Foursquare, the app or the company?

I saw this tweet today and it made me smile:

Foursquare, as an app, is not extremely popular these days. Foursquare, as a company, is thriving.

I wrote a thesis on using geosocial applications in 2011 when the app was booming. I was fascinated by the phenomenon and how « kids » used their cellphones. So the app always had a special place in my heart. A few persons I know still use it and find a lot of value in it. I look like a genius when I travel with it.

But the point is there's a difference between a company and a product. And Foursquare, the app, was just a product. Foursquare company, unlocked its potential as a company with the arrival of Jeff Glueck a few years ago.

If you have never read about the pivot of Foursquare, I suggest you dive into Jeff's Medium archives. I wrote before about miscalculating a total addressable market and I think detractors of Foursquare, the app, never truly understood the market Foursquare was in. Their new CEO definitely understood it. Here are two quote from him:

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.
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.

This is a good reminder that we fundamentally misunderstand most of what we see.

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