A Pandora's Box of Start-up Expertise (Entire Talk) - Tom Conrad (Pandora)

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A Pandora's Box of Start-up Expertise (Entire Talk) - Tom Conrad (Pandora)
Date: 4/28/2010
Length: 59 minutes
Speaker(s): Tom Conrad (Pandora)
Sources: Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Description: After nearly two decades in the trenches of Pets.com, Apple Computer, and the You Don't Know Jack game series at Berkeley Systems, Tom Conrad (Pandora CTO) shares his acquired wisdom on succeeding in the consumer internet space. He discusses agility, crisp decision making, and focus, and peppers his lessons with numerous entertaining anecdotes of dot-com days and corporate progress.

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A Pandora's Box of Start-up Expertise (Entire Talk) - Tom Conrad (Pandora)
Tom Conrad (Pandora)
4/28/2010
Summary: After nearly two decades in the trenches of Pets.com, Apple Computer, and the You Don't Know Jack game series at Berkeley Systems, Tom Conrad (Pandora CTO) shares his acquired wisdom on succeeding in the consumer internet space. He discusses agility, crisp decision making, and focus, and peppers his lessons with numerous entertaining anecdotes of dot-com days and corporate progress. Watch More
Dwarfed by Metrics - Tom Conrad (Pandora)
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Summary: With over 50 million listeners, Pandora is easily one of the most popular online music vehicles. But as compared to the entire mass radio spectrum, Pandora remains a mere blip on the airwaves. CTO Tom Conrad states that a key strategy in remaining focused comes from the metrics enterprises choose to surround themselves with. He suggests that start-ups find the numbers and the facts that make them feel small as a tactic to keep them steadily growing. Watch More
Look for Opportunities to "Go Deep" - Tom Conrad (Pandora)
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Summary: "Miles wide and a quarter-of-an-inch deep," recalls Tom Conrad, Pandora CTO, of the work experience that he had while working at Apple. Employees were expected to dabble in all areas, from engineering to product design. Conrad contrasts this with his experience at Berkeley Systems, where he had the opportunity to deepen his expertise in a single field. He found that this latter opportunity to focus and excel has served him better than being a corporate Renaissance man. Watch More
Strive to Remain Agile - Tom Conrad (Pandora)
Tom Conrad (Pandora)
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Summary: Despite the company's growing size, Pandora CTO Tom Conrad states that his company resists the urge to make any long-term plans. In fact, they never plan an operating schedule more than three months in advance. Though this practice makes some operations more difficult, the flexibility allows the upstart enterprise to remain nimble and responsive; traits, Conrad states, every start-up should try to maintain as long as possible for maximum market advantage. Watch More
Success is Not About You - Tom Conrad (Pandora)
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Summary: Being humble isn't merely a kind gesture; it's the only way to still respect yourself in the midst of a trying start-up experience. Pandora CTO Tom Conrad urges entrepreneurs to resist the cult of personality that can permeate a company, and instead revel in the combined success of your team and your customer base. Watch More
The Advantage of Not Marketing - Tom Conrad (Pandora)
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Summary: Pandora CTO Tom Conrad invites start-ups to "be genuine". Rather than investing in marketing, Pandora simply asks its users to a coffee. In lieu of a form letter, new users - all 50,000 of them daily - receive an automated email with the founder's true email address, and their feedback is requested. This personal touch, rather than mass PR blitzes and glitzy launch parties, says Conrad, has been instrumental in the company's word-of-mouth growth. Watch More
The Second Time's the Charm - Tom Conrad (Pandora)
Tom Conrad (Pandora)
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Summary: After initially turning down the opportunity to work for Pandora (formerly called Savage Beast), Tom Conrad, CTO, shares an anecdote about how following his passion led to tremendous personal and professional success. Though he eventually accepted the job with reservations, six weeks later it became the exact position he had dreamed of. To his surprise, the objective for the company had changed, providing the environment he'd hoped for to drive the direction of this popular consumer music product. Watch More

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