Keynote discussion: Kara Swisher


What are everyone’s general reactions to Kara’s talk on trends? Personally, I think that it was interesting to hear perspectives from journalism, but I felt she could have done better to unpack her approach or rationale behind why those trends were important (apart from newsworthiness and critical reporting).

I’m slightly biased after hearing Kevin McCullagh present a more pragmatic view of trends in general, because trends by themselves aren’t necessarily helpful for designers at all but a means to an end. So I felt the talked lacked a bit in the “means” department.

Speaker bio:

Kara Swisher is an American technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal and an author and commentator on the Internet. She created and wrote Boom Town, a column which appeared on the front page of the Marketplace section and online, and subsequently appeared on All Things Digital, which she founded and served as the co-executive editor with Walt Mossberg. On January 1, 2014, Swisher and Mossberg struck out on their own, with a new site, <re/code>, based in San Francisco, California.


I don’t think there is a cognitive bias for ‘performance’, but I think there probably should be. And Kara used it to greta effect.

  • Kara was funny (for US audiences and some wider ones).
  • She is evidently smart.
  • She picked up on a few things she has observed that
    many of us can relate to.
  • It was great to have a journalist talking
    around our industry (sort of)


  • Her presentation was not well structured and not well reasoned.
  • She has exposed the need for a proper discussion on what ‘trends’ mean in
    our industry
  • She has exposed how much we focus in our own echochamber
    — designing for the 1% (ourselves)

I actually enjoyed the presentation and got a lot out of it. It was well-timed after drinks :wink: but someone like Benedict Evans would have been 100x more valuable