Ultraviolet Keynote: Embracing Accountability a Conversation with Kara Swisher

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This is a podcast episode titled, Ultraviolet Keynote: Embracing Accountability a Conversation with Kara Swisher. The summary for this episode is: <p>Kara Swisher, a contributing writer to the <em>New York Times</em> Opinion section and podcast host for Sway and Pivot, is described as Silicon Valley's "most powerful tech journalist.” Holly Enneking, Vice President of Marketing at Lev, leads a conversation with Kara about accountability -- both for Big Tech leaders and everyday digital marketers -- as well as being unapologetically yourself.</p><p><br></p><p>Conversation topics include: </p><ul><li>The Reckoning in tech, and how leaders can best manage their communication platforms and systems</li><li>Preserving online privacy, data ickiness, and how we should be thinking about cyber attacks</li><li>The Metaverse, vaporware, Twitter, and Elon Musk</li><li>Representation and innovation in the tech industry</li><li>Kara's thoughts on her career, on respecting audiences, and advice for female journalists</li></ul><p><br></p>
👩‍💻 How Kara got into the tech space, her background in journalism
01:25 MIN
💥 On being "the most feared woman in tech"
01:07 MIN
🔥 The Reckoning happening in tech
00:53 MIN
✨ Kara's advice for leaders managing communication platforms and systems they've created
02:34 MIN
🙌 How marketers can manage lack of tech regulation
01:30 MIN
🤢 Data ickiness and how Kara thinks about preserving online privacy
02:04 MIN
👾 How should we be thinking about cyberattacks, and are we too late to protect ourselves?
01:37 MIN
😟 Being digitally tracked at an unprecedented rate
01:18 MIN
💻 The Metaverse and Vaporware
02:03 MIN
🎢 Elon Musk, Twitter, and the news rollercoaster
03:41 MIN
👑 Kara's thoughts on the lack of women in the tech space
02:08 MIN
Why autonomous driving freeing up drivers will provide more of a train-like travel experience and opportunities for marketers to reach them in transit
01:35 MIN
🎙 Opportunities for innovation in advertising on podcasting
03:35 MIN
📺 Trying to reach audiences where they are, and the evolution of platforms including television
03:56 MIN
💜 Respect and loyalty to an audience builds trust
01:56 MIN
💪 Kara on confidence
05:18 MIN
💥 The importance of adaptability in the face of constant change, and leaving unhappy experiences
01:35 MIN

Bobby Tichy: Have you ever read The New York Times?

Cole Fisher: Sure. I mean, I've not sat down with a physical paper, gone end- to-end, but sure. NYT comes across the wire all the time.

Bobby Tichy: I was really expecting-

Cole Fisher: And that-

Bobby Tichy: ... you to say, every Saturday morning when you got your flip- flops with your socks on, and you sit in the back porch, and you got your New York Times that-

Cole Fisher: Got my robe.

Bobby Tichy: Oh, I could see that.

Cole Fisher: Yeah, my robe, the coffee that I don't drink.

Bobby Tichy: You seem like a robe guy.

Cole Fisher: Yeah, no, I don't get dressed for the occasion of not getting dressed. Robes are not my thing. I bet I could see-

Bobby Tichy: You don't get dressed.

Cole Fisher: ... youspending 12 hours a day in a robe though.

Bobby Tichy: Hold on. No, the way you just said that, I feel like you've thought about that phrase before. " I don't get dressed..." Say it again.

Cole Fisher: I don't know. What did I say? For the occasion of not actually getting dressed?

Bobby Tichy: Yes, yes.

Cole Fisher: That's all a robe is. It's like you're putting clothes on but not actually taking the commitment of getting dressed yet, if that makes sense.

Bobby Tichy: You have these great little anecdotes. You should really...

Cole Fisher: What, be on a podcast?

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, be on a podcast, maybe start a column.

Cole Fisher: You think so, yeah?

Bobby Tichy: Maybe for a publication. Not a big publication. Maybe one that's mid- tier, like The New York Times.

Cole Fisher: Yeah.

Bobby Tichy: You don't want to-

Cole Fisher: Some kind of a small startup hub like that, that I can get a hold of. Maybe-

Bobby Tichy: You don't want to go too big, too fast.

Cole Fisher: Maybe Holly Enneking knows somebody there.

Bobby Tichy: It's so funny that you mention that. As we continue our Ultraviolet series, Holly, our VP of Marketing, interviewed Kara Swisher, a contributor writer to The New York Times Opinion section. She might... Maybe we should just reach out to Kara, see if we can get you on there. It's in the Opinion section, so that could be the start, like, " Hey, here are all my opinions and all the anecdotes I have."

Cole Fisher: Here's my first opinion. Bathrobes, yay or nay?

Bobby Tichy: I think it's a nay. I don't think so.

Cole Fisher: It's a nay for me. It's been a long time since we nixed a piece of clothing from the general fashion world's repertoire, probably since elastic bottom knickerbockers. It's time that the robe also found the trash.

Bobby Tichy: Well, if there's two people on this earth qualified to be talking about fashion, it's definitely you and I, so let's continue down this path. What else should we-

Cole Fisher: Really.

Bobby Tichy: What else should we dispel from people's wardrobes?

Cole Fisher: Oh, I'm first and foremost robe. You probably differ here, but is it time that in terms of the footwear world, UGGs and Crocks made their way out, or are those coming back in? I'm seeing more Crocks than I used to.

Bobby Tichy: Oh, I don't know. Get out of here.

Cole Fisher: I knew you were going to oppose this, because it's a good idea, that's why.

Bobby Tichy: I like UGGs. I like UGGs, but Crocks I could not be less of a fan of.

Cole Fisher: UGGs as in the original UGGs, like the fur boots?

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, yeah.

Cole Fisher: You wear those?

Bobby Tichy: Oh, no. I don't wear them.

Cole Fisher: I was hoping you'd say yes, because I would love to see that.

Bobby Tichy: Wouldn't it be great if I just lifted up my shoe, and it's 90 degrees out here right now, but I'm wearing UGG boots?

Cole Fisher: You in UGGs, in a fur robe. I can picture that.

Bobby Tichy: I think that should be the new logo for the podcast. Oh, man. All right. Well, like I said, in this session, Holly sat down with Kara. For those of you who don't know Kara, in addition to being a contributor writer for The New York Times, she also hosts a couple of podcasts, Sway and Pivot. They might be slightly more popular than this one, only slightly, but we would not recommend you leaving this podcast to go listen to those. This one is going to be much better. You're going to like it a lot more.

Cole Fisher: Definitely, because we talk about theirs. That's how you know it's better.

Bobby Tichy: Exactly. Pivot has been... Oh, no. I'm sorry. Kara has been described as one of Silicon Valley's... Oh, no. As the most powerful tech journalist. How do you get that title?

Cole Fisher: Well, that's obviously because I haven't started writing about bathrobes yet.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. I think these are kind of self- titles. We could become fashion gurus, like the fashion gurus-

Cole Fisher: Become fashion gurus?

Bobby Tichy: ...by being cool.

Cole Fisher: I just did become a fashion guru. I'm telling you, the bath robe movement's going to happen.

