Thursday, June 24, 2010

“Start-up Fun: Not Only for Founders” – Tom Conrad, Pandora

Tom Conrad, CTO, Pandora

Source: Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Corner

The Full Podcast (mp3) - 67 Minutes, 27.9 MB

(Use Right Click > Save As to download to your desktop)

Highlights of the talk (links point to corresponding video snippets):

  • Fun and rewarding career is possible as an employee of start-up(s) – you don’t necessarily have to be a founder.
    (“Follow your passions and good things will happen”)
  • “Look for opportunities to go deep” – for both employees and cos.
    • Focus on a small number of things and be great at what you do. Key to know what you want to be the best in the world at and do it well.
  • Encourage direct and personal interaction of top management with customers
    (ALL welcome mails from Pandora go out from the CEO’s personal ID. The exact opposite of which is emails from “”!)
  • Stay Agile: Avoid long-term and medium-term plans
    (Helps avoid distractions and temptations of entering into unweildy partnerships and is something larger competitors can’t do well.)
    and finally…
  • Favorite stories
    Like how they discovered after giving a half-price sale, that $1,000 worth of dog food weighs about a metric ton! And the company was going to pay $15,000 to ship it!!!

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