Alex Rainert and Dennis Crowley have been great friends and business partners for a long time. Now, Rainert is leaving Crowley’s company Foursquare where he has been head of product for four years.
Rainert and Crowley met at NYU in the ITP Program. They co-founded Dodgeball together and sold it to Google. When Crowley started Foursquare, he encouraged Rainert to join. Rainert was a groomsman in Crowley’s wedding last month.
Foursquare is in the middle of a significant product rollout, AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka reports. The location exploration app will soon offer tips to users at venues where they haven’t yet checked in.
Rainert doesn’t know what he’ll do next — except for “breathe.” Given the close ties between Rainert and Crowley, he probably wasn’t pushed out. A lot of startup employees leave after four years when their stock options fully vest.
In a post titled “After four years, taking a breath,” Rainert writes:
“Leaving a team I’ve helped build, in a space I’ve been passionate about for over 10 years isn’t easy, but it’s the best thing for me to do.”
Here’s the full post below.
After four incredibly intense and rewarding years at Foursquare, it’s time for me to move on. Leaving a team I’ve helped build, in a space I’ve been passionate about for over 10 years isn’t easy, but it’s the best thing for me to do.
Four years of going full throttle as our company grew from 10 people to over 150, rapidly shipping and evolving the product from a “check-in game” to a set of products that are paving the way for the future of mobile social software has taught me a lot about process, people and product design and I look forward to bringing that to bear on whatever’s next.
I’m so grateful and proud to have had the opportunity to work with an amazing team that consistently punched above its 150-person weight and always brought it in a space crowded with companies 100X our size. I have no doubt they’ll continue to do so and I look forward to watching Dennis and the rest of the team keep pushing to realise the vision we’ve always known to be true.
As for what’s next? I’m not sure, and that’s the point. The past four years have been the most intense professional experience I’ve ever had. I’ve learned a ton — some lessons that I’ve applied along the way and others that I’ll be taking with me. I also know I’m not going to be able to go too long without diving back into a brand new set of problems to solve. However, before I do that, I want to slow down and take a deep breath for what feels like the first time in four years.
Why now? The team is in a great place and we’re at a good point in the product cycle. On a personal note, my wife is two weeks away from returning to work after maternity leave so there was an opportunity for me to spend some more time with our new son. This is something I didn’t get to do with our daughter when she was a baby as I started full-time at Foursquare right when she was born. I’m excited and grateful to get to spend a little more time with both of them while I explore what’s next.
I’ve got my Citibike and am eager to explore the city on two wheels so if you’d like to grab coffee, lunch or a drink and talk shop, hit me up.