It's from Video Egg, a San Francisco company that is paying Frind to run a series of Budweiser commercials in Canada. with more than that." Five years ago, he started Plenty of Fish with no money, no plan, and scant knowledge of how to build a Web business. Its traffic is four times that of dating pioneer Match, which has annual revenue of 0 million and a staff that numbers in the hundreds. Today, he employs just three customer service workers, who check for spam and delete nude images from the Plenty of Fish website while Frind handles everything else.Like most of his advertising deals, this one found Frind. Today, according to the research firm Hitwise, his creation is the largest dating website in the U. Amazingly, Frind has set up his company so that doing everything else amounts to doing almost nothing at all.He seems perpetually lost in thought, constantly thinking about and studying the world around him.
His hometown, Hudson's Hope, is a cold, isolated place not far from the starting point of the Alaska Highway.
Frind's parents, German farmers who emigrated just before his fourth birthday, bought a 1,200-acre plot 10 miles from town and initially lived in a trailer without electricity, phones, or running water.
The gleaming space could easily house 30 employees, but as Frind strides in, it is eerily quiet -- just a room with new carpets, freshly painted walls, and eight flat-screen computer monitors.
Frind drops his bag and plops himself down in front of one of them. There's a $180,000 order waiting for his signature.
Quiet, soft-featured, and ordinary looking, he is the kind of person who can get lost in a roomful of people and who seems to take up less space than his large frame would suggest.
Those who know Frind describe him as introverted, smart, and a little awkward.
COMMAND CENTRAL Frind recently increased his staff from zero to three and moved operations from his bedroom to a nearby office tower." alt="COMMAND CENTRAL Frind recently increased his staff from zero to three and moved operations from his bedroom to a nearby office tower."t 10 o'clock in the morning, Markus Frind leaves his apartment and heads to work. The problem is that he is still getting used to the idea of a commute that involves traveling farther than the distance between the living room and the bedroom.
It's a short walk through downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, but somehow the trek feels arduous. Frind's online dating company, Plenty of Fish, is newly located on the 26th floor of a downtown skyscraper with a revolving restaurant on the roof.
He hadn't even heard of Video Egg until a week ago. "I usually accomplish everything in the first hour," he says, before pausing for a moment to think this over.