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 special bonus episode from the 2017 Code Conference, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the nonprofit has dealt with controversy and political opposition under President Trump. Republicans in Washington are attempting to limit the organization, which Richards says would undermine access to local health services and cause the rates of STIs and abortions to go up. Planned Parenthood will continue to exist even if the GOP's health care bill passes, she says, but it's still fighting to remain a public benefit, with funds for most of its services being reimbursed by the government. Richards also talks about how her team uses social media and texting and why she wants to use drones to air-drop birth control.
In this live interview, Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how Oracle transitioned its business to the cloud, which is the fastest-growing segment of all enterprise spending. Hurd says a large, process-laden company like Oracle can't risk getting complacent and out-innovated by smaller startups, and had to weather some unhappy investors on Wall Street for many quarters because building out cloud services takes time and money. He also talks about immigration policy, job automation and why Steve Jobs once told him he would hate to have Hurd's job.
In this special bonus episode from the 2017 Code Conference, Jill Soloway, the creator of the Amazon TV series "Transparent," talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about their new show, "I Love Dick," which stars Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn. They say Amazon is more hands-off than traditional TV networks and has helped diversify the female characters we see on TV. Soloway's company, Topple Productions, is aimed at disrupting the "white male gaze" and giving power to creators who otherwise might not have it, and they recall how, after losing twice at the Golden Globes, Jeff Bezos encouraged them to keep effecting social change through storytelling.
L2 founder and New York University professor Scott Galloway talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the biggest companies in tech are disrupting retail, jobs, advertising and more. Galloway says the U.S. is incredibly "over-stored" and predicts that Amazon is well positioned to quadruple what its Prime customers spend. He also explains why most brands should worry about their future stability, and what a handful — including Apple and Disney — have done right to defend themselves. Later in the show, Galloway grades how Google, Facebook, Netflix and more are doing and makes the case for executive changes at Uber and Snapchat.
In this special bonus episode from the 2017 Code Conference, former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and The Verge's Walt Mossberg about the mistakes she made during the campaign and what she thinks in hindsight about criticism of her private email server and paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton says "anti-American forces" are continually trying to undermine America's security and unity and that she believes saboteurs from Russia were directly aided by Americans, likely including Donald Trump. She criticizes Facebook's spreading of "fake news" and the eagerness of the media to amplify Trump's message, but also the failures of the Democratic National Committee's "poor" data campaign in 2016 as contributing factors to her defeat. Looking forward, Clinton says she's "hopeful" that Democrats will regain control of the House of Representatives in 2018 and "hold [our] own" in the Senate.
Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about why he's still working at Facebook five years after it bought his company for $1 billion. Systrom shares what he has learned from the executives there and why he insisted from day one that his new colleagues not call Instagram a "photo-sharing app" — which surprised Mark Zuckerberg. He also addresses allegations that Instagram has "copied" features from Snapchat, saying no tech product is completely original and that it's better for consumers if companies in the same space are constantly trying to one-up each other. Later in the show, Systrom explains why he feels personally responsible to make the internet a safer place, and what he's doing toward that goal.
Anki CEO Boris Sofman talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about the future of robotics and why his company is starting with robots that entertain people: The artificially intelligent toy cars Anki Drive, released in 2013, and the emotive pet-like Cozmo, which came out in 2016. Sofman says designing for cuteness makes it easier for humans to accept when the robot makes an error, and is a low-risk way to make all robots better at skills like computer vision. He also talks about the current state of self-driving cars and why the biggest danger robots currently pose to humanity is being misused by human operators.
Facebook's messaging products boss, David Marcus, talks with Recode's Kurt Wagner about how the company is trying turn its Messenger app into a hub for interactions between companies and consumers. Marcus explains what Facebook learned from last year's rollout of "bots" on the platform and why the latest tools are poised to be more useful. He also explains why Facebook is not planning to take a cut of purchases made within Messenger and how it's balancing plans to inject ads into the app with users' privacy.
Stripe CEO Patrick Collison talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the company he and his brother started in 2010 evolved from a service for other small startups into a global payments platform for companies of all sizes. He discusses why Stripe recently hired a new security head, DARPA alum Peiter Zatko, and why our data is safer in the hands of companies like Google and Facebook than it is with hospitals or telecom giants. Collison also argues that U.S. immigration policy, and restrictive housing policies in the San Francisco Bay Area, are imperiling Silicon Valley's ability to continually innovate in the future.
