Two rising stars talk politics, Trump, and how to win in a post truth era
Continuing our tour through the political conversations at Shift Forum 2018, John Heilemann interviews Rachel Payne, running for a hotly contested congressional seat in southern California, and Jason Kander, one of the youngest elected officials in the history of his state. Below is an edited transcript and the full video interview.
John Heilemann: We have two bright, rising stars in the Democratic Party here today. Rachel Payne, who is a perfect person for this crowd, a CEO in the tech sector, is also one of many, abundant, like 500, Democrats who are running for Congress in the 48th District in California, down in Orange County, running against Dana Rohrabacher.
Three political veterans ponder the future of the Republican Party
One of the most fascinating portions of the 2018 NewCo Shift program was its focus on US politics. In this conversation, veteran political journalist John Heilemann spars with two of the most seasoned veterans of presidential campaigns — Republican strategist Mike Murphy and Democratic strategist Jennifer Palmieri. The topic: The future of the Republican party in an age of Trump.
John Heilemann: We have a panel that was going to be a conversation about the future of the Republican Party with Mike Murphy, master strategist and political guru. Yesterday, she couldn’t make it, but now she’s here.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy argues that boards are utterly broken. Fixing them isn’t as hard as it might seem. And it’s urgently needed.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy has nearly two decades of executive leadership experience at consumer and internet companies, including Google, Amazon, Yodlee, Polyvore and Joyus. She’s also an accomplished board member — serving on both public and private boards in a range of industries. In the past two years, Cassidy has focused her energy on theBoardlist, a platform that connects accomplished women to board opportunities. But Cassidy didn’t focus her time at Shift Forum on the issue of diversity in boards. Instead, she exhorted the audience to think about the power and the responsibility of boards, and the role a truly high functioning board can have in changing the culture of business. Below is an edited transcript and the video of Cassidy’s inspiring talk.
Pinterest wants its users to get offline. And that’s a pretty good thing to be about these days.
Ben Silbermann is a founder and CEO of Pinterest, one of the most misunderstood platforms ever born in Silicon Valley. I’ve written about the company extensively, and earlier this year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben at the Shift Forum. Find out why I’m an unabashed fan in the video and transcript below.
John Battelle: I’ve found Ben to be one of the most thoughtful, humble, and non-typical valley founders out there. Please join me in welcoming the founder and CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann, to Shift Forum.
Its most significant business crisis to date fails to tarnish Facebook’s earnings. Perhaps it’s time to admit something about ourselves we don’t want to face.
Facebook earnings just came out, and as it has nearly every quarter, the company crushed it. Many (including myself) were expecting at least some measurable effect on the company’s performance from the Cambridge Analytica train wreck, but the company seemed instead to pick up steam, booking a 63 percent increase in earnings year on year and beating Wall St. estimates by an astounding 34 cents a share. “Up yours, haters!” may not have been overtly stated on the earnings call, but I am quite certain there was plenty of that sentiment going around One Hacker Way today. In America — particularly Trump’s America, nothing washes away sins like unmitigated success. Oh, and money — lots and lots of money.
Facebook stock is already trading more than five percent up in after hours, and will likely pop on the open, as the investing public hastens to ride it back up to its pre-Cambridge Analytica highs. And why not? It’s Facebook’s time, after all. The company has taken its licks, apologized, and promised to do better. Zuck went to Washington, and new features seems to roll out almost daily — each promising one more “fix” for whatever was originally broken about the service.
The author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup wants to reinvent how stock markets work. Everyone thinks he’s nuts. But we currently fund US innovation with Russian mafia money and autocratic sovereign wealth funds, so….
Equity markets are literally the beating heart of capitalism, and Eric Ries wants to reinvent them. Is he crazy, or on to something big? Read on (or watch the video) for one of the most stimulating and insight-laden sessions of this year’s Shift Forum.
John Battelle: All right. I’m really pleased that Eric Ries is coming and speaking with me. He has an idea for markets that is very important for all of us to consider. He’s well known, of course, for his book, “The Lean Startup,” and his follow-up to that book.
Instead of being “that one person who made it out,” Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs went back to his hometown to see if he could be the change he wanted to see.
Upon taking office in January 2017, Michael Tubbs became both Stockton’s youngest mayor and the city’s first African-American mayor. He’s also the youngest mayor in the history of the country who represents a city with a population of over 100,000 residents. The changes he is trying to effect are bold, inspiring, and made for a riveting presentation at NewCo Shift Forum earlier this year. Below is his talk and a transcript edited for clarity.
John Battelle: When I heard about our next speaker, I reached out through formal channels, but he called me on his cell phone, which was really cool. “Hey, it’s Michael. What’s up?” I ask, “Mr. Mayor, would you please come and speak at this conference?”
A number of consequential business stories broke over the past few days, but it was hard to hear it over the braying contest between our president and his detractors (or the second and third day analysis pieces on Facebook’s journey to DC). So for your Monday morning, a review of the stories we’ve been reading since late last week. No Trump, no Comey, and very little Zuckerberg.
No one seems to know exactly why Sorrell stepped down, save “personal misconduct.” If this is how advertising agencies handle things, they deserve to be put out of their misery entirely. No transparency, no public accounting, and therefore no institutional learning and transformation. Utterly unsurprising, unfortunately.
The Chief Brand Officer of P&G on Facebook, Google, and bringing true diversity to marketing.
It isn’t easy being the CMO of any massive business — tenure is short, the demand for growth from Wall Street is relentless, and your budget is often the first to be cut. But that budget is also expected to drive that growth — an often contradictory challenge. Marc Pritchard, the Chief Brand Office of P&G, has been a CMO for more than ten years — so he must be doing something right. At the Shift Forum earlier this year, Pritchard explained his strategy for managing through significant disruption. When he started in his current role, Facebook was a tiny player, Twitter was a toy, and YouTube had no ad model.
What a difference a decade can make. In the transcript and video below, hear Pritchard on the Facebook/Google duopoly, the role of marketing as a change agent in society, and how he navigated a bruising proxy fight with a renown Wall Street raider.
The Facebook CEO will testify in front of both the Senate and the House next week. Will it be memorable — or simply more of the same?
April 10 and 11, 2018 will likely create the kinds of memories for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that his own platform will remind him of for years to come. My guess is he’ll pass on the opportunity to “relive” those memories, or share them with his millions of followers. The whole thing will likely just be too painful to recount.
Then again, Zuckerberg’s testimony next week in front of a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, could prove to be the highlight of his already storied career. No matter what, it’s a historic moment — the world’s largest and most celebrated social media company, in the throes of an existential crisis driven by allegations of massive election fraud, being called to account by the world’s most powerful government, victim of samesaid fraud. It’s going to be riveting.