|Wasted potential- PlentyofFish.com|
This is a vent more than anything...
I can't help but to think that one of the world's most popular websites (and one of the top dating websites), PlentyofFish.com, is such wasted potential.
According to Compete.com, the site gets about 6 million uniques a month (and 500 million page views). As has been well publicized, the man behind the site, Markus Frind, essentially operates the site on his own (I also am aware of this because POF's offices are blocks away from me).
He's claimed to make about $10 million in profit each year, which of course is enough to make anyone envious. But jeez, the site is a wreck.
There's rampant typos, inconsisted CSS, the site is god ugly some of their dating suggestions/advice are obviously written by a very unproffesional writer (in this case, likely Frind).
I just can't help but to imagine how much unreaped potential the site could sow if Frind just invested a little more money into the site. I think Frind has some obligation to be at least a mild innovator in this sphere, rather than just profit off his company that took severe advantage of its first mover status.
The same could be said for many businesses. I think different things motivate different people... I'm not rich, because I'm not interested in the typical things that make people rich... Some people are motivated by the things they love, whether they make money or not, and some people are simply motivated by the love of making money. With a dating site, I'd have to think it's probably the latter. I mean, who would actually enjoy working on a dating site, except for the money they know they can make. So once that money has been made...
If somebody put a gun to my head and made me make a dating site, I'd make it a rule that members are evicted after two years. If you can't find somebody in two years, you're un-datable and just basically wasting people's time. But that of course wouldn't make any money, so that's why I'm not rich. ;-)
well marcus was at one time a well known contributor here, including the now famous post explaining in quite some detail how he did it.
>>which of course is enough to make anyone envious
not me, i'm very happy with my life thanks.
however i would say that when you've produced a site that makes you 10 million a year with a 'pretty interface' then i'm sure you'll be telling us all about it here.
The other side of the coin is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Making "improvements" could end up being disastrous. There are certainly lots of "I made a change and my Google traffic died!" posts here.
If I were making $10 million/year on a "bad" site, I might be tempted to re-invest the money to try to make $15 million/year on a "better" site. But I would also weight that against the possibility of having profits sink to $5 million (or less) because of the "improvements" made.
He is probably on auto and really doesn't care as the site still makes the money and he is probably waiting for the right offer to retire.
Ugly sells. This shouldn't be news to anyone here, it should be your mission. For examples of this in action, please see the OP.
They just got seriously hacked anyway, so maybe their salad days are now over.
Don't take this personally, I used to be like you. I used to have these thoughts all the time then one day I realized . . .
These thoughts wreak of jealousy . . . "if it were me" really means "I wish it were me." But the bottom line is, if I'm so hot, why isn't it me?
Is it just that some guys have all the luck, get all the good breaks? No. He knows something we don't, and has made it work. We need to find out what that something is, some of us many never get it, others might, or sometimes it's too late because the Mark Zuckermans have already laid stake and everyone else is a come-lately clone.
But what you can look at is not the idea itself, by why the idea worked. And therein lies the pot of gold.
Who ever thought "icanhazcheezburger" would be anything more than a place to get pictures of Kittahs? :-)
Not everyone bears ill will. I'm happy to see success in others. If nothing else, it's a template and motivation for me. And if I'm not mistaken, the POF guy was a poster here previously and was pretty open about what he was doing. Not like he didn't tell us if we were willing to listen.
I do wish it were me. If it was, couldn't happen to a nicer guy. But until it is 'me', we can aspire and be happy others are raking in the big bucks.
Besides, 2011 is the year I go viral :).
Markus was indeed a poster here - [webmasterworld.com...]
He took a simple idea and kept it simple, and whilst there was bit of good timing ( not luck - just good timing ) involved - he did well with a nice bit of code. Maybe a bit dated now - but nice sites don't always win the race ( if there is one )
Nice article at [inc.com...]
[Mods - delete if not UTC ]
Not sure about Facebook - all that personal data hanging around like low-hanging fruit ready to be picked.