Entries matching tag 'foursquare'
so, there it is. after about 32 months (more than two-and-a-half years!) at 36 cooper square, foursquare hq is moving to soho.
we were two people when we first landed here in may 2009. we’re now 100. it’s become standing-room-only in this office, so we have to move to bigger digs. i’m really going to miss this space and being in the east village a lot. we’ve all been looking back on how the office changed and how we’ve changed (we were so young back then!).
as it always does, new york changed a lot too and it got me thinking about a before-and-after of the neighborhood:
then: the scratcher was like our living room. now: the scratcher is still our living room, but it can’t fit all of us.
then: the cooper square hotel had just opened. now: as of a few weeks ago, it became the standard east village.
then: the 185-year-old 35 cooper square, home of the asian pub, was a favorite hang across the street from the office. now: the 35 cooper asian pub has closed and was demolished in winter 2011 after a long battle with the landmarks commission.
then: the cooper union got a new identity by way of a new academic building, 41 cooper square, which had just finished construction. now: the cooper union undergoing a bit of an identity crisis as it figures out finances and ponders whether to start charging students tuition for the first time in its history.
then: the street in front of the office was ripped open and under construction, for god knows what. now: the street in front of the office is ripped open and under construction, for god knows what.
mari’s got a great set of photos that has as selection of a few of the best memories from the last couple of years: it’s titled “36 cooper”, appropriately.
a few conversations and articles from this past week got me thinking about the early days of foursquare and some of the early ideas and projects that inspired me to start on this path.
rewind it back to 2004. i was working at sony, leading a small team that was working on building a music platform and an app store for mobile phones. as a part of my job, i got to travel quite a bit. i particularly spent a lot of time in asia. as one usually does, i would turn to my friends for recommendations for places to which i should go. over time, i started creating crude hacks so that i could keep lists of such things, either in raw form or somehow backed with geocodes and metadata. the latter was especially useful in asia where the languages made it very hard to find your way around and to find your way back to your favorite shops.
in 2006, inspired by one of my most favorite sites at the time, del.icio.us, i decided to start hacking on a “delicious for places”. in fact, the first pass at trying to invent something to remember places saw me trying to tag places and metadata on top of delicious. at the time, i really liked the idea of using delicious like a datastore that could be used to store all sorts of data and then queried based on tags. (think: memcache). then i morphed this system to its own backend and gave it a name: placefuse. (uhh, don’t ask. i was young and poor and the domain was available). and just like with delicious, you could tag all your favorite places. you could then query your history using tags – these would automatically create lists of places. and then, depending on which interface you were using – web or mobile or smartphone – these queries would automatically render the appropriate views (kml if you were coming from a maps app, xhtml if you were on mobile web, …). there were a couple of reserved tags, including one called “go”, which is sort of a precursor to the idea of a to-do list. if i hadn’t yet been to a place, i couldn’t tag it with one of the standard tags, so it would get marked “go” so it could be called upon when i felt like trying something new.
in 2007, i left sony with a big desire to start anew. i knew i wanted to start up something to solve this local discovery problem. and i knew i wanted to build it on mobile – it’s the platform with which i was most familiar, having worked on it since leaving college. in may of that year, i started working with some friends on their local startup (socialight) in an unassuming office in union square. while working on this project, i spent nights and weekends continuing to iterate on small projects and hacks on the side.
it was in this office space that i ended up meeting dennis. we started sharing our ideas and thinking and, after a while, collaborating on an idea that would bring all this together. these collaborations became foursquare. but that’s a story for another time.
i think you probably already know of this, but wanted to share that we’re organizing our second official hackathon this weekend. our first official one was back in february. nearly forty hacks came out of it (crowd favorite 4squareand7yearsago being one of them)
this time around, we’re doing something that’s long been a wish of mine: to do a truly global hackathon. it’ll starts in tokyo when the sun rises on saturday morning and finish in san francisco where the sun sets on sunday evening. forty-eight hours, non-stop.
we’re hosting it in four official cities (tokyo, paris, nyc, sf) and then in more than 100 (!) unofficial, user-organized cities around the world
the official wiki/start page is here: https://github.com/foursquare/hackathon/wiki/Foursquare-Global-Hackathon
i think there’s something really interesting here. it’s part an experiment in how such an event can work: will people collaborate across the world on the same project? how will people talk to each other and keep up with remote locations? …
lots of credit to the platform and marketing team at foursquare for putting this one together!
Now available as a list on foursquare: Must-see places in København, based on suggestions from friends and where I went last week.
A great, chill city with an eye for design and cycling. We stayed in a hip loft hotel in Islands Brygge, which I imagine is their version of a SoHo/Williamsburg–that is, after all the artists moved out and hip people moved in. Like Tokyo, it’s definitely one of those “We have to go back, Kate!”-type places.
