My reaction to Dave McClure’s post on “check-in” startups

I just read Dave’s post taking on location based, startup apps like foursquare, gowalla and others.

I have a lot of respect for Dave but I disagree with two particular points in his post

1. Only early adopters will use these apps:

“the current method of check-ins are a classic case of early-adopter lust for shiny objects, & they have not a damn thing to do with long-term sustainable mainstream consumer behavior. no way any normal motherfucker is gonna do this check-in shit.”

2. Facebook will win this market:

1M users in 12 mo’s is *pathetic*… can u even spell the word “viral”? Facebook will CRUSH u like a friggin’ bug.

My take:

First of all, there are tons of non-geeks using Foursquare right now. My wife isn’t an early adopter and she’s an active foursquare user and the mayor of about a half a dozen places. i have plenty of friends on the service that arent tech folks. And these days I get about 5 invites a day from non-early adopters as well.

The bottom line is that foursquare provides a great social utility (which is getting better) and it’s fun at the same time. That’s a wonderful combo.

Growing from zero to 1M users and accelerating is amazing. They should end the year with 8-9M users at worst and skies the limit on the high side.

Then there is the “can’t facebook/google/[insert big company here]” offer this and kill everyone argument. I just don’t buy it. but then again that’s my nature otherwise I wouldn’t do what I do.

If I was afraid of all big players, I wouldn’t have invested in Boxee, Tumblr, Twitter to name a few.

The focused startup has so many advantages over the big, broad based established players. There are so many examples of this but here’s a classic one.