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?”