Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher

Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher

Australia

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.

Episodes

What tech can do about homelessness (Daniel Lurie, CEO, Tipping Point Community)  

Tipping Point Community CEO Daniel Lurie talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his organization's efforts to fight homelessness in San Francisco. He says it's all too easy to "not see" the incredible poverty and inequality in the Bay Area if you commute into Silicon Valley every day, which means people in tech must be educated about the problem if they're going to be part of the solution. Lurie calls on techies of means, the beneficiaries of "this incredible moment in time," to get involved in philanthropy. He argues that civic involvement won't last if it's mandated from the outside, and that companies must see it as a cultural priority, with the energy to help coming from the top of the org chart.

How HBO's 'Veep' is reacting to Trump (Live at SXSW)  

"Veep" actors Tim Simons and Matt Walsh and showrunner David Mandel talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about the upcoming sixth season of the HBO political satire. Speaking in front of a live audience at South by Southwest, they recount how they found out on set that Donald Trump had won the presidency, and why it's not their job to respond to the new administration directly. Instead, they say, "Veep" will continue mocking the hypocrisy at all levels of politics and on both sides of the aisle, showing what happens to Julia Louis-Dreyfus's character, Selina Meyer, after she loses the presidency and is a private citizen once again. The trio also talks about the addictiveness of Twitter, whether "Veep" would work in virtual reality, and why everyone in D.C. is oblivious when they get parodied.

Crooked Media founders: We're podcasting the Trump resistance (Live at SXSW)  

Crooked Media Founders Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor and Jon Lovett talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about their hit podcast, "Pod Save America," in a live interview at South by Southwest 2017. Having previously worked as speechwriters and spokespersons for the Obama administration, the trio discusses what Democrats missed during the 2016 election and how the new "opposition party" to Donald Trump can best focus its resistance. They explain how they run their "progressive media company," which cares more about impact than income, and why they're not excited by the prospect of a presidential run from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Who's buying whom in media and tech (Quincy Smith, partner, Code Advisors)  

Code Advisors Partner Quincy Smith talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the current state of mergers and acquisitions in tech and media. Smith, who previously worked at Netscape and CBS Interactive, says media companies consolidate in tough times, and a massive game of "sharks and minnows" has begun with AT&T's pending $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner. However, in a similar business climate, tech companies focus on their own products, and Smith argues that the rise of artificial intelligence is delaying or obviating the prospect of big new deals among internet and social media companies.

How to beat Amazon (Ron Johnson, CEO, Enjoy)  

Enjoy CEO Ron Johnson talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his long career in commerce, including 15 years at Target, and his 12 years at Apple, where he created the Apple Store. Johnson's current company Enjoy hand-delivers premium tech products and helps users with set-up to improve customer satisfaction. He argues that big retailers like Walmart need to innovate on the in-store experience and copy Amazon's approach to customer happiness and loyalty. Johnson also talks about working with longtime Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who initially hated the idea of the Genius Bar.

The internet must be preserved (Brewster Kahle, chairman, The Internet Archive)  

Entrepreneur and archivist Brewster Kahle talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the 20th anniversary of the Internet Archive and why it's more important than ever to preserve our digital past. Kahle talks about the companies he founded and sold to AOL and Amazon — WAIS and Alexa, respectively — and how the nonprofit Archive has dealt with everything from copyright issues to social networking websites that are walling themselves off from the rest of the web. He also predicts where artificial intelligence goes from here, saying today's corporations and militaries are a sort of "proto-AI."

How to make social media sane again (Sue Decker, Raftr founder, and Michael Dearing, investor)  

Former Yahoo president Sue Decker and investor Michael Dearing talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about Raftr, Decker's recently launched social platform for sane, civil discussions about topics ranging from sports to "Game of Thrones" to President Trump. Decker says the success of sites like Slack and Nextdoor has demonstrated that Facebook and Twitter are not the end-all be-all of social media and says Raftr will give people the opportunity to find new like-minded friends. Later in the show, the two talk about the journalistic responsibilities of tech companies in a world of "fake news." Dearing, the founder of venture capital firm Harrison Metal, says big platforms like Facebook can do the most good by shining a "flashlight" on hoaxers, rather than trying to write rules that disallow it.

Silicon Valley is 'an isolated bubble' (Jeremy Liew, partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners)  

Lightspeed Venture Partners' Jeremy Liew talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about being a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley at a time when the Valley no longer represents most tech consumers. Liew argues that startup founders are popping up all over because they're now making products for Middle America and the third world, not just Palo Alto and Brooklyn. He also discusses working at AOL after the notorious Time Warner merger, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel's crucial insights that enabled Snapchat's success, and why he's not too concerned about "four years of bad presidency."

Uber's looming 'existential crisis' (Brad Stone, author, 'The Upstarts’)  

Bloomberg Tech journalist Brad Stone talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his latest book, "The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World." Stone argues that the stories of Uber and Airbnb are intertwined tales of competition, disruption and regulatory drama, and that both companies have driven CEOs who have found tremendous success despite several early missteps. Stone calls self-driving cars an "existential crisis" for Uber, and also talks about the future of Amazon, which he wrote about in his previous book, "The Everything Store." Stone says Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos might have a business problem under President Trump, as Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post.

