Another pioneer, James Hong, co-founded Hot or Not, a site with a single, crude feature. No one has used this ecosystem as effectively as Markus Frind, who has stayed simple, cheap, and lean even as his revenue and profits have grown well beyond those of a typical one-person company. Amazingly, Frind has set up his company so that doing everything else amounts to doing almost nothing at all. The idea came to Frind in , when he started checking out Canada's then-largest dating site, Lavalife, hoping to meet women or at least to kill some time. Worried that he would again find himself unemployed, Frind decided to bolster his qualifications. He rented a 3,square-foot suite in Vancouver's Harbour Center, announced he was going to hire 30 employees, and bought a BlackBerry. Frind created his own game and wrote his own rules. GOOG is "a cult," and Match is "dying.
He assumes he will one day need more employees, but he hasn't figured out what he would do with them. When someone finally gets lucky enough to bring things into reality, it is not uncommon for the following to occur: He says he thinks about that sometimes and has even toyed with creating a free job- listings site but finds the idea stultifying. GOOG is "a cult," and Match is "dying. The idea came to Frind in , when he started checking out Canada's then-largest dating site, Lavalife, hoping to meet women or at least to kill some time. Working a few hours an evening for two weeks, Frind built a crude dating site, which he named Plenty of Fish. Though his mouth was on fire, Frind calmly planted a kiss on Kanciar's lips and feigned ignorance as she went scrambling for water. 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. Yet, despite the dismissive arrogance of the woman, her rejection was not with the intent to be cruel, but simply because she was probably so overwhelmed with messages that she only had one minute to spare typing a response before returning to the other messages in her inbox. Plenty of Fish grew slowly at first as Frind focused on learning the programming language and trolling internet forums for clues on how to increase traffic. He is not eager to explain how he manages this, but he says that it mostly comes from writing efficient code, a necessity when you are the only code writer and are extremely averse to spending money on additional hardware and features. When searching for a prospective mate, one is inundated with pictures that are not cropped or properly resized. Being ever careful takes serious self-discipline, and an aversion to doing harm can be more valuable than an overeagerness for self-improvement. The group meets every Monday night to network, build business relationships and listen to the feature speaker. Frind used his home computer as a Web server -- an unusual but cost-effective choice -- and spent his time trying to game Google with the tricks he picked up on the forums. The truth is, everyone is riddled with flaws and we should take the bad with the good, or not at all. Personally, I find this type of arrogance mind-blowingly funny. He hasn't gone to MIT, Stanford, or any other four-year college for that matter, yet he is deceptively brilliant. This is only the beginning of the vicious cycle. He is good, too: Well, Frind is a bit lazy, but that's another matter. He wrote the November cover story on Kevin Rose, founder of the social news site Digg. Web analytic services that used to cost thousands of dollars a year are now free. That's a lot of personal ads. People are usually ten stone heavier than their pictures. Frind will spend hours hiding in the three-bedroom apartment he and Kanciar share, furtively flipping light switches, tapping on doors, and ducking into rooms to play on his girlfriend's fear of ghosts.
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