Sunday, April 17, 2011

Be There, Or Be Square: The FourSquare Day Party At Sidebar

I have been to the Sidebar for quite a few political events before. It was raining when I emerged in Union Square from the underworld. And I am thinking, to have to get in line outside in this rain for someone like me who does not believe in umbrellas. But there was no line. I was able to get in right away. For a minute I thought I was at the wrong venue. How can there be no line into a FourSquare party?

I got to talk to a whole bunch of FourSquare team members. One of the first was this dude who did "server software" for the company. He was actively thinking in terms of a datacenter for FourSquare. I was impressed. I met another guy on that same server software team. We talked some tech. I got to meet Eric again. I told him Union Square Ventures has officially been declared the top VC firm.

Then I found myself talking to this Japanese woman who had never heard of FourSquare. She was not on Twitter either. She said she had a Facebook account, but she hardly ever used it. She was at the party because a friend on Facebook had mentioned it and she decided to show up to see what the fuss was all about. She was a Google fan. I am a Google fanboy myself.

She said she liked blonde men, "but not American, European." She said she was not into Asian.

"I tried," she said.

"Oh, you don't try such things, if you are not attracted, you are not attracted," I said to her.

She asked what I did. I talked about my microfinance startup.

"Who will you raise the money from? Big funds?"

"Oh no, the idea is to raise hundred, two hundred dollars from ordinary Americans," I said.

"Your story reminds me of the story of President Obama," she said hinting at how Obama had raised most of his money.
Image representing Dennis Crowley as depicted ...Image by via CrunchBase
"It is so flattering you should say that," I said.

Jenny and I follow each other on Tumblr. It was great to meet her.

Just then I spotted Chrysanthe who does community relations for FourSquare. She is one of those people who you know before you actually meet in person. This was my first time seeing her in person I believe.

"We think we saw you in a video," I shouted out to her, a hand waving, across a few people between us.

Then I met the person of the day, this new engineer who joined FourSquare only a few weeks back. Holden is Canadian - "from Ottawa" - and was with Amazon before he joined FourSquare. Seattle to New York City is quite a ride. He said he lived in Chinatown. My favorite part of Manhattan, I said.

"The Amazon people want you to get their permission before you can work on any software outside of work, so I left," he said.

That cracked me up.

When he told me he was doing search for FourSquare, that got me excited, because months back I blogged saying I don't see how FourSquare can skip doing search. It was an animated conversation about search.

Then I noticed the dude is wearing a skirt.

"I am half Scottish," he said.

Everything I know about Scotland comes from one movie.

Just then I noticed Jill Hanner was beaming at him from across the room. I had to turn my head around to notice that.

"Do you know her? How do you know her?"

"No, I don't. Who is she?"

"She is Jill Hanner. She is the most famous person in the room."

Dennis Crowley had not showed up yet, and when he did much later I got a "Hi, I am Dennis" from him.

I moved around the room. I talked to a few more people. I got photographed a few times. Wait, am I looking good, I thought.

I did not go to the after party. It was pouring by then. I still did not believe in umbrellas.

I think I left around nine. That had been a two hour run. Amazing party. They should do this every month. Four squared is the 16th of each month. That is easy math if you ask me.

Did not spot Naveen though. Spotted Chelsa. We are Facebook friends because we both moved to New York City from Indiana, not to be confused with India. Recently I posted this to her Facebook wall: there are a whole bunch of smart people in Indiana.

Not long before I left, I got to meet the two people who had organized the party. And I got to meet a Brooklyn College student. She said her name was Sophie.

"There is a Meryl Streep movie called Sophie's Choice."

"It's a World War II movie, it is depressing," she said.

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