Bryon Jacob

Kara Swisher is the new Lesley Stahl and the power of podcasts

If you haven't listened to Kara Swisher's Recode Decode interview of Mark Zuckerberg, I highly recommend you do so here.  It has been almost 10 years since Lesley Stahl first interviewed Mark Zuckerberg on 60 Minutes, when he was 23-years old, and wow has a lot happened since then, including this week's disappointing Earnings Report.  Facebook was worth $15 billion back then - today, $506 billion (and that is after this week's 20% haircut).

I won't repeat all of the news here, as I'm sure many of you have been reading along, but what really struck me after listening to Kara's interview of Zuckerberg is just how powerful podcasts have become.  This podcast goes into so much detail as compared to a TV show, including one as great as 60 Minutes.  If you are at all a fan of business and a leader yourself, I view this interview of Zuckerberg as a must-listen.  We are living through an amazing moment in history - with the modern world being socially-networked for the first time, with all of the implications of that (including the recent Russian tampering of our Presidential election).  Facebook was just recently one of the top five most valuable companies in the world by market cap and is certainly one of the most important companies throughout the world; their reach and impact cannot be overestimated.  In my opinion, they'll be back stronger than ever.  And, in my personal opinion as a leader, Mark Zuckerberg does a tremendously great job in this interview.  I don't agree with some of his positions but I can also empathize with how difficult it must be to manage a social network of Facebook's size - and determine who the real arbiter of truth is.  There is a lot to consider as a leader as you listen to this podcast - how would you handle a similar situation?  Or, as Tim Cook says, would you have avoided the situation altogether (also a podcast interview with Kara Swisher, coupled with a new live TV show)?  I think about that as I contemplate if Facebook was a B Corporation, would they have had this situation at all, but that is a topic for another day.  Zuckerberg fired back at Tim Cook on his point, as detailed in this The Ezra Klein Show interview ... also a podcast.  

Back in the arena: the beginning of data.world

It has been a long time since I wrote anything on my Lucky7 blog and there is good reason for that.  Back in June, I started to brainstorm my next big idea with long-time friends Jon Loyens and Matt Laessig (both of whom were amazing at Bazaarvoice and had moved on to HomeAway).  Bryon Jacob (a 10-year veteran at HomeAway) soon got involved as an idea he had been thinking about was better than anything we came up with and one thing led to another until we founded data.world.

It may feel curious to my regular readers that I would jump back into the arena as the CEO of a company built from scratch.  After all, our investments in startups and venture capital funds have been performing well, including a recent exit with Deep Eddy Vodka being acquired (and us subsequently investing in Clayton Christopher’s VC fund, CAVU).  There are many factors that led to this calling for me: