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Google Dodgeball

Location-based social networking software
Google Cemetery
Social Media
Lack of Experience


Dodgeball was a mobile “whare-you-at” service, meaning it allowed users to check the location of their friends on the Dodgeball network.

Google Dodgeball

After Google acquired it in 2005, it saw some growth in user numbers, but user retention was bad and Dodgeball’s user base shrunk.

As a result, the search giant decided to shut down the service and replace it with Google Latitude – another geolocation service allowing you to share your Google Maps location with your contacts.


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Cause of Failure

Dennis Crowley, the founder of Dodgeball, saw the acquisition by Google as a big victory but was quickly disappointed by the lack of attention the new parent company gave to the project.

In an interview he mentions that what he thought was an acquisition turned out to be an acquihire – Google bought the project because the tech giant wanted the engineers working on it, rather than because it intended to develop and grow Dodgeball.

Once Dodgeball was officially closed, Crowley left Google to work on another geolocation project of his own – Foursquare, which has grown to a large business (150+ employees) and has clients like Airbnb, Snapchat, Spotify, Apple, Twitter, and others.

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