on the WSJ article! I must confess to never hearing about POF before but then I’ve been happily married for many years, so no need. As the owner of a new website I will now be a regular on your blog to see what tips I can learn. It’s great to have a role model to aspire to.

    Terry

  21. futuresheet Says:

    you’re living the dream, Markus. Great job.

  22. Mauro Says:

    Man, why you only use AdSense? Federated Media has a $14 CPM… multiplay that number with your millions of pages per day please :P

  23. 27amDotCom Says:

    Mark,
    I caught wind of your success not too long ago and it hit me for 2 reasons:
    1) you are still running the company primarily by yourself
    2) you apparently live “right around the corner” (ie: downtown Vancouver)

    I’ve had several customers of mine mention that they’ve never heard of your story. But it’s circulating seeing as it’s mentioned in my viral promo video for my “Ridiculous Income Goals” (the video is here if you are interested … RidiculousIncomeGoals.com/watchvideo.htm … or just search on Google Video).

    I’m not surprised that many were skeptical at your AdSense earnings (ie: the $900,000 check). But it doesn’t much matter who believes what… the fact is, your site will just continue to triumph. And I’m not saying this to stroke your ego… but the dating scene is absolutely massive. When those who are paying $15-$60 per month for, start learning of POF… they’ll be more than happy to jump ship and become one of your members.

    I think it’s a terrific model. Great big kudos for the work in putting it together. Glad to see the recognition is starting to build (and, of course, the profits!).

    From a fellow Vancouverite,
    Rob Toth

  24. Top Says:

    I’ve been following your blog since last year and seen many of your insights become reality. You’ve also been the inspiration for many a start up including my own But in recent months, I wonder, inspite of your success, if you aren’t getting a little tunnel vision from the challenges of managing such a massively successful operation on your own. I miss some of the old Markus visions. And I’m curious about where your genius will venture next. Will it be something completely different?

  25. Nathan Says:

    http://onlinepersonalswatch.typepad.com/news/2006/06/opw_interview_p.html

    Hey Markus,

    Check this out (comment on the bottom of the page)…this guy is an idiot and probably just jealous of your hard-earned success. Just thought you may want to take a look. BTW, I enjoy reading your blogs, keep them coming and congrats on all your success as an entrepreneur. I especially love hearing the technical side of your blogs as it gives me hope that one day I could create something worthwhile.

    Cheers,

  26. carl Says:

    Congrats! So many of us are scratching and scrapping to get a fraction of this income. It is great to see someone make it!

  27. jonathan frate Says:

    “Main stream is finding me. They get faxed the top 100 sites every week and I started showing up on there. ”

    Really? You don’t have a PR consultant or PR agency?

  28. Jack Blankenship, RN Says:

    Marcus,

    Great job! I have been following your success and it certainly gives those that are looking to make it on the internet, inspiration.

    Keep going and congrats, again.

    Jack

  29. Shanti Braford Says:

    You rock, dude.

    Just curious – have you read Fooled by Randomness?

    Sometimes a revolution turns out just to be dumb luck.

    I’m thinking of the pre-Ford auto industry here. That may not be an apt example. There were hundreds, thousands of boutique automakers. Ford came along and standardized the process, wiping out the field.

    Sure, there were the Ferraris and Lamborghinis that survived. But for a while there, only the big companies who had a standardized production-line system prospered.

    Now, if you create a production-line system for cranking out more PlentyOfFish’s, that’s something to really bank on. But just a one-person startup making $5-10 million a year, while awesome, is not earth-shattering in itself. (though I’d hella love to be in your situation!)

    Will it scale to $100 million (still with just you)? How bout $1 billion? (in revenues, that is)

  30. robert milstead Says:

    i have registered 4 times in the last couple
    days.i did it again this afternoon.i did a
    few things and went back and logged in
    and nothing happened.what is going
    on? i am getting tired of registering all
    over again and again.i have uploaded
    4 photos.i got an email saying my profile
    has been confirmed and my username is
    bikerrmann2010 and my password is
    bikerr.when i log in i can’t get on.
    please let me no what is going on
    thank you
    robert milstead bikermann2010

  31. hot dating Says:

    Hey I think the plentyoffis’site is awesome,

    I’m in my mid 30s mix race & have little complaints, except certain features are starting to cost a membership fee..but bottom line its free :)

  32. Shawn Says:

    WSJ is getting into dating business :). When was the article published?

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