I’m dreaming of a day when I will be able to more closely embed such a list on my blog. It could be a great hack day project (our hackathon is coming up in two weeks)
It’s been quite the year for foursquare. Last year at this time, Naveen and I – tired of working around my kitchen table – borrowed a desk from our friends at Curbed.com and Hard Candy Shell. Two months later we brought on our first hire (Harry!) and a few weeks after closed on our first round of financing: $1.35m from Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and a handful of angels. Back then, our office looked like this.
Fast forward a year: We’re now 27 people strong. We can’t fit any more desks or chairs in our office so we’re borrowing cubes from our neighbors downstairs. We’re about to hit 1.8 million users and we’re seeing Super Swarms happen all over the world (Indonesia, you crazy!). In short, it’s been an amazing year for foursquare. A huge thank you to anyone that’s ever unlocked a Newbie badge!
And with that, we’re excited to announce that we’ve raised another round of capital. Today we closed on a $20m Series B round with Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and our newest partner, Andreessen Horowitz. We’re thrilled to have the continued support of our original investors and additional support and expertise from the team at Andreessen Horowitz.
The two big names behind Andreessen Horowitz – Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz – are each legends in Silicon Valley. They know better than anyone how to transform startups into successful organizations. As we continue to rapidly expand to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us, Ben and Marc’s expertise in growing companies will be invaluable.
With this new round of financing, our main priority will be to expand our organization to supplement the amazing core team we’ve assembled already (know any great engineers? send them our way!). We’re hoping to build a world-class engineering organization, based primarily in our headquarters in the New York City to help us develop the next generation of mobile + social + local products that will excite our users and provide unique value for local merchants. The new investment capital will also help fund the infrastructure needed to house our team (we’re finally getting a new office!) and support our growing audience of nearly 2m users.
It’s been a crazy year for us and we’re expecting the next 12 months to be even more of an adventure. Look forward to more great product from us soon…
So excited. You don’t even know.
I’ve been wanting to blog about something other than foursquare here, but that’s pretty much all I think about these days. :)
Today, we’re excited to announce that foursquare is available everywhere in the world:
So this has been a pretty big week for us. Since we launched last March, our #1 most requested feature has been “please add my city!” After a few months of work, we thrilled to announce that we finally ripped apart the “foursquare only works in cities” model and replaced it with “foursquare everywhere” – the ability to add places and check-in anywhere in the world.
Read more on the foursquare blog.
After being in this “loose alpha” mode for the last seven months (err, what? :), we’re excited to announce that the foursquare API is now live. I’ve been itching to launch this since May.
We have a new landing page for all dev-related content: http://developer.foursquare.com. We’ve started by highlighting a few of the apps/developers on that page. Eventually, we’d love to have a directory that lists all of your work. If you have any questions or want to write in with comments directly, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And join the developer mailing list. It’s the best dev list. Ever. Invented.
Why is this important? Please hold. :)
harry’s bummed our picture didn’t make the cut. that would have been neat. next time.
I can’t be any more excited about having these guys on board.
A little less than a month ago when we announced that we raised some seed financing from USV and OATV, we alluded to some of the angel investors we also brought onboard. We wanted to take a minute and give a shout-out to our angels and all the support they’ve given us so far.
Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter.
Twitter has changed the way a lot of us think about things – presence, status, search. Jack’s advice and feedback have already proven to be invaluable as we hustle to improve and grow foursquare.
Kevin Rose, founder of Digg.
A day after we launched at SXSW, Kevin tracked us down and bullied us into making a badge for Digg’s party. Since then he’s been one of our biggest supporters and a great source of advice and product ideas.
Joshua Schachter, founder of Delicious.
Since we’ve launched, people have been describing parts of foursquare as “Delicious for places”. We love this comparison and we’ve been thrilled to have Joshua’s feedback and insight into our product goals.
Alex Rainert, co-founder of Dodgeball.
Very few people understand the mobile/social space as well as Alex. Since our very first iPhone build, he’s been throwing feedback and product suggestions at us. Karen Bonna-Rainert, Alex’s wife and a good friend from Dennis’ grad school days at ITP @ NYU is also actively involved.
SV Angels LLC
The angel group founded and backed by Ron Conway. Ron’s been a major player in seed-stage tech investments since the early days of Google.
Chad Stoller, NYC branding/advertising/interactive superstar.
You can thank Chad for the “mayor” idea – which he demanded we build so he could flaunt his loyalty to Think Coffee. We sold out and wrote the code in exchange for two beers. :)
Sergio Salvatore, long-time music / technology entrepreneur.
A long-time friend of Naveen’s, Sergio’s been advising our team on scaling and technical architecture issues since the early days of foursquare.
I can’t tell you how excited we are to have such a group of superstars behind the things we’re building. Thanks again to everyone involved and to all those who have helped out along the way!