Kara Swisher: Tech's Most Powerful Snoop
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
One of the reasons for Swisher’s unusual status in the Valley is her longevity. Now 51, she began covering tech in the early ’90s and was already a senior industry statesperson when the Web 2.0 generation was coming of age. People who are powerful today sought her advice when they were just starting out. She met Jeff Bezos when Amazon was in short pants, Marc Andreessen as Netscape was going public. She was at the pitch meeting for TiVo. “It felt like you were meeting Tesla, all these people,” she says.
A second factor is her role as one of two impresarios of a leading Silicon Valley tech conference that she co-founded and runs with her longtime business partner, the preeminent gadget reviewer Walt Mossberg; it’s an event where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates came together onstage for a historic conversation, where Mark Zuckerberg broke out in such a sweat as he was pressed on privacy issues that he removed his ever-present hoodie, and where products like Flip and Slingbox and Jawbone and Sonos and Siri (before Apple bought it) made their debuts. For years, Swisher and Mossberg did this and blogged, under the rubric AllThingsD, which was the property of Dow Jones. In January, they went out on their own with their website and conference: Re/code.
Above all, Swisher’s power derives from her reporting—driven, in turn, by her deep sourcing—and from the sense, unnerving to executives, that she has a red phone with a direct connection to the perma-class of venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road who fund their companies and fill their boards and decide their fates.
Stashed in: Silicon Valley!