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Adam Lasnik
Works at Google
Attended Northwestern
Lives in Mountain View, CA
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Adam Lasnik

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Online services and onboarding help -- what did you think?

Sometimes when you first use a new online service (task manager, mail client, whatever), you get a "Welcome to [product name], let's get started!" mini-tour sort of thing.

What did you think of this onboarding help?  Have any services you use done this in a way that you really liked or disliked?

P.S. -- The Clippy icon is admittedly not relevant here; I'm not talking about contextual help, but rather onboarding help.  But I know that posts without images don't get seen as much... :p
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Ah, yep, my favorite games do ease you in, and in a seamless, fun way!

But games typically are episodic and non-utilitarian.  How would you apply onboarding for, say, tax preparation software or online services that you're likely to need just once or twice yearly? :)
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Adam Lasnik

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 +Clover Food Labs defies conventional wisdom: They serve delicious, healthy, reasonably priced food... pay their staffers well... and tips are not accepted.

I'm still smiling about my first-ever visit to one of their restaurants tonight.  I was immediately greeted by a friendly, knowledgeable staffer who helped me decide what to order and gave me a brief background on the restaurant.  From there, she was able to take my order and (with her mobile phone and Square reader) charge my card in under 30 seconds :o.

At first I was puzzled.  Er, I didn't have a chance to specify a tip!  Uh oh.

But then I learned something insanely awesome:

They pay their staff well.

They don't have to depend on tips to make ends meet, and (clearly) they provide great service because, well, they're professionals and that's what professionals do, right?

And yes, the food was super-delicious (I ordered two of their most popular things, their chickpea-fritter (aka falafel) pita, and rosemary fries.  I was initially bummed that they were out of their homemade rhubarb cooler, and then... the staffer (wish I remembered her name) just gave me the huge remaining sample glass full of it for free!

*  *  *

So if Clover can provide such a great experience (note their 4.3 star rating on Google, 4.5 rating in Yelp!) AND even be expanding without relying on the discriminatory and nasty institution of tipping WHY CAN'T OTHER RESTAURANTS DO THIS?!?

What's wrong with tipping?  Pretty much everything.  It's all rotten, with ZERO benefits for employees or customers:
http://www.vox.com/2014/7/17/5888347/one-more-case-against-tipping

I hope more restaurant owners will be inspired by Clover! :)
Not only is tipping undemocratic — it may well be unconstitutional
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+Adam Lasnik​ did you ask how much their 'certainly' well paid house keeping are getting paid? Maybe I can apply this 'certainly' well paid job. I brat my house keeping job at my residency (named as: Bright Future). My Landlord filed a complaint of my residency in CuggiHut (180 Carl). The inspector came, exclaimed: 'Bathroom is extremely clean' when she first laid her eyes into my bathroom. I use squeegee to dry off my shower stall every single time I use it. I wipe my bathroom floor each time I finish using it. I even feel comfortable to spread my fabric on my bathroom floor to do the cut and take the cut to my sewing machine directly. My residency is served with five stars hotel maid service. I just wish the branded hotel will pay me well with my house keeping skills. 
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Adam Lasnik

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Google Flights - Ask Us Anything on Tuesday, June 9, noon-2pm Pacific Time
I'm excited to be hosting a Reddit AMA along with some teammates from Google Flights (http://www.google.com/flights). 
--> Add to your Google calendar: https://goo.gl/nFMVfh

What's an AMA?  http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/wiki/index

We'll tackle questions about how we handle the crazy complexity of flight searches, when you should book a flight (the answer may surprise you), and much more :).

Per Reddit tradition, we don't yet have a url to point you to, but will open up one about 30 minutes before the start time, and the link below will redirect to the live AMA:
http://go.lasnik.net/FlightsAMA

So... please don't ask Flights questions in this thread.  But if you have questions about our upcoming AMA itself, those are fair game :-)

Looking forward to chatting with lots of you on the AMA soon!

P.S. -- Yes, this is the rescheduled time; sorry for any confusion.  And please do spread the word; the more the merrier!
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Live now! http://j.mp/gfama15
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Adam Lasnik

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The astounding complexity of airfare pricing and searching... demystified by a Google Flights engineer

Check out these two fascinating videos by my teammate Srikanth, who recently did a Hangout on Air with India college students.  

Video 1:  Overview of airline pricing and routing
...or, why do you sometimes pay less to travel much further?

Video 2:  And now for the hardcore math/engineering geeks
Srikanth covers two important aspects of the problem: (1) the NP-hardness of even the simplistic versions of the problem, and (2) the QPX algorithm itself, which Google uses to perform the airfare search.

*  *  *

And yeah, I love working with super-smart people who are just as passionate about travel as I am... and I'm grateful that Srikanth -- a backend engineer on Flights -- so enthusiastically took on this Hangouts on Air presentation :).
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Very nice and technical talk. I wish we did more of those.
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Adam Lasnik

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This will have you dancing in the aisles of wherever you are

...even if you've already seen it (not sure how I originally missed it!).
Also... +Virgin America, you are awesome and I should fly you more!

