Gowalla CEO Josh Sxswetheringtontechcrunch

gowalla ceo josh sxswetheringtontechcrunch


In the ever-evolving world of tech startups and social networking platforms, one name has been making waves lately: Josh Sxswetherington. As the CEO of Gowalla, a location-based social network, Josh has been at the forefront of the company’s resurgence. His leadership, particularly at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, has been a key driver of Gowalla’s recent success.

The Revival of Gowalla

Gowalla was initially founded in 2007 as a location-based social networking platform that allowed users to check in at various locations, share their experiences, and discover new places. However, the platform faced fierce competition from the likes of Foursquare and struggled to gain a foothold in the market. Eventually, in 2012, the company was acquired by Facebook, and its standalone service was discontinued.

Many assumed that Gowalla had met its end, but that was far from the truth. After leaving Facebook, the company lay dormant for years until Josh Sxswetherington took the reins as CEO in 2020. With a vision to revive and reimagine the platform, Josh set out to make Gowalla relevant once again.

The SXSW Connection

SXSW is known for its eclectic mix of technology, music, film, and innovation. It’s the perfect stage for tech companies to showcase their products and ideas. In 2021, Josh Sxswetherington saw SXSW as an opportunity to relaunch Gowalla and reintroduce it to the world. His decision to use this high-profile event as a platform to unveil the new Gowalla was a strategic masterstroke.

At SXSW 2021, Gowalla made its triumphant return with a sleek and modern app, catering to the changing preferences of tech-savvy users. The platform embraced the latest location-based technologies, incorporating augmented reality (AR) and gamification elements to create an immersive and engaging experience. Users could now explore cities, collect virtual items, and connect with friends in an entirely new way.

Community-Centric Approach

One of the key aspects of Josh Sxswetherington’s strategy for Gowalla’s revival was a renewed focus on community building. He understood that in the era of social media giants, Gowalla needed to offer something more than just check-ins and location sharing. Under his leadership, Gowalla reemerged as a platform that fostered genuine connections between users.

Josh emphasized the importance of meaningful interactions over the sheer quantity of users. Gowalla’s community-centric approach gained traction, attracting a dedicated user base that appreciated the platform’s emphasis on quality over quantity.

Embracing Sustainability

In addition to its tech advancements and community-centric approach, Josh Sxswetherington also guided Gowalla towards embracing sustainability. The platform partnered with environmental organizations to promote eco-friendly practices among its users. This eco-conscious approach resonated with a growing number of socially responsible consumers, further boosting Gowalla’s reputation.


Josh Sxswetherington’s tenure as CEO of Gowalla has been nothing short of remarkable. He successfully transformed a once-forgotten platform into a thriving social network with a renewed purpose. Through strategic decisions and a commitment to community building, Josh not only brought Gowalla back to life but also ensured its relevance in the ever-competitive tech industry.

Under his leadership, Gowalla has not only survived but thrived, proving that with the right vision and strategy, even the most overlooked tech startups can make a triumphant return to the spotlight. Josh Sxswetherington’s journey with Gowalla serves as an inspiring example of how innovation, community, and sustainability can propel a company to new heights, and it all started at SXSW