Foursquare and an Urban Lifestyle
By: Matt Sneed
--- 06/16/2010

Many of my friends and associates know of my ever fluctuating love/disdain/suspicion of social media and/or whatever the new "hot thing" is in tech.  Early adoption must be ingrained in my DNA because I cannot stop myself from joining every new service that pops up, but I quickly become wary of the services after a short period of intense use.  The most recent example of this has been Foursquare.

I hopped on Foursquare the day it became available in Raleigh.  Prior to that, I would visit the Foursquare website daily to check to see if it had become available in Raleigh.  "Man," I would think "I wish Raleigh had Foursquare..."  Then one day it did.

I immediately downloaded the app, used it EVERYWHERE I went, preached about it to my wife and friends, made them sign up, etc.  However at the time I lived in the "suburbs" and if I was leaving my house I had a pre-set destination in mind.  This conflicted with Foursquare's intended use of discovering new venues and things to do.

My opinion of it crashed.

I told people "I think Foursquare is a victim of it's birthplace".  Foursquare was born in NYC where people go to 5-6 different venues in one night.  There, I imagined, it would work great!  Foursquare found itself into a never-used Folder on my iPhone when iOS4 came out.

Then...I moved downtown.

I now again use Foursquare constantly, multiple times a day and multiple times a night.  I don't use it so much to find friends, I use it to gauge how many people are at certain places.  If 13 people are checked into Foursquare at one bar (given the low usage rate of Foursquare at the moment) that means there's probably a LOT of people there.  Obviously, my wife and I are constantly checking the specials when determining where to go.  We both play the game where you sit down and try to place the Foursquare profile pictures with the actual person.  It's a whole different service to me now that I live in an urban setting and I love it.

But because of it, I've been thinking a lot lately about how much WHERE you do business and in what environment you conduct it actually shapes your business and product...and is it for the better or worse?

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