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5 Minutes on The Verge: Sarah Lane

5 Minutes on The Verge: Sarah Lane


5 Minutes on The Verge: Sarah Lane

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Sarah Lane
Sarah Lane

Sarah Lane is a host and producer at the TWiT network and appears on the daily show Tech News Today and weekly shows iPad Today and The Social Hour. She received her Broadcasting and Electronics Communication Arts degree from San Francisco State University and began her career producing and directing local news television. Sarah eventually moved into technology-based programming and hosted shows such as The Screen Savers on TechTV and Attack of the Show! on G4. In 2006 she got sick of the archaic nature of television production and took up podcasting. Prior to joining TWiT full-time, she created Revision3's popSiren, Current TV's Current Tech, and was a tech expert on IFC's The Grind.

What do you think the most important technology of the last hundred years has been?

The Information Superhighway (obvs), though I'm partial to electronic pinball machines.

TWiT recently added an audience to a lot of its broadcasts. How do you think that's changed your podcasting style?

I hosted in front of live audiences for years in my TV days so it's familiar. I don't think it affects my style much, but good fan energy in person is always a plus!

What are your favorite non-TWiT podcasts?

I dabble a lot, but a few regulars are This American Life, Coffee Break French, & Radiolab.

What is your favorite / most-used iPad app?

Flipboard. Useful, beautiful, customizable.

The topic "women in technology" seems to come up a lot these days. Do you feel like you have any words of wisdom to contribute to that discussion? (If not, why not…)

My stock answer to this question is that I'm too busy being a woman working in tech to worry too much about whether or not there are enough women in tech. Yes, I know there are more men than women in the space overall. I believe my female peers when they say they aren't treated equally. I've been criticized for being a "dumb girl" more times than I can count. Fortunately, it doesn't faze me. Kick ass and choose your own adventure.

You have just been in Paris for Le Web. How does the tech / startup scene in Europe differ from the American?

I've spent the last few days asking Americans and Europeans that very question. The most obvious difference is that in Europe you're talking about a handful of countries with a variety of customs, national policies, and regulations. What I hear often from European entrepreneurs is that although the startup life is alive and well all over the world, Silicon Valley is still considered the big leagues. It's an established place to have great ideas, find the best talent, execute, and potentially get rich. Things are expanding though. I'm intrigued by the tech scene I'm hearing about in Berlin, for example.

What is your favorite movie?

Too hard to pick just one, but I equally love Goodfellas, The Breakfast Club, and the LOTR trilogy.

People who work with technology seem to be what most people consider "workaholics." Are you?

No. I don't really understand why so many people in the tech space are proud to be workaholics. That seems very limiting to me. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and my industry and I work hard. But I need to feel well-rounded and I go out of my way to pursue interests that aren't career-driven. What can I say, I'd be a terrible founder.

Do you believe that aliens have visited earth?

I doubt it, but in my heart I hope I'm wrong.

CES is coming up in January. How many times have you attended? What is your favorite (or least favorite) thing about it?

We'll be there all week for TWiT. I've been 4 times before. My favorite part is getting my hands on new things. Even though I'm more of a software person, CES is definitely hardware heaven. My least favorite part is how much money gets blown building mega-booths showcasing vapor-crap that will either never see the light of day, or just sucks. Talk about a waste of money.

Podcasting added a new facet to traditional broadcasting. What do you think the next great innovation in broadcasting on the horizon is?

The television experience truly optimized for built-in on-demand content will be cable's real death march. A lot of folks think Apple will be first. I hope they're right. Let's go 2012!

Check out previous installments of 5 Minutes on The Verge here.