Foursquare Founder Tells Two Tales About Filched Dodgeball Code
Too busy partying in Austin, Dennis Crowley never replied to our questions about whether Foursquare was built on code owned by Google. He's denied it to other press, but we hear he's telling buddies otherwise.
Some inside the Googleplex believe that Crowley got the code for his new friend-finding startup Foursquare from Dodgeball, the startup he sold to Google for an estimated $40 million in 2005. And after Valleywag reported their suspicions, a source tells us Crowley has been going around telling people at South By Southwest that he did reuse the code, and that he doesn't expect Google will do anything about it.
But that's not what he told Dan Fost of the Los Angeles Times when asked about the charge. Fost credulously printed Crowley's reply:
The code is all brand new. I didn't understand that story. I'm sick as a dog and pasty because I've been holed up for two months writing this stuff.
If only Fost had thought to factcheck that with, say, any of the South By Southwest attendees to whom Crowley confessed. Or with engineers who have inspected Foursquare's code and found elements directly lifted from Dodgeball. That would be work, though — an element curiously missing from much of today's tech journalism.