Why Foursquare Founder Dennis Crowley Prefers New York Over Silicon Valley

New York-based location intelligence company Foursquare is content being nearly 3,000 miles from the hub of tech giants in Silicon Valley.

Foursquare co-founder and executive chairman Dennis Crowley said he likes the tech ecosystem in New York better than the one in the San Francisco Bay Area because the diversity of New York's industries allows them to quietly work on exciting things in the middle of the city. "Here tech is maybe the seventh most important thing, whereas it's the number one thing in the Valley," he said.

The company has been at its Soho, New York office for nearly seven years. The New York headquarters is home to 200 of its total 250 employees.

Foursquare was founded in 2009 and Crowley remembers people telling him at the beginning, "You'll never be able to build a tech company in New York." But now there's a tech ecosystem in New York with Foursquare, Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google, Tumblr, and Etsy. Google played a big role in creating the tech community in the Big Apple when it built its office in the Chelsea area, he noted.

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Crowley said he likes the tech culture better in New York as well. "This isn't a bro-y culture at all," he said. "It's kind of the antithesis of Valley culture in a lot of ways."

Foursquare has aimed to be a transparent company that encourages its employees to learn and grow on the job, Crowley said. The company likes to bring in guest speakers to its meetings to teach employees about how to start a startup or how to negotiate. Sometimes employees will leave to do their own thing, and that's fine by him. "That's awesome," he said. "We're proud of them."

When asked about the allegations of sexual harassment at Uber and other companies in Silicon Valley, Crowley noted that the city you pick for your offices won't keep you safe from those types of issues. He said his company continually re-evaluates itself to ensure that it's doing a good job at creating a happy and safe workplace environment. "We're very self-aware and always looking inward saying, 'Are we doing as good a job as we could be doing?'"

Crowley gave TheStreet a tour of the company's headquarters, which you can check out by clicking through this slideshow. 

1. The front desk for Foursquare's N.Y. office where you can sign in using an iPad
1. The front desk for Foursquare's N.Y. office where you can sign in using an iPad

2. A chalkboard with a timeline of the company's history
2. A chalkboard with a timeline of the company's history

3. The kitchen, where employees get free snacks and sometimes free meals
3. The kitchen, where employees get free snacks and sometimes free meals

5. London-style telephone booths for some privacy
5. London-style telephone booths for some privacy

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