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Tom Conrad
Worked at Pandora
Attended University of Michigan
Lives in San Francisco, CA
19,757 followers|167,894 views


Tom Conrad

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We had such a good time doing this...
Brynn Evans originally shared:
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?"
Rahim Adatia's profile photoBrynn Evans's profile photoShenaz Zack's profile photoRobert Bornstein's profile photo
Too funny! And so true!
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Tom Conrad

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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.
Michael Olsen's profile photoScott Simko's profile photoscott lawrence's profile photoMichael Dubnik's profile photo
This completely blew me away on every level
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Tom Conrad

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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.
Jonathan Lally's profile photoGlenda Andes's profile photoDeb Augur's profile photoTom Conrad's profile photo
Google knows all! Glad you're here. :-)
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Tom Conrad

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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.
Randy Hanley's profile photoMitchell Feigley's profile photoTom Conrad's profile photoPaul Moreira's profile photo
I agree with +Jay Cuthrell . But I also agree with +Tom Conrad. This place makes me want to write more and I'm not even a writer. I really don't like writing. I guess G+ is bringing the writing skills out of me.
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Tom Conrad

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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...
Ed Lea's profile photoJeff Ferzoco's profile photoHillary Hartley's profile photoGerman Freiwald's profile photo
that is an awesome idea. i would love such an easy way to have a blog. i also like that the + button is becoming a place for me to store all the interesting links i come across
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Tom Conrad

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I like.
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Tom Conrad

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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:
Ian Kennedy's profile photoAxel Kratel's profile photoSean Lavery's profile photo
+Tom Conrad I am a former Pandora subscriber. But I will not be re-uping. Pandora will no longer remember my account when refresh the page, or visit it again. It won't allow chrome or FF to remember the password either.

Every time I click on to Pandora this infuriates me. As before I could click chrome, type "pa [down] [enter]" and and immediately alt tab back into the program I was in, and seconds later Pandora would start playing.

Now I have to click the small sign in button. Then press email field, then tab, then type my password and hit enter. I visit pandora 5-20 times a day. Pandora is now too time consuming to use.

Also, the max of 100 stations is restricting. To remove a station I ave to click on it, which starts playing a video ad.

I think I am going to move over to GrooveShark permanently. The ads are less obtrusive, and there are no limits to skipping or amount of stations I can have. And I was just about to re-up on my Pandora subscription as well.

I have been a user since the beginning, and I am dissapointed at the current state of Pandora, and will be using GrooveShark from now on, unless Pandora changes.
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Tom Conrad

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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?
Hillary Hartley's profile photoMary Ann Cotter's profile photoIan Geller's profile photoMiguel Garcia's profile photo
Hola janet
 ·  Translate
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Tom Conrad

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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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I think I started tearing up just watching this! Sniff... sniff... ohhh <3 cats! :)
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Tom Conrad

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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.
Jeff Bonforte's profile photoTom Conrad's profile photoChristopher Carr's profile photoDiego Montoya's profile photo
I also have a Nexus S, but I got it before Sprint released it on their network. T-Mobile first.
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Tom Conrad

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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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+Brian Rose Community Manager for Google+ Photos
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Tom Conrad

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If the Google+ model really resonates with users, it seems that Twitter could pretty readily adopt some of the techniques here -- inline multimedia, inline @replies, post "to" a list, >140 chars, etc.

While much of that would detract from the essential simplicity of Twitter (which I really admire), I can imagine a reasonable rationale to take some cues from G+ in the scenario where users fall in love with the service.

It's harder for me on the other hand to picture Facebook embracing the asymmetric follow model. Certainly their software could do it, but it seems more fundamentally at odds with the core design principles of the product.

Ideally of course all three will continue to chart their own course of innovation -- it seems reasonable to me that there's room for all three.
Nuno Maia's profile photoTom Conrad's profile photoMax Ventilla's profile photoAndreas Habicher's profile photo
I love Twitter, especially because of the 140-char-limit. Brevity at its best, and a fantastic community. Just saying to restore some balance here: I hope it lives on and on, long after we've all gone out into the void. ;)
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10 Years as CTO and co-creator of Pandora.
  • University of Michigan
  • Upper Arlington High School
Basic Information
CTO and EVP of Product at Pandora
  • Pandora
    CTO and EVP of Product, 2004 - 2014
  • Apple
  • Berkeley Systems
  • Documentum
  • Kenamea
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
San Francisco, CA
Columbus, OH - Chicago, IL - San Francisco, CA - Ann Arbor, MI