Markus Frind, Founder of ‘Plenty of Fish’ – Either a Liar or a Fool

200801131326I’ve been watching the story of Plenty of Fish for a while now.

I’m sure it’s a great site. Plenty of users (AKA fish). Growing fast. Great. Good for you. Keep up the good work.

What I think is interesting is how Markus Frind keeps bragging in public about the success of his little company.

Now he’s in the NY Times bragging about his $10M a year in profit:

For anyone inclined to daydream about a Web business that would all but run itself, two other details may be of interest: Mr. Frind operates the business out of his apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia, and he says he has net profits of about $10 million a year. Given his site’s profitable advertising mix and independently verified traffic volume, the figure sounds about right.

Why is Frind disclosing this? He’s not a public company and under no need to disclose his revenues.

He obviously doesn’t need to raise VC as he has over $10M in the bank.

He’s come forward before. On Read Write Web a year ago he was bragging about his servers:

Markus is basically a one-man band running a website that, by his latest traffic figures, is two and a half times bigger than gets 200 Million page views per month, but Markus says plentyoffish gets 500 Million:

“The site( and serves ~500 million pageviews a month and does so using 1 DB server and 1 Web Server which is a far cry from the industry standard of 300+ servers for a site of this size.”

Digg uses 3 web servers and 8 small database servers. Recently I asked Markus via email how much work he puts into the site on a daily basis. His reply:

“It is around 2 hours of work a day and that stays steady because as the site grows i automate more and more. Some of that work I get my girlfriend to help me with, she is far more diplomatic when answering mean emails. From what I can tell i should have no problem running it by myself even if it gets to 3 times its current size.”

OK. Great. So you’re making tons of cash and you’re capital expenditures are very low. Good to know.

Tell me something. I know you’re making a TON of money. Your application isn’t that difficult to clone. There isn’t much of a barrier to entry since I know you only have a few servers. Heck. You even just have one person doing tech support.

Why shouldn’t I just jump into the market and compete with you an take some of this easy money off the table?

Mr Frind is either a liar or a fool.

If he’s telling the truth he should just shut up and keep collecting checks.

If he’s lying we should call him out.

Either way, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Update: This little meme too off. Matthew Ingram thinks Markus it the new Craig Newmark. Scobleizer thinks this is legit.

The media loves these types of stories.

Markus himself follows up and says they have plenty of announcements soon.

Markus. There’s plenty of prior art here. Follow the path of Hotornot and Adult Friend Finder and don’t talk about your revenue until you’re virtually retired.

Update 2: Peer1 (who hosts PlentyofFish) has more info:

Google Adsense millionaire Markus Frind, founder of PlentyofFish was a database and web developer who graduated from college in 1999 with a diploma in computer science. This was also the time of the dot-com meltdown. Jumping from job-to-job, Markus began developing a home-grown site to help himself learn Rather than buy a book, he learned by adding new functions and features to the site. He also started experimenting with search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and incorporating them into the site. Gradually, it morphed quite unintentionally into an online dating center. The site has continued growing astronomically ever since and is now the No. 1 free online dating site in the world, averaging 8 million unique visitors per month. His bank account has grown fatter as well thanks to the Google ads he runs on the site. He has also garnered international attention, including being featured in the Wall Street Journal and on the Today Show.

I’m not sure why they’d brag about PlentyofFish. It’s not using many computing resources and you’d think that you’d use a ‘customer story’ about a company that’s having scaling problems.

Thanks to Niall for the pointer.

  1. brianaker

    I had a similar thought when I saw this. For years I tried to get a couple of friends interested in doing this… oh well :)

    Back to building tools!

  2. Brian,

    I was thinking about this today. I find myself continually steering myself away from working on cool technical problems and into boring business ideas that make more money.

    Building tools is fun but sometimes I think it’s greener on the other side.

