S2:E1 – Take Risks (Kara Swisher)

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Kara Swisher is a technology journalist and host of Sway, a podcast about power by The New York Times. Kara has been covering technology since the 1990s. She is one of the first reporters on the internet beat in Silicon Valley. She was the co-producer of the technology conference “D: All Things Digital”, where she interviewed major tech figures, including Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Kara has hosted hundreds of newsmaking interviews with other prominent figures such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Stacey Abrams, Kim Kardashian, and President Barack Obama.

Transcript:

ES: This is 5 Minute Mentor, a podcast where you’ll get advice from prominent engineers, authors, artists, and more, in 5 minutes or less.

ES: Today’s mentor is Kara Swisher, technology journalist and host of Sway, a podcast about power by The New York Times. Kara has been covering technology since the 1990s. She is one of the first reporters on the internet beat in Silicon Valley. She was the co-producer of the technology conference “D: All Things Digital”, where she interviewed major tech figures, including Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Kara has hosted hundreds of newsmaking interviews with other prominent figures such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Stacey Abrams, Kim Kardashian, and President Barack Obama.

ES: This is Kara’s advice:

KS: I think it’s really important to not be frightened. It’s so easy right now in the pandemic to be frightened about your future, and things aren’t going to turn out. There’s always a chance, a single person can make a great deal of change, and you yourself as a younger person, in an early career can take a lot more risks than you do.  

I find too many young people are risk averse or they’re worried about what comes next. They’ve spent their whole life on the wheel, the gerbil wheel of achievement. And they don’t realize they can step off at anytime and try new things. It might risk failure, and I think that’s alright, and I don’t think we teach our kids enough about that. The idea of risking things and trying new ideas and trusting your instincts. 

I think we keep them often too much on the same pathway. And I think there’s an expression, I think it was “paths are made by walking”, which means just walk in the direction you want to walk and you will find your path. I think that’s the most important thing, is giving people permission to say no to things and I don’t think enough people say no. I say no all the time. It’s really important to be able to not be quite as inflexible in your career, especially at the earliest part. 

Kara Swisher

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