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Recode Decode


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.

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.






Best of: Stacey Abrams

Here are excerpts from two of our favorite episodes of Recode Decode, originally published in November 2017 and June 2019. In the first part of the show, Recode's Kara Swisher and SKDK's Hilary Rosen talk to then-Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams about how tech has changed state politics and why she was wary of Amazon's HQ2 competition. Then, in a live interview from the 2019 Code Conference, Kara and's Ezra Klein talk to Abrams and her former campaign manager Lauren...


Best of: Elon Musk

Here's one of our favorite episodes of Recode Decode, originally published in November 2018. In it, Recode's Kara Swisher talks to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk about Tesla's turbulent 2018, when SpaceX planned to send its first rocket to Mars, why he fights with journalists on Twitter, and much more. Musk also discusses his "funding secured" tweet that got him in hot water with the SEC, the potential for colonizing other planets such as Mars, and taking money from Saudi investors in the...


Series finale: Vox CEO Jim Bankoff, Recode Decode's best moments, and fan favorite guests return to question Kara Swisher

After five years, Kara Swisher signs off as the host of Recode Decode. She and her producer Eric Johnson discuss five of the best moments in the show's 539-episode history; then, she talks with Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff about the future of Vox as the COVID-19 crisis continues and the media grapples with what it can do to unwind systemic racism; and finally, she answers questions submitted by 10 of her past guests, including Ronan Farrow, Carole Cadwalladr, Anthony Scaramucci, and Stephanie...


Sridhar Ramaswamy: Your search history is "incredibly personal"

Former Google executive Sridhar Ramaswamy talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new startup, Neeva, which promises to offer paying subscribers a search engine with no ads and without selling its users' data. Ramaswamy, who worked at Google from 2003 to 2018, talks about how it evolved into an advertising powerhouse, why people should care about the "incredibly personal" details revealed by their search history, and why he believes Neeva can reach a larger-audience than just wealthy...


Rose Marcario: Young people want to vote with their dollars

Former Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the company's history of activism, the Facebook ad boycott that Patagonia helped start, and what she hopes it will accomplish. Marcario explains how Patagonia chooses which battles to fight, what she thinks of other business leaders who take public stands — such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — and why we need more "good actors" in the corporate world. Plus: Is "compassionate capitalism" a real thing? This interview was...


Aminatou Sow: Friendships matter, especially right now

Call Your Girlfriend co-host Aminatou Sow talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about upcoming book with Ann Friedman, Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close. Sow discusses "how [she] got bamboozled into getting business-married” to Friedman, why they went to therapy together, and why talking about your friendships with your friends is so important. She also talks about why she refuses to hang out with friends on Zoom, the assumptions we all make about other people's friendships, and what...


Samantha Power: How the US should be responding to coronavirus

Harvard professor Samantha Power, the former US ambassador the United Nations, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about her 2019 memoir The Education of an Idealist, what idealism looks like now in America, and the Trump administration's deadly mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic — and what she would do differently were she in charge. Power also discusses how the Obama administration responded to the ebola epidemic in 2014, the growing power of tech leaders like Bill Gates, and what Mark...


Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden: What if everyone had to use social media?

The Hive authors Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about how they came to write a young adult book about a social media dystopia, based on a cinematic idea from actor Jennifer Beals and producer Tom Jacobson. The 2019 book is set "five minutes in the future," where social media participation is mandated by the government for everyone over 13, which introduces some familiar social issues: The pressure to be perfect when everything is public, and the risk of mob...


Symone Sanders: Inside the Biden campaign at a moment of national unrest

Symone Sanders, a senior advisor to Joe Biden and former national press secretary for Bernie Sanders, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the 2020 campaign and her new memoir, No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America. Sanders reflects on her own political journey and explains why she's eager to support Biden this year — and why people who try to cast doubt on her career choices are "infuriating." Plus: What the Biden campaign wants from Facebook, and what advice...


Jason Fried: Would you pay to get less email?

Basecamp CEO Jason Fried talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the company's new email product, Hey, which he describes as "the most ambitious and stupidest thing we’ve ever done." Fried also discusses how coronavirus proved that offices are not as important as other companies used to say, why Zoom calls "suck," and why Basecamp is charging $99/year for a personal Hey account, Plus: Why Uber is a "shitty business," why Fried doesn't want any public CEO's job, and the state of tech...


