2013 Information Technology EOY: Markus Frind

Markus Frind, PlentyofFish Media Inc. | BCBusiness

Congratulations to Markus Frind, founder and CEO of PlentyofFish Media Inc., the 2013 Pacific Region Information Technology Entrepreneur of the Year

What began as Markus Frind’s moonlighting gig morphed into a global website boasting around 55 million users in mere months.

Frind began PlentyofFish Media Inc., one of the world’s largest online dating sites, back in 2003 while working a day job as a programmer. He was hoping for an easy way to brush up on a new coding language at the time, in order to pad out his resumé. Within weeks, the site began making Frind cash and once he’d accumulated 15 million users, he knew it was time to hire his first employee.

PlentyofFish, which claims more than three million daily users, has come a long way from its early days as Frind’s experimental learning tool. The company is up to 71 employees and continues to grow.

“At the end of the day the only reason you use something is because it works,” Frind says. “Because it worked, people told their friends to use it and then more and more people would use it. So everything I did in the early days was focused on making sure it worked for people.”

Today Frind is focusing on staying ahead of trends and technologies. For example, since the site launched its app in 2011, up to 75 per cent of its users are now landing on the site via a mobile device.

“For us to get more market share, now we have to make online dating acceptable, which basically means it has to be more and more effective for people so they spend less time using it,” Frind explains. “So the less time people spend using online dating and the more effective it is, the more people will start using it.”

Six Questions

The people I learned the most from were teachers in school.

I knew my business was a success when it started making a lot of money.

I get my best ideas early in the morning or late at night.

People tell me the phrase I most overuse is “Ship it now.”

The most underrated trait of an entrepreneur is managing people.

If I weren’t doing this I’d be watching the grass grow.