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Tom Conrad
10 Years as CTO and co-creator of Pandora.
10 Years as CTO and co-creator of Pandora.


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We had such a good time doing this...
Hilarious video on Shit Silicon Valley Says
(nice work +Kate Imbach and +Tom Conrad!)

A few of my favorite quotes:
"I reblogged it, I retweeted it, and I checked into it"
"Ashton invested" ... "Michelle Obama invested" ... "The Royal Family invested"
"They don't even have a Foursquare venue for their apartment"
"It's like a Pandora for cats" ... "It's like AirBnB for Facebook Games"
"Can you just call an Uber?"
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Big day. Incredibly proud of the team of designers and engineers that created #newpandora. Read all about it here: and take a look at some of the details here:
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Drinking coffee and listening to music this morning. Pandora seems in the mood to play a lot of Glen Hansard (The Swell Season, The Frames) who was so amazing in the unique "music movie" Once.

This all has me thinking about the movies I love that revolve around music. My favorite of the bunch is probably the Pixies documentary LOUDquietLOUD. I'm also a big fan of the Sigur Ros documentary Heima.

What are your favorite music movies?
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15 minutes of in-game footage from BioShock Infinite really blows my mind. Looks like a level of storytelling that I'm not sure I've seen in a game before. Can't wait.
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I feel it's fitting that my first Google+ post that's not about Google+ is instead about cats. Because that's what the internet is made of. Cats.
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A lot of G+ invites going out tonight and I guess that'll mean lots of new people here in the morning. Welcome!

Seems that many of us that have been here for a few days are chiming in with tips about how to get the most out of this new service. Thought I'd share my own thoughts on that.

First, drop the assumption that this is a Facebook killer, or a Twitter compete, or just an attempt to out-buzz Buzz. To me, it's none of those things. It's something entirely new. Here's why -- it blends free form posts (long, short, text, photo, video, etc) with the an asymmetric follow model (like Twitter). The result is something more like blogging than Facebook.

Anyway, who cares what it is... Here's what I hope some of you will do with it: tell us a story. We all have stories to tell, and this seems like the ideal place. Can't tell us a story? Inspire us with your insights. You must have at least one profound thought kicking around.

Share your links, snapshots, and passing fancies on those other services (really! do! I like that too.), but use this place to let us in on your deepest thoughts, most personal histories, greatest hopes, silliest dreams, and biggest ideas.
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A few months ago I bought a Sprint Nexus S. I really like it a lot and I carry it everywhere with me now.

Now, wait, those of you that know me in real life know I'm a bit of an Apple nerd. Like +MG Siegler level except I actually worked there on the Mac once upon a time. Anyway, I love me some Apple.

But, yes I'm one of those "two cell phone" guys now.

I've not quite found the strength to port my main number and give up the iPhone entirely yet, but I have to tell you: there is a lot to like about this phone.

First, just the basic Android fit and finish has come a really long way. The phone is fast, the UI has come leagues in terms of it's elegance and nuance, and functionally there are some great touches (for example, once mastered the system-wide back button is a great tool for letting you pop out of your current context, engage in a notification, and then quickly return to where you started with a minimum of fuss). There are tons of apps (an aside: come on Instagram! You can do it!), if you live in gmail you'll love the native support, and of course I'm loving the native G+ app and it's super cool integration with the camera. Battery life could be better and the soft keyboard gives me fits (the iPhone soft keyboard is near perfect for me by comparison), but really my criticisms are little nitpicks mostly.

I'm really impressed with how far Android has come and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next versions hold. Who knows, maybe I'll be a one phone guy again someday.
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This place makes me want to write. Feeling some slight obligation to switch the topic away from G+ itself though... but damnit, I'm a product guy. This is the stuff I lie in bed and think about at night.
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I was just chatting with my old friend +Chris Messina and sort of going on and on about how impressed I am with Google+ so far. Thought I'd share some of those thoughts here so +Vic Gundotra , +Bradley Horowitz and the rest of the team could enjoy the compliment too.

