Dennis Crowley

Co-Founder, foursquare

Adventures in Mobile Social 2.0: Twelve Months of foursquare
20 minutes, 9.2mb, recorded 2010-03-30
Dennis Crowley, Co-founder, foursquare

The foursquare phenomenon sometimes gets ahead of its founders. Casinos are displaying their foursquare mayor on billboards. Venues are calling up to ask how to host a swarm party; a group of fifty or more foursquare users all congregating to cash in on offers, and win their swarm badges.

Foursquare is a game overlaid over real life. Crowley tries to dream up new game mechanics to keep it fresh, encouraging people to keep playing. Businesses, large-scale, such as Starbucks, to local businesses, are looking for a way to play along, embrace their most loyal foursquare-using customers (mayors) and drive business. 

Foursquare helps people keep in touch with their friends, but also to compete or meet up with others. It offers badges and trophies so that people can find others with the same interests. Foursquare also controls who is the "mayor" of any one spot. Foursquare has become a motivation, for "gymrats" to go to the gym, for pizza-lovers to organize "pizza-crawls," to try to hit the requisite 30 pizza spots to win a badge. But also, it gives statistics on where people go.

The foursquare phenomenon is still growing, as it continues to be discovered by users and venues try new promotions through it. Now Crowley finds apps built for foursquare which he admits are better than his own.

Dennis Crowley is the co-founder of foursquare, a service that mixes social, locative and gaming elements to encourage people explore the cities in which they live. Previously, Dennis founded, one of the first mobile social services in the US, which was acquired by Google in 2005.

He has been named one of the "Top 35 Innovators Under 35" by MIT's Technology Review magazine (2005) and has won the "Fast Money" bonus round on the TV game show Family Feud (2009). His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Time Magazine, Newsweek, MTV, Slashdot and NBC. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

Dennis holds a Master's degree from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and a Bachelor's degree from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.


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