Nice to see someone (other than me) paying some attention to Markus Frind and what he has been able to accomplish with his dating site, Plenty of Fish. The New York Times has a story about him — which I found via a Twitter post from my friend Mark Evans — and it highlights the main things you need to know about Markus and Plenty of Fish:
1. The site looks like crap, and Markus doesn’t care (and neither do users).
2. Markus works 10 hours a week and makes $10-million a year.
3. Plenty of Fish gets about 1.2 billion pageviews a month.
The Times’ story mentions Craigslist, and I think the comparison is apt: like Craig, Markus has also focused on keeping the site free and on only doing those things that users want, not what others think he should do. And true to the old rule of thumb that Canada is one-tenth the size of the U.S., Craigslist has 25 people and has 12 billion pageviews a month, and Plenty of Fish has two people and does 1.2 billion.
A couple of little-known facts that aren’t in the Times’ story: Markus once helped to nab a suspected killer for the U.S. Marshal, and his research in mathematics was cited in a paper that won the Fields Medal, the math equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Markus also says there are some major announcements coming about Plenty of Fish.
Kevin Burton of Tailrank isn’t buying it. If Markus is so successful, he says, why doesn’t he just shut up and run the site and pocket those $10-million instead of bragging about it? Burton says Frind is either a liar or a fool. Any comment on that, Markus?