November 14, 2013

An interview with Tony Conrad

Tony Conrad (his and his twitter) co-founded in 2009. The company is characterized by its one-page user profiles from which you can link to your online identities, such as your blog and your Twitter account. Just four days after the public launch of, the company was acquired by AOL. In 2013, Tony Conrad decided to buy back the majority control of from AOL. This interview is from 2011. 

Lessons learned
  • Tony Conrad joined the venture capital industry in 1998, but he realized he wanted to create his own Internet company after watching how others were doing it successfully in a short amount of time.
  • His first company, Sphere, was a result of a brainstorming process. He didn't have a computer science background, so he had to recruit programmers, but what Tony Conrad did know was how to make a good product and how to navigate the business world.
  • It may be a good idea to give away your position as CEO to someone with experience. Six months after Kevin Rose founded, he gave up his position as CEO to someone with experience.
  • If your founding a new company, it's helpful to do it in an area with a startup culture.
  • You don't need to already have a team - a demo or a 15 minute phone-presentation might be enough to get Tony Conrad's attention. 

More articles in the same series: Lessons learned from the Foundation interviews