One person, One website, US$10 million per year?

by David Mullings

Case Study: Plentfyoffish.com

I recently came across an article in the New York Times that truly amazed me. It was the story about a 29 year-old in Canada that defied all conventional wisdom by running a multi-million dollar company with only one full-time employee and some basic help from a second person, his girlfriend!He is Marcus Frind, the man behind the very popular dating website Plentyoffish.com, and he is making as much as US$10 million per year.

Google has substantiated his claim about a check covering a 2-month period that was almost US$1 million and his traffic has been independently verified. The most amazing part about the story is that the site isn’t exactly what one would expect it to look like, especially with that kind of revenue.He has kept it unbelievably simple, far simpler than most people would want for their own sites, but it obviously is accomplishing the job.

He also doesn’t charge the users – generating ALL the revenue from advertising only. Most people would have added staff, moved into a nice office and done all the ‘usual’ things companies do when they start growing revenues. Marcus proves that you don’t HAVE to follow the same template to be successful and profitable.

All web entrepreneurs can learn from this case study and instead of regurgitating the whole story, here are two excellent articles to read:From 10 Hours a Week, $10 Million a Year – New York TimesPlentyOffFsh Owner Has the Perfect Bait – Wall Street JournalLook out for more case studies.
LinkShare  Referral  Prg

  • Thanks David Mullings,

    Well, even one million per year will do me well… I really dont need to make 10 million per year.

  • Would like to know how he dealt with the issue of hosting early on, especially with the kind of traffic he was generating. Would be nice if that timeline would include the hosting company and hosting package that he had throughout, and indicate it next to the traffic that he was generating at the time.

  • Anthony, you can get a great outline of EXACTLY what he did and a timeline right here – https://plentyoffish.wordpress.com/2006/06/14/how-i-started-an-empire/

    Interestingly enough, he did things like BLOCK Alexa and Comscore users so he could “fly under the radar” and really leveraged SEO to his advantage.

    Most importantly, he realized that FREE = VIRAL so he focused on creating a better user experience, NOT a better looking site, that way people would keep joining (similar logic behind Craigslist).

  • Esteban Agosto Reid

    Very interesting !!

  • sandor

    so there’s hope for us one-man-bands then … just need to have a something with global reach

  • Very interesting article, I would like to know how he build traffic and other advertising methods he used.?