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 Trump means for tech (Hilary Rosen and Juleanna Glover, political consultants)  

Democratic political strategist Hilary Rosen and Republican corporate consultant Juleanna Glover talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about how Donald Trump's election to the presidency will affect the tech and media industries over the next four to eight years. They discuss which elements of the tech-forward Obama presidency are likely to be unwound and the role Democrats can play despite GOP control of all three branches of government. The trio also discusses emerging political issues like self-driving vehicles and encryption, and why, for Trump, the New York Times is still more important than Twitter.

Satirizing Silicon Valley: 'I wanted to hit a nerve,' says Sunil Rajaraman  

The Bold Italic CEO Sunil Rajaraman talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about "This Is Your Life in Silicon Valley," a series of satirical articles that went viral earlier this year. Rajaraman set out to shine a light on some harsh truths most techies won't discuss openly, and the surprise success of his pieces has him thinking about adapting them into a book. He also discusses starting and then being ousted as CEO of content marketing firm Scripted.com and how The Bold Italic is trying to preserve local journalism in San Francisco.

How Kayak co-founder Paul English got hit by a ‘truck full of money’  

Tracy Kidder and Paul English, the author and subject of "A Truck Full of Money: One Man's Quest to Recover From Great Success," talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about English's dual life as a tech entrepreneur and philanthropist. English co-founded Kayak and, after selling it to Priceline, started another travel company called Lola. For Kidder, "Truck" is a return to tech several decades after his seminal book "The Soul of a New Machine." They discuss the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, the future of technologies like artificial intelligence and whether some forms of mental illness can be good for a tech CEO.

U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil: Data can help everyone  

DJ Patil, America's first Chief Data Scientist, talks about his nearly two years in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, working on initiatives around health care and policing. Patil grew up in Silicon Valley, and has worked at Skype, LinkedIn and eBay; he says that techies in the private sector should consider a "tour of duty" in the government to be one of their civic duties. He says opening up the vast amounts of data collected by government agencies can make everyone better-off — as long as personal data like health records can be properly secured.

How does tech fix its diversity problem?  

On this special bonus episode of Recode Decode, we look back at our past guests' most insightful comments about diversity in tech and media. Interviewees including Chamath Palihapitiya, Samantha Bee and Dick Costolo explain why discrimination based on sex, age and ethnicity are so common, and what might be done to fix the problem. You can find the full interviews excerpted in this show at Recode.net/Podcasts or in the podcast feeds for Recode Decode and Recode Media.

Foursquare wants to make 'Her' a reality (Dennis Crowley and Jeff Glueck, co-founder and CEO, Foursquare)  

Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley and CEO Jeff Glueck talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the location intelligence company is generating sellable data for partners like Apple, Uber and Twitter based on its users' check-ins. Glueck, who took over as CEO for Crowley in January 2015, compares the company's new business model to "Robin Hood" because it simultaneously helps small businesses and charges the big ones. The two also discuss where they'd like to see location tech go, including the idea of a talking virtual assistant — similar to Scarlett Johansson's character Samantha from the movie "Her" — that speaks to you like a friend and recommends new places to go.

How Time Warner ruined AOL (Ted Leonsis, Founder, Revolution Growth)  

Revolution Growth founder and partner Ted Leonsis talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about being a longtime executive at AOL and how the company changed dramatically when it merged with Time Warner in 2000. Leonsis says AOL correctly anticipated the social nature of the internet, but left several windows open for Google to beat it at its own game. After the merger, it had to turn its energies toward defending Time Warner's legacy businesses and missed still more opportunities. He also discusses his majority ownership of several sports teams, including the NBA's Washington Wizards and the NHL's Washington Capitals, and why he thinks Vice's cable channel Viceland is "the biggest con ever."

'Mr. Robot' creator Sam Esmail: Hackers are more interesting than hacking  

"Mr. Robot" creator Sam Esmail talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his hit TV show, whose star Rami Malek recently won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a drama. Esmail says he grew up loving both movies and technology, and was disappointed by Hollywood's seeming inability to portray hackers in TV shows and movies authentically. The secret to the success of 'Mr. Robot,' he says, is that he's more interested in the complex humanity of both the characters and the people who make technology, rather than the tech itself. He also discusses how platforms like Netflix and Amazon have shaped his line of work and explains why he's interested in working in several mediums, such as video games and virtual reality, simultaneously.

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker: How to stop AI from stealing jobs  

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about cooperation between government and the tech industry and the new challenges of the digital economy. Secretary Pritzker says artificial intelligence will upend many jobs, but the solution is to focus on retraining workers for new industries like cybersecurity, where American companies have hundreds of thousands of open positions. She also explains the recent battle over the Commerce Department's oversight of the internet and why handing over that oversight to the international nonprofit ICANN was the best way to protect the open web.

Why Ashton Kutcher didn't invest in Snapchat  

Actor, producer and investor Ashton Kutcher talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his life as both a TV star and a tech obsessive. Kutcher, who starred in shows like "Two and a Half Men" and "That '70s Show," has invested over the past five years in companies like Uber, Airbnb and Square. But he passed on Snapchat — twice — because he hated the app's design and feared what would happen when it got hacked. He's currently starring in the Netflix sitcom "The Ranch," and says denying the rise of digital media platforms in Hollywood is like denying climate change.

