Recently read this story in Inc.com, about plentyoffish.com, which is an online dating service. This was built by one man Markus Frind. It is one of the largest and most successful websites to hit the web – probably because of the space in which it is playing in. 1.6 billion personal ads. That is a lot of ads. Most of them are paid. Advertisers line up at Markus’s door to advertise on his website.
All this is something that looks like a typical dotcom success story. But the story takes a slightly different route this time. Usually startups are associated with a bunch of hard core nerd type people, who burn a lot of midnight oil. And all the night outs fructify into this beautiful product, which becomes a success. In this case, it is one man – Markus. And he says, he did not work that hard to get this up and running. It started off as a simple website, which served a great purpose, and people just came.
And to keep it running, Markus just did a big upgrade. His staff strength went up from 1 to 3, and he moved out of his bedroom in his apartment.
Free software hosts his web servers. He wrote his scripts to be fairly automatic. The only manual handling that his 2 customer service staff does, is to screen spam and delete inappropriate images. Markus comes in to office at 10AM, and leaves about an hour later. That is his office hours. He has the rest of the day to relax, while the website runs itself, and generates more money for him. He holidays in the French riviera, and just generally has a good life.
Read the full story here.