Photo: Courtesy of Foursquare
Nat Salvione, who works in business development for a startup called Tango Card, wrote us an email explaining why he quit using an app called Foursquare after “loving it” for almost a year.Nat’s thoughts are interesting in part because Foursquare is going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment.
Last week, Research firm PrivCo made a stunning prediction – that the startup will “fail” by the end of 2013.
According to PrivCo’s sources, Foursquare is missing venture capitalist’s projections, and even its own projections, quarter after quarter. PrivCo thinks investors will get tired of this and sell their shares by year-end for less money than they initially invested.
Specifically, PrivCo thinks Foursquare will be acquired for less than $50 million by the end of 2013, significantly less than the $71.3 million investors have pumped into it.
Its reasoning is this:
Aside from missing quarterly projections, PrivCo says Foursquare has struggled to raise a new round of financing for “nearly a year.”
More so, it says Foursquare’s existing investors have “made it clear to Foursquare management including CEODennis Crowley that they will not be investing additional capital into Foursquare either.” PrivCo says it’s their way of warning Crowley that he must find a sustainable business model quickly.
So, here’s what Nat says:
I installed Foursquare just under a year ago and loved it. I checked in at conferences, restaurants, and other cool places I visited. As more of my friends joined I was able to see where they were. Then I discovered the leaderboard and started competing with a few co-workers and friends. The social competition juiced my engagement with the app. I started checking foursquare at least once a day. And then it hit me – this was pointless. When I saw the light my usage dwindled and eventually last week I uninstalled the app altogether. My frustration with foursquare centered around 5 things:
1) Ultimately there was no real reward for checking in – once in a while I received an offer but overall nothing compelling enough to win my loyalty. One memorable offer was a free popsicle at PCC – worth $.87. Using it was fun and my son loved it – but all in all the reward was not worth the effort.
2) Not checking in for a couple days (ie over the holidays) reduced my points to 1. This was hugely demotivating. Even in video games if you lose a life you don’t start over. Seeing the 1 in December was a major disappointment.
3) My friends were checking in at ridiculous places – one co-worker regularly checked in at his picnic table, one friend was mayor of where his dog pooped every day – this became a distraction, frankly to the extent the leaderboard mattered, a real bummer.
4) I honestly thought leaving a tip or shooting a photo would be valuable to foursquare when checking in. Each time I contributed this premium content I expected some sort of recognition, thank you, or reward from foursquare. Taking a photo, uploading, tagging, and associating it to a location took some effort – and I got nothing in return.
It’s kind of a shame since I don’t interact with too many apps as often as I did foursquare over this past year. However, after a little consideration I believe I’ll be net-happier without the app on my phone.
You can find Nat all over the Web:
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