In August, Foursquare rolled out a new app, Swarm, and a new version of your original app. Why?
There have always been two parts to our story: the ability to "check in" and the ability to do personalized local search. We got to a point where we thought it made more sense to have two simpler apps rather than one complicated app.
Were you concerned that you would confuse the market?
Initially, we heard a mix of complaints and praise. But 90 percent of Foursquare users adopted Swarm for check-ins within a matter of weeks, so we think we're on strategy. On the Internet, people don't like change until they experience it.
You've had a lot of ups and downs over the past six years. How do you remain positive?
I've learned that it's not just that the entrepreneurial experience is a roller coaster in the big-picture sense, but that every day is a roller coaster. You can feel like a rock star in the morning, and then by the afternoon you feel beaten up, and an hour after that you're exhausted. It can drive you crazy, but you have to look at it like the weather--wait it out and things will get better.
The trickier thing is to help employees who are right out of school or who come from other companies that haven't had that culture to not be rocked by it but to understand that we are playing the long game here.
How do you make employees see that big picture?
Do postmortems on projects that didn't work out well. Don't sweep them under the rug. Get people in a room and be very explicit as you talk about what went wrong, why, and how to avoid it in the future.
What's the most useful advice you have for entrepreneurs?
Make products you are proud of. Good things happen to good products. Don't let people tell you it's a stupid idea. Build it, then decide.