Foursquare announced today that Jonathan Bank will be joining the company as the SVP of Business Operations and a member of the Executive Team, reporting directly to CEO Gary Little. This marks another significant appointment made by Little since his start as CEO at the beginning of 2021, following the appointments of Michele Morelli as SVP of Marketing in January and Gina Loften to the Board of Directors in February.
With over 25 years of experience in the enterprise technology space, Jonathan will work cross-functionally to help bring the vision of “Foursquare Everywhere” into a reality by taking advantage of growth opportunities and delivering industry-leading customer experiences.
To learn more about Jonathan and his perspective on the opportunities ahead for Foursquare and the enterprise landscape across industries, we spoke with Jonathan on his background and what he’s excited to bring forth to Foursquare in his new role.
Tell us about your career path and background.
I’ve had somewhat of an atypical career journey, with experiences across a broad range of disciplines and functions – and that may speak to my general curiosity and desire to continue learning. The thread tying all of my experiences together is enterprise software. I started as a technologist, developing early internet applications for Fortune 500 companies in the mid-90s, and learned to code, but through that, realized I enjoyed designing, operating, and leading more than developing. From there I led Professional Services teams (and Customer Success teams before CS was a distinct function) both for Enterprise Software companies and for my startup, Coban, which I co-founded and sold to Aurionpro.
Aurionpro afforded me leadership opportunities across sales and marketing, and I became their Chief Marketing Officer. Wanting to round out my operational chops at a scaling company, I found my way to LinkedIn where I held a variety of roles across sales, customer support, and finance, which included leading the integration of LinkedIn’s largest acquisition, Lynda.com – a $1.5 billion transaction. I was then tapped to lead Revenue Operations at HouseCanary, a $130 million venture-funded startup disrupting residential real estate. I am now very much looking forward to leveraging my broad range of experiences and expertise in enterprise software/SaaS to help Foursquare fulfill its incredible growth potential.
What will your role be at Foursquare, and how will it help drive Foursquare’s vision of ‘Foursquare Everywhere’?
As SVP of Business Operations, I’ll be focused on optimizing the operational footprint of Foursquare, for which I’ll have a singular goal of orchestrating the right outcomes and experiences for our customers and employees –that will be my mission and obsession. Foursquare has an amazing history and has created an emerging category in today’s technology ecosystem through its location tech platform. I’ll be partnering with Foursquare’s Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Product, Support, Partnership, and Finance teams to help get our location data and technology into the hands of as many developers as possible.
What do you see as the greatest challenges facing enterprise customers today? What role can Foursquare play in addressing those challenges?
We live in a fast-paced world, and that poses a relentless set of challenges for enterprises. New business models and smaller, nimbler companies threaten the positions that established players hold, while macro-economic conditions and regional pressures impose additional risks. This ever-changing landscape offers incredible opportunities for enterprises willing to evolve in the way they operate and how they think about offering value to their customers. This change is being powered by technology building blocks that enable enterprises to not only create unique, value-driving customer experiences but maximize the effectiveness of their workforce and workflows. Similar to other foundational pillars of technology like communications (Twilio) and payments (Stripe), location is one of the building blocks that, if used effectively, can provide the competitive edge that will advance their businesses well into the future. Location is at the heart of it all, helping to solve business-critical customer and internally-facing business challenges.
Beyond typical roles and expectations, how do you see different operations teams, such as marketing, sales, and product, contributing to the growth strategy of companies like Foursquare?
I firmly believe that the operational teams are the unsung heroes of a company because they are constantly looking at ways to unlock growth opportunities. These teams are tasked with understanding the respective target audiences, building the right processes that will enable the company to reach those audiences, and then orchestrating and measuring those processes. Doing that well as a company grows and evolves (all while those audiences are also evolving) is no easy feat. The best operational teams that I’ve seen demonstrate a constant curiosity to understand what is working well and which outcomes can be improved upon. They are persistent and see the changes through, regardless of how difficult they may be to implement. Already, I have been so impressed with Foursquare’s leadership team and their desire to help our customers advance their positions with our location technology, and am very excited to partner with each to help them achieve their goals.
What do you believe are the greatest growth opportunities ahead for Foursquare?
Foursquare’s roots are obviously in the consumer space, and we’ll certainly continue to help our consumer-facing companies crush their potential. My mind races with the almost unlimited use cases for our data and technology within the enterprise space to maximize the effectiveness of their workforce, their vehicles (and eventually autonomous vehicles), their supply chains, and so much more. Looking at how companies like Twilio have placed their APIs into the hands of incredibly creative developers and how those developers have then built unique applications, I see a blueprint for Foursquare to achieve growth well beyond our own ideas.