"The Handmaid's Tale" creator and showrunner Bruce Miller talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new adaptation of the dystopian Margaret Atwood novel, which recently debuted on Hulu. Miller discusses the aptness of the show's political themes, and why he's excited to tell stories beyond the ones explicitly laid out in Atwood's text. He also chats about the impact that tech companies like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have had on Hollywood, and weighs the benefits of TV's golden age against the risk that viewers might start to get impatient as they binge through high-quality content faster than it can be made.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about her new book, "Option B," which she wrote after the sudden death of her husband, entrepreneur Dave Goldberg. This latest book is more raw than her first, "Lean In," combining Sandberg's personal journal entries with research about all kinds of adversity, as explained by her co-author, psychologist Adam Grant. Sandberg explains what most people get wrong about grief and how to talk to those who are in mourning. She also calls for a reexamination of corporate and public policies around parental leave, health care and bereavement.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai talks with Recode's Tony Romm about his first three months on the job and what critics of his plan to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules get wrong. Pai says the FCC should be an apolitical agency that focuses on how to create the most "digital opportunity" for everyone and that preemptively regulating how ISPs compete with one another isn't appropriate. He also discusses his relationships with both Congress and Donald Trump, who he says has not meddled at all in the agency's decisions.
Stacey Mindich and Steven Levenson, the producer and book writer of "Dear Evan Hansen," talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the hit Broadway musical depicts the current state of social media and isolation. The show centers on a socially anxious teenager who tells a big lie about a dead classmate, and Levenson says it asks a question that's just as potent in the real world: Through the internet, can something fake turn into something real? Mindich talks about how the story of "Dear Evan Hansen" evolved to speak to multiple generations and how its creators have reached an ardent base of fans online, some of whose faces are now a literal part of the show. They also discuss the post-"Hamilton" era on Broadway, where technologically-minded events like "The Encounter" are rubbing shoulders with old-school live theater.
The creators and most of the cast of HBO's 'Silicon Valley' talk with Recode's Kara Swisher in this live interview, recorded in San Francisco after the premiere of the first two episodes of Season Four. Executive Producer Mike Judge talks about the challenge of staying relevant and topical when the show is written and filmed so far ahead of when it airs; star Thomas Middleditch, who plays Pied Piper founder Richard Hendricks, says the past year has made him apprehensive about privacy, data collection and social media algorithms; and costar Amanda Crew, who plays venture capitalist Monica Hall, talks about investing in real tech companies with female founders. Also: Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Dinesh Chugtai, begs for free Apple products.
Actor Matt Ross talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about playing Hooli CEO Gavin Belson on HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” which just started its fourth season. Ross, who previously played Alby Grant on “Big Love,” says he tries to make the antagonists he plays sympathetic and sincere, even in a goofy comedy like “Silicon Valley.” He also talks about his first film, “Captain Fantastic,” which was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, and the balance between tech companies and Hollywood, as Amazon and Netflix bid for top film and TV talent. That competition has been great for outsiders getting their stories told, but Ross wonders: What happens if the new money goes away?
Crowdpac CEO Steve Hilton talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about how his website is making it easier for anyone to explore running for office and to collect donations for political causes and campaigns. Hilton, a former advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, says the need to raise money “underpins a huge proportion of what’s wrong with politics,” and wants more diverse voices in the fray. A supporter of both Brexit and candidate Trump, he says the U.S. president needs to stop listening to Republicans in Congress and focus on “positive populism” — meaning solutions to the anxiety over jobs and the economic growth that helped Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
Congressman Ro Khanna talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and Tony Romm about why the people who have benefitted most from technology have a civic duty to give back to their country. Rep. Khanna's district, CA-17, covers several major Silicon Valley companies, including Apple, Intel, Yahoo and eBay, and he calls on the people creating "wealth and success" to help others succeed, including their own workers. Khanna argues that net neutrality is a major issue in need of more attention, and calls FCC chairman Ajit Pai "one of the worst picks possible in government" and a mouthpiece for the telecom industry. He also discusses immigration reform, the transition to "21st century jobs" and why President Trump's tweets are so effective.
Code2040 CEO and co-founder Laura Weidman Powers talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the mistakes employees and managers make when they talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Companies need to make fundamental changes to how they hire and operate to be welcoming destinations for underrepresented minorities, Weidman says. She discusses the inherent flaws in most "unconscious bias" training and what Code2040 has done differently when it partners with tech companies, finding jobs for hundreds of black and latino students over the past five years.
Spark Capital General Partner Bijan Sabet talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about being a venture capitalist based on the East Coast, and how he became an early investor in companies like Twitter, Tumblr and Cruise. Sabet also discusses why he has become more politically vocal under President Trump, and urges tech CEOs to follow the lead of their employees in speaking out; the answer on all sides, he says, is to let more voices be heard. Sabet also talks about the failure of the personal-drone company he backed, Lily; and the blunt truth about venture capital — even good VCs are wrong most of the time.
Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia talks with Recode's Kurt Wagner about how he and his team built a social network for neighborhoods, with a focus on trust and privacy that forced the company to grow slower than most tech startups. Tolia was previously the CEO of Epinions, which after a merger became Shopping.com and sold to eBay. After a sports startup called Fanbase fizzled, Tolia was challenged by Benchmark's Bill Gurley to try again, and today Nextdoor is worth more than $1 billion. Having faced adversity and a public image problem of his own, he also shares some leadership advice for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick: Deal with your issues quickly.