Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a fun and spirited live Q&A on Quora, where I was asked questions by the community on everything from career advice to questions about copy-cat tech features and my recommendations for the most useful business books out there for start-ups.
I'm happy to report that the session received great engagement and plenty of commentary. The most upvoted and shared question is “what can be expected from Foursquare in the next few years?," so I wanted to share it here on Medium. If you're interested in seeing more, check out the full session.
Q: What can we expect from Foursquare in the next few years?
“From the first day I joined Foursquare, I understood that our company should rightfully become the leader in location intelligence — we weren't there yet, but we were on the road. That's all crystallized in the nearly three-year journey since my first day. Now we've launched several products across various enterprise and advertising business lines, from measurement to ad targeting and of course our apps. We imagined this ecosystem, and Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley and I talked about the vision, but did we expect it? We hoped and planned for it.
I feel similarly when I think about the next few years. We hope to see our vision continue to play out. And we are well-positioned to take advantage of some of the larger trends at play in our areas of expertise. We know the shift towards mobile will continue, and because location is the centerpiece of mobile, that location and context awareness are going to be critical to how technology evolves. We expect brands, marketers and analysts to increasingly make location a cornerstone of their plans. But because location is hot, it also means that competition is fierce. So we expect consolidation in the world of location intelligence; the companies that endure will do so because they, like us, have truly differentiated technology and data and solutions.
In our case, the key to what makes us different is our community of 50 million people around the world each month who use our websites or the Foursquare City Guide or Foursquare Swarm apps, or Marsbot. They use them to discover the best places in every neighborhood in the world, thanks to our community of explorers, and to remember and log everywhere they go, so they can remember the name of that amazing Fish Taco spot in San Diego, or cafe in Cuzco.
Expect us to continue to innovate in the world of our consumer products. Have you downloaded Marsbot, our context bot that sends an SMS text instead of requiring you to search for something? Dennis and our team love to think about how tech can help us improve the world, looking 5 to 10 years down the road. In the immediate future, Marsbot might talk to you via airpods, reminding you of great things to do and see and order nearby. Now that we launched our Pilgrim SDK last week, when you move through a city, other apps will wake up and help you navigate your destination powered by Foursquare data. This is happening, and it's also part of our story.
What a lot of people don't realize about Foursquare is that our technology & mapping data powers features for leading companies such as Snapchat, Samsung, Microsoft, Apple Maps, Tencent, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. That B2B tech platform is a big part of our business, along with location-smart advertising that over 50 of the top 100 US advertisers use, measurement solutions, and analytics.
So in the next few years, Foursquare will continue to grow in scale and ambition, to expand our leadership in the world of location intelligence, and to surprise the world with big and bold launches and new ideas."
Some of the other questions I tackled:
- What are the most valuable lessons you've learned about entrepreneurship?
- What are the most noteworthy economic trends we may see in 2017?
- Do you think it was a good move to divide Foursquare into Foursquare & Swarm?
Read the full Quora Q&A HERE.