Bobby Tichy: In a more serious note, the conversation does have a serious tone to it about accountability, so for big tech, mostly for leaders, and then also everyday digital marketers, as well as how to just be yourself and how to strike a balance between those two things. We hope you enjoy. We'll be back for Completely Unrelated.

Holly Enneking: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to Ultraviolet. I am Holly Enneking, vice president of marketing here at Lev. I'm so excited to be kicking things off for day two. Today is going to be another really exciting day of content, and I'm excited to kick things off with Kara Swisher. Kara is a contributing editor to The New York Times Opinion section, and host of the podcast Sway and Pivot. She also co- founded the Recode website, and before that co- founded allthingsd.com, a website for The Wall Street Journal. Previously, she's covered breaking news about the internet's major players and internet policy issues, and wrote feature articles on technology for the paper. Kara, thank you so much for joining us today.

Kara Swisher: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, it's so wonderful to have you. Yeah, so I'd love to just start first with, give us a little background. How did you get into this tech space and reporting with, in big tech, internet, all of these interesting topics that you've covered over the course of your career?

Kara Swisher: Well, I've been doing it for almost 30 years, so it was a long time ago. I had been covering, excuse me, I'd been covering a lot of different topics at The Washington Post. I started off there in the mail room, and worked my way up. I also went to Columbia journalism school in between all that. I'd covered a range of things like retail, and workplace issues, and things like that. I had a semester at Duke University where I was a teaching fellow. Washington Post cycled people through there. I started to really get interested in the early internet, which was very early. People were using FTP, all kinds of stuff. When I saw the Netscape browser for the first time, I was like, " This is going to change everything," this idea of linking, these blue links, and being able to get any piece of information. Because early internet was like watching... There was one computer lab, I forget where it was, I think in Boston, where they watched coffee being made and things like that. That seemed silly at the time, but if you had any imagination, you could see that everything would be digitized that could be digitized, so I got really interested and covered it for the Post. Wrote a couple of books on the AOL, who happened to be in DC. Then moved to the Journal, covered the early internet there, and then moved on to lots of other things that I did.

Holly Enneking: That's amazing. I'm so fascinated, because over the course of your career, I often see titles for you like the most powerful, the most influential.

Kara Swisher: It's stupid.

Holly Enneking: There's one that I saw an interview where the person asked you about being the most feared woman in tech. You had the best response, which was that-

Kara Swisher: It's so inaudible

Holly Enneking: ... "Fear is ajust word that men use for women who ask questions." I just thought that was such a smart take.

Kara Swisher: Yeah, that's about it. Yeah, it's so silly. I'm not feared. For what? They're the richest and most powerful people in the world. I don't feel like I should be feared. I ask questions, really, truly. It's a little media hype and stuff like that. I just think there's a lot of amazing reporters now covering tech. I think the issue was, when I started, a lot of people who covered tech were fanboys, essentially. " My goodness, Mr. Gates, how big is your brain?" kind of thing. They were very interested in the gadgets, and more than anything, and so they tended to revere these people. I just look at them as a business and a money- making business. I didn't buy into their tropes about changing the world or anything else. I just thought they were businesses and covered them that way. I was a business reporter, so I thought it was best to do it that way.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, no, I love that approach. I actually want to take us back a little bit to 2019. You wrote this manifesto, The Reckoning, which was so fascinating. In it, you talked about how Silicon Valley and big tech were in for this reckoning, or as you summarized it, karma's a bitch and that they needed to confront some of this monster that they've created in some ways. Then 2020 happened and the pandemic and I feel like digital became even more central in all of our lives.

Kara Swisher: Necessary.

Holly Enneking: Do feel like there was an opportunity missed for that reckoning opportunity?

Kara Swisher: No.

Holly Enneking: What's your reaction?

Kara Swisher: The reckoning is happening. It's just slower. I think, another column I wrote was that once I saw COVID appear, I think in March of 2020, I wrote a column saying, " Tech will be more powerful than ever because it's necessary." There's no way to have a pandemic economy without relying heavily on digital, and so I said... At the time, their stocks were down a little bit because of a lot of these investigations, et cetera. I said, " Well, now that's over because nobody can focus on that, because the pandemic will take center stage and tech will take center stage in terms of being able to work from home, or education, or things like that." It didn't put apart the reckoning, it just created, made them more powerful than ever and richer. Now these companies are much more valuable and much more powerful, and so they have a lot more ability to push off real challenges from government or anybody else.

Holly Enneking: Yeah. What would be your take on the capacity of, especially leaders within these different companies, to take on that challenge of managing these systems and these communication platforms that they've created?

Kara Swisher: Right. Well, they're very different. I think one of the biggest problems is they call it big tech. There's no such thing. It's not... Cigarette manufacturers all made the same cigarettes, essentially. They had different names and brands, but they all had the same product, essentially. In this case, they're very different. Apple is different from Facebook. Apple and Facebook don't like each other. Microsoft is different from both of those. Google is different from them. Amazon is different from them. Each of their problems that they have presented with society are different. It's very clear Facebook's around social media and civil discussion, which they've put a wrecking ball to, or helped put a wrecking ball to. It's not that people weren't jerks to each other before, but it's been amplified and weaponized in a lot of ways. Conspiracy theories always existed, but they never had an outlet just like this, and people who were on the fringes of society weren't able to articulate what they were thinking with such a broadcast ability, and so that creates chaos, essentially. That's away from gatekeepers, which I think is good to get rid of some of the gatekeepers, but everyone can scream all at once, it becomes a cacophony and that's really the problem, and you don't know what's fact, or fiction, or just a lie, or malevolence, or a country trying to manipulate our country like Russia has tried. That's a different thing than Apple, which has an app store that has a monopoly within its own system, but not a monopoly across the world because it's not the biggest phone maker. That would be Google, and so there's that. The app economy creates, essentially, two companies that control most of how other developers develop, and that's an issue. Over at Amazon, there's marketplace issues where they own the marketplace and also participate on the marketplace. Apple has the same thing with Apple Music and other services, and they have the phone, and so they're all different. Google's just one big search monopoly, and so that's another problem, and so each of these things requires a different regulatory scheme work. The only thing that matters to think about is there isn't any regulation for any of it at all, and it's ... They just passed something out of... Amy Klobuchar's bill, which is a marketplace bill, out of committee for the first time in history. This is 30 years into the most powerful... Can you imagine if the cigarette manufacturers weren't regulated in some way for that long and they were that powerful? It's kind of weird, honestly.

Holly Enneking: Yeah. Well that was something I was going to ask about was this complete lack of regulation, thinking even from people like myself, marketers who, we are getting all this data, we're using all this data. Obviously, we want to try and do what's best, but there's no guidelines, there's no guideposts. What should we be thinking about? How can we be managing that from our own personal accountability to our consumers?

Kara Swisher: Well, it's not really your fault. You don't own these platforms. You have to use them, but you don't have a choice of where to go. You have to go to Facebook or Google, and that's it. Or Facebook really pretty much to get to do really important things. Twitter along the edges. I think it's probably a chaotic mess in there for a marketer. You have very few choices online, and the only competitor to Google and Facebook right now in online advertising, for example, and marketing is now Amazon, which means it's three big companies. It's like, " Oh, there's some competition." I'm like, " Really?" It's sort of elephants fighting in the grass. The grass is the only thing that's affected. You don't have a lot of choices, including where your data goes and how to manage data of your own customers. That really is, what's astonishing is they have data on your customers, and just the way they have data on me, personally, that I don't give them or I didn't consent to give them, or maybe I did, but I didn't think it was going to be used that way, and so we're all sort of... I don't want to use the term victims, but we are captives of these systems and have to go along, whether you're an enterprise or a person.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, absolutely. Do you have any experiences where you felt like, " Oh, I don't like... I feel icky about how my data's being used right now"? Or like, " Oh, this was a good experience where I feel..."

