Exactly how PlentyOfFish’s “Work Hard, Enjoy Rough” Community Resulted In Its Success

The brief Version: whether it is hosting quarterly hack-a-thons, getting company skiing retreats, building user-friendly functions, or holding in-office happy many hours, the people at PlentyofFish.com found the perfect balance between working hard and playing tough — and it’s really paid. Since its 2003 launch, this Vancouver-based organization moved from being a one-person start-up and a fresh title in the internet dating sector to a group of 75 creative people and something really successful sites of their kind.


It will be great to have a vocation where you could produce revolutionary products that have actually a proper effect on some people’s schedules, discover something totally new several times a day, as well as go bobsledding with work colleagues whom’re like your best friends.

At PlentyOfFish, which is exactly what the team gets to perform.

Created in 2003 and fearlessly led by Internet entrepreneur Markus Frind, POF has actually usually had a hardworking mindset, commitment to its people, and unique company culture. Causing all of that contains cemented the website among the greatest and largest within the matchmaking area — with 100 million users and 50,000 brand new singles joining every day.

In order to get some special insights and personal stories about existence at PlentyOfFish, we talked with three seasoned staff members from three various departments — PR Manager Shannon Smith, VP of profits Optimization Kim Kaplan, and Director of technology Chris Simpson.

A varied & Talented Team of 75 Brings Different abilities on Table

From marketing and advertising to company to tech to HR, the divisions at POF are simply just as various since individuals. Shannon (who began as a customer service rep this season and quickly relocated around PR manager) stated while there’s not an average version of PlentyOfFish worker, an important things they’ve got in common tend to be their unique appealing characters and drive to constantly get good at the things they’re doing.

“It really is a whole mix of differing people, and it is interesting to see how good everyone will get along,” she mentioned.

No matter who you talk to, whether or not they’ve been there for decade or 10 days, it is the knowledge staff members gain from getting so many distinctive individuals who’s the undetectable gem associated with business.

“discover items you just learn because you’ve been with us or because you’ve experimented with it or perhaps you bear in mind a discussion — you cannot show that,” mentioned Kim, VP of profits Optimization.

And perhaps that’s what Kim provides liked the quintessential — understanding from number of people that’ve come aboard.

“using Markus and everyone over the past a long period has-been perhaps one of the most remarkable experiences,” she said.

The Optimization Folks Interpret affiliate Behavior to Improve Their Processes

Kim, that is already been together with the company for more than seven years, came across Markus through common buddies and joined the POF staff whenever there had been only two or three men and women on employees.

When it comes to day-to-day existence, Kim along with her group will be the go-tos for checking out data, evaluating styles, following finding out what’s triggering changes in user conduct. A huge element of their job is actually A/B testing — researching details like web page templates, content material, featuring to see what’s executing much better and in which there’s space for enhancement.

“that has been our focus within the last few 2 years — split evaluating item modifications and scaling that away, but over the years we see our very own figures and make certain that people’re continuously moving in a positive direction for our core metrics. That has been an integral to the achievements,” she mentioned.

Designers incorporate Their Unique Expertise to really make the website Functional & Instinctive

On the technical aspect, Director of Engineering Chris emerged on 5 years in the past and also starred a substantial role in expanding your website’s smartphone applications and broadening that particular team to 45 strong. They all have their very own areas of expertise (age.g., new iphone vs. Android expertise) and employ those skills to make an optimistic impact on the consumer knowledge daily.

“I keep a hands-on approach. My personal day generally speaking comes with dealing with individuals and assisting all of them establish functions without creating some significant drop within profits numbers or change for our people,” he mentioned.

The techy tasks your whole business becomes tangled up in which is beyond your package for some of them — however adds a great deal to the business progress — is the quarterly hack-a-thon. For two days staff members, if they’re tech-savvy or perhaps not, are encouraged to build prototypes of characteristics and tools they’ve been wanting to put into action on the internet site.

“Quite often those projects get into creation or they truly are the determination for future characteristics, and that allows folks take pleasure in imagination and attempt something out they ownn’t tried prior to,” Chris mentioned. “that is a truly essential requirement that helps to keep the culture friendly and creative.”

Office-Wide occasions acquire Camaraderie & Establish the POF Brand

The typical 9-5, cubicle workplace is slowly passing away out — getting changed by one which boosts efficiency, promotes work colleagues to get to understand each other, and causes happier people. And this refers to another aspect PlentyOfFish excels at.

An Open-Office Concept Creates a great & Inviting Atmosphere

The irresistible business society at POF is directly reflected at work setup — a large open-plan where everybody shuffles their particular seats around every few months to ignite imagination and use numerous divisions.

