Vancouver — something in the water?

Business 2.0 has a great piece about Kevin Ham, one of the world’s top “domainers” — Web profiteers who try to lock up domain names that expire or might someday become valuable. As the story details, Ham started trying to corner domain names the usual way and has since progressed to forming partnerships with entire countries such as Cameroon.

snipshot_e41d5jsm64i5.jpgHam, like his fellow multimillionaire domainer Yun Ye, is also based in Vancouver — and so is another multimillionaire Web entrepreneur who gets far less than his fair share of attention: Markus Frind, the boy genius behind PlentyOfFish.com, one of the world’s top dating sites, which he runs more or less single-handedly from his Vancouver apartment. Wall Street Journal columnist Lee Gomes spent an afternoon with Markus recently and wrote about how he runs “what may be, on a per-capita basis, the busiest, most profitable site on the entire World Wide Web.”

According to Gomes, the site makes somewhere between $5-million and $10-million a year from Google AdSense and affiliate links. And Markus told me recently that his site went from being the 140th most-visited site on the Web in Canada to number 30 in a matter of a few weeks, and is now in the top 10 — with more than 370 million pageviews last month. One guy (and a girlfriend who helps out part-time), a few servers and an idea.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.