Kara Swisher: All of them.

Holly Enneking: Yeah? All of them? All of them.

Kara Swisher: It doesn't have to be bad. I turn off everything, so I'm aware. I have all these things that really block everything pretty much, including cyber attacks and things, but I'm a little bit... Most people don't behave like that. I think, sometimes, certainly it can be helpful. I think Apple, I have a much better relationship with Apple because I think they do have, privacy's part of their brand. It's part of the attraction of the iPhone. That doesn't say it's perfect, but it certainly has... It's a brand articulation that talks about privacy, so I'm more willing, as long as I give consent and it's very clear, to use their products. Why wouldn't you want Netflix to know movies that you like, you might want to like? Anyone would like that. What it is, is when it's surveillance that you don't agree to, or it's not explained fully to you, or resold to people you don't know. That's the problem, is this is an economy. It's not just these big tech companies. This is all kinds of data mining companies around that. There's a zillion. Then they're sloppy against hacks, so they're not even protecting the data they're essentially sucking away from you, and so that creates a real problem, and what we do... Margrethe Vestager, who's one of the regulators in Europe, who's done a lot of... There's new laws in Europe that are going to govern a lot of internet stuff. She said we're trading convenience for everything else, all our data. It's convenient to have a map. It's convenient, but the kind of information you're uploading to the cellphone that you carry around, this smartphone that you carry around, is astonishing, and very unlike anything else because it not only knows where you're going, it knows what you're doing, what you're buying, who you're calling. Then, what you're consuming. Like, "Oh, they looked at this. Then they went here. Then they did this, and then they bought this." Now, commerce is on there, like your wallets and stuff like that, and so it creates a perfect surveillance device that you are willingly carrying around with you and uploading to the cloud.

Holly Enneking: Yeah. Well, and you bring up an interesting point.

Kara Swisher: Sorry. It's-

Holly Enneking: No, no. It's great. Well, and you brought up an interesting point around cyber attacks. I think that's something that we're probably very ill- prepared for. What's your perspective on what we should be thinking about or could be doing proactively? Is there anything that we can be doing individually?

Kara Swisher: Well, it's almost too late. The Russians have gotten into a lot of our systems. I've done a lot of interviews lately with people like Nicole Perlroth who wrote This is How They Tell Me the World Ends, how this all started. In some cases, cyber is warfare just like any others. It's just a different version. It doesn't have broken buildings, which are terrible by the way, but it also can really be devastating to people financially, or ransomware is a big thing that's been happening. There's all kinds of ways cyber attacks are really dangerous for us as a country and as a world. The U. S. has incredible aggression capabilities in this area, and we were the ones that did, with Israel, did Stuxnet. We shut down turbine. It has real world implications, but that doesn't mean we aren't vulnerable ourselves through SolarWinds and all kinds of things like that. I would assume, if you were a criminal, this is where you'd come because this is where the landscape is. This is where the surface area is. There's all these surface areas of attack, whether it's sideloading apps or other that go around privacy things. Whether it's... On every level, you are subject to some attack, and these companies don't do the greatest job helping you or telling you. Then, you have no capabilities of doing anything about it because you're carrying this device and you've uploaded all kinds of information. Again, you're being digitally tracked at an unprecedented rate. I don't know. The only thing you can do is just be born for the first time and then not touch a phone.

Holly Enneking: Have no trace-

Kara Swisher: It's too late for most.

Holly Enneking: ...of you in anyplace. We're too far gone, aren't we?

Kara Swisher: It's impossible. There's no such thing. You use a credit card. You use everything. People joke about it, but it's really, you're totally tracked, utterly. They know what you're going to do, at some point. They have some sense of... You're very predictable. Most people are very predictable in terms of how they behave, and move, and buy, and they can guess, this AI. Not just guess. They use AI to figure out what your next move is going to be.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, and I think there's-

Kara Swisher: They'll even know when you die now. They'll even know when you die because if you're wearing any of these devices that upload all kinds of data about yourself, eventually, they'll know when you're about to die.

Holly Enneking: Yeah. They got my watch.

Kara Swisher: Yeah. I don't see-

Holly Enneking: You see, you're-

Kara Swisher: I call them unwearables. I don't like them. I just think they're... I don't think they yield of any interest. Like, how many steps? So what. What does that do? It doesn't give you any actionable data, so that's why, except knowing how long you sleep. Obviously, I don't. I have a lot of children. I already know that without having an app tell me.

Holly Enneking: You don't need the watch to tell you that you're not getting enough sleep.

Kara Swisher: No. I already know I'm exhausted.

Holly Enneking: I'd love to know what your take is thinking future iterations of where tech is going, especially with Meta and the Metaverse. What do you see on a more immediate horizon of where these tech companies are trying to drive things forward?

Kara Swisher: Yeah. Am I frozen? It looks like I'm frozen, for a second there.

Holly Enneking: You're good.

Kara Swisher: Okay. I don't think much of the Metaverse right now. It's going to come and it already exists. There's gaming and there's all kinds of stuff, but I think one of the things that you have to realize is this is all vaporware, as they say. Facebook was having lots and lots of problems, and they decided to change their name. That's all you need to know is they were trying to hide in plain sight, essentially. They're investing a lot of money and they're doing a lot of things, but that doesn't mean they're going to make anything. It doesn't exist. These products are very early on. Eventually, sure, but it will not be them. It will be a more creative company like Apple. Or Microsoft buying Activision is really interesting because gaming is a Metaverse, if you think about it. Workplace could be a Metaverse, but this is an idea that's been around a long time, and there's already been lots and lots of experiments. People aren't racing to use what exists now, so it has to be a much more immersive experience. It's got to be one that's useful. You can't have these giant headsets on your head. It's just not happening that way. I'm watching for Apple to come out with some AR glasses, which they're working on, which is more that you interact with the physical world and the virtual world together. Snapchat's working on that. The idea of living in the Metaverse is, okay, not today, and listen, we'll be long dead before it's any good. I'm somebody that really likes fast forward stuff, but it's a lot of chatter right now. I'm sure, just like NFTs and things like that, everyone has to say it, but I remember when the internet started, everyone said, " We have a website. We have a website." I'd get press releases, " We have a website." Well, okay, today that would be laughable, but nobody did. Or, " We have an email address now. You can write us emails. This new thing, email." I think, eventually, it will start in gaming and it will move on to other areas, but you could see workplace, you could see a lot of it in surgery or mechanical things, but marketing in the Metaverse it's going to be very slow. I wouldn't worry so much. I'd focus on avenues you have right now.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, no, I definitely agree. Also, I feel like there's just been a roller coaster of news around Twitter lately with Elon Musk. Like, " He bought all these shares. He's doing the board. He's not... the board. Now he's maybe at Google." Can you talk just a little bit about your point of view? What's going on and what's worth knowing about the situation?