By way of background, you should know that I really like Facebook. I think there has been lots of innovation there over the years, and I admire the team they've assembled and the way they build software. I also think that they really are working from a playbook that is user-centric. Having had the pleasure of talking product design with Mark several times over the years, I've always found him to be a thoughtful product guy who is very focused on making his user's lives better. They may push the envelope in ways that make people uncomfortable, but I've never found anyone there to be even the slightest bit evil.

I'm also a big fan of Twitter. I was never a blogger but I've enjoyed having a a little 140 character voice to the small audience that I've accumulated there. Twitter's usually the first app I launch when I wake up in the morning.

So, I wasn't searching for new "social tools" when Google+ came along. Not at all.

The interesting thing for me about Google+ is not really how it's similar to these other mediums, but how it's different. I love the asymmetric follow model. It seems completely natural that I might want to "follow" some interesting silicon valley type (say, +Andy Hertzfeld ) that I don't have any real world relationship to. He shouldn't have to reciprocate for that to be possible. Twitter of course got this (and lots of other things) right, but Twitter hits a wall for me for the cases where I want to say more than what 140 characters allows -- or in the cases where characters aren't the right form of expression at all (say pictures, music, or videos are a better fit). Mix in a really compelling real time commenting system and a community that (at least for now) respects one another and it's a potent combination. At least to me, all these details come together in a way that feels entirely new.

More delightful though, is the thoughtful execution -- both in terms of design but also in terms of the way this has been handed to the first batch of users.

I'm incredibly sensitive to little aesthetic and functional details. It's just hard for me to fall in love with a product where the little details aren't polished. It's such a delight to get something from Google where you can just tell that there was tremendous attention to detail.

But the really big thing is the way that the Google+ team is participating in all of this. Every time I tune into a post, there are folks from the Google team participating, listening, taking feedback and each time they seem to do it with a kind of humility that's really hard in practice. Imagine for example that the 120th person tells you that the comment "bounce" issue is driving them wild. Imagine they then follow up with their idea about how to address it (ahem, if you dig back into my stream you'll find a post where I did just that). The thing is that these guys understand the problems. They've talked for hours about these things and about the various solutions. They've probably kicked my solution around and thought of the 10 reasons it won't work. It's so tempting in that case to say "Yeah, it's a problem, but we thought about your solution and here's why it won't work." It's so much harder to say "that's a great idea; let me take it back to the team." And yet, every time, that's how the Google folks are taking our ideas.

This is how the best startup teams interact with their fledgling communities. I'm not sure I've ever seen it on this scale from a big company. I'm more than impressed. Well done Google. Thanks for letting us hang out here early. Looking forward to letting the rest of our friends in so we can really see where this totally new thing goes.
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I've never been a blogger (as evidence: I'm also not a Tumblr, or a Posterous-er (see my empty tconrad presence on both of those services as proof).

On the other hand, I do have things to say. Just ask anyone that's ever met me (I'm not arguing I have interesting or brilliant things to say... it's just clear that I like to hear myself talk). For the last couple of years, Twitter has been the place where I air my ideas. The good news is the forced brevity (never a strength of mine), the bad news is that from time to time something comes along where the nuance required simply can't be accommodated in 140 characters. In that case, I have to go back to blogging (eww), post it to Facebook (where, really, no one cares) or just let it go. Judging from my blog, I clearly choose to just let it go most of the time.

I'm starting to think though that Google+ is kind of perfect for this sort of thing. Because of the stream, followers, and general flow here, the things I write seem to get more attention than anything I ever posted to the blog. Great comments and engagement too. Maybe that will all change when I move on from talking about Google+ itself, but for now, it seems like it's working.

The trouble of course is that it seems silly to build up a body of writing of essentially glorified status updates.

Which brings me to my point...

I'd like to be able to use Google+ public posts as the front end to a blog. That way, anything I publish publicly here ends up dropped into a destination that's really mine (theme'd, RSS'd, sidebar'd, byline'd, etc etc). Commenting could tie into the Google+ system so that any conversation here spills over onto the blog and vice versa.

Fine with me if this is just the next version of -- I don't need anything fancy, just a destination that feels like it's mine rather than just a few snippets in a status stream...
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