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Recode Decode

Updated 13 days ago

Business
News & Politics
Technology
Business News
Tech News
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Kara Swisher, Silicon Valley’s most revered journalist, hosts candid interviews with tech execs, politicians, celebrities and more about their big ideas and how they’re changing our world. Produced by Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

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Kara Swisher, Silicon Valley’s most revered journalist, hosts candid interviews with tech execs, politicians, celebrities and more about their big ideas and how they’re changing our world. Produced by Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

iTunes Ratings

1629 Ratings
Average Ratings
1026
165
112
94
232

Too much interrupting

By grara1872 - Aug 09 2019
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Just listened to the interview with author Taffy Brodesser-Akner and could barely focus on the guest because Swisher kept interrupting-if not with her own thoughts or clarifications than with “uhums” and “yeps”. Really uncomfortable listening and took away from the otherwise interesting commentary of the guest.

Great variety of interviewees. Great podcast.

By AriReed - Jul 08 2019
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Always interesting, provocative and educational. Kara Swisher is a talented and well-prepared host.

iTunes Ratings

1629 Ratings
Average Ratings
1026
165
112
94
232

Too much interrupting

By grara1872 - Aug 09 2019
Read more
Just listened to the interview with author Taffy Brodesser-Akner and could barely focus on the guest because Swisher kept interrupting-if not with her own thoughts or clarifications than with “uhums” and “yeps”. Really uncomfortable listening and took away from the otherwise interesting commentary of the guest.

Great variety of interviewees. Great podcast.

By AriReed - Jul 08 2019
Read more
Always interesting, provocative and educational. Kara Swisher is a talented and well-prepared host.
Cover image of Recode Decode

Recode Decode

Updated 13 days ago

Read more

Kara Swisher, Silicon Valley’s most revered journalist, hosts candid interviews with tech execs, politicians, celebrities and more about their big ideas and how they’re changing our world. Produced by Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Rank #1: Elon Musk on Tesla’s crazy year, dying on Mars and taking Saudi money

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about Tesla's turbulent 2018, when SpaceX will send its first rocket to Mars, why he fights with journalists on Twitter and much more. In this episode: (01:49) Using Twitter without a filter; (04:50) Picking fights with the press; (07:59) The “excruciating” year of 2018; (10:54) Why does Musk push himself so hard?; (13:49) The toll on him and Tesla’s employees; (16:52) Self-inflicted wounds and sleep deprivation; (21:44) Tesla’s first profitable quarter in two years; (23:35) Self-driving cars; (25:38) Government regulation; (29:13) Tesla’s competitors; (33:30) Why Tesla is not going private after all; (36:31) The Tesla Semi, pickup truck and other new products; (45:10) SpaceX and dying on Mars; (49:48) Donald Trump’s Space Force and colonizing beyond Earth; (51:49) Going to Mars; (55:06) Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin and Amazon; (57:03) The Boring Company, dad jokes and drilling technology; (1:05:55) Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi investors and techlash; (1:11:05) How is Musk feeling about the future?; (1:15:38) If he got one redo on something from 2018, what would he redo?; (1:16:43) Why Tesla won't make a scooter
Nov 02 2018
1 hour 20 mins
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Rank #2: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: The Kara Swisher interview

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about a litany of issues, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal and why Infowars and other conspiracy theorists, like Holocaust deniers, don't get kicked off Facebook. He says he believes over-regulating tech companies is dangerous because it could advantage Chinese firms that don’t share Americans’ commitment to freedom of expression. Zuckerberg also talks about how he thinks VR and AR will change the future of work, explains why his 2017 tour of the U.S. was not a political campaign and says that if anyone should be fired for Facebook's recent privacy stumbles, "It should be me." However, he declines to fire himself, instead committing to an audit of all the other companies like Cambridge Analytica that had access to the most user data.
Jul 18 2018
1 hour 22 mins
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Rank #3: Google is God, Facebook is love and Amazon will be worth $1 trillion (Scott Galloway, founder, L2)

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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.
Jun 12 2017
58 mins
Play

Rank #4: BONUS: Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom in 2017

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Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are resigning from the company, six years after Facebook bought it for $1 billion. Recode reports that they had grown "increasingly frustrated and agitated with [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg and Facebook’s increased influence over the app." Here's a bonus episode of Recode Decode — Kara Swisher's interview with then-CEO Systrom from June 2017 — in which he talks at length about why he and Krieger did not leave soon after the acquisition. The episode's original summary is below...

***

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.
Sep 25 2018
1 hour 4 mins
Play

Rank #5: Stanford University's Larry Diamond on Russia, China, and the "new Cold War"

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Larry Diamond, a professor at Stanford University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency.

In this episode:
Diamond’s background studying the development and failure of democracies; authoritarian regimes and the internet; why the book is called “Ill Winds”; the right-wing populist backlash across Europe; the deeper frustrations underneath anti-immigration sentiment; why Hillary Clinton lost the electoral college; how Russia, the "fallen superpower," is intervening in elections around the world; Mitch McConnell's obstinacy; "pretty close to treason"; the "risk of sliding into a new Cold War"; why China is the bigger threat in the long term; its tight control of Chinese citizens and companies; how will its rise affect US policy?; how China's people will react when the prosperity stops; declining American investment in R&D "sleepwalking into the future"; how two-party politics have paralyzed the US; Diamond's proposed solution, ranked-choice voting; the danger of online voting; and the fight against gerrymandering, voter suppression, and polarization.

