About.me has now been around for more than a year, after celebrating its birthday on December 16th, first as a very interesting new startup and then as one of AOL’s new properties. Last week you read an interview with Ryan Freitas, the design-loving cofounder of the startup. This week we talk to Tony Conrad, the venture-loving cofounder you have already gotten to know on the .Me blog.
I interviewed Conrad at the Web Fest .Me conference, where he was a special guest and speaker. In it, Conrad shares how in the very beginning he wasn’t even sure if the idea was important to anyone else but him. However, it struck a nerve with the public, thanks partially to the vast number of key web influencers Conrad and his team managed to get on board as advisers, people like Digg’s Kevin Rose and Revision3’s Veronica Belmont.
The central idea wasn’t just to build a simple personal website builder, but also a place where you could manage your identity. The About.me team felt that LinkedIn was one-dimensional, while Facebook had grown from being a service where you could manage your online identity. A user’s identity on Facebook was the result of a colaboration between the user, their social graph and Facebook itself - Conrad says.
For him personally, Googleing wasn’t an option either since looking for someone was like dumpster diving – a lot of searching and no real results. …and this is only the About.me part!
About.me wasn’t Conrad’s first project. In fact, he had been active in the entrepreneurial community for quite some time, cofounding Sphere and investing in numerous companies. Along with details of how About.me was built, Conrad shared a few interesting tips on how to get a-listers as mentors. What are you waiting for? Watch the whole interview with Tony Conrad: