Front Page Printed Pages of the Internet Just before taking stage at SXSW to talk his crowdfunded Internet 2012 tour, Alexis Ohanian emailed out a link to his new book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.
Since you asked, Mr. Ohanian, we dig the cover, but “without their permission,” sounds a little iffy in the context of Reddit’s Creepshot scandal, no?
It’s hard to be heads down when it’s hot out. Exhortations to “just keep shipping” trigger fantasies of sailboats; Friday afternoon happy hours just aren’t as appealing as sangria on a terrace in Spain. Besides–is there any surer sign of a healthy startup sector than tech stars taking lavish vacations?
Welcome to New Fit City
Don’t call it a startup–at least not yet–but Foursquare cofounder Naveen Selvadurai dropped some hints about an upcoming personal project at an event at Union Square Monday evening, as Erick Schonfeld revealed on Twitter.
The de-Crunched tech blogger was at the VC firm for an event about “Networked Health,” and Mr. Selvadurai’s proposition, taken straight from the Quantified Self rule book, sounded like it fit right in:
Foursquare’s vice president Tristan Walker, perhaps one of the company’s most public faces–along with Denveen and engineering lead Harry Heymann–just announced his departure from the company on his personal blog. That’s the second early employee to depart from Foursquare since Naveen Selvadurai was defoundered in March. Mr. Walker, who lives in Palo Alto and was Foursquare’s first employee in the Bay Area, will be headed to Silicon Valley powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
We guessing this time around, he didn’t get the gig with an “awesome, awesome” fanboy letter to Marc Andreessen.
Andreessen Horowitz cofounder Ben Horowitz sits on Foursquare’s board and serves as a close mentor to engineering lead Harry Heymann. His guest post yesterday over at AllThingsD is a how-to guide for demoting a loyal friend you’ve hired to work at your startup.
Until recently, Foursquare cofounders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai—let’s call them Denveen—were social media’s celebrity couple. The cofounder couple had class. They had stage presence; they had starpower. They had… a ton of pictures taken of them together. But recently, the dynamic duo sustained a divorce. What happened to the good old days?
Until recently, Foursquare cofounders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai—let’s call them Denveen—were social media’s celebrity couple.
The pair stepped together into the spotlight when Foursquare won best-in-show at the South By Southwest Internet tradeshow in 2009 in Austin. After that, they appeared everywhere together. They traded off for media interviews and the presentation of prizes at Foursquare-sponsored events. They finished each other’s sentences in a spot for the USA network; they posed on a snowy New York street bundled in cardigans for a Gap ad. In a spread for Italian Vogue last year, the sandy-haired Mr. Crowley appears in a black suit, his Indian-born cofounder in beige. Mr. Crowley has his hand on Mr. Selvadurai’s arm and they’re looking at each other with oversize grins—not surprisingly, as Foursquare is now valued at more than $600 million.
And yet, a week and a half ago, on the third anniversary of that first SXSW victory, Mr. Selvadurai announced he was leaving the company.
The word came down on a Sunday afternoon, so it took a few days for the tech tabloids to orient themselves. But soon enough, the rumors started. “A source close to Selvadurai tells us the Foursquare cofounder has seemed ‘frustrated’ and ‘lost,’” reported the blog Business Insider; Mr. Selvadurai was “forced out,” according to a followup story. “Dennis and he don’t hate each other—things just changed,” one person told AllThingsD reporter Kara Swisher.
On Saturday, Mr. Crowley took the stage at SXSW, and on Sunday, he and the rest of the Foursquare delegation drank and made merry at the infamous Foursquare shindig, held in a sunken courtyard bar. Last year, Mr. Selvadurai spent most of the party lounging on the top deck with Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, or encircled by twenty-somethings on the dance floor. This year, he skipped the conference entirely.
Foursquare’s well-dressed cofounder Naveen Selvadurai announced today that he has decided “to transition out of foursquare” almost exactly three years after the company launched at SXSW 2009. The announcement comes as a surprise; Foursquare is going strong with 15 million users and a second office in San Francisco. But Mr. Selvadurai is ready for his next entrepreneurial venture, the cofounder said, and Om Malik is reporting that Foursquare investor Spark Capital snatched up some of his stock. TechCrunch’s Eric Eldon reports that SV Angel is also buying employee stock.
Silicon Alley High
On stage announcing the creation of a Software Engineering Academy this afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg revealed that the high school had the support of Fred Wilson and the city’s tech community. Betabeat has learned a little bit more about how that will work.
According to Department of Education spokesman Frank Thomas, Mr. Wilson has committed to financially supporting the school and to raise money for the school from the tech community at large. We have heard from other sources that Mr. Wilson’s financial commitment will be philanthropic and that the goal is to raise around $1.25 million, although that number has not been confirmed.
When someone gets around to writing the history of Silicon Alley, 36 Cooper Square is going to be front and center. The long time home of foursquare will now be the new office for TechStars New York, helping to incubate the next generation of Silicon Alley startups.