Kara Swisher: Nothing. You don't need to know anything. It's sort of a goat rodeo over there. No, but I'd be happy to. I've covered Elon for a long time, since he didn't have any money, since he was at something called X. com, which is a payments company, and through his career. On the plus side, the companies he's making are really astonishing. Whether it's SpaceX or Tesla, he's moved forward technology, significant important technology. Not a dating service or whatever, like a game or whatever. This is serious stuff, and so it's very important. Same thing with his other things, Boring Company, I find very interesting, tunneling under cities to create... to deal with traffic. It's interesting. Even the Neuralink, which is mostly just talking about it. This idea that we could upgrade our intelligence. Interesting, it's an interesting concept. When it comes to Twitter, just think of it like, excuse me, it's a hobby to him and he happens to be the world's richest man, so he bought... " I like the mustard so much, I bought the company" kind of thing, or, "I like the donuts so much, I bought the store." There's an ad expression like that. " I love the razors so much, I bought the company." That's what it is. He's a user and he likes it, and he has points of view about free speech, some of which are well- formed, some of which are not. He saw an opportunity because Twitter's been pretty under- valued for most of its... in terms of stock. He saw an opportunity to make some money, presumably, to make a point, to call attention to himself, and he joined... He didn't join the board. He sort of joined the board. They invited him to join the board, but then when he started to realize this was serious, that he couldn't have full control of it because he's only one board member out of 12, and then there's management. He's used to, in his companies, he's the king of the mountain. There, he's not, and he can't facilitate change. The only thing he can do is log tweets from outside, but if you're the director, you can't do that either, and so I think he changed his mind and thought, " Oh, if I can't say mean things about the people I'm on the board with, no. I want to be able to..." Twitter tried to get him in the tent so that he wasn't screaming, but now he's just screaming outside the tent. He's actually been pretty silent lately. He's had some tangles with the SEC. I suspect there was a phone call to a lawyer of his that said, " This is, now we've got you," because he was starting to talk about stuff that might have been insider information.

Holly Enneking: Oh, interesting. Well, I have a feeling we're not done hearing about it yet, probably.

Kara Swisher: No, the press release from Twitter was full of words like background check, and risks, and fiduciary duty, and so that's the big red flag of, " The SEC called us." That's what it reads like to me, and lawsuits, also lawsuits are coming. There already is one, but there'll be-

Holly Enneking: Oh, really?

Kara Swisher: ...a lot of lawsuits. It looks like he may have not disclosed properly, and if he didn't and he made some money when other people were selling, he should have told people he was in there above 5%. Elon doesn't like rules and sadly for him, rules exist. Even though he doesn't think they do, they do.

Holly Enneking: Yeah. Maybe he thinks they don't apply to him.

Kara Swisher: Who knows?

Holly Enneking: One of those.

Kara Swisher: Mm- hmm.

Holly Enneking: I'd also love to hear your take-

Kara Swisher: There are a lot of people in Silicon Valley like that.

Holly Enneking: Yes, well-

Kara Swisher: I think a lot of people are like that these days.

Holly Enneking: Right.

Kara Swisher: Mm- hmm.

Holly Enneking: Yeah. I'm curious on your take, especially about women or the lack of women in the tech space, especially at leadership levels, and when you look at the really abysmal numbers of female entrepreneurs who are getting any decent backing. What's your take on that landscape, and any hope for improvement?

Kara Swisher: Well, apparently, women aren't as smart as men. I guess, that must be it. It's ridiculous. I'm being facetious, completely. It's ridiculous. The numbers of investments in women companies declined pretty significantly during COVID. That either means women are half as stupid or something's going on here that maybe isn't correct. I think what happens is people who are making these investments pattern match and they say, " Oh, look. That guy looks like the guy I invested in last time that I made money in." I think there's not enough women on cap tables, so they're not rich enough to turn around and give money. Then when they're rich enough, like a Melinda Gates, they have to give money to women... They have to do that, rather than across a broad portfolio. If you're not given a hand up to come up, you don't come up. That's just the way it is. I think they can blame all kinds of issues on blockchain, the idea that there's not a pipeline. That's the thing they use. There are not enough women here or, what happens to girls in fourth grade around math.

Holly Enneking: Mm- hmm.

Kara Swisher: What it really is, is... Because when you get down to it, when you go to boards of these tech companies, it also is a problem with women, not just women, but women and people of color.

Holly Enneking: Yes.

Kara Swisher: It's got to be that they're either stupider than white men, or maybe the fix is in for some people. I suspect it's the second one. Of course, they don't mean it, or they didn't see it, or, " We have standards," which is only brought up when it comes to women and people of color. I think it's just a lack of imagination on the behalf of these people. It's hard to fix when funding all the way through IPO is controlled by one group of people.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, absolutely.

Kara Swisher: You're relying on the kindness of them versus what makes sense for a company, which a diverse company, by every single study, shows that a diverse company is a more valuable company. It's just, they don't care.

Holly Enneking: Yeah. Well, and you've said before, I've heard you say before in interviews that one of the biggest problems with, especially some of these social media platforms, is that it's created by a bunch of white men who haven't been in situations where they feel unsafe, and so they can't bring that perspective to what they're creating.

Kara Swisher: Not everyone. That's a broad brush, but yes, I think you have your priorities based on your experience, and so you're going to create products that appeal to you. At one point in San Francisco, there was dry cleaning and everything was bringing to your home. It was not just food. It was everything. " We'll come and do this. We'll come and clean, come and get your dry cleaning," and I called... In San Francisco, you saw a lot of people testing these companies out. After the umpteenth dry cleaning, home cleaning, whatever this thing, I decided San Francisco was assisted living for millennials. Anything that makes their life more comfortable is important to make as a product. Again, this is why I like Elon. He's shooting for big ideas, cars, autonomous cars, space travel, so I appreciate that, even if he wants to tweet like a crazy person. I don't care.

Holly Enneking: Well, speaking of space, cars, when you and I spoke a couple of weeks ago, one of the things we talked about was, especially for marketers, other new opportunities that are out on the horizon. We talked specifically about using driverless vehicles as an opportunity. Could you maybe tell us a little bit more about what you see for marketers, maybe expanding our marketing horizons?

Kara Swisher: I make a joke that's probably tasteless. I'm like, " Someday, you're going to be able to drink and text in a car because you'll be sitting in it." People are going to be consuming all kinds of entertainment, and everything else in a car. Food and everything, lots of stuff, eventually. You have to be thinking of that day. What would that look like? What would a car experience where are people in be like when you don't have to pay attention to the road, where you just getting... Like being on a train, or a plane, or whatever, and you just sit down? You have to think like that. What does that mean? That frees up a lot of opportunity to market to people, people are willing and open to be marketed to. I think you should look around, and not just that, but lots of areas. People are going a little crazy about NFTs and Web3, but if you're a marketer, you need to be paying attention to a lot of this stuff. I don't think it's a flash in the plan. There's a whole lot of grifters. There's all kinds of issues around crypto, et cetera, but that doesn't mean it's not an important new development. I'm just less hot on Metaverse than I am on AR, and that's another thing. AR, where would you participate in AR? You're walking around with the glasses. A good movie to see is that Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report.

Holly Enneking: Oh, yeah.

