On her Twitter profile, Kara Swisher calls herself the "grump lady of tech." Via text, I didn't find her to be that grumpy; rather she was to the point, funny, engaging and thoughtful.
Today, Swisher is in Milwaukee as the keynote speaker at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation's annual Economic Forum at The Pfister Hotel. Swisher is editor at large for the technology news site Recode and producer of the Recode Decode podcast and Code Conference. She is also a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.
Swisher co-founded the former Recode (now owned by Vox Media), and before that, she co-produced and co-hosted The Wall Street Journal’s "D: All Things Digital" and wrote a regular WSJs Marketplace column, "BoomTown."
Following today's keynote speech will be a panel discussion with Milwaukee business leaders: Mike Gousha, Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy at Marquette University Law School; Joe Kirgues, co-founder of gener8tor; and Nick Turkal, MD, president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health.
Economic Forum 2018 follows last year’s sell-out crowd of 650, which included a panel of prominent local business leaders and featured Karen Mills as the keynote speaker, a former administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
But before the event, I got to ask Swisher a few questions. So, here's my one-on-one text interview with Kara Swisher.
OnMilwaukee: I usually have this as my final question, but for you let's start with it. Define success.
Kara Swisher: The ability to do whatever I want whenever I want wherever I want.
What three things would you change about Facebook right now?
No fake news. No fake accounts. Understanding of its responsibilities.
Which book(s) are you reading now?
The (Jon) Meacham bio of (Andrew) Jackson, "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House."
What did you know about Milwaukee before today?
Beer. I hear Kavanaugh likes beer.
How can a city Milwaukee’s size encourage more risk and entrepreneurial attitudes?
With city and state help and one great startup at a time.
Three years from now, how is media different? How is it the same?
Hmm, that is not a short answer. But OK: More VR and AR, networks are irrelevant (and) face displays.
Speaking of media, have you been pleased with how Jeff Bezos has run The Washington Post?
Yes, but he is not running it. He owns it.
What’s your favorite drink, and if you could have this with one person, who would it be and why?
Coca-Cola with Warren Buffett (and I just did this).
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.