Foursquare is excited to announce Oren Teich as our new Senior Vice President of Product and member of the Executive team.
With over twenty years of experience driving innovative software solutions for developers and enterprises, Oren will oversee Foursquare’s entire product portfolio and organization. He joins Foursquare after spending several years serving as Director of Product Development at Google, where he managed the product development of over 30 developer-focused products, including Cloud Run, App Engine, and Cloud Build.
To learn more about Oren, his thoughts on the location industry’s potential, and his vision for Foursquare, check out the below Q&A:
Tell us about your career path and background.
I grew up on the East Coast, went to college in Colorado, and made my way west for the dot-com bubble (and a girl), and never left. In college, while studying Computer Science, I had the unique opportunity to run the Computer Science lab for hundreds of students. That’s when I fell in love with using computers to help make others productive. Since then, I’ve spent 20 years making developer and enterprise-focused products. I’ve had the privilege to work at both startups and some of the most iconic large companies, including Heroku, Sun Microsystems, Salesforce, Google, and some you’ve rightfully never heard of.
What will your role be at Foursquare?
I am the SVP of Product, responsible for overseeing Foursquare’s entire portfolio of enterprise and advertising tools as well as the consumer apps. With such a broad portfolio, there’s a great opportunity to find common threads to help customers solve their problems from so many different angles. I love talking to customers and, over the course of conversations, realizing that what started out sounding like totally disconnected and unrelated problems have a thread running through them all. The “aha moment” the team can have when they find the small changes that have a huge impact across a surprisingly large set of customers all at once is one of the best parts of working across a large portfolio.
What excites you most about our business, and what do you believe are the greatest growth opportunities ahead for Foursquare?
The portfolio and the location industry itself excite me the most. Location is a huge area—it’s not sufficient to solve one part of it. Customers don’t just need a POI database—they need the ability to have data, data visualization, marketing insights, and more. Foursquare’s decade+ of experience, broad portfolio, acquisitions, and innovations all add up to a huge opportunity.
What do you see as the greatest challenges facing businesses today? What role can Foursquare play in addressing those challenges?
All businesses ultimately exist to serve people. Even the deepest ‘enterprise’ company is part of a chain to deliver something to a real human. And humans live in a real, sometimes messy, physical world. They interact with real physical things and real physical people in real physical locations. Understanding how to respectfully help foster those connections is critical to all businesses today. It’s hard from a technical perspective, from a privacy perspective, and from a respect perspective. Foursquare is in a perfect spot to help.
Consider this: location (and by extension, location data) is extremely personal. The first question we often ask people is “Where are you from?” and in the era of remote work, we ask “Where are you located?” Our locations define who we are, and therefore we as a company need to treat consumers’ data with respect and care. It’s all about building products that put the consumer first. We need to respect their wishes, think about their needs, and build products that unlock incredible experiences for them. A tap on the shoulder from a stranger is creepy, but a tap on the shoulder from your best friend is a delight.
Coming into your new role as the head of our product team, what do you feel are the most important qualities for a leader to have, particularly when it comes to managing numerous product teams with varying goals?
Humility and listening. Foursquare has an incredible team with amazing experience and who knows tons more about the domain than I do. I’m hoping I can listen, learn, and help where I can. It’s the same with a single product or a portfolio. I’ve had 36 product portfolios and single product startups. In both cases, it’s about listening to the team, the customers, the market, and finding a path forward that we can all do together.