What makes some tech locations better than others?

By Deepak Sain

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What makes some tech locations better than others?

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From the outset, Foursquare defied conventions, choosing New York over Silicon Valley to build a tech empire. A decade later, with thriving offices in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco, Foursquare’s Co-Founder, Dennis Crowley, reflects on the journey. In this post, we delve into the critical questions faced by tech executives when expanding their engineering teams. From scaling considerations to talent pool dynamics, Crowley shares insights that have guided Foursquare’s strategic decisions in diverse tech hubs.

I. Scaling Beyond Limits: Questions for City Selection

What makes some tech locations better than others?

As tech companies contemplate new homes for their engineering arms, Crowley proposes key questions for executive teams. Addressing factors like the scale of hiring and the pace of growth, the post examines how different cities present unique challenges and opportunities for small to medium-sized enterprises.

II. Crafting the Right Team: Skills, Seniority, and Talent Pools

What makes some tech locations better than others?

Delving into the nuances of skill acquisition, the post explores the relevance of city choice in building specialized teams. Crowley emphasizes the impact of historical industry affinity, major employers, and education feeder programs on a city’s talent pool. From skills to seniority, he guides companies in aligning their needs with a city’s strengths.

III. Tapping into Talent Sources

Highlighting the importance of understanding talent sources, the post covers avenues such as schools, bootcamps, competitors, and international communities. Crowley advises on tailoring recruiting strategies based on where the market’s talent originates, stressing the need for a thorough understanding of the city’s demographics.

IV. Competitive Landscape: Winning the Talent War

What makes some tech locations better than others?

Identifying competition as a pivotal factor, the post underscores the significance of efficiently navigating the recruitment battleground. Crowley shares Foursquare’s experience in strategically choosing Chicago due to the manageable competition, emphasizing the critical role competition plays in hiring efficiency.

V. Strategic Decisions: Doubling Down on Talent

What makes some tech locations better than others?

Foursquare’s recent decision to intensify recruiting efforts in New York, Seattle, and Chicago is unveiled. Crowley sheds light on the company’s commitment to its New York roots, the success witnessed in Chicago’s tech scene, and the exciting prospects in Seattle. The post concludes by highlighting the ongoing investments in key markets.


In the fast-evolving landscape of tech, Foursquare’s journey serves as a beacon for companies seeking growth beyond Silicon Valley. Crowley’s insights encapsulate the delicate dance of scaling, talent acquisition, and strategic decision-making. As tech hubs multiply, understanding the unique dynamics of each city becomes paramount. Foursquare’s commitment to innovation remains unwavering, showcasing the transformative power of thoughtful city selection in the ever-expanding tech ecosystem.

Why did Foursquare choose New York over Silicon Valley?

Foursquare’s Co-Founder, Dennis Crowley, defied conventions by choosing New York for its tech headquarters. Despite skeptics, the company has thrived, pioneering the growth of tech beyond Silicon Valley.

How did Foursquare decide on its engineering office locations?

Foursquare strategically expanded its engineering presence in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco. The decision was influenced by the cities’ tech scenes, talent pools, and growth potential.

What factors should tech executives consider when selecting a city for expansion?

Tech executives should weigh factors like hiring scale, skill requirements, talent sources, and competition. Dennis Crowley’s insights provide valuable guidance for navigating these considerations.

How important is the competitive landscape in talent acquisition?

According to Crowley, the level of competition between cities significantly impacts recruitment efficiency. Foursquare’s experience in Chicago underscores the importance of strategic decisions in winning the talent war.

Why did Foursquare double down on recruiting efforts in specific cities?

Foursquare’s recent decision to intensify recruiting in New York, Seattle, and Chicago reflects the company’s commitment to its roots and strategic investments in thriving tech markets.

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Deepak Sain

Hi, I'm Deepak Sain, A skilled content writer with 7 years' expertise, adept at creating engaging, impactful content across diverse niches

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