The founder of Dodgeball and Foursquare talks about funding, falling out with Google, and whether he’d partner up with Facebook or Yahoo.
Foursquare is Dennis Crowley’s second go-around at a location-driven social networking service, and this time he’s determined to make sure he gets to see it through.
Crowley sold his first company, Dodgeball, to Google GOOG but then had the frustrating experience of still having all these things he wanted to build with Dodgeball and not being able to build them. Crowley said that the problems stemmed from the bad timing, which included executing the deal right after Google’s IPO. “We’re much smarter about things now,” he told All Things D’s Kara Swisher at the D: Dive into Mobile conference.
Crowley confirmed that with Foursquare he had talked generally to Facebook and Yahoo about how it might be interesting to work together, but the Foursquare co-founder and CEO said he decided that “the best way to execute on all the things we wanted to do was stay independent.”
Foursquare went the funding route and raised $20 million in its last round. Crowley says the company currently has enough money to go through the end of next year. While Foursquare is not profitable, Crowley noted that it is generative revenue. Right now he says he’s just focused on hiring and growing the user base as quickly as possible.
Swisher questioned what the difference really is between Foursquare and Dodgeball, asking if he sold a company to Google and then started an identical one. Crowley said that while the thesis might be basically the same, Dodgeball was dots on a map and Foursquare builds on top of that with game mechanics.
Crowley noted that he wanted to call his company Foursquare the first time around but someone already owned the domain. (Swisher joked that he should name his next company Tetherball.)