AWKWARD: Facebook Places Creator Is Dennis Crowley’s Old Classmate, Co-Teacher

Michael Eyal Sharon
Michael’s picture on Facebook.

Here’s a weird twist of fate for you.Facebook Places’ product manager, Michael Eyal Sharon, graduated from the same NYU program as Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley.

That’s the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) where Dennis Crowley built his first startup Dodgeball with fellow ITPer Alex Rainert, now Foursquare’s head of product.

Sharon and Crowley even taught a class together at NYU in 2008 called “Designing Around Place.” According to a description of the class, it was “designed to experiment with the tools and technologies that are driving location-based services and the ways in which location data can be used to change the way we experience the world around us.”

Before you get to thinking Sharon lifted ideas from Crowley, note that in 2005 Sharon co-founded a location based startup called Socialight. Sharon has clearly been thinking about this stuff for a while.

Now that Sharon is in charge of a product that threatens the existence of Foursquare, are the two still buddies?

Says Crowley, “ha, of course we’re still pals!”

UPDATE: Turns out Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvaduri worked at Socialight, too.

See Also: How To Use Facebook Places