Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher

About this podcast


One of tech's most prominent journalists, Kara Swisher is known for her insightful reporting and straight-shooting style. Listen in as she hosts hard-hitting interviews about the week in tech with influential business leaders and outspoken personalities from media, politics and more.

In this podcast

Kara Swisher

Recode Decode

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Benchmark partner Sarah Tavel talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and Teddy Schleifer about her career in tech companies and venture capital. Her resume includes stints at Pinterest, Bessemer Venture Partners and Greylock Partners, but last year she became the first woman partner hired at Benchmark, where one of her focuses is cryptocurrencies. She explains why the field is interesting even though it has been flooded with scammy ICOs since late 2017. Tavel also talks about what she and other female VCs are doing to help women succeed in tech and how she views the influx of money into the ecosystem from SoftBank.
Feb. 17, 2018
Lydia Polgreen, the editor in chief of HuffPost — the website formerly known as The Huffington Post — talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka at the 2018 Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. Polgreen explains what she has been changing since taking over the top editor role in December 2016, how she's trying to reach a broader audience that includes Donald Trump supporters and why HuffPost is investing less in Facebook than it used to.
Feb. 14, 2018
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki talks with Recode's Kara Swisher at the 2018 Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. She explains why YouTube opted not to ban one of its stars, Logan Paul, despite a recent string of controviersies including a video he filmed of a dead body in Japan. She also talks about how the site has dealt with revelations of Russian political meddling, why it still doesn't see itself as a media company and what she thinks of rivals like Facebook that are pushing more and more into video: "They should get back to baby pictures."
Feb. 12, 2018
Jeremy Bailenson, the director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, "Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do." Bailenson came to Stanford to study how people can communicate with each other in a virtual world, but now his focus is on how VR can motivate us to eat less, help the homeless or have empathy with a person of another race, gender or age. He discusses why the technology has not yet taken off among consumers and why tech and media companies are wrong to think we should be spending hours at a time in a VR headset. Plus: Why telling a story in virtual reality is so much harder than telling one on a 2-D screen.
Feb. 7, 2018
Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about her new book, “Forged In Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.” In it, Koehn chronicles the lives of five leaders who had to overcome a crisis: President Abraham Lincoln, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, explorer Ernest Shackleton, clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer and author Rachel Carson. People in Silicon Valley, Washington and beyond can learn a lot from history, she says — for example, how Lincoln used his writing and speeches to unite people around a broader purpose, and why not acting was often the right decision when tempers were flaring. Plus: How “real leaders” can unlock the potential of the people around them.
Feb. 5, 2018
Bloomberg Technology executive producer Emily Chang talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about her new book, “Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley.” Chang says the idea for the book originated when venture capitalist Michael Moritz suggested that bringing more women to Sequoia Capital might mean “lowering our standards.” However, in between then and now, Donald Trump was elected president and the #MeToo movement arose, which “changed dramatically” how many women would speak on the record. Plus: Chang discusses the impact of Ellen Pao and Susan Fowler, and her much-discussed Vanity Fair story about sex parties and “cuddle puddles” in Silicon Valley.
Jan. 31, 2018
New America fellow Dipayan Ghosh and senior advisor Ben Scott talk with Recode’s Kara Swisher about their new policy paper, “Digital Deceit: The Technologies Behind Precision Propaganda on the Internet.” Both alumni of the Obama administration, Ghosh and Scott say we need to fundamentally reevaluate how digital platforms collect data on their users, and how advertisers can use that information. Although they acknowledge that figuring out how Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election is important, they argue that there are much deeper questions that need to be answered, and possibly problems that need to be regulated. They also discuss what responsibility they and others who worked for the Obama White House have for the rise of tech companies to their current level of power over the past decade.
Jan. 29, 2018
NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how he's evolving what it means to be the host of the longest-running series in TV history, "Meet the Press." Todd discusses how a childhood interest in politics led him to Washington, D.C., and how a lucky break at the pioneering digital service Hotline led him to NBC. He also talks about how technology accelerated trends of political polarization that began during Watergate and why social media has "peaked" in politics. Plus: Why the "best and the brightest" don't come to Washington anymore, and should anyone in Silicon Valley run for office?
Jan. 24, 2018
Alexandra Petri, who writes the Compost blog for The Washington Post, talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher and Chorus CEO Dick Costolo about making fun of politics. Petri says some politicans have a sense of humor about her columns, but others don’t like it or don’t get the joke — the Trump White House once distributed one of her satirical pieces to journalists, mistaking it for earnest praise. She explains how she became a humor columnist, how she comes up with ideas and where she finds the funny in the Trump family and the Trump White House. Plus: Petri’s pitch for a romantic comedy about a Supreme Court justice.
Jan. 22, 2018
"How to Fix the Future" author Andrew Keen talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, which examines reasonable solutions to the social and political disruptions created by the digital revolution. Keen says tech is neither the solution nor the scapegoat for all problems, urging Silicon Valley to look to history for answers. In the book, he examines four categories of things that need fixing: Economic inequality; the "imminent crisis" of jobs; the rise of surveillance capitalism, in which consumers pay for free products by trading away their personal data; and a cultural crisis of incivility, divisiveness and "fake news." Plus: Why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is best positioned to set an example for the rest of the industry and why Keen believes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is "re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."