Recap: GIT Event – A Fireside Chat with Dennis Crowley
Follow me @AlliStrouse
You must join Girls in Tech so that you are one of the first to hear about our absolutely amazing events like the one hosted last night at the Founder’s Den in San Francisco. To a packed house, Dennis Crowley, Founder of Foursquare, answered questions fielded by reporter Liz Gannes from AllThingsD.
We hosted a survey before the event and asked our GIT members what they wanted Dennis to talk about. Here were the results (note: voters could vote for more than one topic):
Future of mobile, location, etc. beyond specifically Foursquare 45.5%
The Foursquare recommendation engine (“Explore”) 36.4%
Foursquare growth plans 36.4%
New Foursquare merchant tools launched before SXSW 18.2%
Foursquare updated points system/leaderboard 9.1%
Foursquare partnership with Amex 9.1%
Job opportunities at Foursquare 9.1%
Liz used this as a guide for her Q&A, and Dennis was able to touch on all of these topics. We will be posting video of the event on this blog, so come back over the next week to see real footage of Dennis. However, here is a summary of some of the thoughts Dennis expressed:
Future of mobile, location, etc. Dennis has huge ideas and visions for what location based mobile apps can do in the future. Some ideas Dennis expressed…
- When you see a restaurant you want to go to in the future, tap your phone against the window and add it to your local ‘to do’ list
- When traveling, don’t even consider picking up the most recent Frommer’s guide. Instead, see where your friends have gone and take these places as suggestions
- To checkin to a location, it should take 4 seconds, not 20. Perhaps, the app will ‘wake up’ and the user will simply accept the checkin
- When you buzz into your building, you can check-in to Foursquare at the same time
- Coupon offers that are seamless for the user (like the recent Amex deal)
- A ‘version of clippy’ that gives you great suggestions of where to spend your day
Foursquare growth plan:
- Currently has 10mm users, but they want to see this grow to 100mm
- Recently just opened an office in San Francisco in the previous location of Square. Currently have 56 employees, but they are hiring as much talent as they can find.
- Dennis made a particular point to request female entrepreneurs to apply to the company (go for it girls in tech!)
Relationship with merchants:
- Foursquare has seen an increase in Merchant use of the platform without even having a sales team pitching the product. A San Francisco café recently offered customers $1 off if they checked in to Foursquare. Currently, Foursquare has 300,000 merchants signing up with limited salesforce effort from Foursquare.
- Dennis made a great point that although Foursquare is an online/mobile platform, it is unique from other technology in that it get users to interact with brick and mortar businesses. In addition, the users interacting with businesses on Foursquare represent very loyal customers. These loyal customers are so passionate about the restaurant, coffee shop, bookstore that they are willing to shout it out to their friends. Being able to target such a loyal user base is a great opportunity for small businesses.
Anyone who attended this event would agree with me that by the end we understood the many opportunities ahead for Foursquare. For all of the product ideas that Dennis brought up to the audience, they all sounded extremely useful and additive concepts. However, Dennis made it clear that despite all of the possibilities, there is still a lot of competition, and the team needs to “whether any storms and stay focused.” With endless possibilities, this strategy seems to make sense. In the meantime, we will all wait anxiously to see how local and mobile plays out….
Follow me @AlliStrouse