Oct 28, 2021: The Information’s Creator Economy Summit

Illustration by Mike Sullivan
The Takeaway
Venture Capital Startups Entertainment

Is Clubhouse the Next Foursquare?

Photo: Illustration by Mike Sullivan

More than a decade ago, I was covering tech out of New York when a hot New York–based app hit the scene. It was called Foursquare, and the idea behind it was pretty radical—it allowed people to “check in” to locations from their phones to let their friends know where they were. If you had the most check-ins in one location, you could even become the “mayor” of that spot.

Foursquare took the then-small group of New York techies—and their Bay Area counterparts—by storm. Fans were obsessed and—despite important privacy concerns—felt it was inevitably the future. Foursquare got a big stamp of approval when Andreessen Horowitz invested in the company in 2010, gushing about its “explosive” growth rate and huge market potential. “Foursquare is growing faster than Twitter did at this stage,” the firm wrote at the time.

It will not be news to you that while mobile location sharing went mainstream—and is alive and well today in all sorts of apps—Foursquare did not own that wave and become the multibillion-dollar tech platform its investors had in mind. 

To the company’s credit, it pivoted, merging with another location firm, and it now serves location data to marketers to help them understand customers’ in-store shopping behaviors. I suspect it’s a decent business. 

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing Facebook Entertainment
What the Chappelle Drama Says About the Difference Between Netflix and Facebook
Dave Chappelle. Photo by AP.
If news media coverage is anything to go by, the biggest drama on Netflix right now isn’t “Squid Game” but the internal company battle over Dave Chappelle’s comedy special. And what’s striking is how differently Netflix management has handled this free speech issue from how other tech executives—such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg—have handled similar content debates. (Tip of the hat to my...
Latest Briefs
 
China Considers Opening Tencent and ByteDance to Third-Party Search
China’s Economy Grows at Slowest Pace in a Year
Netflix Fires Employee for Leaking Metrics
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian in 2019; photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive Enterprise Google
Why a Key Google Cloud Product Ended Up Generating Less Than 0.1% of Revenue
Three months after becoming CEO of Google Cloud, Thomas Kurian tried to shake up the cloud market and gain an edge on his bigger rivals, Amazon and Microsoft.
Illustration by Danielle Davis
Exclusive Startups E-commerce
Heavy Losses, Big Funding: Instant-Delivery Startups Battle for Customers
The instant-delivery wars have hit New York City—and they will soon spread across the country.
Ivan Soto-Wright, CEO and co-founder of MoonPay. Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive Crypto Venture Capital
Crypto Startup MoonPay Valued at $3.4 Billion in First VC Funding
Crypto payments startup MoonPay is raising its first round of venture capital at a $3.4 billion valuation including the investment, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Will Shu. Photo courtesy of Deliveroo
The Big Interview Amazon E-commerce
Deliveroo CEO Sees Echoes of Scooter Fad in Ultrafast Delivery
Every few weeks, Will Shu takes a night off as CEO of Amazon-backed Deliveroo to bike through London, delivering restaurant meals or groceries in the place of one of the newly public company’s 110,000 gig workers.
Udemy CEO Greg Coccari. Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Markets
As Udemy Plans IPO, Instructors Complain Policy Change Cut Their Pay
As online education service Udemy prepares to market its initial public offering later this month, Udemy’s instructors are grumbling on the sidelines.
Character actors from Fortnite  dance during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in 2019. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive
Epic Games May Make Fortnite Movie as Part of Entertainment Expansion
Epic Games is considering launching an entertainment division focused on scripted video programming, said people familiar with the situation.