School of fish dating
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.
"Once in a while, from the middle of nowhere, he'll say, 'Why is that girl doing that? ' He'll check people out in restaurants and watch how they interact.
In a way, he's thinking about the company all the time." rind spent his formative years on a grain farm in the northern hinterlands of British Columbia -- "the bush," in local parlance.
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.
Like most of his advertising deals, this one found Frind. Today, according to the research firm Hitwise, his creation is the largest dating website in the U. Amazingly, Frind has set up his company so that doing everything else amounts to doing almost nothing at all.
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.
A year ago, they relaxed for a couple of weeks in Mexico with a yacht, a captain, and four of Kanciar's friends. "Rough life." As Frind gets up to leave, I ask him what he has planned for the rest of the day. "Maybe I'll take a nap." t's a 21st-century fairy tale: A young man starts a website in his spare time. He hasn't gone to MIT, Stanford, or any other four-year college for that matter, yet he is deceptively brilliant.
He has been bouncing aimlessly from job to job, but he is secretly ambitious.
When I ask him to talk about what he does with the 23 hours a day in which he doesn't work, Frind struggles to answer and then looks helplessly at Kanciar.
She offers a few suggestions -- video games, ski trips, walks -- then tries to focus his energies.
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Frind will spend hours hiding in the three-bedroom apartment he and Kanciar share, furtively flipping light switches, tapping on doors, and ducking into rooms to play on his girlfriend's fear of ghosts.