Hope you make an updated version of this, and if you do, please include some #acappella  (the talented and fun +Pitch Perfect folks and +Deke Sharon might be able to help :D)

#Travel   #fun   #music  
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Heh, yes indeed, the "making of" video was really neat and I liked that actual flight attendants were part of the show, too!
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Adam Lasnik

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A big thumbs up to NYC, the surprisingly strong camera (and camera app) of the Nexus 6, and Google+ Stories, which autogenerated this storybook :-)
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Of course!  And I think you'll get to see a lot in 3 days; it's a pretty compact city, very walkable, with reasonably decent public transit.  Let me know how it goes!
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Adam Lasnik

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Hmm.  "Thomas Was Alone" (award-winning puzzle game) is on sale on Steam, & also avail. on Android. Which should I choose? 

http://store.steampowered.com/app/220780/

#Gaming  
Out now on iPad, PC, Mac, PS3 and PS Vita! ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
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Lo...
 ·  Translate
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Adam Lasnik

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What are the in-person Salons of today?
Where do people meet to have respectful, thoughtful discussions?

I just did something even worse than getting involved in a land war in Asia [1] -- I somewhat rudely sparked a debate on Twitter.

That was doubly stupid:  1) Rude.  2) A debate on Twitter, e.g., trying to discuss nuanced issues in 140 character chunks.  

So that got me to thinking:  where can people go (offline!) today to have thoughtful, respectful, fascinating discussions with other human beings?

- Town square?  Ha!  Like we have those in the U.S. anymore.  Elsewhere... hmm, I see some nice town squares, but usually they're populated with tourists, couples, friends, etc.  Not groups of quasi-strangers passionately and eruditely discussing politics, philosophy, literature, etc.

- Cafe?  Ah, look, another person glued to their laptop or tablet!

- Bar?  Hey, baby, wanna f...ilosophize?  Yeah, right.

Some of the most inspirational and thoughtful conversations I've had have been with strangers on a long train ride, from pre-teen girls stalking me at a hostel [2], and at work (though I stay away from politics there, understandably ;-).

*  *  *

What do you think?  Am I romanticizing a time (and places) that never actually existed?  Are there actually places today for the chats I crave? [3]  Heck, are there any civil and deep conversation spots left even online?  Ironically, salon.com -- a site I used to actually subscribe to as a paying member -- has a comments section every bit as divisive and immature as that of CNN, Fox News, and others :\.

[1] A lesson from the movie "The Princess Bride."  One of the best movies of all times.  And if you are insane enough to dispute that movie's amazingness, well, those are fighting words, and we have more than 140 characters to duel debate with here :p

[2] http://www.adamlasnik.net/post/a-heartwarming-story-about-bridging-the-culture-gap/

[3] Perhaps meetup.com?  Also, I know of various 'community' houses in the SF Bay Area, like http://www.rainbowmansion.com/, but those are hyper-local and often linked via already-established friendships.
[I wrote this years ago, but had posted it on a site I no longer maintain; I thought it might be nice to share it with you now.]As many of you may already know, I spent over a year total in Europe ...
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I don't know about the US but here in Europe philosophical salons has become  popular again. They are usually organized by philosophers and/or theologicians  who set a theme for the event and act as moderators
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Adam Lasnik

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Got questions about air travel?  Ask the Google Flights team!  

The Reddit AMA thread just opened.  Ask questions and vote on your favorites now! :)  http://j.mp/gfama15
 
Google Flights - Ask Us Anything on Tuesday, June 9, noon-2pm Pacific Time
I'm excited to be hosting a Reddit AMA along with some teammates from Google Flights (http://www.google.com/flights). 
--> Add to your Google calendar: https://goo.gl/nFMVfh

What's an AMA?  http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/wiki/index

We'll tackle questions about how we handle the crazy complexity of flight searches, when you should book a flight (the answer may surprise you), and much more :).

Per Reddit tradition, we don't yet have a url to point you to, but will open up one about 30 minutes before the start time, and the link below will redirect to the live AMA:
http://go.lasnik.net/FlightsAMA

So... please don't ask Flights questions in this thread.  But if you have questions about our upcoming AMA itself, those are fair game :-)

Looking forward to chatting with lots of you on the AMA soon!

P.S. -- Yes, this is the rescheduled time; sorry for any confusion.  And please do spread the word; the more the merrier!
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Adam Lasnik

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The new Google Photos is super-awesome!

And I can say this with little bias; though I work for Google (as most of you know), I'm not on the Photos team.  I just love taking and sharing photos.  I've been dogfooding this app for a while and am excited that it's finally public!

The auto-classification alone of the new Photos is just stunning.