    Not that I’m going to stop anytime soon. :)

  3. andydavies

    I’m not sure I’d agree with your sentiments but if I was making this much money on so little effort, I’m not sure I’d be broadcasting it to the world…

    Well not unless I was looking to sell, or I wanted someone to offer me a cool job doing something else, but hey, on that much revenue you could do what you wanted..

    There is this picture of cheque (or check for those in the US) that shows decent revenue:


  4. I agree with Andy, but my sense here is that it’s simply too hard to keep it a secret. If you’re rolling in dough and no one really knows the full story, it’s more fun and enjoyable to tell someone about it.

    It may be foolish and invite more competition, but at $10M a year and 10 hours a week, who cares.

    I agree he could have been more humble and discreet.

  5. mpermar

    Well, if you don’t tell it to the world, then you don’t appear in NYT and therefore you don’t get tons of more fish…

  6. mpermar,

    In my experience the NY times doesn’t convert very well.

    Might be different for the demographic PoF is in.

  7. Ezdate123 is a website I won and operate. I compete head to head with Markus and plentyoffish. He has a great site. It is optimized well and has lots of members. I would have to say markus frind is making the Google adsense money that he claims.. I am not sure why he would be so open about it but I believe it is true. Ezdate123 is a much smaller dating site but we do make money each month. Everything we make from google adsense is reinvested back into advertising. We are growing but we are up against strong competition with Markus and POF…I am not concerned with Yahoo, eharmony or I feel people with eventually find the free sites and give it a try. Ezdate123 is here for the long haul. I am not a programmer so we move a little slower the POF but we are getting there slow but sure…. I respect Markus and admire him for all that he is doing… The best to you Markus… Mike/ezdate123

  8. I wish I had spell check…….lol

  9. Mr. Markus, he is great and famous to public. We are Asian people know all about him and he is the best sample I personally admire and follow. Plentyofifsh help many singles locally and around the world to connect with each other on the Net.
    Thanks very much for creating such a beautiful dating service.

  10. A great story about a person who master-mind in marketing. Woh, I am impressed by this guy.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Mr. Frind is an excellent sample for all of us online webmasters to follow. He is so smart and his free dating site look so simple but worths billion.
    I am impressed.
    Asian lady.

  12. Mark, Why you are so smart? I am impressed by you, an excellent marketing sample I should follow.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Plenty Of Fish is an alright site. There’s not much to do on the site. I spend most of my time at cause it has way more things to do than plentyoffish and it’s 100% free. Plus the admins won’t delete your profiles for the fun of it. I got my profile deleted 4 times at plentyoffish, so I decided to goto and have not gotten my profile delete. I think this site is worth checking out.

  14. ohknan

    When you sit and think about all the comments above mine! one of them will hit you below the belt!!! See where it counts and then this toole will get the balls rolling in doe! Oh by the way I understand being a fool myself makes it eaiser to play with more balls scene on the top shelf… ajust to the left
    and then we all can look right. Oh Thanks for thinking of this
    sight it fitz rite in with my ideas tu!!!

  15. Actually, Markus’s architecture is one of the kind. He is a database architect and has built a pretty robust website. He won’t sell his ideas/software setup, so he can freely share and expect no one to jump on the ship.

    Technically, it is somewhat stupid of larger companies not to go into .NET optimization, but well, they are huge and dumb, apparently.

  16. Tamara,Wally and Friends

    Dear Markus:We have all caught on to your latest money maker,which is to infect your subscribers computers with a virus from POF and then offer anti viral service for 50 dollars,how very clever of you and unfortunate for the large number of members who are being affected and being duped! You are a savy and inteligent business man indeed.People really do need to know more about you….

    Sincerly Tamara


    And Many more …….

  17. deal_makr

    hey guys, while this may be a $$ maker from a technology perspective, I’d say maybe he should reinvest some of that coin to create a site that has more uptime than down…..oh btw, while this guy maybe making coin as a technologist, his ideas on match making…..well, I’ll just say “smells like bad fish” to me.

  18. wolfsheim

    I always thought every other dating sites that charge members to be run by ripoff conartists especially since the success of such web2.0 pages as Myspace, craigslist, youtube, facebook, photobucket, and many more and now plentyoffish.
    There simply is no incentive on a pay site to keep your userbase honest and full of real people when the only way youll get memberships is by showing a large (mostly fake) userbase. At least with pages like plentyoffish, there really is no reason to create fake female accounts. Any honest site will do well based on its advertising alone. If the site is free it will have alot of users, and those hits make it more profitable to advertisers. Simple QED. Its amazed me that more web developers, esp AJAX havent created more free social networking sites devoted to dating that are like myspace.
    Mr. Frind is rather lazy, it would be easy to compete with his service. If someone would just make a free site with the customize features of myspace profiles but also with the matchmaking abilities of many other MM sites. Then there would be instant success. But strangely only PlentyofFish has grasped this idea and are profiting of of it so far.

  19. JJ

    So,let’s review the real facts…old Markus supposedly put together POF because he wants to unite lonely people who are being swindled by paid sites from his tiny little apartment since he loves to see couples in love just as a hobby…BS…first correction…the guy is a money hungry ego freak who just got lucky by accident and doesn’t really care about the individuals that use his service and if he doesn’t sell soon which is his obvious intentions instead of bragging he’ll self destruct like most of these idiots.Who cares how much money he’s making or what he’ll have left since this is not a good way to live and eventually it will catch up to him.He can criticize all the paid site for their behavior,yet he has no problems allowing them to advertise on his site which makes him a joke…kind of hypocritical don’t you think and why there are so many Forums bashing him.Plus he claims he’ll ban unsuitable individuals to keep his site clean;no actually he’ll ban anyone that points out all the horrendous things wrong with his system which is something that maybe should be investigated further…with this attitude you would think that after all these years on the Internet he would get rid of all the under-age girls,hookers,gays posing as women,bookies communicating with their clients,women posting pictures of their young children,scam artists and more than just a few people have heard the terrible stories of females being raped or men being robbed…possibly it happens on the paid sites also…yet no complaints are ever listened to and Freeedom of Speech is basically non-existant.And what about those Moderators…Markus clones who will ban you for years for speaking up that are such wimps that the only way they can get a date/laid is to remove you for their friends if someone hates you although you’ve done nothing and the female Mods are worse…actually a Constitutional/Human Rights Lawyer would have a field day with this site and maybe the reason they don’t bother is because they already know it’s garbage.And talk about trash…you hear of all the success stories…I would love to read about the thousands of failures that would make the Springer Show look like grade-school and something you business types should consider putting together…I’d buy a ticket.Bottom line…this is actually a lesson to all of you on how not to run a business if you actually care about people and the world…sure there’s lots of corrupt people out there everywhere…but if you want to make a better dating site make it free,make it more reputable and more fun…the money will come in for sure and at least you’ll have something to be proud of instead of hiding/bragging.And you can be sure anyone who buys POF will not make it better…it will be be for greed.

  20. check out – I use that site

  21. Matt

    I think this blog post is absolute garbage, the writer has no idea what he is talking about AT ALL!! Your whole post smacks of jealousy and above all ignorance!
    I am a professional and sql server developer – believe me, what Markus has achieved is amazing and has taken a lot of hard work. He can brag about it because it is very very VERY difficult to squeeze that much performance out of hardware – you need a very strong talent for db design, query, index and database tuning, then on top of that you need an obsession with system performance – page level, pipeline level, code level and more. use many more servers and staff and get less traffic at times – none of you armchair idiots could even get close to replicating what he has done, because it is JUST TOO HARD. As for calling him a liar, the traffic volumns can be checked out by anyone and speak for themselves. Stop whining about someone elses success and actually go learn something and do it yourself. Maybe you should buy two servers and try to take on Markus! Afterall, anyone can do it right..

  22. Jacob

    I agree with Yura. Frankly, I don’t think Kevin realises how good Markus is at what he does. He has a background in sql server db performance opitmization. There are actually very high barriers to doing what Markus has done because you need to really really know how to make a very scalable system. The stats are really mind blowing. Many try to “jump into this market and take money off the table” all the time, and they fail. Markus had a good idea at the right time, where other sites were still charging people – he chose not to and also used his knowledge to make a very robust system. He’s done well and I don’t think he’s a liar and (judging by the pile of money he swims about in) he’s hardly a fool. I do agree he should perhaps shut up about it, but hey – it’s FREE publicity and MORE traffic for him – both of which will directly result in an even bigger pile of money. You blog post is only helping too! Woohoo, power to Microsoft developers!

  23. Steve Evans

    I think you’re right. If PoF profits are true copy cat sites will pop up from left and right. So far I’ve seen only paid sites coming up.

    A quick search on digg find this though:

  24. Just Me

    I completely agree JJ! I’m a member there and have seen first hand what goes on. They DO ban people just because… because their friends don’t like you, they don’t like you, or you actually have the audacity to question something. There are pages and pages and PAGES of rules and you are expected to know each and every one of them. If you can’t find an answer and post about it, the mods treat you like you are the dumbest person on the planet, and get rude with you.

    The mods have been there a long time and are way too jaded to do their jobs properly. They just make up ban lengths depending on their mood that day. They will go off on you in the ban comment you receive and you cannot retort.

    Markus does not read his emails nor respond to them. He never takes new ideas into consideration. There is a forum on there and the title of it is “Sex and Sexualty Issues”. It has been pointed out many many times for at least a year that the spelling is wrong and he still won’t change it. That takes about 1 minute to do. Nothing like looking like an idiot to millions of people and not caring.

    I wish I could get away with treating people like crap and make $10 mil a year doing it.

  25. Plenty offish as I like to call it is a small time guy and his girlfriend (who lives in the basement) . She runs it and if you look good girls, ahhhhhhh she will DELETE YOU !!!
    I deleted my profile there before about 6 months ago and went back since they had a lame imeem
    ability to add music and video.
    I put up a swimsuit photo, not lewd, no nudity, just a simple woman with emails that produced favorites in my list that obviously got attention from the basement dweller and voila, it was deleted. Not only that , but I was accused of using nudity and or the face of a celebrity !!!
    I put the photo back up and POOF….
    Thank you basement dweller for proving my point, your site stinks and the real truth is that NO ONE really cares WHAT YOU THINk OR how much money your ugly boyfriend has !!


    kiss offfish

  26. roger defranko


  27. As I relationship coach I am constantly bombarded by requests to check out certain social networking sites. A couple of years ago I joined Plenty Of Fish to check it out. To sign up I jumped through all the hoops and what not and posted a profile.

    Almost three years later I see the same people with the same profiles still searching. If I were a skeptic I would feel as if some of the people do not actually exist. I responded to a few of the realistic forum questions or comments but many of them are so ridiculous they do not deserve the time and effort it takes to form a response.

    I am listed among favorites of people who have never contacted me and never will. When I review their profiles it is clear I do not meet of the criteria they have listed so how did I become a favorite? The instant messenger there seldoms functions properly and sometimes e-mail never arrives.

    In all honesty because I have made some genuinely nice platonic friends as a result of my tenure on Plenty of Fish, I remain underwhelmed and doubt seriously if it is a major player in “hooking people up” in long term relationships. On The Lady Marsha scale of heartsm POF gets a 3.

  28. Richard

    Wow… this blog sounds like a lotta sour grapes green envy to me. So what if he shows the world a million dollar (or whatever sum) cheque from Google. He can’t hide it from anyone including Rev Canada… so what if he says… “yes I can and so can you” …instead of bitching about someone else’s success get off your fat a$$ and ‘just do it’

  29. David Wilde

    I too got started using POF. I was so UNIMPRESSED by Marcus bragging and the amount of losers on his site that I went and created and started my own as well. My ad revenue is very very negligable and doesnt bye me more than a case of beer a year to celebrate my thousands of hours of hard effort. But unlike Marcus I refuse to make my money in the way that he does. Here is the real secret to Marcus success: People get lonely, fact of life. So they go onto plenty of fish and start searching the profiles. When they see enough pretty faces they horny. Especially when they cant any responses for a date for the evening. So guess what you find at the bottom of the main POF page? Adult dating links. Every time some lonely horny bugger doesnt get laid and clicks the link, Marcus gets a small fee. But every time that person signs up to another site linked from POF, arcus gets an affiliate fee. Thats right. Standard dating software comes with an affiliate section that usually pays at least $10 for you becoming a member. So when you dont find a date and go and use your credit card at POF AFFILIATE ADULT SITE, Marcus`pocketbook goes `KA_CHING`!!! So its kind of like The Devil offering up Christianity in a Jesus Costume. Could it get anymore dishonest than this. Yes it can and YES it does. When I started doing some research over 2 years ago it turns out that ADULT FRIEND FINDER & POF used to share the same offices in SALO ALTO California. So there it is folks. There is your hidden relationship. Marcus true identity is that of a pimp. Now how sad is that. It pissed me off so much that I went and started my own company and I actually do come through on the services I offer. Can you holler fraud any louder. My hat is off to a true con, and my heart goes out to all those poor people taken in by such a true scam.

  30. Mike jones

    MY GOD…. I am so happy to read this article. I AGREE…I agree with everything. This was a great article to read. this guy is a freak.

    commnets – JJ I LOVE what you say about Markus and plentyoffish is a money hungry ego freak who just got lucky by accident. Very True !!!

    For other readers please try to reach me, if you would like to form something interesting web developer with ideas. May we squash this freak. But more over develop something successful.

    Toronto, Canada


  31. LarryM

    Sounds like Kevvy is jealous.

  32. Sour Grapes

    What a bunch of WHINERS. If the dude is making HALF the money at triple the time per day it would still be an unbelievable story.

    The reason he has a big mouth is clear. People want to know. This is what people interested in internet businesses should want to hear. Instead of all the bullshit about spending millions on developing useless sites. Good ideas make money. PERIOD.

    Also of importance is understanding that if you don’t make a business with the immediate intention of making money you WILL fail.

    Good for him. He is a cunt only because i wish i had already done what he did.

    And for anyone with ears.. if you understand this story you would know that making a dating site (free or otherwise) at this point would be completely absurd.

  33. Matt Sanker

    wow, sounds like a bunch of people who are upset because someone beat them to the business.
    I’ve belonged to Eharmony and and find POF a better site to meet someone without having to work real hard.

    thank you, Markus

  34. Very nice interview about Mr. Frind. He is so great and popular these days. He is the best that I am impressed.
    Thanks for sharing this great article.

  35. mark

    you don’t like plenty of fish then?

  36. POF Sucks, stills uses HTML (well HTM), hacker friendly….

  37. Bob

    Claims of running POF out his apartment etc. The one man against the world for the good of all mankind , is just marketing BS.

    But it works, a lot of people believe it.

    The site itself is considered little more than a sex site by most people.

    He caught a wave and was smart enough to run with it.

  38. Ralph E. Newman

    The guy is a very rich low-life, plain and simple. He’s stumbled onto something that makes him an obscene amount of money by taking advantage of the frailties of human nature. Speaking of frailty, take another look at the anemic little dork. If this was a hundred years ago he’d be shining shoes and receiving weekly beatings for half his profit. I digress, my point being that he is very far from being anyone’s hero. I don’t doubt his revenue claims, only his claims of a girlfriend that isn’t of the inflatable nature or at the very least, the recipient of a hurried lobotomy. However, it seems likely that this need to tell the entire world how wonderful he is clearly stems from a very well deserved inferiority complex. We all know what that looks like; let’s face it, you can see it in his eyes. The real problem arises when this type of person achieves the kind of control that wealth unfortunately imparts and the inferiority complex morphs into a God complex. This is only compounded as it plays out on a relatively faceless internet, infested so inextricably by the unaccountable. Markus is a very small man on a very big throne. He lacks the moral fiber to responsibly wield his ill-gotten power. The people he steps on along the way are as erasable and forgettable to him as the kitschy usernames they adopt on his site. Speaking of which, despite his self-aggrandizing claims that his site can perform feats of near-magic, it is in fact pretty damn crappy; completely lacking aesthetically, and highly bug-ridden in it’s functionality. But I don’t want to be mean; this is about the man. This society leaves far too much room for Markus and his ilk, fellow like-minded sociopaths getting rich exploiting the weaknesses of others, espousing a very indifferent and very corporate attitude toward the every-man, all the while offering himself up so selflessly as our philanthropic champion of the online dating world. “They’re just out for your money”, spouts he… don’t fool yourselves; so is he. Markus, please don’t do us any favours, especially the kind that make you stinking rich. I could make a fortune tomorrow in this world if I chose a path to my own moral destruction. It really is quite easy to make barrels of cash, once the people you’re taking it from cease to carry any meaning for you, once you disconnect so thoroughly from the collective consciousness/conscience and raise yourself so high in your own hubristic fantasy that you become blinded to the pain you’re causing all around you. There is no justification, there is no buck-passing. I honestly pity a man who believes riches can buy him any real respect in this world. Literally all the money in the world wouldn’t shield his eyes from the ugly death-bed truths he has to look forward to (sooner, hopefully, than later). Perhaps he believes there are to be no consequences, and that his regrets will die with him. In truth, I don’t know that they won’t; perhaps his day will never come, and karma is nothing more than wishful thinking. I suspect however that if there is such a thing as eternal damnation to Hell, it is reserved for the like of Markus Frind.

  39. lee

    hey leave off markus
    this is the best site around
    if he loses his money – so what ?
    if he wants to sell – so what ?
    if people abuse his site well thats the internet for you
    stop being so negative ( and obviously envious )
    so what if he brags ? he can brag all he wants as long as his site stays this good

  40. Markus is doing the right thing by using PR, media coverage to grow his business even more. I actually read about him in the Wall Street Journal, since I don’t visit dating sites.

    As for competitors, it takes years to build what he built. And even then they will be me-too’s. If Makus continues to use heavy hitters such as WSJ, NYTimes to publicize his site and by doing that rope in more and more fish , it would be harder and harder to play catch up.

    How do I know it? I used to work in PR. I use PR for my own business. I don’t think about competition when I have a full page story about my business in The Miami Herald, I think how many orders I will get as a result of this free advertising that would cost me $10,000 if it would be an ad.

  41. M

    Just got a three-year ban on POF for the first forum infraction. What did I do? I told the truth. In the computer forum some user was complaining that when he uploaded his avatar to the site it seemed blurry. (In other words, the site converted his graphic in such a way that it lost resolution and was now blurry as a result.)

    What did their admin suggest as the solution? “Upgrade” their browser to Firefox and the problem will go away. Really. That’s what this numbnuts actually wrote. Reviewing post after post this same admin (“Ticketoride”) often tries to bully people into changing browsers for every lame reason you can think of!

    So I simply posted that this was bogus advice and a waste of the user’s time. That’s it. Three-year ban on posting on the forums.

  42. Dr.Manhattan

    if he is really clearing 10 million a year i will sand paper my nuts and dip them in a jar of pickles while humming the knightrider tune!!!

  43. maggie

    WHY DO YOU ALL CARE? Worry about what your saying and doing not someone else?

  44. why did you banned innocent people more than 1 times for no reason when people create a good profile and great face pics without a nudity pics you are hurting them people could sue you for no reason to being banned innocent people god will send you to the hell for doing this to innocent people like that makes them very sad people could make a better dating sites than yours people will satisfied their dating sites without banned people and people will tell about plenty of fish this sites are dishonest and never promise sending peoples email disrespect peoples feeling none of peoples business you are big nosey to read peoples coversation thru instand message and email their own private business when people complainting and report you only not for yourself to decide and banned them for no reason

  45. As a matter of fact, I was inspired by his story to build my own online dating website, and it’s a very simple business model: Create a great free site with good service, and then simply make revenue from ads, rather than from your actual members. It’s a win/win situation…

  46. Robert

    Hi, I just want to ask the question if POF are using the “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator”? If so, are there any rights on this or can anyone use this questionare?


  47. I canceled today and decided I made a mistake and have tried to re-enter and have tried even under another email and name like required but am not accepted why ? Jack Miller Thank you !

  48. Jason

    If he is so rich then what the heck is he doing living in an apartment?!?


  49. doogie

    Why do you have a hang up about this guy?There are plenty of people out there making tons of money and whether they are lying about it or not they also brag about how much they make too.Ive had an ad blocker on mozilla for years and dont even know what the site looks like `unmasked`.So if google wants to pay him squllies then go for it,but they arent making any business out of me.

  50. Jason

    JJ – dude, i stopped reading at about 5 sentences. When you want to get a point across – think about what you are writing, and its format. I realize its just a comment log, but ranting incoherently doesnt really get your point across. The guy is making millions of dollars and is in his 20s – of COURSE he is going to be a dick. Im almost 40 and have barely cracked a million in my entire life.

    If it was luck – then good for him. I feel alot of the naysayers and whiners about his attitude are a wee bit jealous. Plentyoffish is ugly as HELL, and works half-assed. However, its completely free, and is easly enough to use that even an idiot could meet someone using it. All of the competition is 30+ a month. He got into it at the right time.

  51. spesiurcefill

    You got to check this video out I found on Youtube. Its badass.

    Let me know what you guys think.

    youtube video

  52. Kevin

    I use the site and It is ok but it could use a lot of work, I only use it because it is pretty much the only truly free dating site out there. I think Markus Frind is being stupid by hogging all the money too himself and not hiring staff. he claims he can handle the site by himself but I’ve noticed many things that need fixing or improvement and there is no way to contact him, well he does have a profile on there but I’d have a better chance of getting Santa clause to write me back then getting him to. If he wants to stay #1 he needs to do some real work on the site, I mean 2 hours a day, my 80 year old grandma works longer than that.

  53. Susanne Cooper-Smith

    Good grief – sounds like JJ is one of those that couldn’t get a date and it’s everyone else’s fault. What a cry baby. I have used most of the paying sites off and on for the last 8 yrs or so and just recently began using Plenty of Fish and find the sites very similar. No better no worse.

  54. I’m also a co-founder of a free online dating site ( and have been monitoring PoF since it’s the biggest competition. The reason why Marcus brags about his income is because it’s a way for him to advertise his site. Lots of income = lots of visitors = more matches for you so you should join. He probably submitted a few news releases and the media picked it up and distributed everywhere. In each story he either talks about his income, his server or how genius he is. But I don’t agree with him when he brags that he runs the site himself. He does not – his web hosting company does. Customer support was done by his girlfriend. And last summer he hired a couple people to help me out. Marcus is just a programmer, it does take some time to build a dating site but it’s possible and he had plenty of time to work on it. I’m also a web developer and all the programming and design on my dating site ( was done only by me.

  55. Mark

    Markus has a swelled head and I liked the photoshopped cheque he posted.

  56. Junior

    It’s simple really. POF created plenty of talk… created plenty of free advertising …created plenty of visitors …created plenty of sign-ups …created plenty of clicking … created plenty of profit. Genius.

  57. POOF

    I have nothing good to say about POF after being a member a few times over the past few years.
    It is run very poorly and has moderators that have horrible and harassing attitudes.
    The same old people are still on there after years and years.
    The forums are redundant and are run by former Nazis.
    The site is basically a place for sexual encounters, not for dating and long term matches.
    It is next to impossible to opt out of POF. Deletion of one’s account is a royal pain.
    POF just fills up my mail with spam and more spam and has ignored all my emails and coorespondances.
    Marcus must be pretty desperate or stupid or greedy to keep my profile alive, after all the nasty mail I have sent him.
    I am at a point of filing a police report for harassment against Marcus Frind and Plenty of Fish for harassment and abuse.
    I have an appointment in the new year with my lawyer, anyway.
    What a greedy little punk bastard Marcus Frind and his ‘free dating site turned out to be!
    You know what has happened to all the greedy businesses lately….!
    Maybe you are next, Marcus, with your hunger for more and more money and less and less quality to your customers.

  58. vinnie

    Come on, the site is obviously a sham. People who run garbage like this know that the government has taken a hands off approach, so they milk it for all it’s worth. The government cares nothing about law, nor does the corporate media, so there is little reporting on this- even though it is right out in the open- and the government never takes legal action. The only quesion is how deep into the criminal underbelly do these operations reach?
    If you ever wanted to know what the wild west was like, just go on the internet.
    I have an ad on POF. POF offers this service whereby it will tell you if the emails you sent were read, unread or deleted.
    Well, that’s funny, because I sent four emails out at 2 am in the morning. Within five minutes POF informed me my emails had all been read!! Wow, they have some dedicated women on POF, ready to read their emails at 2 am!!!

  59. Mitch

    I don’t agree with these sentiments either but I do respect your opnion. It IS just an opnion… Maybe he loves bragging? There’s nothing wrong with bragging and there certainly isn’t anything wrong with a company no matter what size looking for VC funding… there are more reasons than jus tthe money to look outside for VC support.

  60. Mitch

    Junior… I agree it’s genuis.

    POOF… your days must last an eternity putting so much negative energy on something that is pointless. Did you know that it is THE PEOPLE who make a site what it is so if people are using it for booty calls then so be it… go find another site that will suit you better. Haha you’re so funny!

  61. nemrut

    One important thing is missing from this story is that Markus developed a proprietary algorithm that enabled POF to scale with a fraction of the servers of similarly trafficked websites. This is a huge deal as it allowed him to keep costs low while leveraging the increasing traffic to generate ad revenue.

    On the surface, his operation looks trivial..sure anyone can build a similar site. But achieving scale with minimal costs, during exponential growth, is another matter altogether.

  62. Markus Frind is busy working. Please don’t compete with him. He needs and deserves all the money he makes people happy. There are other dating sites, many many outhere, such as , etc. I remember when American Singles were AS.ORG and were totally free and had simplistic yet pleasant interface. Then they went for the big bucks and I believe they lost a lot of folks that way.

  63. ryan

    “Why shouldn’t I just jump into the market and compete with you an take some of this easy money off the table?”

    Because you couldn’t. You don’t know much about Mr Frind.

    You’ll never run a dating website the size of his on as few of servers as he does. You probably aren’t in his league at optimizing db queries and code, so your hardware costs are multiples of his. Then factor in that he has a many year headstart on you.

    Think you’re going to throw up a free dating site and have people join when you have no members, think again. It would take years to grow to his level. Why doesn’t someone challenge eBay? Auctions aren’t that hard, you just need a script…

    Go back to compiling Gentoo and leave the world alone

  64. Hey Ryan.

    You win the FAIL award today….

    You really aren’t very bright are you?

    If you had spent five minutes reviewing my blog you would have realized that my background is running scalable infrastructure.

  65. I gotta agree with many comments posted on here. But something caught my attention.

    As Nemrut stated “Markus developed a proprietary algorithm that enabled POF to scale with a fraction of the servers of similarly trafficked websites”.

    I disagree with this as there’s no proof of any special algorithm. SQL database can have millions of records and retrieve them very fast. He also Gzipped it to lower the bandwidth usage but there’s nothing special about it. And he has several servers (very fast quad core computers): mail server, website server, picture server, forum server and etc…

  66. It might not be true. I think the algorithm is right. He is great in terms of marketing strategy. I think plenty of fish is growing fast and faster in the future.

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