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Tech Cocktail Las Vegas

What Kara Swisher Looks for in Startups

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On Thursday night, veteran tech journalist Kara Swisher joined us in Vegas for a fireside chat as part of Tech Cocktail Week. Swisher is the former co-executive editor of AllThingsD, and now co-executive editor of Re/code.

Swisher obviously gets pitched by tons of startups. “I’m kind of like that Hollywood studio head. ‘Oh I’ve got a script.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, really, you’re kidding? Wow.’” But what makes a startup stand out to her? She highlighted the two most important things: 

1. Being relentless. “All the great entrepreneurs have a relentlessness that doesn’t give up. It’s almost mad,” she says. “It’s not that they don’t think they can be wrong – although some of them are like that – it’s that they are frequently wrong but never in doubt.” She cites entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Travis Kalanick. 

2. A product that’s useful or delightful. “If you’re both – wow, that’s fantastic,” she says. “You have to be useful – what do you use everyday? What is helpful to you? It various by individual person. Or what’s just completely delightful?” 

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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and positivity. Since 2011, she has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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