How PlentyOfFish’s “Bust Your Tail, Gamble Complex” Lifestyle Triggered Its Success


The brief variation: Whether it’s hosting quarterly hack-a-thons, taking organization skiing retreats, constructing intuitive characteristics, or keeping in-office delighted hrs, individuals at found the most perfect balance between spending so much time and playing hard — and it’s really reduced. Since the 2003 launch, this Vancouver-based business went from becoming a one-person start-up and a unique name when you look at the online dating business to a group of 75 innovative people and one quite successful internet sites of its type.


It will be great for a career enabling you to develop innovative products which have a proper influence on people’s life, learn something new every day, plus go bobsledding with work colleagues whom’re just like your best friends.

At PlentyOfFish, that is just what the group extends to carry out.

Launched in 2003 and fearlessly led by Web business person Markus Frind, POF has always had a hardworking attitude, commitment to the users, and unique business society. And all of which has cemented the website as among the finest and largest when you look at the matchmaking room — with 100 million registered users and 50,000 brand-new singles signing up for everyday.

For some special insights and personal stories about life at PlentyOfFish, we spoke with three veteran staff from three various departments — PR Manager Shannon Smith, VP of income Optimization Kim Kaplan, and Director of technology Chris Simpson.

A varied & Talented group of 75 offers Different abilities to your Table

From marketing and advertising to company to tech to HR, the divisions at POF are just since different because the people. Shannon (who started as an individual service rep this year and easily moved up to PR manager) stated while there is not the average brand of PlentyOfFish employee, an important circumstances they have in keeping tend to be their inviting characters and drive to always get good at their work.

“It is a complete mixture of differing people, and it’s fascinating observe how good every person will get along,” she stated.

Irrespective who you speak with, whether or not they’ve already been through it for decade or 10 times, this is the understanding staff members acquire from getting together with many special folks thatis the concealed jewel regarding the company.

“You’ll find gamer girls items you only know because you’ve been with us or since you’ve attempted it or you bear in mind a discussion — you simply can’t instruct that,” said Kim, VP of Revenue Optimization.

And possibly that is what Kim features enjoyed the absolute most — understanding from selection of people that’ve come aboard.

“dealing with Markus and everybody over the last many years happens to be one of the most amazing experiences,” she mentioned.

The Optimization Folks Interpret Member Behavior to enhance Their Processes

Kim, that’s already been making use of the company for over seven decades, found Markus through shared pals and signed up with the POF staff when there have been just a couple of individuals on team.

Regarding daily life, Kim along with her team will be the go-tos for evaluating information, analyzing developments, after which learning what is actually causing shifts in user behavior. A large element of their job is actually A/B testing — contrasting details like web page templates, content, featuring to see what is executing better and in which there’s space for enhancement.

“which has been all of our focus within the last few 2 years — split screening product changes and scaling that away, but over the years we view our figures and make certain that people’re constantly relocating an optimistic direction for the core metrics. That has been an integral to the achievements,” she said.

Developers utilize their particular Expertise to Make the Site practical & Instinctive

On the technical side, Director of technology Chris came on 5 years before possesses starred a significant role in raising the website’s smartphone apps and broadening that one team to 45 strong. All of them have their own areas (e.g., iphone 3gs vs. Android expertise) and use those abilities which will make a positive effect on the user experience daily.

“we try to keep a practical strategy. My time normally is constructed of working with men and women and helping them establish characteristics without causing some significant drop within our profits numbers or modification for our consumers,” the guy said.

One of several techy activities the whole company will get involved with which is outside the package for most ones — but contributes too much to the firm development — will be the quarterly hack-a-thon. For 2 times employees, whether they’re tech-savvy or perhaps not, should create prototypes of attributes and methods they are planning to put into action on the webpage.

“Quite often those tasks get straight into manufacturing or they may be the inspiration for future characteristics, which lets folks take pleasure in creativity and try one thing out they ownn’t tried prior to,” Chris stated. “which is an extremely essential requirement that keeps our very own tradition friendly and creative.”

Office-Wide Activities acquire Camaraderie & Establish the POF Brand

The typical 9-5, cubicle workplace is actually slowly dying out — becoming replaced by one which enhances output, motivates work colleagues to make the journey to know both, and causes happier folks. And this is another facet PlentyOfFish excels at.

An Open-Office Concept produces a Fun & Inviting Atmosphere

The unbeatable organization society at POF is directly mirrored at work setup — a large open plan in which everybody shuffles their unique seating around every few months to be able to spark creativeness and deal with numerous divisions.

