Video Of The Week: Kara and Jeff

This is a great discussion between Kara Swisher and Jeff Weiner. I love the radio talk show look and feel.


Comments (Archived):

  1. PhilipSugar

    He left out the part where he and I were talking on a old fraternity room couch about why I didn’t want to go into investment banking like most of my class did, and why he shouldn’t during an episode of Hogan’s Heros.He also left out his nickname which I made which was: Is he a weiner or a whiner?? or a whining weiner??

  2. Wyatt Brown

    “Interested in how media was going to change the world” — but — ” I wasn’t interested in going back to (Wharton) for an MBA.” I wonder why. Seems like it could have been a good prep for managing new media industry, but he did just fine without the MBA. 🙂

    1. PhilipSugar

      None of us wanted to go back for an MBA, we knew our undergrad degrees were better and as Jeremy Siegel would always say he had two grade curves for his class and the undergrad one was 20% higher.We knew what we wanted to do and wanted to get on doing it.

      1. LE

        We knew what we wanted to do and wanted to get on doing it.Exactly and precisely what I remember when I was there. The undergrads were born knowing that they wanted to do business. The MBA’s typically had liberal arts degrees and decided later on that it was a good idea to “get an MBA”. At least when I was there at that school.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Yes, I once had an MBA tell me that some “cheeky” undergrads say they have a Wharton Degree. I told him that I thought the Grad Students were “cheeky” for thinking they were better.My younger brother who is the robotics professor, was the only person in the history of Finance 6 to ace the test. The mean and average were both around a 20%

          1. Twain Twain

            Ah, yes, your brother’s the guy who did the Amazing Spiderman Bot!Do you know what his thoughts are re. Hitachi’s boss robot?*…The robots can definitely ace the Finance 6 tests:*

          2. PhilipSugar

            We believe in human complaint robotics, that is the robot serves the and responds to the human input, not the other way around. Nothing wrong with the other view, that is just our perspective.

          3. PhilipSugar

            No, they respond to your inputs predictably, more like a set of skis

          4. LE

            I am waiting to hear that your younger brother gets made an offer he can’t refuse by Uber.

          5. PhilipSugar

            His classmate did. We are doing too well with the company that you bought the domain name for.

          6. LE

            Dammit Phil you need to get rid of that pack and ship address for the association! Generally even a USPS postal box location would be an upgrade to that.

          7. PhilipSugar

            Ok, I agree to that.

          8. PhilipSugar

            Youngest took one as head of digital for McDonalds

  3. William Mougayar

    I think he would be a good CEO for Twitter. Surprised Kara didn’t ask him about that, being the provocateur she is.

    1. fredwilson

      i am not so sure about that. Jeff is great. but Twitter needs something different than what he brings.and in any case, he has as important or possibly more important job already

      1. William Mougayar

        I hear you. He’s very operationally driven and strong. Twitter perhaps needs a bit more of a visionary & product understanding, coupled with operations?

        1. Twain Twain

          I’ve read Jeff’s posts on LinkedIn and what he’s doing there re. enabling quality content publishing on professional topics is great. This is the first time I’ve heard him speak and he comes across as “very safe, steady pair of hands and very much MBA-consultant-type”.Twitter needs someone who’s a bit of a “rebel-pirate” in product yet would be smart enough to empower Noto to be the person that the Head of Marketing reports into for Corp Comms but not for Consumer Comms. He understands what Wall St wants to hear — even when they don’t always do a great job of listening to “Twitter is NOT Facebook.”New CEO could also do with having a strong Data Science engineering background.In fact, I’m surprised no one’s mentioned their Chief Scientist as a potential internal candidate. Very strong on product, PhD from MIT and a creative problem-solver.

          1. PhilipSugar

            So interesting hearing people’s outside perspectives. Having lived with him in college for two years I have a different perspective. Not bad at all mind you, just funny hearing people comment about people you know. I am sure he has his own perspective on me.

          2. LE

            Explain the setup. Was he your roommate or did you both live at the frat at Penn?

          3. PhilipSugar

            We lived in a fraternity. The one that marks the center of campus. Over 40 CEO’s from my tenure there. We had our own rooms in that huge house.

