14 Things Your Startup SHOULD Copy From Foursquare

14 Things Your Startup SHOULD Copy From Foursquare



Foursquare is a location-based social networking website based on hardware for mobile devices. The service is available to users with GPS-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by running the application and selecting from a list of venues that the application locates nearby.

In January 2011, foursquare was named Best Location Based Service in the TechCrunch Crunchies 2010. As of June 2011, the company reported it had 10 million registered users. On June 24, 2011 Foursquare raised $50 million on a $600 million valuation.

Dennis Crowley, Co-founder of Foursquare shared these lessons in various interviews and on the foursquare blog. Here are the things you should copy from Foursquare.

  1. Don’t let anyone tell you your ideas don’t work.
  2. Stop sketching and start building
  3. Don’t let a lack of technology get in the way.
  4. We’d roll out half-baked features a few times every week and were more worried about getting stuff in the hands of users than making sure it was perfect or actually worked.
  5. We have a superstar team not just because their resumes are so strong, but because they’ve been passionate, thinking about and tinkering in this space forever.
  6. We’ve got so many ideas of things we want to build and this is probably going to be our best shot at getting them out to millions of users.  Focusing on what we’re doing is the best way to make that happen.  Getting distracted by all the dust we’re kicking up is not.
  7. The mayorships, badges and point-scoring, he says, just add up to an “onboarding technique” to get people to come back. “All of that is in the background. The active part is actually going out and doing things.”
  8. The biggest roadblock to growth is hardware. With the iPhone’s four-hour battery life, running your GPS nonstop becomes a problem. Crowley sees Foursquare  realizing its full potential in the near future when mobile devices handle the needs of the software better.
  9. While we have a well defined idea of what direction we’re going and the big ticket items we want to build, we rely heavily on the feedback we receive from you all to help us decide what features to roll out next, what cities we should be launching, and what will make the product better, easier to use and more interesting.
  10. Both Dennis and Naveen were consumed with the product. Always interacting with users in bars and over Twitter, thinking less about strategy, analytics and monetization and focusing more on a great user experience.
  11. They didn’t wait years and years to perfect the product but instead got it out there to solicit user feedback.
  12. The company only raised $1.35 million in its series A financing and kept the burn rate at less than $100k per month to make he money last.
  13. NYC launchthe fact that the service started in such a perfect venue gave it great advantage – a highly concentrated, very social community.
  14. Some of the most interesting things we’re seeing with foursquare are coming from venues reaching out to their customers. From free drinks to free hotel stays, we’ve been consistently surprised with how clever venues have been at co-opting foursquare as their own.

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