He was making $6 an hour until he created the application that made him a millionaire
You’ve just finished the job and you’re back in the afternoon at home. The body declares in every way its fatigue, but the mind is circling to friends. Are there anywhere you can go and have a drink? And while a few years ago you had to make several phones to get together, now you can just open up your mobile applications and get into Foursquare.
Millions of users use it every day to find friends and discover new places on the map through the check-in process. There are also companies that reward each check-in with some offer or discount, thus giving even greater motivation for the user to use the application.
But who is behind the creation of the popular mobile social application with over 50 million users and almost 6 billion check-ins? The story of Dennis Crowley is not that of a man with a generous appeal to new technologies. It is a story that began in the student years, mainly due to the social nature of its creator and through several obstacles and a lot of stubbornness reached the top, making Crowley richer by 30 million dollars!
How Foursquare was made
Dennis was born in Massachusetts in 1976 and has always been his life as a toy. This was what his family had taught him, to deal with everything seriously and at the same time with the simplicity of a game. Something that turned out to be successful!
His days as a student at the Syracuse University in New York were relaxed, full of parties and new friends. The first years were thirsty for alcohol, but their poor finances did not allow them to leave the bars. This gave Dennis and his friends their first business idea. They organized a party, and with the money they made they covered their expenses.
“I could never attend computer or engineering classes at the University because I was not good at math. But I could make websites using a guidebook that told you that you can do it within 30 days, “he said in an interview with Time magazine.
“At the University I went to parties, took photos, uploaded them on the internet, wrote short stories and sent to my friends studying in other cities, saying:”This is how i spend my weekend, isn’t it amazing? It’s like a photo album and I share it with you!”. I usually needed four hours to scan all the photos I had taken with a disposable camera and $ 20 to print but I was very good at it, “she said in the same interview in 2015.
After graduating, he moved to Manhattan where he worked in 1998 as an analyst at Jupiter Communications and two years later as a developer at Vintigo. In 2001, shortly after the Twin Towers fell, they came down to life. He was fired, split and left homeless. Returning to New Hampshire was inevitable. With empty pockets he was forced to live again in his father’s house and for several months he worked as a children’s snowboard teacher, from which he made $ 6 an hour!
Then he decided to apply for a Masters degree at the Department of Interactive Communications at the University of New York and when he was accepted he moved to the densely populated city of the United States. And somewhere there his life took another turn. At the University he met Alex Rainert, a fellow student who shared the same interests. And this acquaintance made him bring back to the forefront a website that had been created in his early years, Dodgeball, which was supposed to be the forefather of Foursquare. The user could check-in at bars or restaurants and send a message to all his connected friends about where he is, earning points.
The application started to “run” successfully, even when the two friends completed their masters and began to work in different businesses. An article about Dodgeball in the New York Times gave them the necessary insight and so they decided to give up their jobs and make their hobby business. And when they did, Google’s door opened!
In 2005, the company showed particular interest in the application and acquired it. But this interest did not last for a long time and four years later it closed it and replaced it with Google Latitude.
“We were in a bar for a friend’s birthday and a friend read on the Internet that Google is preparing to close three apps, including Dodgeball! “But how do they close it, I still” run “I said.
The two friends were forced to work again in other companies, jobs that as they call it were their rebound, as they managed to get their blood back, both in success and in earnings. There, Dennis also met Naveen Selvadurai, his co-founder and companion in the success of Foursquare.
The application knew every day more and more success, the first profits made their appearance and touched after some years the 650 million dollars. The number of users who checked in grew and even among them was former US President Barack Obama, as the White House used Foursquare to see the crowd attended by the president!
App upgrades soon began to support other languages other than English. In the list were added French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Thai and Turkish!
In 2014, Foursquare was split into two independent apps: the homonym used for location suggestions and the Swarm used for check-in.
In 2016, Foursquare founder and CEO Dennis Crowley took up the position of President, while Jeff Glueck became CEO.
Today the company has about 180 employees, Foursquare and Swarm have more than 50 million users a month, and since 2009 there have been 8 billion check-ins, and several companies are collaborating with Crowley to attract customers. The company, of course, is not in its initial bloom and profits have fallen a lot, as Dennis’s property is now $ 30 million. “Remember. The great idea was not to make the best check-in button in the world. The great idea was to build an application that could detect people around the world in the same way that Google crawls websites, “Crawley said.