This week is the New York edition of TechCrunch Disrupt, which means it’s time for the annual friendly grilling of Silicon Alley personalities. Taking his turn in the hot seat this morning: Fuelband-brandishing Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley.
This year’s conference takes place in the least startup-y of neighborhoods: right next door to Penn Station, in the Hammerstein Ballroom. It’s covered in faux rococo detailing, and the carpet has seen better days, possibly during the Ford administration, and don’t even try sitting down on the stairs to make a phone call because you will be bounced.
So it was in incongruous surroundings that @dens tackled a no-fun question: Where did all the adulation go?
Love Thy Developers
The storm’s passed and the sun’s up, which means it’s time to take account of the havoc wrought on New York City. That includes the city’s techies, many of whom are currently dealing with power outages, water damage, and inconveniences ranging from the minor to the maddening.
On a basic level, with the subways out Read More
Foursquare hosted its second hackathon over the weekend at General Assembly, a surprisingly gender-balanced affair at General Assembly fueled by Pepsi products and beer from Sixpoint Craft Ales. Developers in Paris demonstrated more than 20 new foursquare apps; hackers in Japan demo’ed eight or nine. The New York hackathon produced about 25 apps, hacks and mashups.
Let’s just say there are a lot of new ways to play foursquare. Hackathon savant and newly-anointed Twilio evangelist Jon Gottfried and his team created Loo Review, a game for photographing and rating the city’s public toilets. Betabeat also liked CRawsome, a hack from Yipit’s Vinny Vacanti and Steve Pulec that texts venue managers when regulars and “social influencers” check in.
Perhaps 200 attendees were strewn across the floor, couches, and extra tables that had been set up in the main room, but only 50 were checked into General Assembly when Betabeat arrived in the afternoon for demos–probably because hackers had been checking in all day (about eight had stayed overnight to work on their projects). Just ten percent were present at the first foursquare hackathon in February, according to a show of hands.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley reported his location via his cell phone for the 5,000th time. Betabeat was lucky enough to catch the moment–we’d just wandered in for the foursquare Global Hack Day demos and were approaching the sandy-haired CEO when we heard him proclaim the milestone, keyed in on a white iPhone with a not-so-subtle foursquare sticker on the back. We peeked over his shoulder at the four-digit number. It looked very round.
But not as round as the “0” next to it.
“You have zero mayorships?” Betabeat exclaimed.