On Friday, I dropped by Foursquare HQ in New York City. They showed me some stickers, and I got to sit down for a few minutes with CEO Dennis Crowley. In the video interview above, he describes his fundraising philosophy (at about the 4:00 mark), which is timely coming from the founder of a hot startup everybody wants to invest in or acquire:
You don’t have to rush through it. If you are building interesting things that people are excited about there is a way to make things work on your terms. It is important to select the partners that will support you and take the time to find the right partners.
Crowley also talks about Foursquare’s plans to give local merchants and brands more self-serve options for managing their venues and offers. “The sooner we can get those self-service systems in place, the better it will be for revenue.” He says that for businesses, Foursquare is building two different products: one for local shops, and another for national brands and media companies. There are only 25 people working at Foursquare, and most of them are “building things,” not “answering phones.” So the self-serve products are a big priorioty.
On whether Foursquare will take advantage of the iPhone’s new background processing in iOS 4, he says he is excited about that possibility but, like everyone else, is waiting to get his hands on a new iPhone so that his engineers can test it out. He supports the idea of an open places database which all location services can contribute.
But it is not until the very end of the interview that Crowley reveals his deepest secret of all: “I only have two mayorships left.”
Dennis Crowley is a co-founder of Foursquare. Previously, he co-founded Dodgeball, a network of the same nature which sold to Google in 2005. He has been named one of the “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” by MIT’s Technology Review magazine (2005) and has won the “Fast Money” bonus round on the TV game show Family Feud (2009). His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Time Magazine, Newsweek, MTV, Slashdot and NBC. He is...
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...