Katie Couric: How the media and the country are changing after George Floyd's killing

Katie Couric, the former host of the Today Show and anchor of the CBS Evening News, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about why the current moment of political protest feels unlike anything that came before; the fine line between objectivity and advocacy in journalism; and her upcoming memoir, Unexpected. Couric also discusses the battle over Confederate history and art in the south, America's divided news diet, and what she thought of the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show. Plus: Her famous...


Jill Lepore: Technology will never fix injustice automatically

American historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about her new podcast, The Last Archive, which investigates "who killed truth?" in the style of a true-crime show. Lepore discusses why the protests against systemic police violence represent America "at our very best," but explains why the two main competing theories of American history are both wrong — and how it should be taught and studied instead. She also talks about the history of technologies,...


Bart Gellman: What is Edward Snowden's legacy?

Journalist and author Bart Gellman talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his newest book, Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State. Gellman discusses how he got connected with Snowden ahead of his whistleblowing disclosures in 2013; how he reacted to the staggering size of the US government's digital surveillance apparatus; and the different waves of impact of the Snowden leaks on the government and tech industry. He also talks about why people should still be...


Andy Puddicombe, Robin Arzon, and Marianne Williamson: How to take care of your mind, body, and spirit in quarantine

Recode's Kara Swisher talks with three guests about how to take care of your mind, body, and spirit while in quarantine. Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe discusses the challenges of getting people to meditate, how to make your sleep more restful, and how to feel connected to loved ones you can't see right now; Peloton's head instructor Robin Arzon talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the company's business, why you should focus on what you can control when exercising, and the future of...


Frances Frei: Treating people equally is not the same thing as treating them fairly

Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the new book she wrote with her wife Anne Morriss, Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You. Frei — who has previously worked with Uber, WeWork, and Riot Games to address culture crises — discusses what good leadership today looks like, the unfair treatment of women and people of color in business, and why it's a mistake to chase "balance" or "equal treatment." She also...


Daniel Schreiber: How COVID-19 affects the insurance business

Lemonade CEO and co-founder Daniel Schreiber talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about what happens to an insurance in a crisis like COVID-19, how some of the money from Lemonade customers' premiums will be allocated to coronavirus relief, and whether the insurance industry can be fully automated. Schreiber also talks about Lemonade's decision to be a public benefit corporation, why that doesn't make them "do-gooders," and why he strives to be more like Ulysses from the Odyssey and not like...


Jon Mooallem: How one city, united by radio, pulled together after an earthquake

New York Times Magazine writer-at-large Jon Mooallem talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his newest book, This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice That Held It Together. It tells the story of a 9.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Anchorage, Alaska in 1964 and how a part-time radio reporter named Genie Chance held her community together. Mooallem recounts how he got his hands on the recordings of Chance's broadcasts and reported out the full story of the disaster,...


Phil Howard and Emily Bell: Disinformation in 2020, from "Plandemic" to Bill Gates to "Obamagate"

Phil Howard, the Oxford Internet Institute director and author of Lie Machines, and Emily Bell, the director of Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism, talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about the state of disinformation and propaganda in the coronavirus pandemic and how what we're hearing this year compares to the state-organized propaganda that infected elections in 2016. They explain some of the most pervasive conspiracy theories and campaigns — including the untruthful...


Dara Khosrowshahi: How Uber is changing and being challenged by a global pandemic

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about Uber's evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how it's preparing for the world to re-open, and the one segment of the company that is thriving right now — its food delivery business, UberEats. Khosrowshahi also discusses the company's recent 6700-person layoffs, the blowback UberEats has received for the fees it imposes on restaurant owners, and the “rumors” that it will acquire food delivery rival GrubHub, and why that...


Brian Chesky: These 9 weeks were the most stressful in Airbnb’s history

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky returns to Recode Decode to talk with Kara Swisher about how the company is "going back to [its] roots" after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its IPO; the future of travel and hospitality in a world with way fewer people taking airplanes; and how Airbnb tried to "lead by example" in its severance payments and benefits to laid-off employees. Chesky also talks about the delay of projects such as a previously-announced flight booking program, why fewer people will work...