There are lots of convention areas — all with breathtaking views from the Pacific Ocean and mountains that surround Vancouver — for larger meetings. There is the Aquarium location, that is a residential area area with bean handbags for those taking care of their laptops and all-hands meetings for speaking about business goals and market occasions.

Not to mention absolutely a completely stocked beverage and treat club along with 4 p.m. delighted many hours every saturday — which permit staff to generally share exactly what projects they are dealing with, week-end programs, or anything that encourages connections.

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

Kim included that the style of setting is especially wonderful for staffers that happen to be new to Vancouver as well as haven’t built up a great circle of buddies yet.

“using people they work with, they have developed deep securities, that I think is actually indispensable,” she said. “our core prices is relationships, plus it goes beyond the connections we create on the webpage together with men and women we connect on a day-to-day foundation, also for the relationships we develop internally among our very own personnel.”

Annual Team-Building Outings Turn Colleagues Into Family

To get workers from the office and associated with one another in other means besides work, PlentyOfFish retains at the very least two business retreats annually, with activities like ziplining, drink tasting, and scavenger hunts. The newest any occured at Whistler Mountain, where employees invested two days skiing, eating and sipping, and playing team-building games.

And while these activities can get “notoriously rowdy” and competitive, the companionship among everyone of these weekends together is an important element to building strong and honest connections throughout and out from the office.

“I got clotheslined by a work colleagues one-time. You form of sabotage each other however in a fun, playful method,” Kim joked. “i cannot tell you just what a distinction it creates to own that top quality time with your colleagues away from that daily work situation.”

Chris proceeded to declare that they think about each other a household, even as the firm keeps growing, that has developed a communicative planet which is casual yet expert.

“do not have some regulations. We don’t have set occasions ahead in and then leave the office, and no body wears a suit. And we also like it like that,” he mentioned. “Everybody is actually encouraged to seek advice. A few ideas can come from any corner of this business. This is the part i truly treasure and want to preserve.”

This “strive, Enjoy Hard” attitude Fosters Progress

At any company, you are frequently going to be confronted with challenges, and with the POF group having those tight-knit securities, they can quickly and easily adapt to any situation and get over hurdles collectively.

“i do believe it’s really essential that you discuss ties in order to browse and conquer any barrier as a group in place of individually,” Kim stated. “You can have honest conversations and, after your day, share your views with each other.”

From Chris’ perspective, it indicates everybody, particularly his other techies, can transform directions if you need to without missing out on a beat.

“If someone’s been spending so much time on some element and then we choose proceed to something different, if everyone’s on a single team and you are connecting, which is OK. We are capable react really,” the guy mentioned. “no-one’s really defensive with what they do and their work, so there are no secrets and it suggests we are able to move quickly and adapt rapidly.”

A People-Centered Focus Leads to significant Milestones for Everyone

While a lot of people have a self-serving perspective at their particular office, at PlentyOfFish a victory for starters person or one office is actually a triumph for the whole organization. Shannon, Kim, and Chris were actually helpful enough to discuss some of a common accomplishments.

For Shannon, it was available in 2013, whenever POF surprised several who found on the website with $100,000 to go toward their own dream wedding.

“It’s fantastic to get results for a niche site that affects the planet we reside in a whole lot. You do not constantly get to begin to see the results your work is wearing folks, therefore having the ability to see this couple celebrate and comprehending that we delivered all of them together was really unique,” she said.

Attaining the 100 million subscribed member level and releasing the website’s now-leading smartphone applications are a couple of times that decrease in PlentyOfFish background for Kim.

“We turned into one of the first within the dating market to improve cellular programs in addition to rev up our video game and turn into one of the top programs for the software shop for matchmaking. That has been the unfamiliar and in addition we effectively navigated that,” she said.

Chris is particularly proud of certain circumstances men and women you should not note that typically, like staff members holding themselves in charge of their duties each day — mastering what works and so what doesn’t and applying that to potential tasks (for development group in particular, there are TVs that flow this site real time and reveal real time metrics).

“we could can get on difficulty as soon it takes place, and in addition we can manage it and predict issues in certain locations and make sure we are ahead of the game,” he said.

Last Thoughts

With the contemporary features and tools, commitment to the members, and friendly character, PlentyOfFish is doing big situations for singles in addition to online dating business as a whole. And it’s really great observe individuals behind this site are simply as fun and down-to-earth as we expected. We’ve featured are just some of their unique stories right here, but POF has so much more thoughts to talk about and develop, and we also can’t hold off to hear them.