This week, we speak with Kara Swisher, founder of Recode, which was recently sold to Vox. She is best known for the two decades she spent as a San Francisco based tech journalist for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered the internet, technology and Silicon Valley, and won a Loeb Award for her reporting. Today, she writes a weekly Op Ed column for the New York Times, hosts 2 podcasts (Recode Decode and Pivot), and publishes at Vox/Recode. She is the author of two books, AOL.com and There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere.
Swisher studied foreign service at Georgetown for her undergraduate work, and expected to follow her father into military service. She was disappointed to learn she could not join the armed forces because she is gay. She obtained her graduate degree from the Columbia School of Journalism, and began her career at the Washington Post.
She notes the impact of money on Silicon Valley, and how its warped people’s perspective. The changes in power and influence has skewed how people perceive themselves. She notes that Silicon Valley manifests as a form of “Libertarian Lite” — an intellectually arrested development approach to responsibility of companies.
Swisher describes the impact of the internet and technology on various aspects of the economy, including retail and media. She believes that soon no one will own their own individual cars, and eventually there will be VTOL vehicles and taxis — all with enormous impact for manufacturers, transportation firms, insurers, and credit card companies.
Her favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Bloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Next week, we speak with Sir John Browne, former CEO of British Petroleum between 1995 and 2007, and author of numerous books, most recently, Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilisation.
Kara Swisher Authored Books
AOL.com by Kara Swisher
There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future by Kara Swisher with Lisa Dickey
Kara Swisher Favorite Books
The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News–and Divided a Country by Gabriel Sherman
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation by Andrew Marantz
Books Barry Mentioned
Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday