Thursday, November 6, 2008

Microsoft goes after Startup Market: Plentyoffish the poster child

BizSpark is the new program recently announced by Microsoft to provide development tools, platform technologies, and production licenses of server products to start ups. I had always thought that they were missing the boat by ignoring the requirements of early stage companies and letting Sun, Amazon and others have free reign to cater to the potential next GoogForceSoft.

often times at various networking events around town, I would come across a Web startup with serious cred and technical acumen that would mention that they were built upon and with Microsoft platforms and tools. The quality of the tools and the reliability of the platform was always the reason when I asked "why Microsoft?"

It seemed a missed opportunity to not bring those companies and products to light. To capitalize on that very issue, BizSpark has begun a feature they call Startup of the Day.

They couldn't pick a better example to start off the program than Plentyoffish. The epitome of the bootstrapped web company starting from humble beginnings in the founder and still sole developer Markus Frind's spare bedroom. In five years the Plentyoffish dating site has grown into a $ 5-10 million dollar company supporting 1.8 billion pageviews and 70 million monthly visitors. The most amazing fact is that the site was developed and administered by one person and still is today. The Wall Street Journal did a profile on Markus and his company in 2007.

Good move by Microsoft to cater to new startups.

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