Kara Swisher: He's walking through a mall. That was done by futurists. Very well- known futurists figured out where it was going. If you look at that scene where he has different eyeballs and they think he's a Japanese man. I think that's what... I forget. Anyway, you can look at how things are being marketed to him as they see his eye, what was on his eye. He had a contact lens that was able to be read by all kinds of monitors. That's a really interesting thing. I think that really does depict where we could be headed, from a marketing point of view.

Holly Enneking: We had an interesting conversation with Ira Glass yesterday talking about, especially using podcasts as a medium for advertising, sort of separate, or thinking about ad buys with television. You obviously have lots of podcast work. What's your take on that medium and space as an avenue for marketers?

Kara Swisher: I think it's great. I think it depends on which kind of ad you get. Do you get a host read or do you get a non- host read? I think that there's differences in prices there. I do, one of my podcasts, I read the ads, one of them I don't. It's a different business model. One of the things that's important to think about is that the relationship that a podcaster has with their audience is quite substantive, and it's a fan- based economy, really. Ira has a lot of fans, I have a lot of fans, and so they tend to take those hosts word for it. It's a really... They have a tight relationship. I think it's a really great way to reach people because people are in an intimate situation and so they're really listening. Even though you could fast forward through some of them, et cetera, you don't. I think people do listen and they pay off, given how inexpensive they are. I would bet they're more effective than television or anything else because that's kind of spray and pray, right?

Holly Enneking: Yeah.

Kara Swisher: You can reach a certain audience. You know Ira Glass' audience, and you could know what it is. I do think there is a relationship that's good and that creates a good situation for marketers. I'm not sure how big a business it is. That's the issue is, how big could it be? What kind of scale? The only person with scale right now is Joe Rogan, and he's got a lot of issues if you're a marketer. You can like that. You can like Joe ... Listen, everyone has their opinion about who they like, but boy, are you signing on to some possible controversy there. Who knows what's going to come out of his mouth, right?

Holly Enneking: Mm- hmm.

Kara Swisher: Years ago, Howard Stern was like that. That's why I think he went to subscription. I think he was tired of it. He doesn't want to have to argue. He since, he now seems calm. He's like, wow-

Holly Enneking: Old man, yeah.

Holly Enneking: Yeah.

Kara Swisher: Yean, and so there's a lot of opportunity there,

Kara Swisher: and I think there's a lot of really good ones. Many years ago, when I started doing it, which was about eight or nine years ago, I just saw it immediately. There was the phone line with the intimacy, combined with the fan base, combined with the ability to reach different audiences that may not have read stuff, was just, I thought it was irresistible, and we started doing well right away, financially. One of the things that... Initially, it was like mattress companies and stuff like that. It's like cable had early advertisers that then changed, and ours changed to much more long- term, I would say, advertisers. At the time, everyone was like, " Oh, it's just mattress companies," and this and that. I was like, " Their checks still cash, first of all. Secondly, this is how mediums start." You have the initial ones who are willing to try more risk, what they think of as risky things, and then the others move in when it becomes a proven thing. I think it just depends on the podcast and where you can pick, but you have such a range. I remember some saying, " You can't make money from podcasting." I was like, " Don't come in then. Please don't." We're making a ton of money. " Oh, don't. Don't jump into this project. Throw me in the briar patch." You know what I mean?

Holly Enneking: Yeah.

Kara Swisher: I think it's a really nice... Among a panoply of marketing opportunities. It shouldn't just be that, but for certain companies, it's definitely moving from direct to consumer, to brand advertising, that is for sure, and that's interesting to me. What is the payoff for a brand advertiser? for example.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, absolutely. I'd be curious to know, of the ads that you've read on your podcast, are there ones where you're reading and you're like, "Oh, this is painful and so bad" or anything? You're like, " Oh, this is"- inaudible

Kara Swisher: No, I won't do them. I'm very-

Holly Enneking: inaudible

Kara Swisher: No. No, some of them are terribly written, but we're very careful about what we advertise and what I'm willing to... I use most of the things we advertise, like inaudible

Holly Enneking: Oh, nice.

Kara Swisher: I love that vitamin. Some people don't, I do. I try really hard not to do stuff we don't... We vet them quite heavily. I don't think everybody does and that's their choice, but for a while we... They're still around. Facebook keeps buying ads on my podcasts and I'm like, " I literally beat you up every week," and at some point, I'm like... It's a bad experience where they advertise how great they are and then I come on and say, " They need to be sued." It's a weird relationship. At some point, I was like, "All right. If you literally want to be advertised on someone who's typically critical of you, I don't understand what you're doing," but what am I going to do? There's a point where I ... We've taken them off of some things, but we spend a lot of time vetting who's on them. I don't find it a problem if some of them are there because when I worked for The Wall Street Journal, there was a Microsoft ad right next to my column, so okay. I didn't say Microsoft was good, or bad, or anything else, or I might have in the column, or they might have done something. I think it's a mixed bag. I think in that space, you do get a very visceral relationship with people in a way that... I've had so many encounters with my podcast fans that I never had before, ever, ever, ever, ever. It's really quite a leap, and they just love you. They love you or they hate you, actually, interestingly enough, or they... I have one podcast with Scott Galloway and every day... I came today. Today I was walking and someone's like, " That Scott's such a jerk." I'm like, " Oh, yeah. He is." I was at my son's lacrosse game yesterday and two people were like, " We love you Kara." I'm like, " Okay, great." It was absolutely podcast fans. It wasn't television. I never got that before I started podcasting, so it was interesting.

Holly Enneking: Interesting. I'd be curious to know too, you have this history of being an early adopter into internet and tech scene, early adopter into the-

Kara Swisher: Yeah.

Holly Enneking: What is it about these things that stand out for you to think like, " Oh, that's interesting, and I need to get involved"? Is there some sort of... What's the thing that makes you be like, " Oh, that's a thing I want to pay more attention to"?

Kara Swisher: Two things. One is, is it a good business, or could it be a good business? I'm an entrepreneur by nature. A lot of reporters aren't, but I've started businesses, and so I think about, " Can I make money here?" When I did events, for example, everyone was like, " Events don't make money." I'm like, " Well, they could, if you did it right," and we have. We've had a very successful business. I also, same thing with podcasts, same things with... I try to reach listeners or audience where they are. I spend a lot of time thinking about that, rather than... A lot of media makes stuff and then shoots it down, and just doesn't have a relationship with its audience. I think, it's a product to me. I don't mean that in a crass way. It's just, why would you make things people don't want to consume in some way? I think a lot about... It doesn't mean I do everything based on what consumers want, because at some point, there's editorial tastes and everything else. That's critical, but I think a lot about where people are going and paying attention to the consumer. Because many years ago, a Disney executive, sort of by accident, said the smartest thing I ever heard, is, " The audience has taken control of the media and they're not giving it back." That is exactly what has happened, and so whether you flip around on Netflix, or anything else, or yourself as a consumer, or pick and choose on Twitter, or read news stories from Twitter rather than go to the front page of The Washington Post and read the whole thing, you could do that too, but you have to pay attention to the audience and serve them. I think a lot of media has not done that and a lot of marketing has not done that. They don't care about what's valuable to consumers, and I think that about that all the time. Right now, I'm super interested in television because I think it's been done badly. I don't like all the screen fests on cable. This is news. This is an area I'm in. I'm like, what do people actually want from their television experience? Because it can be a very powerful one. Some things work and some things don't. Some things, when they don't work initially, it doesn't mean they don't work. It means they didn't work at that moment, so I think a lot about that. For some reason, television I'm like, how would you make something that makes money and also is the product people want? I spent a lot of time on TikTok looking about why that is so compelling to people. It's quite substantive in a weird, TikToky way if you think about it.