It uses vision recognition to (privately!) cluster faces (friends, family), things (animals, castles, beaches, whatever), and places (Manhattan, London), and makes it easy to share with anyone, anywhere without hassles (yes, including Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  No tagging required.

Read more here:
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/picture-this-fresh-approach-to-photos.html
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Unfortunately, I'm not sure about storage stuff now :\.

Re the lack of photo sphere and chromecast support... I hope those'll be added back in!  Definitely file feedback to help encourage the team ;)
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Adam Lasnik

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This is really a delightful, relaxing, and fun game... and it's on sale for $1USD.  Grab it if you haven't already bought it!
In Monument Valley you will manipulate impossible architecture and guide a ...
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nice
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Adam Lasnik

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As usual, +Ivan Yudhi offers thoughtful and friendly advice re Google stuff!

You can find my many collections here:
https://plus.google.com/+AdamLasnik/collections

...and may specially enjoy this one:
"Smiles for you:  Humor, Good Vibes, and More"
https://plus.google.com/collection/M8nXW
 
Collections for Google+

Collections for +Google+ is officially launched! Despite what some people might have said, Collections is NOT Pinterest for Google+. I'd like to share my take on it:

So what is it?
To put it simply, it's basically a way to do content control for your posts. With Collections you'll be able to separate your posts into different categories, and your followers will be able to follow only posts that interest them. You control what you want to see!

Why is it needed?
Google+ has been known to be a place for engage other people with similar interests. But let's face it, people have multiple interests and you might agree with some, but not the others. 

For example, you might follow a person because he likes technology, but don't care too much about his food posts. Before Collections, you'll see posts related to both categories. With this feature you can simply follow the person's Collection about technology, and unfollow the person's Collection about food. It's a way to customize what you see on your stream.

Things to keep in mind
Collections is a very powerful tool,  but you need to use it carefully. Depending on how you use it, it will grow your users engagement, or it can destroy it. It works if people play along with the rules.  When your followers follow your Collections, they trust you that you'll provide contents related to the topic. 

If you abuse it, with one single (unfollow) button click your followers won't see your Collection posts again on their stream (they'll still be able to see it from your Profile). The good side is that if you curate your Collections properly, you'll generate more views from people that are following the Collections even though they're not following your profile. 

Some limitations
Right now there are no ways to pin a post, or share a post to more than one Collection. There's also no way to put a brief description your Collection other than the title. You also can't move a post directly from one Collection to another (you have to remove the post from the Collection, then add it to another). 

So what do you guys think? Are you excited with Collections? Have you thought any good use cases? Feel free voice your opinions in the comments!

P.S. I've made a few Public Collections:

Adventures with Pegman 
My little project of taking photos with the +Google Local Guides Pegman pins in interesting places
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/4vYCX

Android Collectibles
My obsession related to Android mini figurines
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/I4LuR

Travel Talk
Photos from my trips around the world
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/I3tpR

Adventure Through Glass
It documents my experience experimenting and playing around with +Google Glass
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/4AppR

Tech with Google
Posts related to anything related to Google technology (gadgets, culture, program, events, etc)
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/giOpR

Everything Delicious
Yes, I take photos of my food :)
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/4GMpR
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Thanks for the share +Adam Lasnik :)
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Adam's Collections
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Work
Occupation
Program Manager, Google
Employment
  • Google
    Program Manager, 2010 - present
  • Google
    Search Evangelist, 2006 - 2010
  • Self-employed
    Consultant, 2001 - 2006
  • Niehaus Ryan Wong ("NRW")
    Interactive Strategies guy, 1999 - 2001
  • Ascena ("Fortissinformationssysteme")
    Entrepreneur, 1997 - 1999
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Mountain View, CA
Previously
Thousand Oaks, CA - Evanston, IL - Boston, MA - Mannheim, Germany - Bloomington, IN - San Francisco, CA
Story
Tagline
A reasonably social lindy-hopping geek in the SF Bay Area
Introduction
Bigger than a breadbox. Often smiling. Into the arts, traveling, food, and other good stuff.

BORING BUT USEFUL DISCLAIMER:
I work on Google Flights.  However... my posts on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and in Google forums (except those posted with an official "G" icon next to them) are my own personal blatherings -- mine mine mine! -- and don't necessarily reflect those of my employer, my mom, my invisible friend Harvey, etc.

---

Thanks for checking out my profile! :-)
Bragging rights
I have perfect pitch. I can put my feet behind my head, albeit just one at a time. I have visited 30 countries. I am one of the world's most talented cheek percussionists.
Education
  • Northwestern
    Political Science and Communications, 1989 - 1993
  • Indiana University
    MBA and JD, 1993 - 1997
  • Thousand Oaks High School
    Geek stuff, 1986 - 1989
  • Redwood Middle School
    Teen angst, 1984 - 1986
  • Aspen Elementary School
    Pre-teen angst, 1977 - 1984
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
May 12
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Smash Hit
  • Monument Valley
  • LIMBO
  • Leo's Fortune