          4. LE

            Ah, the fraternity is missing from your linkedin. Let me see now if it’s on Jeff’s linkedin… (Goes to check)..Result, it’s not there! Interesting you would think it would be on Jeff’s linkedin.Let me do a google search… (goes to check)Bingo, found it:https://www.phideltatheta.o…Yes, great location right on Locust walk.

          5. PhilipSugar

            That would be the one. My class photo has 20 CEO’s, one guy who the leading person saving Bluefin Tuna’s, and the Head of Hip and Knee replacement at Johns Hopkins who is the leading person in the world on that and does it for people that can’t afford it for his charity, the Head of Navy Seal Team Six Gold Assault Squad for 26 years, who is the head of JSOC, a three star Admiral in charge of the Pacific Fleet. Our coach is a three star Marine General who is the only one to ever take over an active General in the middle of a campaign in Afghanistan.

          6. Twain Twain

            Who we were when we’re 18-21 may be different from who we were after and are now.Even if Steve Wozniak says this of Steve Jobs: “Steve was not a nice “people person”. I meet a lot of CEOs who are, and they don’t have these kind of reputations and stories about their background.But his personality settled in around aged 18 to 23 and it stayed for life. It really almost never changed.So, his way of acting that way and not caring what other people thought about him – which let’s you be nastier than you would have been otherwise – that was right there at the start of Apple.”*…Jeff is likely much more than the person he seems to be in this 40-min short interview.

          7. PhilipSugar

            Actually you misunderstood my comment. I think Jeff could be a really great CEO of Twitter, but I think it would be very tough for him to leave LinkedIn, where he has done a SPECTACULAR job. He has had that vision for a decade.

          8. Twain Twain

            Ah, we don’t have a misunderstanding at all.I think he’s done and is doing a fantastic job at LinkedIn. There’s a world of difference between entertainment content, interesting/but/not vital content and then content that we need to “work and make sense of why we’re working in this way”.My LinkedIn feed is a lot more substantive than my Twitter feed. People take time to add important context to what they’re sharing so the content signal is higher and better quality on LinkedIn.

          9. PhilipSugar

            He is a brother. We love each other. We have a very deep bond with all of our brothers.

          10. Twain Twain

            Blast it! What happens to the sisters then!Haha.

          11. PhilipSugar

            Ask anybody that knows me. Brotherhood applies to women as well.

          12. Erlend Wilhelmsen

            My LinkedIn feed is quite bad actually. I’ve tried to train it my hiding posts 5+ times per day, but it doesn’t improve at all. It does not seem to “listen” to me at all. How are you making it better?

          13. Twain Twain

            As much as possible, only connect with people you actually know or are 1 degree separation away.

          14. LE

            I meet a lot of CEOs who are, and they don’t have these kind of reputations and stories about their background.A large part of that depends on the industry that you are in and the competition and the battles that you are fighting. It is simply not even close to possible for everyone to be a mild mannered calm nice guy when the competition is fighting dirty unless there is some overwhelming unique advantage that they have.

          15. Twain Twain

            Ack, well, let’s just leave these guys to their “crush the competition” tactics:* Uber vs Lyft* Facebook vs Twitter* Apple vs Google* Google vs Amazon* IBM Watson vs Google BrainWhilst we go invent that overwhelming unique advantage!

        2. Richard

          I would have went the other way and hired a Mel Karmazin.

      2. jason wright

        twitter needs an artist to be in charge surrounded by world class technicians

    2. Twain Twain

      Deb Roy, hidden gem in Twitter:*…Whether Twitter likes the comparison with Facebook or not, Zuckerberg had declared his vision for Machine Intelligence and VR. They have a sizeable unit now at FAIR (Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research).The incoming CEO of Twitter has to have the skills and knowhow in that space to compete over the next 5-10 years.Are product and business people who know the advertising space important? Absolutely, but here’s the interesting thing about Deb Roy…*

