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

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."

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman: A 'toxic minority' ruins social media for everyone  

Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about why he covertly edited the posts of some Donald Trump supporters, and why he regrets it now. Huffman acknowledges his editing, which he conceived as a prank but many users saw as censorship, sowed distrust among the Reddit community that the company will have to win back. He also talks about the how Reddit is trying to combat harassment more generally, the role social media played in the election and why he believes Donald Trump would have still beaten Hillary Clinton without any "bigotry [or] nastiness."

Wearables can save your life (Vic Gundotra, CEO, AliveCor)  

AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his long career in tech, including his start as a college dropout at Microsoft and his seven years leading Google's mobile and social efforts. His current company helps consumers monitor their heart health via a portable EKG device that talks to their smartphones, and Gundotra says the potential of wearables and deep learning for healthcare is just starting to be unlocked. However, he calls the collapse of Theranos "an unmitigated disaster" for health tech, as it affects the opinions of both investors and consumers. Gundotra also discusses the Silicon Valley bubble and why he believes techies need to extend an olive branch to President-elect Trump and his supporters.

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.

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