FSQ Faces: Djordje Klisic, Product Manager

Foursquare has long been committed to upholding and fostering enhancements for consumer privacy across the location data landscape. In fact, we have a full team and robust resources dedicated to this effort, ensuring that privacy is a focal point in all our solutions. 

And though we celebrate privacy every day, in recognition of Data Privacy Day – which takes place every year on January 28 – we’re spotlighting the important work of Djordje Klisic, a member of our product team who works closely with privacy colleagues to ensure Foursquare’s technology leads the charge in a privacy-first future. Learn more about Djordje’s role as product manager (PM) below.

Can you tell us about your background and experience in product and tech?

I’ve moved though several industries in the past 11 years. I began my journey in a biotech startup called Seven Bridges (now Velsera) as a bioinformatician and after moving up the ranks, I decided to stay in a product role. My next job was in the HR space, where I oversaw the user module and part of the integration efforts for their Humanity platform.

During the pandemic, I worked at GoDaddy, where I was in charge of a company-wide effort to integrate 3rd party backup solutions. After the integration was implemented, I decided to move to a fintech startup as a director of product, with the goal of establishing the best PM practices and leading the company’s transition from a consulting business to an IT company. 

In all of these positions, I played a part in project/program management and sometimes even UX design.

What inspired you to join Foursquare? What opportunities do you see in the future for our products?

I first learned about Foursquare several years ago and I remembered the innovative idea behind its consumer app origin. I was intrigued to learn later that Foursquare pivoted its product strategy and eventually became a leader in the geolocation data space, navigating the connection between people and places.

Our current product offering is exceptional and highlights how creative our product teams can be with the usage of location datasets, while also protecting consumer privacy. At its core, data is the key for all of our innovative products to be successful and that is why privacy practices are considered an equally important company priority.

I really value, especially in today’s world, a company that strives to be transparent–this was one of the main reasons I was motivated to join the company.

What interests you in the privacy field?

The Internet is a great place to find information or meet people, but if unregulated, it can become dangerous. The more time I spent in the industry, the more I became aware of the potential misuse of personal data and to what extent people don’t fully comprehend both the direct and indirect consequences of this. Since joining Foursquare, one of my key interests is to learn more about the changing landscape and how we can build even better and safer products to stay ahead of potential changes.

In your opinion, what are some of the benefits of having a strong privacy program?

It’s hard to think of privacy without thinking about it from your own perspective. I appreciate the great insights that POIs and visits to these places can bring to marketers and businesses, but it shouldn’t compromise my or any users’ privacy. That’s why privacy-first practices like collecting consumer consent are particularly important and should be written in clear language. Foursquare’s Privacy Center is a crucial resource that outlines our stance, current policies, and the continuous steps we take to further consumer privacy protections within our company and the industry at large.

In your opinion, is Foursquare well positioned to be a privacy leader in the location data field?

Foursquare pays the utmost attention to data privacy. As such, our legal and privacy team are always staying in front of current requirements, while also monitoring and ensuring adaptation of upcoming regulations. Our engineering teams also build with a privacy-first mindset. They are trained to prevent any potential privacy issues and should they arise, they are ready to address them immediately. 

Foursquare is an active member of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) and signed on to the NAI’s Precise Location Information Solution Provider Voluntary Enhanced Standards to ensure additional protections are in place to prevent the misuse of location data. This is why Foursquare is a champion of data privacy in the geolocation space and a leader in providing reliable data.

In your experience, what makes a strong product team? How do you plan to bring those values to life at Foursquare?

The product team is the information nexus of every company. Great product organizations keep lines of communication open to all teams in the company – we evangelize the product vision and own the outcomes of the product delivery. There isn’t such a thing as overcommunication, and my goal is to bring further awareness about our advanced data privacy efforts to the whole organization and to our customers. Another focus will be increasing collaboration between teams, to improve all inter-team communications. This leads to less friction, positive outcomes, and great products for our customers. 

As a PM, how do you gather and prioritize customer feedback?

PMs work for the organization, but our key customer is the end user. Getting to know the user is a process and depending on the size of the company and the type of user that uses a given product, there are several different techniques one can leverage to build that relationship. I’ve worked mostly as a B2B PM, so I have had the opportunity to meet users in person and collect feedback by interviewing them. Another option for gathering feedback – especially in the B2C landscape with bigger audiences – are questionnaires, which can provide some great feedback about different use cases and the product itself.

Prioritization is a tricky process. One of my favorite frameworks to use is a version of the RICE framework, where each backlog item is considered in the context of design effort versus reach and impact. By analyzing the two matrices, we can derive valuable information about which backlog items have the biggest bang for the buck, which ones are low hanging fruit and ready for the team to work on right away, and which items are design-heavy and will require more time.

When employees join Foursquare, they’re always asked to share a fun fact. What would your fun fact be?

As a proud father of two boys, I (and probably every other parent in the world) do my best to maximize personal time. So, I started combining several activities at once.

I’m a passionate pedestrian and I usually walk around 10-15 miles every day, since I tend to walk to the office, which, for me, is located on the other side of town. Also, I’m an old school geek that enjoys TV shows and books (Sci-Fi mostly). The only logical thing to do was to mix those two passions, and this is how I started reading and watching TV shows on a tablet while walking to the office. To put this into perspective, everything I’ve read (e.g., all five books of GoT) and most of the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past 10 years were while walking.

Kids, don’t try this at home–this is a stunt done by a trained professional! 🙂

To learn more about Foursquare’s privacy-stance and the work our team does everyday to champion consumer privacy, head on over to our privacy center.


More on company news

Foursquare receives AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency designation

Learn More

Foursquare Speaks on Privacy at the Network Advertising Initiative Summit

Learn More

Location data in a marketing lifecycle

Learn More