The learning channel a dating story
COMMAND CENTRAL Frind recently increased his staff from zero to three and moved operations from his bedroom to a nearby office tower." alt="COMMAND CENTRAL Frind recently increased his staff from zero to three and moved operations from his bedroom to a nearby office tower."t 10 o'clock in the morning, Markus Frind leaves his apartment and heads to work. The problem is that he is still getting used to the idea of a commute that involves traveling farther than the distance between the living room and the bedroom.It's a short walk through downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, but somehow the trek feels arduous. Frind's online dating company, Plenty of Fish, is newly located on the 26th floor of a downtown skyscraper with a revolving restaurant on the roof.It's from Video Egg, a San Francisco company that is paying Frind to run a series of Budweiser commercials in Canada. with more than that." Five years ago, he started Plenty of Fish with no money, no plan, and scant knowledge of how to build a Web business. Its traffic is four times that of dating pioneer Match, which has annual revenue of 0 million and a staff that numbers in the hundreds. Today, he employs just three customer service workers, who check for spam and delete nude images from the Plenty of Fish website while Frind handles everything else.
That's not easy for Frind, who seems most comfortable with the world at arm's length. "And he doesn't like conflict." Frind prefers to remain a silent observer of others, who then constructs arguments and counterarguments about their motivations.
While he is doing this, he carps about Canada's high income taxes, a serious problem considering that Plenty of Fish is on track to book revenue of million for 2008, with profit margins in excess of 50 percent. "Most of the time, I just sit on my ass and watch it." There's so little to do that he and his girlfriend, Annie Kanciar, spent the better part of last summer sunning themselves on the French Riviera.
Then, six minutes 38 seconds after beginning his workday, Frind closes his Web browser and announces, "All done." All done? Frind would log on at night, spend a minute or two making sure there were no serious error messages, and then go back to sipping expensive wine.
The family's closest neighbors were a mile and a half away, and, apart from a younger brother, Frind had few friends.
"His problem was English," says his father, Eduard Frind.
Quiet, soft-featured, and ordinary looking, he is the kind of person who can get lost in a roomful of people and who seems to take up less space than his large frame would suggest.