    3. LE

      Don’t know much about Jeff (I will go with what Fred says below obviously).One thing I do know is you can’t assume that someone who was successful in one particular business at one point in time is “the answer” to another situation. Especially a turnaround or non low hanging fruit of opportunity or riding a wave.And importantly, there is always the “luck” factor which is impossible to tease out.And of course N=1.Not to take away from anything Jeff has done, but Twitter (or anything that isn’t steering the ship he has the most experience with) is an entirely different situation. [1]Hate to use well known examples (because my thoughts come from a mash up of observations over a long period of time where I actually know a great deal about the facts) but look at Ron Johnson when he left Apple for JC Penney. [2][1] Also he is surrounded by others at Linkedin (just like Ron was at Apple). To what extent and what exact role did they play? It’s not all Jeff driving each and every decision. There are many other key people behind the scenes whose ideas Jeff could be greenlighting.[2] JC Penney was not the low hanging fruit of opportunity.

  4. JLM

    .It is always interesting to hear the authentic voice of history. An interesting interview but if you want someone to listen for almost 40 minutes, you have to provide POPCORN.Hot, buttered popcorn with very fine orangish salt.The kind of popcorn that requires one to wipe their fingers on their t shirt.No popcorn.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Twain Twain

      Buttered CARAMEL with a hint of chili, please.

    2. JamesHRH

      Movie thee-ate-errrr popcorn!I skimmed and listened to no more than 8 min total.

  5. JLM

    .What is useful for any audience is the clarity of the Vision that this guy has for LinkedIn.This is the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture thing.The Vision is pretty damn clear.Anyone listening to this should try to catch that clear Vision.Brilliant guy, no doubt.While I decry such a lengthy video without POPCORN, I must say it is a treasure and I can go get some POPCORN later.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      Linkedin has really strayed from the the lure that it had for me in the beginning. [1]Not a week goes by when I don’t get a several spammy linkedin requests from people that I don’t know and that I have no connection to that are legitimate people looking to build their networks. It reminds me of when I saw many years ago one of my daughters had something like 2500 facebook friends back when facebook originally was just for actual friends that mattered. It was mass friending. I have gotten absolutely zero value from anyone on my linkedin since I have joined and I literally can’t even remember most of the people that I actually had some connection to for some reason. They act as if I should care that someone has a new job as if I actually have regular contact with any of these people. (Would have been nice to know Jim Hirshfield left disqus of course…)When it started it was pretty cool as you could “connect” (whatever that means) to people that had relevance to you. Now it’s meaningless at least to me for that purpose. Not to mention stupid emails such as “so and so has a new profile picture” or emails they used to send asking you to opine on whether someone had skill in a particular area that had a truly terrible UI where you didn’t even know what to click on [2] (I am not seeing those anymore maybe I turned it off or maybe they stopped doing that). Truly annoying.Also the creepy factor. You receive emails that tell you people are looking at your profile and giving you a chance to upgrade your account to premium so you can see who is stalking you. Relative to [1] below that means I need to setup a new account just to gather intel on someone! What a pain.It’s obvious that linkedin’s main value is centered around HR and recruitment and the corporate world, not the entrepreneurial or small business world as I see it.That said, it also has a similar value to Facebook in that it’s a way to humble brag about who you are, and what you did and what you do, and where you went to school. “See my degrees on the wall!”.[1] Now what is good about it for me. I use it for research into people that I have to deal with to get the lay of the land and to gather intel on them.[2] Does clicking the “x” mean I agree or remove this skill?

      1. PhilipSugar

        LinkedIn’s message is simple. You can post your resume to the world and not get in trouble.Does that work for you or me who has no desire to “get a job” Hell no.But if you are a “normal” person, you can’t just send your resume to everyone, if your employer finds out you are screwed, but not be on LinkedIn?? If they banned you from that they couldn’t get employees.And if you are an employer (sorry to the unemployed) there is nothing better than finding somebody who is happily employed and understanding that you are a true match versus somebody that just really needs a job.He knew that, he built that, we talked about that. Great for him, he is a brother.

