Best of ReadWriteMix: Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley Talks Magic Apps

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Last night in Say Space, nearly 200 people joined Owen Thomas, editor in chief of ReadWrite, for ReadWriteMix to hear Foursquare’s CEO Dennis Crowley talk about how 6 million check-ins per day tells you a lot about what’s going on in the world - and why Foursquare wants to make software that magically makes your life better. Dennis also talked about Foursquare’s 6 revenue streams (the company is not profitable yet but he can see how that can happen soon), whether check-in popularity is an indicator of business success (not exactly, but it’s interesting) and why Foursquare unbundled Swarm (short answer: to create the best and fastest way to find friends without check-ins).

Other interesting quotes and notes from the stage:

- We started with zero places. Over time 50 millions people contributed 60 million places

- We built it’s database by asking quick questions during check-ins (Is this bar dog-friendly?)

- Places that no one really knows about, Foursquare knows about, because our users tell us about them

- 65,000 developers have connected to Foursquare APIs

- The big idea was not to create a big check-in button, but to build software that makes cities easier to navigate

- The new Foursquare app will require us to track new things

- I measure success by how strangers respond when I say I work at Foursquare

- The average Foursquare user gives us 2-3 checkins per day

- The best stuff that Foursquare will ever do is the stuff you will see later this year – what we’ve wanted to do since NYU and Dodgeball

- The simplest, easiest lightest apps are the ones that win

Regarding the charged issue of check-ins and privacy, Dennis closed the evening by saying “Ultimately I want data that we're getting to go into the system that will make your experience around the world better… If anyone thinks we’re doing something we shouldn’t, I hope you call us out on it.” 

It was a great evening, including lots of WWDC attendees - and there were lots of questions and livetweets…

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Some favorite Instagrams from the evening:

Dennis Crowley osntage, photo via Ken Yeung

Dennis Crowley osntage, photo via Ken Yeung

Dennis Crowley playing with the FourSquare API demo, photo via Owen Thomas

Dennis Crowley playing with the FourSquare API demo, photo via Owen Thomas

The event raised over $1,600 for Girls Who Code and was a great time. Thanks to everyone who joined us and check out a recap and analysis on ReadWrite here.