Dennis Crowley Remembers Friendster

Remember Friendster, that proto-social network founded in 2002, before MySpace and Facebook and all the rest?

Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley does. The New York entrepreneur who is now on what’s arguably the cutting edge of social media–location-based services–repeatedly referenced the social network O.G. in an interview with GigaOM about Foursquare’s strategy for making location social.

“In the past, I would spend all this time on my Friendster profile finding people and sharing the profile, and at the end of the day, it was close the lid on your laptop and that was it. It didn’t do anything,” Crowley said.

Crowley’s Friendster profile still lists him at Dodgeball, the Foursquare-precurser he sold to Google in 2005. He has 151 friends.

“There was no language even to describe what we were doing,” Crowley says of the location-based services he was building in 2001. “This was before social networks. Much later, we described it as, ‘Friendster on your cell phone.'”

It’s interesting to hear Crowley mention a company so many iterations back in the history of social networking. But it’s probably smart for the founder to keep one eye on the past. History repeats itself, after all.

Friendster turned down a $30 million acquisition offer from Google in 2003. Two years later, the company was broke.

Foursquare turned down several $100 million-plus offers from Yahoo, according to Kara Swisher at All Things D, as well as a more recent acquisition offer, speculated to be around $140 million, from a major company like Facebook.

ajeffries [at] | @adrjeffries Dennis Crowley Remembers Friendster