If there’s one thing that always leads to success, it’s whining.
Dan Gilmartin, VP Marketing at Where, a geolocation startup that got started way before Foursquare and is profitable, complains to the Wall Street Journal that Foursquare gets all the hype even though his company has more users and is profitable.
Where is a feature-packed application that tells you about users, restaurants and other things that are happening around you. It’s available for free on smartphones or as a subscription service for feature phones. Presumably they also get money from location-based advertising. They claim three million users, about three times more than Foursquare — although given Foursquare’s growth curve, Where should be left in the dust on current trends not far from now.
As the WSJ points out, Where and Foursquare are different. While Foursquare is focused on gaming and social mechanics, Where is much more about aggregating information and services. It’s closer to Yelp’s mobile app than to Foursquare and Gowalla.
Whether Dan likes it or not, we think it’s indisputable that Foursquare’s simplicity and innovative features — checkins, mayors, gaming — have tapped into something that people genuinely like. You can call it hype or something else, but they have it. And we think Where’s Gilmartin wouldn’t be mocking them for it if he wasn’t jealous — or scared that Foursquare will eventually eat their lunch.
Dan pondered whether “(we should) take the buckets of profit we’re making and go hire 10 PR firms and buy some advertorial?” Maybe that would work for them. Or maybe they should just work on improving their product. In any case we don’t think whining will be very productive for them.
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