It’s a strange time to launch a new podcast about the future of business and tech in America. The pandemic has frozen so many things in place but also accelerated so many things about the future. And politics in the US — where the biggest tech companies are facing renewed antitrust scrutiny — have gone completely haywire ahead of the most consequential election in a generation. The future is coming, but it seems more uncertain than ever.
So we’re launching Decoder with Nilay Patel, a new podcast where I’m going to interview executives from the worlds of tech and business, policymakers from across government, and a few other assorted troublemakers about the problems they’re solving, the trade-offs they have to make, and the opportunities they see in the future. We’ll be building on the history Kara Swisher left with Recode Decode and the interviews I’ve been doing on The Vergecast. Decoder is launching on the Recode Decode feed, and the first official episode is scheduled to launch on November 10th.
Decoder is going to be a new kind of show from The Verge — a little more expansive in scope and a little more focused on the businesses of the future and how we build them. Too often, our conversations skip over the essential fact that nothing about tech or business or policy is inevitable. Every app you use, every button you push, every website you click on and the laws that govern them all — people built them. People made choices about them. And every one of those choices could have gone another way.
My hope with Decoder is to have serious conversations about building things in an economy where every company is effectively a tech company and dependent on other big tech companies. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling toothbrushes or sports cars or funny videos on YouTube — every modern business is going to run into challenges that we used to think of as tech challenges. But now, they’re just business challenges. My goal with Decoder is to take those things out of the realm of being nerdy or technical or complicated, and talk about them like what they are: choices to be made and problems to be solved.
If we can get some of that right, I think there’s a whole new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators out there waiting to build the next great companies. I’m pretty excited to talk to them.
It’s happening here — episode 1 of Decoder — on November 10th.