There are various convention spaces — all with breathtaking opinions associated with Pacific Ocean and hills that surround Vancouver — for larger meetings. There’s also the Aquarium area, in fact it is a residential district space with bean handbags for people doing their particular notebook computers and all-hands conferences for talking about company goals and market activities.

Not to mention there’s a completely stocked beverage and treat club also 4 p.m. pleased hours every Friday — which permit employees to generally share what jobs they may be doing, weekend strategies, or anything else that fosters relationships.

“It really is a rather team-oriented atmosphere,” Shannon mentioned.

Kim included this particular type of setting is specially great for staffers who will be not used to Vancouver and now haven’t developed a great group of pals however.

“aided by the men and women they work with, they will have developed strong bonds, that I believe is actually invaluable,” she mentioned. “our core principles is actually relationships, and it also goes beyond the interactions we generate on the website in addition to folks we link on a day-to-day basis, also towards interactions we establish internally among our staff.”

Annual Team-Building Outings Turn Colleagues towards Family

To get workers from the company and relating to one another various other means besides work, PlentyOfFish retains no less than two organization retreats per year, with pursuits like ziplining, drink tasting, and scavenger hunts. The newest any happened at Whistler hill, where employees invested two days snowboarding, eating and drinking, and playing team-building video games.

Even though these occasions will get “notoriously rowdy” and competitive, the camaraderie among everyone over these vacations together is a vital factor to building powerful and honest relationships in both and from the company.

“I got clotheslined by a co-workers one time. You types of sabotage each other in a great, playful method,” Kim joked. “I can’t show just what a big change it creates having that high quality time together with your co-workers outside that daily work situation.”

Chris went on to declare that they start thinking about both a family group, even while the organization continues to grow, with developed a communicative ecosystem that’s casual however pro.

“we do not have many guidelines. We don’t have set instances ahead in and then leave the office, and nobody wears a suit. So we enjoy it in that way,” the guy stated. “every person is actually encouraged to make inquiries. A few ideas will come from any part of this business. This is the component i truly cherish and want to keep.”

This “Work Hard, Enjoy rough” Mentality Fosters Progress

At any organization, you are usually going to be facing challenges, along with the POF staff having those tight-knit ties, they are able to easily and quickly adjust to any circumstance and over come obstacles together.

“i believe it’s really important that you share securities in order to navigate and conquer any obstacle as a team instead of independently,” Kim mentioned. “you will get frank talks and, at the conclusion of the afternoon, discuss the opinions collectively.”

From Chris’ viewpoint, this means everyone else, specially their fellow techies, can transform guidelines if need-be without missing out on a beat.

“if someone else’s been working hard on some element therefore decide to proceed to another thing, if everyone’s for a passing fancy team and you’re communicating, that’s OK. We are capable react really,” he stated. “no-one’s extremely safety with what they are doing in addition to their work, so might there be no tips also it implies we can go rapidly and adapt rapidly.”

A People-Centered Focus causes big Milestones for Everyone

While many people have a self-serving view at their work environment, at PlentyOfFish a success for one person or one office is a victory for the whole business. Shannon, Kim, and Chris happened to be actually compassionate sufficient to share a number of their most favorite achievements.

For Shannon, it came in 2013, when POF astonished two which found on the site with $100,000 to go toward their unique fantasy wedding ceremony.

“It really is fantastic to function for a website that has an effect on the entire world we live-in a whole lot. That you don’t usually get to notice effects your work has on people, so being able to see this couple enjoy and with the knowledge that we brought them along really was unique,” she said.

Reaching the 100 million authorized member level and releasing the website’s now-leading smartphone programs are two moments which will drop in PlentyOfFish background for Kim.

“We turned into one of the primary within the online dating market to build up cellular applications plus rev up our very own game and start to become one of several leading applications in App shop for matchmaking. That has been the not known therefore effectively navigated that,” she stated.

Chris is specially proud of a number of the situations men and women you should not observe that frequently, like staff members keeping themselves in charge of their particular tasks day-after-day — discovering what realy works and precisely what doesn’t and using that to future projects (for your development group specifically, discover TVs that flow the site alive and reveal real time metrics).

“we are able to can get on an issue as soon it does occur, therefore we can deal with it and predict dilemmas in some areas and make sure we are ahead of the online game,” the guy mentioned.

Final Thoughts

With their modern characteristics and methods, dedication to their members, and friendly heart, PlentyOfFish is doing huge circumstances for singles and also the internet dating industry generally. And it’s really great to see the people behind the website are simply as fun and down-to-earth as we envisioned. We’ve highlighted just some of their unique stories here, but POF has so many more recollections to fairly share and develop, therefore can’t hold off to listen all of them.