Holly Enneking: Yeah.

Kara Swisher: But, so...

Holly Enneking: Television has gone through such a fascinating life cycle of where they are, and where it started, and what we've got. All of the OTT platforms, and that's really changed, and then now suddenly you've got some of the OTT platforms going back to the old television way of like, " We're going to only release an episode every week instead of all in batches," so they're adopting some of those. Yeah, there's so much left to be decided.

Kara Swisher: inaudible data. They're using data. They're using data to tell them what people want.

Holly Enneking: Keeps them coming back every week.

Kara Swisher: Maybe, maybe it doesn't, maybe they drop them and so I like the idea of experimentation, but I certainly know this, is that I think the era... It's been long over of the media managers being in charge of the audience is just gone, and they haven't seen, they don't understand that. What's amazing is if you look on these TikToks, I think it's the most creative thing going on right now. Look at all the creative people on it. Whether you're interested in air fryer content, which I am, or I watch so much of it and it's good, and so why would I be snotty about it? Why does it have to be a media person doing it? If you look at all the creativity that's been unleashed, it's really astonishing, even though there's a lot of shitty stuff on there. There's a lot of really dangerous and shitty stuff, but boy, is there creativity there. I think that's something I pay... Anything that's creative, I pay attention to all the time.

Holly Enneking: Nice. Well, and I think you said something interesting too, especially around being focused on the customer, or the end user, the audience, what it is that they want. To your point, I think that's a thing that can be what makes bad marketing. If you're not thinking about the audience, you're only thinking about yourself and what you want to say. You have no real story to tell your audience, and to tell a compelling reason to them about why they should care, then what good is whatever you're doing to your... Yeah.

Kara Swisher: Yeah.

Holly Enneking: Absolutely.

Kara Swisher: Yeah, I find that really interesting, is this idea that they're not smart and you're just broadcasting to them. If you don't have respect for your audience, whoever they happen to be, I don't know what to say. You have to... It's different audiences. Someone was talking about this new Apple subscription issue. I love the ideas of these, we call them rundles, recurring revenue bundles. That's what Scott and I call it on Pivot. Why wouldn't you want to have a long- term relationship with a customer, and what are the adjacencies that they would go with you, the journey would go with you on? Apple, you might have a good relationship. You might take something else from them. Amazon, you like this? " Well, I don't like this, but I like this." You can start to see certain companies, Disney's another one where you have a long- term relationship with it, and I think that's... If you're thinking about marketing, think about the long- term relationship and the value you bring to people's lives, and with respect to their privacy. People are willing to give up information if they understand they have a trusted relationship with you. I think in this world where everything just gets thrown at you, if you're taking a map, or a dating service, or whatever you get from these digital companies and you don't understand the value exchange, you're the cheap date in the situation. Right?

Holly Enneking: Yeah.

Kara Swisher: Why be a cheap date to these companies? They get all the benefit and you got none of it. I think that's a really important thing to think about, is respect for the audience of what... If you give value to your customers, they come back again, and again, and again because they understand that relationship.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, no, I think that is so spot- on. Before we wrap up, I wanted to just spend a couple of minutes talking about you a little bit, if that's okay.

Kara Swisher: Sure.

Holly Enneking: I really admire about you just this fearlessness you have of just approaching the world. So much confidence in a very powerful way, I think. For someone like me who maybe doesn't always feel that same level of confidence, do you agree, yes, you just feel very confident in who you are and how you're approaching the world? Any advice you have so other people can put on that same persona?

Kara Swisher: It's a complex thing. I think I was always like this. I have a two- year- old too. I have a lot of children. My two- year- old daughter... I have three sons and a daughter. She is so confident, and she's just like that. I don't know what to say. Nothing we did to make her more confident. She was just like that. Some part of it is nature, is a feeling that you have, but it's not all that. It's the encouragement of, especially young people, to be thinking widely. My older sons, I spend a lot of time challenging them, or letting them challenge me in terms of ideas. At one point, and of course, he twisted it the wrong way. Ben Shapiro, my son asked about him and I don't have much respect for his content, but I see why. I see he's powerful. I see he does... A lot of people read it. He has quite a big media organization. I said, " Why don't you read it and tell me what you think?" I don't know. He goes, "What do you think?" I said, "I think he's an idiot, but you don't have to listen to me." I had read his and I was like, "This is just ridiculous," but I let him, and he did. He did it and he came back and had the same conclusion, but he did it on his own. Of course, he twisted it, " Kara doesn't let her son..." I was like, " No. He could... I want my kids to be able to think critically across things and not agree, necessarily." The confidence, where does that come from? Is building... There's an expression from Frederick Douglass, " I'd rather build strong children than fix broken men," which I love, Frederick Douglass, and so I think about that a lot. How do you get people... People aren't born afraid, necessarily. They aren't born in a way that they're always being attacked or fearful. I think one of the things that I've done is, I think a lot... My dad died when I was five. I think it was a huge shakeup, and it made me realize life is unsafe. You're either going to say, " Life is unsafe" and be scared of everything and say, " You can die at any time. You might as well live." I think that's the way I went, which was like, " Okay, all right. Now I'm going to have to just... Life is capricious and instead of depressing me, I'm going to make it motivate me." The other thing is being gay. People didn't like being gay when I was... I'm an older person, or older than most people. It's a little different now, although now, there's all these attacks on gay kids and everything and gay people. These people never let up. What an unpleasant group of them. Sorry. I don't know who's on your audience, but if this is your issue, you need to rethink your life. One of the things that I spend a lot was, at the time, when you were gay back then, it was hard. It was really hard. People were very... Society and people could be very terrible. At one point, I realized, if they're not going to like me for a stupid reason, what do I care anymore? I just was like, don't worry about people liking you. If you're a good person, that's all you're responsible for. If they're going to like for you capricious, dumb reasons, okay, move along. Someone asked me recently, what am I scared of? I'm scared of scary things. Otherwise, I'm not. That's it. There are scary things in this world, and they're very obvious, but I'm not scared of anything else and I shouldn't be, and so that's what I spend a lot of time doing. Also, again, getting back to this. I don't have an obsession with death, but I know I'm not going to be here 50 years from now, so I might as well live. I think every bad decision I make, I'm like, " Am I going to be dead in 50 years? Yes, yes," and it's always a yes. It's one of those-

Holly Enneking: Yeah, that's right.

Holly Enneking: Yeah.

Kara Swisher: Yeah, think about that. Then, what do

Kara Swisher: you lose when you do things? Usually, what you're holding onto is typically not as valuable as what you lose if you don't act, most of the time. Yeah, I don't know.

