Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley likes to lend advice to entrepreneurs. A quick glance at his Quora activity makes this pretty clear pretty fast. In fact, this is a perfect example of why Quora has been covered in the press so much lately, as a valuable source of content.
On Quora, someone asked, "What is the process involved in launching a startup at SXSW?" It's a great question that many entrepreneurs have no doubt asked themselves, and are currently asking themselves as the huge event, in Austin Texas draws near (March 11-20).
Crowley is a great person to answer the question, having launched Foursquare at the event in 2009, only to have it blow up and become the poster child for a whole sector of the social media and mobile app landscapes - the location-based service.
In a nutshell, in case you're wondering, Crowley's advice is to "hustle to get something built," tell people (friends and strangers) about it, search for what people are saying about your product on Twitter and respond as much as possible, set up a forum dedicated to the product, and have someone at home keeping an eye on things while you're busy at the event.
As alluded to, Crowley has given advice to entrepreneurs (via Quora) in the past. Back in November, he gave 6 "pieces of advice for entrepreneurs" in general:
1. Stop sketching and start building
2. Don't let people tell you your ideas won't work
3. Build early and often
4. Don't let a lack of technology get in the way
5. Hire the best people you can find
6. Don't get distracted
He elaborated on each of these, but you get the idea.
When asked last month, what drove him to become an entrepreneur, Crowley said, "Never really started foursquare (or dodgeball) for the sake of starting a company... we just built things we wanted to use with our friends and the rest just kind of happened."
That might be Crowley's most important lesson of all.
Crowley recently made the cover of the 2011 Trends Issue of Entrepreneur Magazine.