To Accumulate Wealth - Create a Valuable Product or Service People Want
Today Markus Frind is a very successful Internet Millionaire and proud owner of Plenty Of Fish.com, one of the top dating sites in the world. But his office on the 26th floor of a Vancouver high rise is far from the small trailer home he once shared with his parents in the remote northern part of Canada. Markus’ parents immigrated to Canada from Germany when he was a young boy, and settled on a 1200 acre farm near the community of Hudson’s Hope. That trailer home by the way had no running water or electricity for several years.
The story of how Markus Frind went from such a humble childhood, to the top Google AdSense earner making as much as $10 Million a year, is surprisingly a simple one. Markus did not have the luxury, and perhaps not even the desire to attend an Ivy League Business School. Markus’ success had more to do with long hours of hard work learning and applying a new computer programming language.
After high school Markus left his rural home and enrolled in the British Columbia Technical Institute where he earned a diploma in computer systems. He then began working as a web and database developer in the Vancouver area. But in 2000 the dot com bubble burst and Markus found himself bouncing from one struggling company to the next. He was not feeling too confident about his future in the computer industry.
An internet business idea is born
In 2001 Markus was shown an online dating website by a friend. After looking the site over he decided that he could probably build a better site himself. Markus began examining other online dating sites and concluded he could beat them as well, by building a leaner site and making it free. Markus specialized in making websites more efficient, so his focus would be on creating a simple and efficient website. Shortly thereafter Markus Frind registered the domain name Plenty of Fish.com. It was obviously a play on the term “there are plenty of fish in the sea.” Markus started to work on the site but didn't get any further than creating an index page before he shelved the project. It would be another two years before he paid attention to it again.
It was 2003 when Markus saw 15 of his coworkers laid off at his current job. He thought about the dating website he had started work on two years earlier and decided to dust it off and get back to work on it.
Plenty of Fish- On its way to Google AdSense fame & fortune
According to Markus Frind he did not originally set out with the idea of starting a new company. He primarily wanted to learn a new programming language called ASP.NET, and thought that he could learn the new program while building a dating website. Further, Markus states that he did not have a business plan, had very little money to work with, and while he had built databases in his regular job he had very little knowledge of how to build a web business. As a startup, Plenty of Fish was bootstrapped from the very beginning. Markus states that his focus was on keeping a lean startup model, and avoiding bells and whistles that would just require more of his time.
Markus chose a dating website because he believed it would be both challenging and interesting. He set to work on the site, building it completely by himself, all from his small apartment in Vancouver. It wasn’t long until the site began to grow and grow and grow. One of the main reasons for its quick growth was the fact that the site was completely free to users. This is also why Markus was able to stay as the company’s sole employee, until he reached approximately 15 million users per month. Without credit card processing, billing, and other customer service issues, there was no real need for a customer service department.
In hindsight Markus’ timing was impeccable. Google launched their AdSense program in June of 2003 providing him with the perfect revenue model for his new dating site. Three years later, by 2006 Plenty of Fish.com was pulling in $10,000 a day from Google AdSense ads.
[For more creative ways to make money - read about the $100 million stick figure.]
For the month of November of 2007 the site received 1.4 million unique visitors in the United States alone. By 2008 overall registered users had topped 600,000. In January of 2009 Inc. Magazine reported that Markus Frind worked an average of 1 hour a day and brought in $10 Million a year in income. And by 2012 the site was reported to have over 3 million active daily users accessing its pages. That was a long way from the $5.63 in AdSense income Markus earned during his first month on the program.
Did chess play a part in Markus’ internet success?
Markus once told a reporter in Canada that for years, until the age of 10, he played chess every single night with his father. But he never was able to beat his father until he expanded his thinking and began visualizing what could happen as much as 6 or 7 moves ahead. Only then did he begin to be successful at chess.
One might wonder how much this nightly exercise in thinking contributed to Markus’ later success in life as an internet entrepreneur. I’m sure it didn’t hurt him any.
Tips for entrepreneurs
What tips does Markus have for up and coming entrepreneurs? “Keep costs as low as possible and follow a lean startup model.” “Focus on something that plays to your strengths, and understand growth- growth drives everything in this world.”
While Google AdSense is not Markus only advertising model today, a search of internet sources indicates that he is still the top AdSense earner at about $300,000 a month.
Plenty Of Fish.com is now in several languages including German, France, and Spain. It is even the number one dating site in Brazil, home of Rio De Janeiro and the Samba.
Find out what I learned when I read all 20 top Google search results for "How to be rich."
What is Google AdSense?
We all have seen Google ads while surfing the web, but if you are new to internet marketing and haven’t quite figured out the difference between Google AdSense and Google AdWords here is an easy way to remember.
If you own a website and would like to make money, it makes perfect Sense to let Google display ads on your site, and pay you money for allowing them to do that. This is called AdSense.
If on the other hand you are a business owner and you want to put your sales copy, Words, in an ad and place them on the internet, you will have to pay Google Adwords to allow you to do that.