"Damn, here we go again
People talking shit, but when shit hit the fan
Everything I'm not, made me everything I am"
—Kanye West, "Everything I Am"
Audio version of the post
In 2000 Dennis Crowley founded a company called Dodgeball, which built an application that ran on your not-so-smart phone. The point of Dodgeball was to link up with your friends and discover new things to do. It was great fun for extremely social, high tech geeks. The founders eventually sold the Dodgeball to Google in 2005.
In retrospect, Dennis observed something about Dodgeball that he believed would be the key to creating a magical product. Because Dodgeball captured where people really were and therefore what they actually liked to do, the data set could be the basis for the greatest local recommendation engine that the world had ever seen. Rather than finding out about local businesses via payola and advertising schemes, people could get real information based on where their friends and people with similar tastes actually went. He could build a system based on accurate data rather than perverse incentives. The product would truly make cities more usable. MORE