Came here from The Bill Simmons Podcast?
We rounded up a few favorite episodes we think fans of The Ringer will enjoy. Take a look!

Follow us
Kara Swisher (@karaswisher), host
Larry Diamond (@LarryDiamond), guest
Erica Anderson (@EricaAmerica), executive producer
Eric Johnson (@HeyHeyESJ), producer

More to explore

If you haven't already, subscribe to Recode Decode
Subscribe to Recode's other podcasts: Recode Media, Pivot, and Land of the Giants
Aug 07 2019
57 mins
Play

Rank #6: How to beat Amazon (Ron Johnson, CEO, Enjoy)

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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.
Mar 06 2017
1 hour 7 mins
Play

Rank #7: Social media makes us miserable (Tim Ferriss, author, "Tools of Titans")

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"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.
Jan 23 2017
1 hour 8 mins
Play

Rank #8: Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, Apple Music

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Kara Swisher interviews Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, Lauren Goode talks about Apple Music and more.
Jul 08 2015
52 mins
Play

Rank #9: Bitcoin is just getting started (Megan Quinn, general partner, Spark Capital)

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Spark Capital General Partner Megan Quinn talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and The Verge's Casey Newton about the evolving balance between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Quinn, an investor in the cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase, explains why she believes digital currencies like bitcoin are here to stay and what needs to happen before we start treating them like real money. She recounts how she got promoted to become Square's director of product two weeks after joining the company in a different role and how Kleiner Perkins investor Mary Meeker inspired her to become a venture capitalist. Plus: Why HR is "one of the most critical and difficult roles to hire at any company."
Dec 20 2017
1 hour 25 mins
Play

Rank #10: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism

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Vox.com founder and editor-at-large Ezra Klein talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the press, social media and President Trump in this live interview recorded in San Francisco. In this episode: (03:22) Why Ezra moved to DC; (07:22) Klein’s background and the “incestuous” Twitter culture of political journalists; (11:38) Media culture in the Trump era; (13:15) How DC has changed and “docile” journalists; (21:55) Ezra’s thesis about tech, media and Trump; (27:06) Media manipulation and the speed of journalism; (36:47) Ezra and Kara’s podcasts and how they report stories; (43:20) Social media and the decline of scoops; (49:22) Hot takes and the overabundance of political opinions; (58:57) The process of the news vs. the product and the future of local news; (1:05:06) Young journalists “training up” from the statehouse; (1:08:43) Bias in media, false equivalency and letting Trump control the story; (1:12:22) How journalists decide newsworthiness; (1:16:33) The pressure to cover trashy stories; (1:19:21) What is the purpose of political journalists now?; (1:22:39) Why Kara doesn’t care what people think of her; (1:24:12) Donald Trump’s tweets and the future of politics; (1:29:54) Ezra’s favorite journalism business model Notes from our sponsors:LEGO: In today's show you heard advertising content from The LEGO Store. With LEGO, every gift has a story. Start your story today at https://LEGO.build/Recode-Pop
Dec 12 2018
1 hour 34 mins
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Rank #11: How to fix your company's culture (Patty McCord, author, "Powerful")

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Patty McCord, the former chief talent officer at Netflix and author of that company's famous "culture deck," talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about her new book, "Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility." McCord recalls how CEO Reed Hastings convinced her to work at Netflix and how they developed the principles of the company's culture over many years — which Hastings unilaterally published online, generating millions of downloads. She also talks about the common mistakes companies make when hiring and firing, why coddling employees with Google-style perks is overrated and how businesses can make lasting change in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement.
Jan 08 2018
1 hour 7 mins
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Rank #12: Sam Harris on religion, politics, and making "enemies" online.

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Writer and podcaster Sam Harris talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his views on Islam, social media, and President Trump.

In this episode: Harris’ background; why he wrote his first book; the controversy around his books about religion and why Harris didn’t initially call himself an “atheist"; Islamophobia and Harris’ enemies; Christopher Hitchens and the performance of public debate; identity politics; feminism and hijabs; white supremacists online; the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and New Zealand; the Trump effect; Should Jack Dorsey delete Twitter?; Harris and Swisher’s Twitter history; free speech online; what should tech companies do and what should be done to them?; the “moral panic” side of #MeToo; and keeping focused on the right problems.
May 08 2019
1 hour 42 mins
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Rank #13: Venture capital is headed for a ‘huge, rude awakening' (Chamath Palihapitiya, CEO, Social Capital)