Holly Enneking: Well, knowing you're not really scared of anything-

Kara Swisher: I wish I could say I drank too much. I wish I could say I drank too much and it just made me crazy, but I don't drink at all, so no reason, I just-

Holly Enneking: So, we'll come back-

Kara Swisher: Someone was like, " You drink a lot." Yeah, at one point, someone was like, " You must drink a lot." I'm like, "I don't drink at all. I don't drink at all." Nothing wrong with it. I don't know.

Holly Enneking: "Just not for me."

Kara Swisher: Whatever.

Holly Enneking: Well, you said you're not scared of anything that's not particularly scary-

Kara Swisher: Can I just say one more point?

Holly Enneking: Oh, please, yeah.

Kara Swisher: I think one of the things is people always say, "I just don't care." They're like, " I don't care what people think." It's not I don't care. It's that I do care, and I care about me, and I don't care about stupidity. One of the things you have to do is you can't say, " I don't give a fuck," because... Excuse me for cursing, but that's not really a good attitude. That's kind of mean to people. It's not that I don't. It's that I do, I do care, and so I care about getting through this world in a way that's good. Being a jerk is really not the... Sometimes when Elon actually does those tweets, I sometimes text him like, "What are you doing? Why? What?" It amuses him. Is that indulgence really necessary? That's what I think about a lot, is it's not you don't care at all. It's that you care a lot, and that's how I look at it.

Holly Enneking: I love that. I think that's great. Knowing that you've interviewed all sorts of people, presidents, the Elon Musks of the world, have there ever been situations where you've been... felt out of your depth and uncomfortable? Didn't know where a conversation was going to go? Or are you always coming in ready for anything?

Kara Swisher: No. I don't care who they are. I treat everybody the same, whether they're Elon Musk and the president of the United States, or a homeless guy on the street. I don't feel like they deserve any more dignity than anybody else. Nobody deserves more being nicer to, or something like that. One of the things, it's ... No, I don't, actually. I was just with, I did something with President Obama just recently and he's like, " What should we do about this misinformation?" I said, " I would invent a time machine and maybe make some laws when you had power." He was like, " That's rude." I'm like, " Well, I think you didn't do anything," so and everyone around him is so solicitous, and I was like ... He goes, " You just say what you think." I'm like, " Am I wrong? Did you not do enough at the time? Because now they're really big. You wondered what to do about a dragon when it was in the shell." I was like, "You should have done something when it was little. Now it's big, so a time machine," and he laughed, but whatever. He could take it, he could take it. He has a good life. He could take it.

Holly Enneking: Yeah. I'm curious to know too, what keeps you doing what you're doing? I'm sure you get so many offers to join companies-

Kara Swisher: I do.

Holly Enneking: ... anddo other things. What is that keeps you focused on stuff that you're doing now and where you've gone in your career?

Kara Swisher: Constant change. If I'm unhappy with something, I leave. I really do. I think a lot of people, not everyone has choices. I was with a bunch of Stanford students and they were, of course, in their manic phase of, " If I don't get this one job at McKinsey, what will my life be?" I'm like, " You're kidding me? You're in Stanford business school. You're kidding me, right?"

Holly Enneking: Yeah.

Kara Swisher: One of the things that I try to say to people is, you have choices in any moment, and so I constantly change. I do it, I'm older. I started AllThingsD at 40 years old, right after I had a baby. I just change when... There's an expression from Mary Poppins, " I'll leave when the wind changes." That's how I feel, so I'll change ... I think the ability to change is the most important quality, and adapt to whatever the situation is, is the most important quality. Not everybody has that choice. A single mom, no education, lots of kids does not have the choices I do, so for me to agonize over my choices seems rather luxurious, and I'm not going to do it. There's lots of people across the world who don't have choices. Most Americans, many Americans do. Not all Americans. Some are hindered by racism, by sexism. Those are things that are real problems, but most people can make choices to change. When you can do that, you should. Again, let me stress, many people do not have that luxury.

Holly Enneking: Yeah, no, it's fair. I just have one last question before we close out. In addition to you, who else would you recommend, especially female journalists that we should be following, learning from, looking out for, and getting more insight from?

Kara Swisher: Oh, wow. There's so many. Gosh. A female journalist, just not necessarily... I'm trying to think. I read... Gosh, I can't give you names. I read lots-

Holly Enneking: That's okay.

Kara Swisher: Sometimes, I like stuff by Taylor Lawrence. I read lots and lots of people. I look more toward people. The other night, I had dinner with Maria Ressa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize. She's a friend of mine. The reason why I knew her is because she came to me with data back in 2015-'14 about Facebook and how it was being gamed by the Duterte regime and attacking journalists like her. She was like, " We're in real trouble here. Can you do something about it? Because Facebook's not listening to me." She's a journalist. She started a company that's very much like one of mine, and she based her company on my company. You know what I mean? She saw what I was doing and then did it in the Philippines. Amazing journalist. Then she brought me this data and I was like, " This is going to come here, this stuff." It was so obvious they were testing it other places. I look to someone like her. That's who I look with, someone who is so brave. She's under siege. She went back... I had dinner with her, and she's going back to the Philippines. She could be arrested at any time, under crazy laws that these regimes are running to quash dissent in any way. I look to people like that. Again, any day I feel tired with my kids, or overrun by a dumb thing, although I can be very testy sometimes, I'm like, " Look at her." Like, " Shut up, Kara." Like, " Really?" And I-

Holly Enneking: Put it in perspective.

Kara Swisher: Something like that. It is. You got to always do it. Then I'm like, "Oh, okay. Stop. Stop what you're doing and then start again." Not to say that having lots of children isn't exhausting, or a big job, or stuff like that, but I look to people like Maria Ressa. She deserved that Nobel Prize, but she's still not safe, by the way. I think about the courage it takes to get on that plane and go back to the Philippines when you know... Or Navalny, or people like that. I'm astonished by that, or in the people of Ukraine. It's just showing you that people can stand up to oppression and cruelty in a way that you don't think you can, but you can.

Holly Enneking: But you can, yeah. Well, Kara, thank you so much. This has been such a great conversation.

Kara Swisher: No problem.

Holly Enneking: I'm so grateful to have had the time with you. Thank you so much too to everyone who's been watching. I hope you enjoyed this first session today. I hope you enjoy the rest of the sessions that will happen up until later this afternoon. Just as a quick reminder, you can navigate to all of the upcoming sessions using the agenda tab. If you run into any technical issues, just look for the help center. Myself, and the team, and our tech support group will be there to help you if need anything else. Thanks again, and enjoy the rest of Ultraviolet. Thanks, everyone.

Kara Swisher: Thank you. Thanks.

Bobby Tichy: We were talking about earlier with New York Times, which we identified that you read every Saturday morning in your bathrobe while you're wearing your Crocks and knee- high white socks.

Cole Fisher: inaudible

Bobby Tichy: Is there a publication or anything that you read every... Is there something you read every day?

