Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thanks a lot, Foursquare

Let me tell you a quick story. I went to a fun, popular Dallas bar. I checked in on foursquare, and not too long after, got a text from a friend asking if I was still there, and that they'd come join me. Thanks, Foursquare!

Let me tell you another quick story. I went out of town to San Jose and found myself looking for a great bar, and found a cool underground speakeasy, using foursquare. Then I saw which drinks were most popular via foursquare's tips and ordered one and it was great. Thanks, Foursquare!

And one last story.  Remember the time Foursquare reunited the cast of The Lil' Rascals?

Great app! All this functionality! I can find places, get suggestions, and share my location with friends or track historical visits, and even get Spanky & Alfalfa back together as best buds!  All through one app. What a great idea! Thanks, Foursquare!

Nevermind. Now I need two separate apps. That look different. And work different. And most of all, provide no additional benefit by being separate.

<sarcasm> Thanks a lot, Foursquare.  </sarcasm>

Okay, so what? We all know this. We've heard it's going to happen and been tricked into trying Swarm for quite some time.  The problem is Foursquare won't admit they're wrong.  Foursquare had plenty of time to look at consumer feedback, their app ratings (for both Swarm and Foursquare) and realize they may not be making the right decision. But they insisted that they know best, not the people using it. Remember when Netflix was going to split their DVD rentals by mail into "Qwikster"? And just a month later, due to consumer feedback they said "whoa, we messed up, we'll keep it like it is". And today they're still (and more) profitable.

I would ask Dennis@Foursquare to read the "I messed up" blog post by Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO.  Read it.  Think about it.  Read it again.  Think about it again.

Because maybe there's still a chance to say one more time, "Thanks, Foursquare"... and actually mean it.