CEO Q&A: Dennis Crowley, Foursquare

Foursquare CEO/founder Dennis Crowley talks to Steve Barrett about the location-based app's plans as it increasingly attracts brands' attention

Click here to watch a video interview with Dennis Crowley.

Foursquare CEO/founder Dennis Crowley talks to Steve Barrett about the location-based app's plans as it increasingly attracts brands' attention.

Is hiring a PR agency a sign of Foursquare's increasing evolution and maturity as a business?

The name of the game seems to be "answer all the e-mails in your inbox every day," product e-mails, speaking opportunities, customer service, press stuff. We've been overloaded and have hired people to help us.

How do you envision Foursquare evolving in the next 12 months?

We try not to make predictions about users and staff, as they are usually off. But we're hiring more people; we don't have enough engineers to do all the things we want. We're growing and hiring aggressively.

Is your technology platform struggling to keep up with user demand?

We had an outage in the summer. Everyone's watching us and is excited about what we're doing, but we had to stop building new things and fix what we'd already built.

We had our "summer of scaling" when we had to beef up the infrastructure so it runs through the night. It's no longer just 7pm ET. Every time zone is its own spike now. We only got back to product in August/September.

What's the message for brands and marketers?

A lot of people have been trying to get in touch and we've not been very good at responding because we couldn't keep up. But we're building self-service tools that will make it easier for them to do what they want on their own. The next generation of products is targeted at building things that will help brands get their message across using Foursquare.

You've already sold one company. What's your end game at Foursquare?

People find this hard to believe, but I don't think a lot about the exit. We're more concerned about what we're doing today, tomorrow, next month. That occupies all our time. We're focused on building all the stuff we need to in the mobile, social, and locative space. 

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