The press release for Foursquare’s 7.0 from TechCrunch today is interesting, if not terribly informative. This article is a great example of tech reporting in 2013 - a quick stab at analysis but mainly a conduit for the company’s evolving pitch.
I love love the new design - but at it’s core, the value proposition not set.
Disclosure: My wife used to work for Foursquare, but we rarely discuss our product management work in detail. I’m writing as a fan of the service and as a fascinated observer of the current state of press reporting on tech product development. I love the idea of location-ness in our lives.
Some folks believe that hardship breeds artistic creativity. I don’t buy it. One can put up with poverty for a while when one is young, but it will inevitably wear a person down. I don’t romanticize the bad old days. I find the drop in crime over the last couple of decades refreshing. Manhattan and Brooklyn, those vibrant playgrounds, are way less scary than they were when I moved here. I have no illusions that there was a connection between that city on its knees and a flourishing of creativity; I don’t believe that crime, danger and poverty make for good art. That’s bullshit. But I also don’t believe that the drop in crime means the city has to be more exclusively for those who have money. Increases in the quality of life should be for all, not just a few.
The first time I tasted durian was when I was posted in Kuala Lumpur 15 years ago. Trucks piled high with the fruit would come in from the Malaysian countryside, and I would spend evenings sitting with friends on plastic stools by the roadside sampling different varieties. Unlike the Thais, who cut durians down from trees, Malaysians usually wait for them to fall. The result is a much riper and stronger-tasting durian, sometimes slightly fermented. Durian farmers in Malaysia have been known to wear helmets: No one wants to be on the receiving end of a five-pound spike-bomb. Malaysians also believe that durian is an aphrodisiac. When the durians fall, the sarongs go up, goes a Malaysian saying.