CHAPTER 3 RECOGNITION Money or medals, which works best?

If you love good recommendations on places to eat, drink and visit, chances are you have probably used Foursquare at some point in time. Foursquare is a mobile app company that started in 2009 and aims to help over 45 million users find great places to go, based on their current location. Foursquare's New York offices look exactly like what you would expect from one of the most successful mobile app companies on the planet. Exposed beams, polished floorboards and long communal tables abound. There is also a timeline of Foursquare's journey on a blackboard wall (right behind a table-tennis table, of course), which details all the major milestones in the company's short history. The conference rooms are all named after the badges that users can ‘achieve' on Foursquare. And a couple of London-style phone booths are available for those who want some privacy for a phone call.

Evan Cohen was chief operating officer at Foursquare for the bulk of its rise to fame (from 2010 until 2014) as one of New York's most successful start-ups. It now has around 200 employees and it's hard to think of it as a start-up anymore. At Foursquare, recognition is a really important part of how they create a culture where people just love to innovate.

‘Every second Friday is engineer demo day', explains Cohen. ‘We have a meeting in the main room, and even though it's just for the engineers to present, a lot of other people come too. The engineers ...

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