        1. LE

          Yes another one of those “perfect crimes”.Related: Back in the day of help wanted advertising (in the local paper) always had to worry that employees would see that we were hiring their replacements. Had to setup a significant ruse and disinformation to avoid problems. Was a challenge but also fun. Can’t just say “looking for new line cook”.How to know an employee is going on a job interview? It’s the “I have a dentist or doctors appointment in 2 days” when they walk into your office but don’t make eye contact.My brain is trying to think of a way linkedin could have hiring companies pay to redact certain info from a linkedin of a new hire to reduce the chance that they get recruited. So far I can’t solve that equation. But it seems that the value to a company to be able to block the significant and impressive parts of a resume from the world of recruiters would have significant value. More than the revenue linkedin gets the other way since there are many fish in the sea. Not all info, just some of it.The idea that someone’s resume is up on linkedin when they have a job they supposedly like is weird. My guess is that you have never online dated but it’s similar to dating someone however they don’t remove their dating profile even when you are in a real relationship as if to see if a bigger better deal comes along. From memory I think I tossed someone who played that game possibly.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Too hard. If you put in that functionality then employers would force employees to agree to it and you would screw up the whole thing. LinkedIn is the ultimate digital manifestation of the headhunter.

          2. LE

            “To hard”. Hey so is overturning the T&LC in NYC. Or building Trump Tower (the first) in Manhattan and dealing with unions. Or having a robot climb up a wall.The equation to solve is “how can we make money and spin gold out of this negative”.I can see a situation whereby an employer (and this is purely a quick response to your comment) negotiates a time period where the employee is “off the radar” as part of the employment agreement. Sure it wouldn’t work with all or even the best employees. But how is this really different than cases where you can enforce an NDA as part of a taking a new job in certain states? It’s an accepted practice in some situations.One of my sayings is “there is no situation by which the proper words in the proper order can not fix” (sic with bad grammar and all).

          3. PhilipSugar

            The issue is that if they allowed this, then employers would require it as a condition of employment. Yes they could make the employers pay it and that would be money, but then they lose the value of their product. What is their product??? People’s information. If people perceive that LinkedIn is taking away their value, they will stop being their product. It would be like poisoning your well.

          4. LE

            What is their product??? People’s information.I guess this is where we would disagree. Not that their product is information. Of course it is. But that redacting a percentage of that information would harm the overall viability of the product.The question is this. Would the 10% adoption of the feature and the subsequent revenue gained (need to assign a number but I’d say it could be significant) deprecate the information product? I’d say it wouldn’t.This isn’t info where 100% completeness matters “movie listings” and in most job categories there are “plenty of fish”. My guess is recruiters typically will avoid someone who was just hired away for a certain period anyway (total guess on my part). Similar to realtors your best prospects are not people that just bought their house 6 months ago (unless you found out they are getting a divorce or someone died that is).

          5. PhilipSugar

            When you get something for free you are the product. If you are right about not being the best prospect for six months then why pay.

          6. Richard

            LinkedIn is similar to yelp. It’s not a product that people love, but it is a product to use when you are hungry.

          7. PhilipSugar

            No that is the recruiter point of view. The employee point of view is that you use it to get a better job, and who doesn’t want that 24/7/365

          8. Richard

            That’s a good question

  6. Chris Phenner

    As a Charlie Rose fanatic, I find it remarkable how far Kara Swisher has yet to mature as a good interview — ask yourself these questions as you watch:1. Why is it so hard for Swisher to simply ask a question, instead of her having insert *her knowledge* leading up to the question?2. How many times does Swisher say things that Weiner has to correct, and how much time does Weiner spend correcting what Swisher says?3. How many times does Swisher *interrupt* Weiner and what number of times does she de-rail him mid-story — how often are they tripping over one another?4. How many close-ended questions does Swisher ask (‘Are you a technology company or are you a…’) — as if trying to pin him to an answer?5. Why does Swisher *takes a side* on the topic of Curation, and (again), interrupt Weiner to share her position on Curation, instead of asking how he thinks about the topic?I loved listening to Weiner and I love the format, but having to wait for Swisher to get out of her own way to let her guest speak was painful on occasion.

