How PlentyOfFish’s “Work Hard, Play Tough” Community Triggered Its Achievements

The small Version: Whether it’s hosting quarterly hack-a-thons, taking company skiing retreats, constructing intuitive features, or keeping in-office pleased many hours, individuals at PlentyofFish.com found the most perfect balance between spending so much time and playing tough — and it is paid down. Since their 2003 release, this Vancouver-based business went from being a one-person start-up and a unique name for the dating industry to a team of 75 imaginative individuals and something of the most extremely winning internet sites of their type.


It might be great having a vocation making it possible to produce revolutionary products that have an actual effect on some people’s schedules, find out new things on a daily basis, and also get bobsledding with co-workers whom’re like your best friends.

At PlentyOfFish, that is just what the team gets to carry out.

Established in 2003 and fearlessly directed by online business owner Markus Frind, POF provides always had a hardworking attitude, dedication to their members, and unique business society. And all of which has cemented the site as one of the finest and biggest during the internet dating room — with 100 million registered users and 50,000 new singles signing up for every single day.

Attain some unique ideas and personal tales about existence at PlentyOfFish, we talked with three experienced employees from three various departments — PR Manager Shannon Smith, VP of Revenue Optimization Kim Kaplan, and Director of technology Chris Simpson.

A varied & Talented Team of 75 Brings various Skills for the Table

From advertising and marketing to business to tech to HR, the departments at POF are because different as individuals. Shannon (who started as a customer solution agent in 2010 and quickly relocated as much as PR supervisor) stated while there is not an average brand of PlentyOfFish employee, the key circumstances they’ve in common are their particular inviting personalities and drive to always get good at what they do.

“It is a whole mix of different people, and it is interesting observe how well everyone gets along,” she stated.

Regardless of whom you talk to, whether or not they’ve been there for ten years or 10 times, oahu is the knowledge staff members acquire from getting together with numerous unique individuals thatis the hidden gem associated with the business.

“you can find things you simply learn as you’ve existed or as you’ve tried it or you keep in mind a conversation — it’s not possible to show that,” mentioned Kim, VP of income Optimization.

And maybe that is what Kim has liked by far the most — learning from assortment of individuals who’ve are available aboard.

“using Markus and everyone throughout the last a long period was very remarkable encounters,” she said.

The Optimization Folks Interpret associate Behavior to enhance their own Processes

Kim, who’s been with all the company for over seven many years, met Markus through shared friends and joined up with the POF team whenever there had been merely 2 or 3 folks on staff.

When it comes to day-to-day life, Kim and her staff are the go-tos for evaluating data, analyzing fashions, after which learning what exactly is leading to shifts in user conduct. A large component of their job is A/B evaluating — contrasting details like web page designs, content material, featuring to see what exactly is carrying out better and in which absolutely space for improvement.

“That’s been the focus in the past two years — split evaluating product modifications and scaling that out, but usually we view the numbers and make certain that we’re continuously relocating a positive way for the core metrics. That’s been an integral to our achievements,” she stated.

Designers incorporate their particular Expertise to Make the website Functional & Instinctive

On the technical side of things, Director of Engineering Chris emerged on 5 years ago and also played a substantial part in expanding the website’s smartphone applications and increasing that particular group to 45 powerful. All of them have their areas of expertise (age.g., new iphone 4 vs. Android os expertise) and use those talents to create an optimistic affect the user experience every day.

“I keep a hands-on approach. My personal day generally comes with working with people and assisting all of them establish characteristics without causing some major drop within our profits numbers or change for the consumers,” the guy mentioned.

One of several techy activities the whole business gets involved in that is beyond your field for most of them — however contributes too much to the firm development — is the quarterly hack-a-thon. For two times staff, if they’re tech-savvy or perhaps not, should build prototypes of attributes and tools they are wanting to apply on the webpage.

“Quite often those tasks go into production or they truly are the determination for future functions, and therefore allows men and women enjoy creativity and check out anything out that they haven’t tried before,” Chris mentioned. “which is a truly essential requirement that keeps our very own tradition friendly and creative.”

Office-Wide occasions Build Camaraderie & Establish the POF Brand

The typical 9-5, cubicle work place is gradually perishing out — becoming changed by one which improves production, promotes work colleagues to arrive at know both, and contributes to happier individuals. And this is another aspect PlentyOfFish excels at.

An Open-Office Concept produces a great & Inviting Atmosphere

The unbeatable organization society at POF is actually straight shown at work setup — a giant open-plan where everyone shuffles their own seats around every few months to ignite imagination and utilize numerous divisions.

There are many meeting areas — all with breathtaking views associated with the Pacific Ocean and mountains that surround Vancouver — for bigger group meetings. Addititionally there is the Aquarium area, and is a residential district room with bean bags for folks working on their particular laptops and all-hands conferences for discussing business goals and industry events.

Not forgetting there’s a completely stocked beverage and snack club as well as 4 p.m. pleased many hours every monday — which permit staff to generally share what tasks they truly are taking care of, weekend strategies, or anything that encourages interactions.

“It’s a rather team-oriented environment,” Shannon stated.

Kim included this type environment is especially wonderful for staffers that happen to be new to Vancouver and haven’t built up a good group of friends yet.

“together with the men and women it works with, they’ve created deep ties, which I believe is actually invaluable,” she stated. “one of the center principles is actually relationships, therefore goes beyond the relationships we develop on the website while the men and women we connect on a day-to-day basis, also toward interactions we develop internally among all of our employees.”

Yearly Team-Building Outings Turn Colleagues Into Family

To get staff members from the company and associated with each other in other techniques besides work, PlentyOfFish retains about two organization retreats a year, with activities like ziplining, drink tasting, and scavenger hunts. The most recent any happened at Whistler hill, where staff spent 2 days skiing, eating and drinking, and playing team-building games.

Although these activities may “notoriously rowdy” and aggressive, the companionship among everyone else of these weekends with each other is a vital aspect to building strong and trustworthy interactions in both and out from the office.

“i obtained clotheslined by a co-workers once. You particular sabotage both but in an enjoyable, playful method,” Kim joked. “i can not reveal exactly what a big difference it will make to possess that top quality time together with your colleagues outside that everyday work situation.”

Chris continued to state that they consider both a family group, although the firm is growing, which includes created a communicative planet that’s casual yet professional.

“We don’t have most rules. Do not have ready instances in the future in and then leave work, and no body wears a suit. And in addition we want it that way,” he said. “every person is motivated to make inquiries. A few ideas will come from any part of the business. That’s the component I really cherish and would like to maintain.”

This “Work Hard, Play rough” Mentality Fosters Progress

At any business, you’re often likely to be up against difficulties, and with the POF team having those tight-knit bonds, they can efficiently conform to any scenario and over come challenges collectively.

“In my opinion it is important that you share bonds so that you can navigate and over come any hurdle as a group rather than individually,” Kim said. “you will get frank discussions and, at the conclusion of a single day, share your opinions together.”

From Chris’ point of view, this means everyone, specially their fellow techies, can transform directions if you need to without lacking a defeat.

“if someone else’s already been spending so much time on a certain element and in addition we choose to move on to something else entirely, if everybody’s on the same team and you are interacting, that is okay. We’re in a position to respond really,” he mentioned. “no body’s extremely safety by what they are doing as well as their work, so there are no secrets and it also indicates we are able to go easily and adjust easily.”

A People-Centered Focus causes significant Milestones for Everyone

While a lot of people have actually a self-serving perspective at their own work environment, at PlentyOfFish a victory for starters person or one office is actually a success for your business. Shannon, Kim, and Chris were also kind enough to discuss several of a common achievements.

For Shannon, it came in 2013, whenever POF surprised a couple exactly who found on the webpage with $100,000 commit toward their particular fantasy wedding.

“It really is fantastic to function for a website that affects the whole world we live-in a whole lot. You don’t always will start to see the results your projects is wearing men and women, thus being able to see this pair celebrate and with the knowledge that we introduced all of them along was unique,” she mentioned.

Reaching the 100 million subscribed user level and introducing the site’s now-leading smartphone programs are two minutes that can drop in PlentyOfFish record for Kim.

“We turned into among the first when you look at the matchmaking sector to improve cellular kinky apps plus step up the game and turn among the many leading applications inside the application Store for matchmaking. That has been the as yet not known and then we effectively navigated that,” she stated.

Chris is specially happy with a number of the circumstances people never note that typically, like staff keeping themselves in charge of their own responsibilities every single day — finding out that which works and so what doesn’t and implementing that to future jobs (for development staff particularly, you’ll find TVs that flow this site alive and show real-time metrics).

“we could log on to difficulty just it takes place, therefore can handle it and anticipate dilemmas in a few places and make certain we’re prior to the game,” he said.

Last Thoughts

With the modern-day characteristics and resources, dedication to its users, and friendly heart, PlentyOfFish does huge circumstances for singles together with online dating industry overall. And it is great observe the individuals behind your website are just as fun and down-to-earth once we expected. We have showcased are just some of their own stories here, but POF features so many more memories to express and create, therefore we are unable to hold off to listen to all of them.