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If at first you don’t succeed, start a social revolution.

It was 2000, and Dennis Crowley was bored with his job at Jupiter Research. That’s when he and a buddy came up with “Dodgeball” a way to find out where friends, laid-off in the dot.com crash, were hanging out.

Google liked the “mobile social network” idea. It hired Crowley, but then mothballed the project. Over the next nine years, Crowley moved on. Meanwhile, cell phones got smaller — and smarter — with location technologies like GPS.

So in 2009, Crowley teamed up with Naveen Selvadurai to create Foursquare, a location-based social networking service for Smartphones and other mobile devices.

Foursquare lets people “check-in” with friends when they visit coffee shops, restaurants and retail stores. It’s available on multiple platforms and can be integrated with Facebook and other social networks. And Foursquare puts merchants directly into the mix, so they can give discounts and promotions when customers check in at their establishment.

Merchants love the customer interaction. Nearly a million have signed up with Foursquare. Twenty million App Users love FourSquare even more. They’ve made more than two billion check-ins.

Dennis Crowley exemplifies one of our Business Axioms For Entrepreneurs: Use a bad experience to create a better business.

Trying to locate laid-off friends inspired him to develop a location-based mobile social network: Foursquare.

Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?

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