    1. JLM

      .Excellent observations and on the freakin’ money.The secret to Charlie Rose is he never gets in the way of the guest or the camera and therefore he gets people to open up much deeper. He lures them to the edge and pushes them.She is sort of interviewing herself and trying to impress the world with “her.”Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. peteski

        Bingo. I was afraid of saying something. A little way too much asking for acknowledgment of her own acknowledgement.

    2. JamesHRH

      Terrific points.It turns out, like so many things, being a good interviewer is being a good listener.Bad interviewers are people who listen to find a spot where they can add something.Good interviewers are people who listen for the unexpected or interesting area to expose.She’s smart – she should get better.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        She’s been a journalist for a long time. Why would she start getting better now?Before she blocked me on Twitter, I found her to be unpleasant. On a few occasions, I’d shared stuff with her that she posted on her blog, never giving a hat tip to me or whoever had tweeted the item first. I mentioned it to her once and she gave me a nasty response before blocking me.

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Wow. 27 minutes in and I still don’t see a single sign of anything you’ve listed here. And funny enough, my general impression of Charlie Rose is that he interrupts a lot and talks way more than is necessary.This was a great, conversational interview between two people who’ve been in the biz since Web 1.0 and know where all the bones are buried. She has an incredible amount of knowledge and facts at her fingertips, which Weiner himself acknowledges during the interview. He is clearly very comfortable in the interview and appears to enjoy the exchange with her.Honestly, I find it sad that you guys here have that take on her when this was an outstanding interview.

      1. JLM

        .Please do not be sad on my behalf. I am not worthy.Didn’t you kind of make the point when you observed “how much she knows”?Sort of thing you can only observe because she spends a lot of time blowing smoke up everybody’s ass about how much SHE knows when what folks really might want to know is what the interviewee thinks about things.Could be just another of my many character flaws though. OTOH maybe it’s just a fair observation, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Nope.My first reaction to the original comment was to say to myself, “if she does the things on this list even a bit, I’ll refrain from commenting.” Because I wasn’t in the mood to go out on a limb tonight.But dammit, she doesn’t. She just doesn’t.She knows key names from his history at her fingertips that she can just toss at him when it makes sense and it brings out a better interview from him. I’m not sure how having a rapid-fire, rolodex-like access like that can be seriously described as “blowing smoke up everybody’s ass.”B.S. needs to be called on this thread, and now it has been.

          1. JLM

            .The reason there is more than one entree on a good restaurant’s menu is because folks have different tastes. Doesn’t make them wrong; just means folks have different tastes.Same folks may be tempted to use words like self-importunated, name dropping, egotistical, self-centered blowhard in describing the interviewer and then there is you.Let’s just celebrate our differentness, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. PhilipSugar

        I was waiting a couple of days to comment on this so I didn’t add fuel to the fire. Other than certain people’s past reputation (and comments) I don’t see how gender is pertinent to this. She and Charlie Rose certainly have different styles. I don’t think it is at all about gender. Oprah has a different style than Steve Kroft or Scott Pelley. Is it gender specific?? No, and you can like either style.If I don’t like Sarah Lacy’s style (and I don’t) is it because she is a woman??

    4. jason wright

      insecurity in her psychology? i want to see her on the couch.

    5. Pete Griffiths

      These observations are accurate but their impact on the viewer can be very different. If, for example, you have ADHD then Charlie Rose can seem plodding whereas Swisher is crackling. Interruptions and to and fro is stimulating and amusing rather than disruptive.

  7. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’ve been reading and watching Swisher’s interviews since 1997. No one can sit in that other chair now and have a hope of b.s.’ing her because she has in her brain everything that’s ever happened in tech, and who was in involved, since 1997.This was a gem of an interview between two highly intelligent people who’ve been in the scene since Day One.The Lynda acquisition was genius. I’ve been using Lynda almost as long as it has existed (I absolutely love them and prize what they provide). They’ve started offering to display my completion certificates on my LinkedIn profile automatically for me. Perfection.

  8. jason wright

    now i want the one where Jeff Weiner is interviewed by his father.i never met my father but he went on to become the CEO of a medium sized company (which he didn’t found).i always wonder about the nature/ nurture influence on how people see themselves, the world around them, and their place in it.

  9. Pete Griffiths

    Smart guy. Impressed.