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Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the future of capitalism and investing, which he says will look less and less like traditional venture capital, as firms like his embed themselves at a deep operational level in their companies. Palihapitiya also discusses why investors delude themselves into believing their own bravado, what he thinks of James Damore's Google memo and why Silicon Valley needs to deal with more than just the "low-hanging fruit" of sexual harassment. He evaluates the biggest tech companies of today — including Twitter, Amazon and Facebook — and predicts that the new CEO of Uber will have one of the most important jobs in the country.
Aug 28 2017
1 hour 16 mins
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Rank #14: A 'magical formula' for better decision-making (Ray Dalio, author, 'Principles: Life and Work')

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Ray Dalio, the founder of the world's largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, "Principles: Life and Work." In it, he lays out how he makes smarter decisions based on clearly articulated criteria and how that process has worked on a massive scale at Bridgewater, which Dalio describes as an "idea meritocracy." At the controversial hedge fund, every conversation is recorded for anyone to consult, and every decision is compared against the employees' transparent histories of successes and defeats. Dalio also talks about why independent thinking is the most important principle, how tech companies can apply Bridgewater's formula and why the biggest issue facing America may be the fragmentation between the top 40 percent of the economy and bottom 60 percent: Perfect breeding grounds for a populist president like Donald Trump.
Nov 06 2017
1 hour 6 mins
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Rank #15: John Carreyrou on lies and 'Bad Blood' at Theranos

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Wall Street Journal investigative reporter John Carreyrou talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup." Carreyrou explains how Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes' company raised nearly $1 billion for blood-testing products that sounded too good to be true — and they were. Holmes idolized former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and sought to make Theranos out to be the next great Silicon Valley success story, but most of her larger investors were not experienced in either technology or medicine, and people who did raise red flags were pushed aside. Carreyrou says "Bad Blood," which will be adapted into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes, is a "cautionary tale" about entrepreneurship, ambition and hubris, and predicts that the company's top executives will be indicted for the cover-up.
May 21 2018
1 hour 6 mins
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Rank #16: Why Ashton Kutcher didn't invest in Snapchat

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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.
Oct 17 2016
59 mins
Play

Rank #17: Why Silicon Valley loves "biohacking" and intermittent fasting

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Inspired by the trendiness of intermittent fasting in the tech community, Kara Swisher's executive producer, Erica Anderson, talks with three eating habit experts — a biohacker, an academic, and an eating disorder specialist.

In this episode:
HVMN CEO Geoff Woo on the culture of body optimization, the mainstreaming of biohacking, and how humans are "approaching God"; aging and nutrition expert Dr. Valter Longo on the origins of biohacking, the science behind intermittent fasting, and the problem with Silicon Valley's interpretations of the practice; and the executive director of the National Easting Disorder Association, Claire Mysko, on the line between eccentric diets and disorders, the wellness industry, and what to do if someone you know needs help.

Follow us
Kara Swisher (@karaswisher), host
Geoff Woo (@geoffreywoo), guest
Claire Mysko (@clairemysko), guest
Erica Anderson (@EricaAmerica), executive producer
Eric Johnson (@HeyHeyESJ), producer

More to explore

If you haven't already, subscribe to Recode Decode
Subscribe to Recode's other podcasts: Recode Media, Pivot, and Land of the Giants
Aug 12 2019
56 mins
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Rank #18: Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures Partner

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Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wenger talks with Peter Kafka about being an investor at a time of bubble anxiety and political debate about the trade-off between privacy and security. He argues that tech companies and the government should work together, and also discusses the growing class of mission-driven "benefit corporations."
Jan 07 2016
35 mins
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Rank #19: Elon Musk was once like you (Daniel Gross, partner, Y Combinator)

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Y Combinator Partner Daniel Gross talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and The Verge's Casey Newton about why he returned to the startup incubator that gave him his start in Silicon Valley. Gross co-founded the personal search engine Cue, which Apple bought in 2013 for a reported $35 million and integrated into iOS. Hailing from Jerusalem, Israel originally, he says YC is vitally important for bringing new outsider voices into the highly-networked tech industry and explains why it's important to remind those founders that success is a gradual, humbling process. Gross also talks about the promise of continued investment in artificial intelligence, why it's not a bad thing that "AI" has become a buzzword and what worries him about the algorithms on platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
Dec 06 2017
1 hour 7 mins
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Rank #20: Chamath Palihapitiya: People in Silicon Valley are deeply unhappy

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Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher and Teddy Schleifer about an “identity crisis” that pitted his wealth and fame against personal happiness and relationships.

In this episode: Social Capital’s attempts to disrupt venture capital;  Palihapitiya’s “identity crisis” and search for happiness; nonwhite people aren’t allowed to appear crazy; “to all the people that worked for me ... you’re fucking welcome”; why Silicon Valley has never been unhappier; the lack of heroes and values in modern society; the uneasy balance between a business' mission and its profits; disarming the concept of mental health; why Palihapitiya isn’t a fan of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; why the startup world is a “ponzi scheme”; what entrepreneurs need to ask prospective investors to avoid getting fleeced; the looming debt crisis; the five areas he would invest in now; and the current state of Social Capital.

Thanks to Microsoft Azure for sponsoring this episode. Get started with a free account and 12 months of popular free services at Azure.com/trial today.
Mar 04 2019
1 hour 9 mins
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