The small type: Whether it’s hosting quarterly hack-a-thons, using organization skiing retreats, building intuitive features, or keeping in-office happy several hours, the folks at are finding the most perfect stability between working hard and playing hard — and it’s paid down. Since its 2003 release, this Vancouver-based business has gone from being a one-person start-up and a fresh name for the dating industry to a group of 75 innovative individuals and another quite winning internet sites of its kind.


It could be great to possess a career where you could develop innovative products which have actually a genuine influence on people’s everyday lives, discover something totally new every day, plus go bobsledding with work colleagues who’re such as your close friends.

At PlentyOfFish, that’s just what the team gets to do.

Launched in 2003 and fearlessly led by online business person Markus Frind, POF features constantly had a hardworking mindset, dedication to its users, and one-of-a-kind business culture. And all of with cemented the site as among the most useful and largest for the matchmaking space — with 100 million new users and 50,000 new singles signing up for everyday.

In order to get some special ideas and personal stories about existence at PlentyOfFish, we talked with three experienced workers from three different divisions — PR management Shannon Smith, VP of income Optimization Kim Kaplan, and Director of technology Chris Simpson.

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

From advertising and marketing to business to tech to HR, the departments at POF basically since various since people. Shannon (which began as an individual service representative this year and rapidly relocated up to PR manager) stated while there’s not a typical form of PlentyOfFish staff, the key situations obtained in common tend to be their welcoming characters and drive to always get good at the things they’re doing.

“It’s an entire mixture of each person, and it’s interesting to see how good everybody else will get along,” she said.

Irrespective the person you keep in touch with, if they’ve already been through it for years or 10 times, oahu is the information staff members gain from interacting with countless unique folks that’s the concealed treasure for the organization.

“You’ll find issues simply know as you’ve been with us or because you’ve tried it or perhaps you recall a discussion — you can’t instruct that,” stated Kim, VP of profits Optimization.

As well as perhaps that’s what Kim has actually liked the absolute most — understanding from selection of people that’ve come aboard.

“cooperating with Markus and everybody during the last a long period is just about the most amazing encounters,” she mentioned.

The Optimization Folks Interpret Member attitude to enhance Their unique Processes

Kim, who is been with all the company for more than seven decades, met Markus through shared buddies and joined the POF group when there had been just 2 or three people on employees.

In terms of daily existence, Kim and her group are go-tos for evaluating information, analyzing fashions, and then determining what is leading to shifts in user conduct. A large element of their job is actually A/B testing — comparing details like page designs, content material, and features to see what is performing much better and in which there is room for improvement.

“That’s been our focus within the last 2 yrs — split evaluating item modifications and scaling that away, but historically we view the figures and make certain that people’re constantly relocating a confident way for our core metrics. Which has been a vital to our achievements,” she said.

Designers utilize Their Unique Expertise to Make the Site Functional & Instinctive

On the technical side, Director of Engineering Chris came on five years ago and also starred an important character in growing your website’s smartphone apps and expanding that exact team to 45 strong. Each of them have actually their very own areas (e.g., iphone 3gs vs. Android knowledge) and employ those talents to make a positive impact on the user knowledge everyday.

“we keep a hands-on strategy. My day typically comprises of using folks and assisting all of them establish features without causing some major drop in our income figures or modification for the users,” the guy stated.

Among the techy tasks the complete company gets involved with which is outside of the box for a few of those — yet contributes a great deal to the company development — could be the quarterly hack-a-thon. For just two times staff members, if they’re tech-savvy or not, ought to develop prototypes of features and resources they’ve been willing to put into action on the website.

“frequently those tasks go directly into creation or they truly are the inspiration for future features, and that lets individuals take pleasure in imagination and check out anything out they haven’t attempted before,” Chris said. “which is an extremely essential requirement that keeps all of our society friendly and creative.”

Office-Wide occasions develop Camaraderie & Establish the POF Brand

The common 9-5, cubicle work place is slowly perishing out — getting replaced by the one that enhances production, encourages co-workers to get at understand each other, and causes more happy people. And this refers to another aspect PlentyOfFish excels at.

An Open-Office Concept Creates a great & Inviting Atmosphere

The unbeatable company tradition at POF is actually right reflected in the workplace setup — an enormous open plan in which everybody shuffles their own seating around every couple of weeks to ignite imagination and deal with numerous divisions.

