LeWeb: Foursquare

Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder & CEO, Foursquare and Robert Scoble, American Blogger, Technical Evangelist and Author, Rackspace

LeWeb 2011

CLose to 30m locations around the world. Started with a couple thousand venues now. 15m users, 4m checkins a day. 600k companies. Using Ec2 at the moment, getting expensive. 170m API calls a day. About 50% of usage is outside US. eg Brazil has great growth.

Landscape is pretty wide, more than now a checkin, but explore opens up what they do. Not too bothered about the smaller ones, but keeps an eye out on all. a lot of interesting things.

New features of the year, working on the Explore recommendation engine, announced at SXSW. With explorer, used checkin info to build these, about helping people. Now we have Radar, you don’t have to ask questions about this. It knows about things you want to do, and can tell you about things you may be interested in.

As a platform, using 4sq data, lots of apps using it. Devs think location generator is one of the best datasets out there. Satisfied about how quickly it is adopted. We need to find ways for people to push data back into the 4sq database, so we build the data connections

People are changing user behaviour, conditioned a lot of people to share places through 4sq. See people who use app but don’t checkin, so seeing people consuming data rather than creating. People can figure out what to do in new places; don’t need to checkin, can still get info from others

Bullding a new company is difficult. Everytime we add 10-15 people, the company breaks. We have to keep the ratios right. Wehave 100 or so people. We think about monetization a lot, about the tools we use, the tools the merchants are using and making 4sq a valuable long term business. We do not have a sales force, but 600k merchants by word of mouth. We can help merchants by telling them who their best customers are

We are growing out machine learning and big data team. Explorer came in March, Radar in Oct, those are the 2 big directions we are going. App is good at telling you what you should be doing.

Fav apps are 4sq/ 7 years ago. Brings you checkins from last year. Reminds you what you were doing. Also Don’t Eat at. Using the health scores to send you info about restaurants. We see mashups, piggyback off the checkin, sending people sending something interesting.

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