Exactly how PlentyOfFish’s „Work Hard, Enjoy Rough“ Lifestyle Resulted In Their Success

The Quick Version: whether it is hosting quarterly hack-a-thons, having business skiing retreats, building user-friendly characteristics, or holding in-office happy several hours, the folks at PlentyofFish.com found the perfect stability between working hard and playing tough — and it is paid. Since their 2003 release, this Vancouver-based business went from being a one-person start-up and a fresh name inside the online dating industry to a team of 75 imaginative individuals and another of the most extremely successful internet sites of its kind.


It might be fantastic for a profession where you can develop innovative products which have an actual impact on individuals schedules, discover something totally new on a daily basis, plus get bobsledding with co-workers who’re just like your close friends.

At PlentyOfFish, that’s precisely what the group extends to do.

Started in 2003 and fearlessly directed by online business owner Markus Frind, POF has constantly had a hardworking mindset, dedication to their people, and one-of-a-kind organization society. And all of containing cemented the website as among the most readily useful and largest within the dating space — with 100 million users and 50,000 new singles chat groups joining everyday.

For some special ideas and personal tales about life at PlentyOfFish, we talked with three seasoned staff members from three various divisions — PR Manager Shannon Smith, VP of Revenue Optimization Kim Kaplan, and Director of Engineering Chris Simpson.

A varied & Talented Team of 75 offers Different Skills towards the Table

From marketing and advertising to business to tech to HR, the departments at POF are just since various given that people. Shannon (whom started as a consumer solution representative in 2010 and quickly relocated doing PR supervisor) stated while there is not the average style of PlentyOfFish employee, the primary things they’ve got in accordance are their own welcoming characters and drive to usually get good at their work.

„It is a complete blend of different people, and it’s really fascinating to see how well every person will get along,“ she said.

It doesn’t matter whom you speak with, if they’ve already been through it for ten years or 10 times, it is the information workers get from interacting with plenty unique individuals thatis the hidden gem associated with the company.

„you can find stuff you merely know as you’ve existed or as you’ve experimented with it or perhaps you bear in mind a conversation — you can’t teach that,“ said Kim, VP of income Optimization.

As well as perhaps that’s what Kim provides loved probably the most — learning through the different people who’ve come aboard.

„cooperating with Markus and everyone throughout the last years was one of the most amazing experiences,“ she said.

The Optimization Folks Interpret associate Behavior to boost Their particular Processes

Kim, that’s already been utilizing the organization for more than seven many years, came across Markus through shared buddies and joined up with the POF group when there had been just two or three people on employees.

In terms of day-to-day existence, Kim along with her team will be the go-tos for considering information, examining fashions, then determining what is actually leading to changes in individual behavior. A big element of work is actually A/B evaluation — comparing details like page layouts, content material, featuring observe what is actually executing much better and where absolutely space for improvement.

„that has been our very own focus within the last 24 months — split evaluating product modifications and scaling that out, but over the years we watch the figures and ensure that individuals’re continuously moving in a positive path in regards to our center metrics. That’s been a key to the achievements,“ she stated.

Builders utilize their own Expertise to help make the website Functional & Instinctive

On the technical aspect, Director of technology Chris came on 5 years before and it has starred a substantial character in growing the website’s smartphone apps and broadening that staff to 45 powerful. They all have unique specialties (e.g., new iphone 4 vs. Android os knowledge) and employ those skills to create an optimistic influence on the consumer experience day-after-day.

„I try to keep a practical method. My personal time generally speaking contains dealing with men and women and helping all of them develop features without producing some significant drop in our revenue figures or change for the consumers,“ the guy mentioned.

Among techy tasks your whole organization will get involved in which is outside of the package for most ones — yet adds a great deal to the company development — is the quarterly hack-a-thon. For just two times workers, whether or not they’re tech-savvy or perhaps not, should develop prototypes of functions and methods they’ve been wanting to carry out on the site.

„frequently those projects go straight into creation or they’re the inspiration for future characteristics, hence allows folks appreciate creativeness and check out one thing out they ownn’t tried prior to,“ Chris said. „That’s a really important factor that helps to keep our society friendly and creative.“

Office-Wide occasions Build Camaraderie & Establish the POF Brand

The common 9-5, cubicle work place is slowly dying out — being changed by the one that increases efficiency, encourages co-workers to make the journey to understand one another, and results in happier folks. Referring to another aspect PlentyOfFish excels at.

An Open-Office Concept Creates a great & Inviting Atmosphere

The irresistible organization society at POF is actually directly mirrored in the workplace setup — an enormous open-plan where everybody else shuffles their unique chairs around every month or two being spark imagination and make use of different departments.

There are various meeting rooms — all with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and mountains that surround Vancouver — for larger group meetings. There is the Aquarium location, that’s a community space with bean bags for people doing their own laptops and all-hands meetings for discussing business targets and sector events.

And of course absolutely a fully stocked drink and snack bar plus 4 p.m. happy many hours every monday — which allow workers to talk about exactly what projects they can be focusing on, weekend plans, or anything that encourages interactions.

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

Kim added that type setting is very great for staffers who are not used to Vancouver and just haven’t accumulated a great circle of pals but.

„together with the folks it works with, they will have produced deep ties, that we think is actually indispensable,“ she said. „our center values is relationships, and it also goes beyond the interactions we generate on the site in addition to men and women we link on a day-to-day basis, also to the interactions we establish internally among our very own staff members.“

Yearly Team-Building Outings Turn Colleagues Into Family

To get staff outside of the company and relating to one another various other ways besides work, PlentyOfFish holds at the very least two organization retreats a year, with pursuits like ziplining, drink tasting, and scavenger hunts. The most recent any was held at Whistler Mountain, where employees spent two days snowboarding, eating and ingesting, and playing team-building games.

And while these activities can get „notoriously rowdy“ and aggressive, the camaraderie among everybody of these weekends together is an important element to building powerful and reliable connections throughout and outside of the workplace.

„i acquired clotheslined by a co-workers onetime. You type of sabotage each other however in an enjoyable, playful method,“ Kim joked. „i can not reveal what a big change it makes for that quality time along with your peers outside that day-to-day work circumstance.“

Chris continued to say that they think about one another a household, whilst the organization is growing, that has created a communicative ecosystem which is everyday but professional.

„We don’t have many rules. We don’t have set times ahead in and leave work, and no one wears a suit. And in addition we think its great that way,“ the guy mentioned. „every person is motivated to make inquiries. Tactics will come from any corner on the organization. This is the component I absolutely treasure and want to maintain.“

This „work tirelessly, Play heavy“ attitude Fosters Progress

At any company, you’re usually gonna be confronted with problems, and with the POF group having those tight-knit ties, they can quickly and easily conform to any circumstance and over come hurdles together.

„I think it is important that you discuss ties to be able to navigate and overcome any hurdle as a group rather than individually,“ Kim said. „you will get frank conversations and, at the conclusion of the day, share your opinions collectively.“

From Chris‘ viewpoint, it indicates every person, especially his other techies, can transform instructions if need be without missing a defeat.

„if someone else’s been working hard on some function and we choose to move on to something else entirely, if every person’s on the same staff and you are communicating, that is okay. We’re capable respond really,“ the guy mentioned. „no-one’s very defensive regarding what they do as well as their work, so there are no secrets plus it implies we can move quickly and adjust rapidly.“

A People-Centered Focus results in big Milestones for Everyone

While people have a self-serving perspective at their unique workplace, at PlentyOfFish a success for 1 individual or one section is actually a triumph for the whole business. Shannon, Kim, and Chris had been actually nice sufficient to share the their most favorite accomplishments.

For Shannon, it came in 2013, when POF astonished a couple of exactly who found on the site with $100,000 to visit toward their dream wedding ceremony.

„It’s fantastic to be effective for a website that affects society we live-in really. You do not always can start to see the impacts your work is wearing folks, therefore having the ability to see this few celebrate and understanding that we introduced all of them along really was unique,“ she stated.

Attaining the 100 million authorized member mark and starting the website’s now-leading smartphone apps are a couple of times which will go lower in PlentyOfFish record for Kim.

„We became among the first inside online dating market to produce mobile applications together with rev up our very own video game and be among the top applications inside software Store for online dating. That has been the not known and we also effectively navigated that,“ she stated.

Chris is very happy with a number of the circumstances individuals cannot see that frequently, like employees holding by themselves in charge of their tasks every single day — studying what realy works and what doesn’t and implementing that to potential jobs (the development staff in particular, you’ll find TVs that stream your website alive and show real-time metrics).

„We can can get on an issue right it takes place, and we can manage it and predict dilemmas using areas and make sure we are ahead of the video game,“ he stated.

Final Thoughts

With the modern features and tools, dedication to their users, and friendly heart, PlentyOfFish does large things for singles plus the online dating industry generally. And it’s really great observe individuals behind the site are as enjoyable and down-to-earth as we anticipated. We have now included just a few of their tales here, but POF provides so much more recollections to express and create, and then we are unable to hold off to know them.