May 23, 2007

WOW, LOOK AT WHAT ONE GUY CAN DO:

Lots of people run Web sites by themselves. But it’s likely that no other solo venture runs at the scale of PlentyOfFish. For the week ended April 28, it was the 96th-busiest Web site in the U.S., according to the HitWise tracking service. That means it has more traffic than some of the Net’s best-known destinations, such as Apple.com.

Busy Web sites like these usually require scores of people: technicians, certainly, to keep the servers running, but also programmers, marketers and the rest. Mr. Frind says people often don’t believe him when he says PlentyOfFish is all his. . . . Mr. Frind says the site brings in between $5 million and $10 million a year; lest even more competitors get onto his success, he declines to be more specific. That puts him ahead of some of the Web’s best: Last year, each Google employee generated an average $1 million in sales.

PlentyOfFish is the success that it is because of several converging Web trends. Servers and server software have become simple and reliable enough that they can run on their own, without a lot of babysitting. What’s more, a remarkably sophisticated economic infrastructure now exists that allows busy Web sites to make lots of money, certainly enough for one person to live very well.

Somebody should write a book on this trend!

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