Countries that fear immigrants are killing innovation (Rolf Schrömgens, co-founder, Trivago)  

Trivago co-founder and Managing Director Rolf Schrömgens talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about starting a search engine for hotels and why he thinks much larger rivals like Google are at a disadvantage. Schrömgens says he expects the distinctions among hotels, Airbnb listings and other forms of temporary housing to collapse over time, and wants Trivago to be able to recommend the one ideal place for a user to stay, regardless of category. He also discusses why Germany has not developed a Silicon Valley-like tech scene and why anti-immigrant fervor in the U.S., U.K. and parts of Europe is only hurting those countries and leaving them open to startup-style disruption.

Facebook's News Feed is like junk food (Mike McCue, CEO, Flipboard)  

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the recent relaunch of his company's news app, which will mixes human curation with algorithms to serve up magazine-like collections of stories. McCue reflects on why one of his first employers, Netscape, failed to look past competition with Microsoft, and why he counsels startup CEOs to focus on more than just their "exit." He also makes the case for online news consumers to value human editors and real identities, as fake news and anonymous harassment have come to define Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

BONUS: 'Fun Home' author Alison Bechdel thought a fan was her Uber  

"Fun Home" author and "Dykes to Watch Out For" creator Alison Bechdel talks with Recode's Kara Swisher in front of a live audience in San Francisco shortly after a performance of the Tony Award-winning musical based on "Fun Home." Bechdel says the rise of social media after her hit book led to widespread acclaim, but also overexposure. The namesake of the "Bechdel Test," which evaluates movies based on the number and interactions of their female characters, Bechdel explains how Donald Trump motivated her to resurrect "Dykes to Watch Out For" and why she was comforted by the Women's March on Washington.

We need robots to take our jobs (John Markoff, ex-reporter, The New York Times)  

Technology journalist and former New York Times reporter John Markoff talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his nearly three-decade long career covering tech for the Times before retiring at the end of 2016. He reflects on why Steve Jobs was both a great and terrible person to interview and how science fiction books such as "Neuromancer," "Snow Crash" and "True Names" gave him a leg up on other reporters. Markoff says the most important issues facing the tech world today include the dangers of anonymity online; how scientific advances will make it easy to edit genes; and why roboticists need to focus on creating elder care robots.

How you get addicted to apps (Tristan Harris, founder, Time Well Spent)  

Time Well Spent founder Tristan Harris talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the persuasive techniques and tricks used by companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook to make people engage with them every day. Harris's movement wants tech companies to think more often about the ethics of their design decisions, and to value their users' attention. These design choices, Harris says, are often driven by the fundamental "background problem" of advertising, and he makes the case for an "organic food movement" for tech, where users could pay to be manipulated less.

Social media makes us miserable (Tim Ferriss, author, "Tools of Titans")  

"The 4-Hour Workweek" and "Tools of Titans" author Tim Ferriss talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his newest book, which compiles the life advice of the "titans" from tech, business and entertainment Ferriss has interviewed on his podcast, "The Tim Ferriss Show." He explains how forays into education, neuroscience, tech entrepreneurship and dietary supplements led him to become a self-help author, and what everyday people can learn from winners like investor Chris Sacca, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and actor BJ Novak. Ferriss also talks about why "voluntary suffering" is underrated and how ditching social media may make you happier.

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx: The exit interview  

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx talks to Recode's Johana Bhuyian about his last week in office and what he would do if given more time. In addition to self-driving car and drone regulations, Foxx said he would like to see more rail projects across the country, and discusses the feasibility of Elon Musk's Hyperloop concept, a privately funded high-speed rail alternative. Foxx also discusses President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to replace him, former Deputy Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, and why Congress needs to look closely at Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan.

You don't need to own all your clothes (Jennifer Hyman, CEO, Rent the Runway)  

Rent the Runway CEO and co-founder Jennifer Hyman talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and Jason Del Rey about her 50-year vision for changing consumer fashion habits. Now more than seven years old, Rent the Runway has six million female customers who rent designer clothes a la carte or three at a time via a $139 monthly subscription. Hyman also discusses the challenges she has faced as a female tech CEO, the most formidable of which emerged while building the company's culture. She says men and women alike are not taught to think of women's voices as inspirational, which makes everything from funding to laying people off more difficult.

Doctors should think like mechanics (Othman Laraki, CEO, Color)  

Color Genomics co-founder and CEO Othman Laraki talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about why we're on the verge of a healthcare revolution. Laraki, whose company tests buyers' genes for certain hereditary cancers, says the future of medicine will be defined by our ability to read data from our bodies. While most of that data used to be recorded on paper and stored at hospitals, now it's largely being generated and stored on our smartphones; he predicts that to achieve truly personalized medicine, we will need artificially intelligenct software that can comb this data, changing the role of doctors in the process.

Can social media bring us together again after ripping us apart? (Orkut Büyükkökten, Founder, Hello)  

Social networking pioneer Orkut Büyükkökten talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the eponymous social site, Orkut, which he built inside Google, and his new company, Hello. Büyükkökten says current social networks don't make it easy to meet new friends, and believes that Hello will introduce like-minded people to each other while encouraging them to be friendly and authentic. He also discusses why Orkut (the website) failed to catch on in the U.S. and why Hello is focusing initially on international markets such as Brazil and India.

Tom Friedman: The internet is an 'open sewer’  

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, "Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations." As technology and globalization get ever faster, Friedman says, humans should double down on the values, skills and behaviors that computers can't perform. Reacting to the rise of president-elect Trump, Friedman says "we’ve gone too far" in shaping policies to benefit people who have made poor life decisions, and calls for everyone to become more entrepreneurial. Friedman also discusses why he doesn't use Facebook or Twitter, and why the reactions of companies like Google and Facebook to fake news are "bullshit."

0:00/0:00
Video player is in betaClose