There are lots of conference areas — all with spectacular opinions regarding the Pacific Ocean and mountains that surround Vancouver — for bigger conferences. Addititionally there is the Aquarium region, that’s a residential area room with bean handbags for folks focusing on their unique laptops and all-hands meetings for speaking about business goals and sector occasions.

And additionally absolutely a totally stocked beverage and treat bar and additionally 4 p.m. happy several hours every Friday — which permit workers to speak about what tasks they are taking care of, week-end programs, or whatever else that fosters relationships.

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

Kim added that form of setting is specially nice for staffers that happen to be a new comer to Vancouver and alson’t developed an excellent group of buddies yet.

“With the folks they work with, they have developed strong ties, that I think is actually indispensable,” she said. “One of our center beliefs is actually relationships, plus it goes beyond the interactions we develop on the website and people we connect on a day-to-day foundation, even to your connections we establish internally among our very own staff members.”

Annual Team-Building Outings Turn Colleagues Into Family

To get staff out of the office and concerning one another various other steps besides work, PlentyOfFish retains no less than two company retreats a-year, with activities like ziplining, wine tasting, and scavenger hunts. The most recent any happened at Whistler Mountain, where staff spent two days snowboarding, eating and ingesting, and playing team-building video games.

And even though these occasions get “notoriously rowdy” and aggressive, the companionship among every person over these weekends together is an important aspect to building powerful and reliable interactions throughout and from the workplace.

“I managed to get clotheslined by a co-workers onetime. You type sabotage both but in a fun, lively way,” Kim joked. “I can’t tell you what a big difference it will make getting that quality time together with your co-workers away from that day-to-day work situation.”

Chris went on to declare that they consider both a household, whilst the company keeps growing, with developed a communicative ecosystem that’s relaxed however expert.

“We don’t have many principles. We do not have set times in the future in and then leave work, and no person wears a suit. So we like it that way,” the guy mentioned. “everyone is actually encouraged to ask questions. Tactics can come from any part on the company. That is the part I really treasure and wish to maintain.”

This “Work Hard, Enjoy Hard” attitude Fosters Progress

At any business, you’re frequently going to be up against difficulties, and with the POF group having those tight-knit securities, they can quickly adjust to any circumstance and over come challenges with each other.

“In my opinion it’s really important that you discuss bonds in order to browse and get over any barrier as a group as opposed to individually,” Kim stated. “you will get frank conversations and, after the afternoon, share your own opinions with each other.”

From Chris’ viewpoint, this means everybody, especially their fellow techies, changes directions if need be without missing a defeat.

“if someone else’s been spending so much time on a specific element and now we decide to move on to another thing, if everybody’s on the same team and you are interacting, that’s OK. We are in a position to respond really,” he said. “no body’s really defensive by what they do as well as their work, so might there be no tips and it implies we could move rapidly and adapt easily.”

A People-Centered Focus results in significant Milestones for Everyone

While many individuals have a self-serving outlook at their own work environment, at PlentyOfFish a victory for starters person or one section is a triumph for your business. Shannon, Kim, and Chris were actually compassionate enough to discuss a few of their favorite achievements.

For Shannon, it came in 2013, whenever POF astonished a few whom came across on the website with $100,000 commit toward their particular dream wedding.

“It is fantastic to function for a website that influences the whole world we live-in plenty. That you do not constantly reach look at results work is wearing folks, therefore being able to see this few enjoy and knowing that we introduced them along was really special,” she said.

Achieving the 100 million registered user level and introducing the site’s now-leading smartphone applications are a couple of minutes that may go-down in PlentyOfFish history for Kim.

“We became one of the primary for the online dating business to build up cellular applications along with intensify our online game and turn into one of several top programs from inside the application Store for online dating. That was the as yet not known and we successfully navigated that,” she said.

Chris is specially pleased with many of the circumstances men and women never note that usually, like workers keeping on their own in charge of their particular tasks each and every day — studying what works and precisely what doesn’t and implementing that to future projects (the development staff in particular, there are TVs that supply the website live and reveal real-time metrics).

“we could access it a challenge as soon it occurs, and now we can deal with it and foresee issues in certain locations and make certain we’re ahead of the game,” he mentioned.

Last Thoughts

With their contemporary characteristics and resources, commitment to their users, and friendly spirit, PlentyOfFish is performing large situations for singles plus the matchmaking business overall. And it is great observe people behind this site are simply as enjoyable and down-to-earth while we anticipated. We have featured just some of their particular tales here, but POF has actually books thoughts to generally share and create, therefore cannot hold off to hear all of them.