Richard MacManus of Read/Write Web has a post up today in which he talks about PlentyofFish.com, the Vancouver-based dating site, and the mind-boggling pageviews, unique visitors and revenue it is generating. Although founder Markus Frind can no longer claim to be a one-man shop (he recently hired his first employee), to be doing $30,000 a day in revenue and over 1 billion pageviews a month is still incredible.
Although Markus and Plenty of Fish have gotten some notice here and there — particularly in the SEO/AdSense community — it’s surprising how little attention they get for a site that is number one in its market in Canada and the United Kingdom, and second in the United States according to Hitwise. Not bad for one guy (okay, two now, plus Markus’s girlfriend) and a roomful of servers.
To me, Markus is a little like Craig Newmark. He started a service because it seemed like a good idea — although I think he had more of a sense that it could be a moneymaker than Craig did — and he hasn’t spent more than a dime or two on site design, as you can see if you go there. All he has done is to make things easier and more convenient for his user base (mostly by making membership free).
Markus may not be doing eight billion pageviews a month the way Craigslist is, but then they have 200 servers and 25 employees. Compared to Markus, Craig might as well be Microsoft :-) Is Plenty of Fish worth $1-billion, as Richard speculates? I have no idea — but it is definitely worth a ton of money to someone, and Markus deserves all the credit.