Cole Fisher: I would say, well, no, not from a single source. I'm actually a firm believer that if you're looking for particular news, it should be from a specialist about... If I want financial news, I will go to a financial news specialist. I'm not going to get my finance news from CNN, or CNBC, or something like that just because they're going to give high- level, generalist insight. Whereas, if I want something that's finance- driven, or even sports- driven, or something like that... Even ESPN, technically, is a generalist, or they'll spend most of their time talking about NBA and NFL and, as you know, I'm a hockey fan. For instance, when I want in- depth or real insights into hockey, I might go to something like CHN, which is College Hockey News. Those will be news stories about what D1 team is getting a college team or something like that next year. Things like that that you won't actually hear the in- depth reports of how they raised money, how much funding it took, when the team goes... Things like that. I'm a firm believer that I don't necessarily want the... I'll take some generalist news here, but I feel like that you don't need to seek out. That finds... It's everywhere, so that'll find you. Whereas, if I want to get in- depth knowledge in marketing, or in finance, or in sports, or anything like that, I'm going to seek it out from in- depth specialists that will give a generally unbiased view about what's happening and provide details. Even when you read studies, I want to know where the data came from, from itself, rather than reading the article about the study, if that makes sense. I don't want the high- level stuff.

Bobby Tichy: I fell asleep. Sorry. What'd you say?

Cole Fisher: I'll give you a high- level overview review later.

Bobby Tichy: Okay.

Cole Fisher: What about you?

Bobby Tichy: All I heard was you like to read about college hockey and then I was just like, " Oh, boy. This sounds painful." Seeking out news? Gross.

Cole Fisher: Because every media outlet is people like, " We're unbiased news experts." Like, " No you're not. You're just local channel 12."

Bobby Tichy: I like Highlights Magazine. I like Sports Illustrated for kids. Did you ever get that?

Cole Fisher: I think I did actually.

Bobby Tichy: Is it still around?

Cole Fisher: It has to be.

Bobby Tichy: I loved it. Oh, yeah. S...

Cole Fisher: Is it?

Bobby Tichy: sikids.com, yeah.

Cole Fisher: Nice. You strike me as more of like a Cracked Magazine sort of news source.

Bobby Tichy: I don't even know what that is.

Cole Fisher: Isn't that the one with Alfred E. Newman on the front?

Bobby Tichy: Alfred E. Newman? I don't even knew who that is either. Are you speaking English?

Cole Fisher: You don't know Cracked-

Bobby Tichy: inaudible

Cole Fisher: ...Magazine?

Bobby Tichy: No. Sports Illustrated for kids, print magazine. The first issue should arrive in 12 to 16 weeks? What?

Cole Fisher: What, they got to write it as soon as you ask for it?

Bobby Tichy: Why is it taking three to four months to get your first issue? Oh, because it's only six issues a year, so it's every other month.

Cole Fisher: Ah. What is a print subscription?

Bobby Tichy: 20 bucks.

Cole Fisher: What is an online subscription?

Bobby Tichy: 10 bucks.

Cole Fisher: What is both? There is an option for both, right?

Bobby Tichy: Well, I'm looking at it on Amazon. It just has Kindle is 10.

Cole Fisher: Oh, okay, so-

Bobby Tichy: Print is 20.

Cole Fisher: If you actually go to sikids. com or whatever it is, a lot of the times, this is where we'll see cool marketing tricks. I'm not going to call them cool. They're deceptive and... But they're pricing strategies, where a lot of the times, you'll see this where it's like, " Hey, you can get the print edition for 20. You can get the online edition for 10," but the print and online might only cost you like 15, or something like that. What they're really doing is just trying to get more access, more accessibility, more information, and greater connection, and they're offering a discount for it. Because who wants just a print publication, other than you?

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. It used to be a great magazine. I remember they would give you those posters in there sometimes too. Obviously, this is a different time. This was-

Cole Fisher: Oh, yeah. You pull out, the middle. You unstaple it, you pull it out.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah.

Cole Fisher: You pulled it, yeah.

Bobby Tichy: You had to be real careful with the staples so that way, you wouldn't have the holes left in them, any bigger holes than what was already there, yeah.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. I bet you just decorated, decked out the walls with those posters.

Bobby Tichy: That's really it. My niece likes to give me a hard time because one time when we were on vacation last year, I said, " We should start reading a book together." I still have only read three pages of it and she finished it in a week, so she's thoroughly convinced I read three pages a year. That's my reading level, it's just that far off.

Cole Fisher: You just told her, "That's not true average." It was a big year for you.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, exactly.

Cole Fisher: inaudible half top.

Bobby Tichy: Exactly. I actually, I learned how to read for this book.

Cole Fisher: The bottom, left to right, the whole thing?

Bobby Tichy: Yeah.

Cole Fisher: Wow.

Bobby Tichy: I should have got more credit than that. I know.

Cole Fisher: Good for you, man.

Bobby Tichy: So...

Cole Fisher: What was the book, out of curiosity?

Bobby Tichy: Oh, boy. I can't remember. Because she's 13, so it was like a-

Cole Fisher: Goosebumps.

Bobby Tichy: It wasn't Goosebumps. I would definitely... Because I read all the Goosebumps when I was a kid. I Loved Goosebumps. It was like a mystery type of novel, but it wasn't Goosebumps. Let's have all the listeners just wait on silent for the next 90 seconds while I try to find out what book this was.

Cole Fisher: Shh.

Bobby Tichy: I don't even know where I bought it. I couldn't even tell you.

Cole Fisher: I collect... I think I still have Goosebumps somewhere. I'm waiting for my nephews to get old enough to get to that reading level. They're in second grade right now, but as soon as they do, they're inheriting a bunch of vintage Goosebumps.

Bobby Tichy: Ah, man.

Cole Fisher: inaudible for hours.

Bobby Tichy: It's probably worth quite a bit of money. I remember I had a ton of basketball cards, a bunch of... Because I was a big Michael Jordan fan, and I had a book of just Michael Jordan cards. I think I sold it on eBay for like$ 20. I was 17, so like, "Oh, man. 20 bucks."

Cole Fisher: "I'm rich."

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, yeah.

Cole Fisher: "I can buyso much candy with this."

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. " I can buy 5, 000 Pixy Stix."

Cole Fisher: I think it was like little brother syndrome in me. I didn't want Michael Jordan jerseys or cars like everyone else did. I wanted to go, like the obscure guy. My favorite player was Spud Webb, 5'7", slam dunk contest winner. That was my jam, so I had a bunch of his- inaudible

Bobby Tichy: He was awesome.

Cole Fisher: Oh, yeah, he was. I couldn't find a Jersey for the life of me. He just wasn't that popular in my market, but I did have a bunch of his cards.

Bobby Tichy: Well, we hope you enjoyed the conversation with Holly and Kara. As always, reach out to us in the clouds at levdigital. com, and we'll catch you next time.


Kara Swisher, a contributing writer to the New York Times Opinion section and podcast host for Sway and Pivot, is described as Silicon Valley's "most powerful tech journalist.” Holly Enneking, Vice President of Marketing at Lev, leads a conversation with Kara about accountability -- both for Big Tech leaders and everyday digital marketers -- as well as being unapologetically yourself.

Conversation topics include:

  • The Reckoning in tech, and how leaders can best manage their communication platforms and systems
  • Preserving online privacy, data ickiness, and how we should be thinking about cyber attacks
  • The Metaverse, vaporware, Twitter, and Elon Musk
  • Representation and innovation in the tech industry
  • Kara's thoughts on her career, on respecting audiences, and advice for female journalists

Today's Guests

Guest Thumbnail

Holly Enneking

|VP Marketing at Lev
Guest Thumbnail

Kara Swisher

|New York Times Opinion writer, podcast host, Tech journalist