Two years ago, Foursquare was the star of the New York start-up scene. Celebrities and major brands embraced its mobile app, and companies like Facebook and Yahoo were eager to buy it.
Foursquare’s founders turned down those offers, convinced of its potential as an independent company. Since then, the buzz around Foursquare has cooled and growth has slowed, leaving it in the position of having to prove that its decision was the right one.
On Thursday, the company is expected to announce an overhaul of its application — one that Dennis Crowley, the chief executive and one of the founders, says is the truest vision of Foursquare, turning it into a recommendation service that could rival sites like Yelp.
But Foursquare must contend with the short attention span of mobile app users. Its efforts show how hard it can be nowadays for start-ups to sustain their early momentum and chart a course to mass-market success in such a rapidly changing industry.
“The nature of this game is that there is another idea or technology around the corner,” said Susan Etlinger, an analyst at the Altimeter Group who advises companies on how best to use technology. “Companies capture the public imagination. They become the center of attention. But it is very difficult to continue to offer an intriguing and valuable enough service for people.”Page 1 of 5 | Next Page