When Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai started Foursquare, they had an idea to improve on existing location-based services. "We came along and said, 'We know how to reinvent it to give people an incentive to check in,'" Mr. Crowley said. That incentive was the point system and badges that users could earn for checking in at certain spots.
Now brands are slowly figuring out how to tap that idea for their own purposes. Last December Pepsi enlisted Foursquare in its Refresh Everything community-giving campaign, donating 4? to an inner-city youth center for every point users earned in New York. In a week, New Yorkers earned 225,000 points and nearly $10,000 for the center.
Now the Foursquare team is ready to reinvent. In the next month, Mr. Crowley said, expect to see completely new game-play mechanics and completely new functionality. And then the cycle can begin again.
See the rest of the 2010 Creativity 50 here.