'Iron Man' director Jon Favreau on pushing virtual reality to the limit  

Jon Favreau, the actor and director known for films such as "Swingers," "Iron Man" and "The Jungle Book," talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new efforts in virtual reality, starting with the interactive short film "Gnomes & Goblins." Favreau says that VR is a powerful artists' tool, but advances in digital filmmaking won't replace actors, or the need for fundamental storytelling skills. He hopes to use virtual reality to create powerful connections between the viewer and virtual characters, and explains how other tech trends like Netflix have changed Hollywood forever.

'The Late Late Show' host James Corden hates 'the cloud'  

James Corden, host of "The Late Late Show" on CBS and viral video star, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about redesigning a talk show for the YouTube generation, built around segments like "Carpool Karaoke." Corden has a complicated relationship with technology, and worries that the internet's appearance of freedom of choice is making us all more narrow-minded. He also chats about encounters with drones and social media bullies and why he thinks the technology industry is misleading the public by using the term "the cloud."

Stop saying "good guy" in the boardroom (Aileen Lee, managing partner, Cowboy Ventures)  

Cowboy Ventures founder and managing partner Aileen Lee, previously a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about being one of the few female venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. After leaving Kleiner Perkins in 2012, Lee set out to amass data about the small percentage of startups that become breakout success stories, and she coined the term "unicorn" to describe the small fraction that would be valued at more than $1 billion. She says entrepreneurs today have to be tougher now that investors' fervor has cooled off, and says those investors will have to change, too, by becoming more diverse.

How Uber fought city hall — and won (Bradley Tusk, CEO, Tusk Holdings)  

Tusk Holdings CEO Bradley Tusk talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his unique political consulting firm Tusk Ventures, which trades equity in companies like Uber, FanDuel and DraftKings for regulatory guidance. Tusk previously worked for former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and explains in detail how Uber undermined the city's current mayor, Bill de Blasio, with a series of blistering attacks last year. He also talks about the tech challenges facing America's next president, including autonomous driving, drone regulation and how sharing-economy workers are classified.

Google and Apple need limits (Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, European Commission)  

In this special bonus episode, Margrethe Vestager, Europe's Commissioner for Competition, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the high-profile cases she has brought against Apple and Google for alleged unfair tax breaks and antitrust violations, respectively. Vestager says "there is a limit to everything," including the assistance successful companies should get from the government, and their access to consumers' data. She rejects President Obama's past allegation of European regulators singling out American companies, and explains why Silicon Valley should be put under the microscope.

Behind the scenes of Pokémon Go (John Hanke, CEO, Niantic)  

Niantic CEO John Hanke talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and Ina Fried about the company's hit mobile game Pokémon Go and what happens now that the initial hype around it has "stabilized." Future updates to the game will include new types of Pokémon, trading with other players and possibly battling with your friends. Hanke also reflects on his first company Keyhole, which was bought by Google and became Google Earth, and why augmented reality is a more important technology than virtual reality.

Benchmark partner Bill Gurley: Too much money is my biggest problem  

Benchmark general partner Bill Gurley talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about life as a venture capitalist and why he's still worried about a bubble, a topic he has written about extensively. Great entrepreneurs could raise money at any time, Gurley argues, but when funding is easy to come by, it invites in entitled and less talented startup founders, as well as unwanted government regulation. He also discusses sitting on the board of Uber, challenges faced by its CEO, Travis Kalanick, and why the ridesharing company is unlikely to go public "any time in the near future."

Why everyone should talk about diversity (Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO, TaskRabbit)  

TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot chats with Recode's Kara Swisher about how her company and others are changing the definition of work. During her previous stint as TaskRabbit's COO, Brown-Philpot oversaw a major shift in how the company defines itself and made its service far more reliable, at the cost of a yearlong restructuring and employee layoffs. She discusses what's next for the sharing economy and why consolidation may be ahead. Brown-Philpot also talks about being one of the few black female CEOs in tech, and what can be done at all levels of a company to improve the diversity conversation.

Quip CEO Bret Taylor: Companies die when they're afraid to fail  

Quip CEO and Twitter board member Bret Taylor talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and Kurt Wagner about the reality of trying and sometimes failing as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. A former Facebook CTO, he reflects on how Mark Zuckerberg's company culture balanced good execution with a willingness to fail. Taylor also discusses Quip's $750 million acquisition by Salesforce, how Twitter is responding to abuse and why so many Silicon Valley companies have trouble with diversity.

Disrupting health and beauty (Tristan Walker, CEO, Walker & Company)  

Walker & Company Brands founder and CEO Tristan Walker talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how technology can disrupt the health and beauty industry. Walker & Company's shaving brand, Bevel, is aimed at people of color who are underserved by the big cosmetics companies, and Walker says he plans to focus even more on personalized products those competitors can't deliver. An alumnus of Twitter, Foursquare and Andreessen Horowitz, he also discusses his problems with tech companies' "culture fit," and why those who say they can't find talented black and Latino tech workers are spouting "complete bullshit."

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