How PlentyOfFish’s “Strive, Play Rough” Community Led to Their Success

The small Version: should it be hosting quarterly hack-a-thons, having organization skiing retreats, constructing user-friendly features, or holding in-office happy hours, the people at have found an ideal balance between working and playing difficult — and it’s really paid back. Since their 2003 launch, this Vancouver-based organization went from being a one-person start-up and another name during the internet dating sector to a team of 75 creative individuals and something quite profitable black lgbt websites of their sort.


It would be fantastic to possess a vocation enabling you to create revolutionary items that have actually a genuine effect on some people’s life, find out new things on a daily basis, as well as go bobsledding with work colleagues who’re such as your close friends.

At PlentyOfFish, that is precisely what the team reaches carry out.

Started in 2003 and fearlessly led by Web business person Markus Frind, POF has actually always had a hardworking mindset, dedication to its people, and unique organization culture. And all of who has cemented your website as one of the finest and biggest from inside the matchmaking area — with 100 million new users and 50,000 new singles signing up for each day.

For some unique ideas and personal stories about existence at PlentyOfFish, we talked with three veteran workers from three different divisions — PR Manager Shannon Smith, VP of income Optimization Kim Kaplan, and Director of Engineering Chris Simpson.

A Diverse & Talented group of 75 Brings various abilities for the Table

From marketing and advertising to company to tech to HR, the divisions at POF basically since various just like the people. Shannon (who began as an individual service rep this season and quickly moved doing PR manager) said while there is not an average particular PlentyOfFish employee, the main circumstances they usually have in keeping tend to be their own appealing personalities and drive to always grasp their work.

“its a whole blend of each person, and it’s interesting to see how good everyone else becomes along,” she mentioned.

Regardless who you speak with, whether they’ve been there for several years or 10 times, this is the understanding workers gain from reaching plenty unique people whois the hidden treasure associated with the business.

“you will find things simply learn as you’ve existed or since you’ve attempted it or perhaps you recall a discussion — you simply can’t show that,” mentioned Kim, VP of profits Optimization.

And maybe that’s what Kim features enjoyed the quintessential — understanding from the different those who’ve come aboard.

“using the services of Markus and everybody over the past years happens to be just about the most incredible encounters,” she mentioned.

The Optimization Folks Interpret representative attitude to enhance Their particular Processes

Kim, who’s already been because of the organization for more than seven many years, came across Markus through mutual buddies and joined up with the POF staff whenever there were only several people on employees.

With regards to everyday existence, Kim and her team are the go-tos for viewing data, examining trends, and determining what is actually triggering changes in individual behavior. A big element of their job is A/B evaluating — comparing details like web page templates, material, and features to see what exactly is executing better and where there’s room for enhancement.

“that has been the focus within the last couple of years — split evaluating product modifications and scaling that out, but historically we see our very own numbers and ensure that people’re consistently relocating an optimistic path for our key metrics. That has been a key to our success,” she stated.

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

On the technical aspect, Director of Engineering Chris arrived on five years ago and has starred a substantial part in growing your website’s smartphone apps and increasing that particular group to 45 powerful. Each of them have actually unique areas (e.g., new iphone 4 vs. Android knowledge) and use those abilities in order to make an optimistic effect on an individual experience day-after-day.

“we keep a hands-on strategy. My personal day normally contains cooperating with individuals and assisting them establish functions without producing some major drop within our revenue numbers or change for our users,” the guy said.

Among techy tasks the whole organization gets associated with which is away from field for many ones — however contributes too much to the organization development — may be the quarterly hack-a-thon. For just two days staff members, whether they’re tech-savvy or perhaps not, ought to create prototypes of attributes and methods they are wanting to carry out on the site.

“Quite often those jobs go into production or they are the inspiration for future attributes, and this allows individuals enjoy creativity and check out something out that they haven’t tried before,” Chris said. “which is an extremely essential requirement that helps to keep all of our society friendly and creative.”

Office-Wide Events acquire Camaraderie & Establish the POF Brand

The typical 9-5, cubicle workplace is gradually dying out — being changed by one that boosts productivity, motivates work colleagues to get at understand both, and causes happier men and women. And this refers to another facet PlentyOfFish excels at.

An Open-Office Concept produces a great & Inviting Atmosphere

The unbeatable business culture at POF is actually straight reflected in the workplace setup — a large open plan where everybody shuffles their own chairs around every few months being spark creativeness and utilize numerous departments.

There are many convention spaces — all with spectacular views from the Pacific Ocean and mountains that surround Vancouver — for bigger group meetings. There is the Aquarium area, basically a community area with bean bags for individuals concentrating on their unique laptops and all-hands conferences for talking about company targets and business occasions.

And undoubtedly there’s a fully stocked beverage and snack club including 4 p.m. happy hrs every tuesday — which allow staff to fairly share exactly what jobs they may be doing, weekend plans, or anything else that encourages relationships.

“It really is a really team-oriented environment,” Shannon said.

Kim included this particular sorts of setting is very nice for staffers who happen to be new to Vancouver and have nown’t developed a great group of buddies however.

“With the men and women they work with, they’ve developed deep securities, which I believe is actually indispensable,” she stated. “One of our core principles is relationships, and it also goes beyond the connections we create on the site as well as the people we link on a day-to-day basis, actually into the relationships we develop internally among all of our staff members.”

Yearly Team-Building Outings Turn Colleagues Into Family

To get employees from the workplace and relating to each other various other steps besides work, PlentyOfFish holds at the least two business retreats a year, with pursuits like ziplining, wine tasting, and scavenger hunts. The most recent one was held at Whistler hill, in which staff members invested two days snowboarding, eating and sipping, and playing team-building video games.

And while these occasions could possibly get “notoriously rowdy” and aggressive, the companionship among everybody else during these weekends together is an important element to building strong and dependable interactions throughout and out from the office.

“i acquired clotheslined by a work colleagues one-time. You type sabotage each other however in an enjoyable, lively way,” Kim joked. “i can not let you know exactly what a big difference it will make having that top quality time together with your peers outside that daily work circumstance.”

Chris went on to say that they think about both children, even as the organization is growing, with created a communicative ecosystem which is everyday yet expert.

“we do not have a lot of regulations. We do not have set times to come in and leave the office, and nobody wears a suit. So we like it like that,” the guy stated. “every person is encouraged to seek advice. Ideas will come from any part of company. This is the part I really cherish and want to preserve.”

This “strive, Play tough” Mentality Fosters Progress

At any organization, you are often gonna be up against problems, and with the POF team having those tight-knit bonds, they can quickly adjust to any situation and overcome hurdles collectively.

“I think it is important that you discuss securities to be able to browse and overcome any barrier as a group in the place of independently,” Kim stated. “you could have frank talks and, at the end of your day, share the opinions collectively.”

From Chris’ point of view, it means everyone else, specially their fellow techies, can transform instructions if need-be without missing out on a beat.

“When someone’s been spending so much time on a certain feature therefore we choose proceed to something different, if every person’s for a passing fancy staff and you are interacting, that is OK. We are able to react well,” the guy said. “No one’s extremely protective regarding what they do and their work, so there are no secrets also it indicates we are able to go rapidly and adjust easily.”

A People-Centered Focus contributes to big Milestones for Everyone

While many people have actually a self-serving outlook at their unique office, at PlentyOfFish a triumph for example person or one office is a triumph for the entire business. Shannon, Kim, and Chris had been even compassionate enough to discuss several of a common achievements.

For Shannon, it was available in 2013, when POF amazed two exactly who met on the site with $100,000 to go toward their dream marriage.

“It’s fantastic to be effective for a site that influences society we are now living in plenty. That you do not constantly get to see the effects work is wearing people, therefore to be able to see this few enjoy and realizing that we delivered them together was really special,” she mentioned.

Achieving the 100 million registered user level and releasing the site’s now-leading smartphone applications are a couple of minutes which will go lower in PlentyOfFish record for Kim.

“We turned into one of the primary from inside the matchmaking business in order to develop cellular apps plus rev up our online game and start to become one of many leading apps during the application shop for internet dating. Which was the as yet not known therefore we effectively navigated that,” she stated.

Chris is particularly proud of a number of the circumstances men and women cannot notice that frequently, like workers keeping on their own responsible for their particular obligations everyday — finding out what realy works and so what doesn’t and implementing that to future jobs (the development group particularly, discover TVs that flow this site alive and reveal real-time metrics).

“we are able to log in to a challenge just it does occur, and we can handle it and foresee problems in a few locations and make certain we’re in front of the video game,” he mentioned.

Last Thoughts

With the contemporary characteristics and methods, commitment to its people, and friendly heart, PlentyOfFish has been doing large situations for singles additionally the internet dating industry overall. And it is fantastic observe the folks behind your website are just as fun and down-to-earth while we envisioned. We have now showcased just a few of their particular tales right here, but POF has books memories to generally share and create, and now we can’t wait to hear them.