I am hungry to observe real people who negotiate the complexities of their passions, professions — the courageous ones who are polished by their hard fought successes and failures. Arriving at BlogHer14, I didn’t know who Kara Swisher was but when she was introduced to the audience as the CEO of Re/code and Silicon Valley’s Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist, I sat up straight and paid attention.
“People are afraid of her, and they trust her,” Barry Diller says. “That’s not an everyday combination.”
Within a few seconds, I learned what people in Silicon Valley had known for years. She calls it out in technology, a place where I made the career preserving choice to be silent. Swisher is intelligent, open, honest, and above all, unapologetic. I was late to the Kara Swisher party but will stay and dance until the lights come up and the band goes home.
BlogHer14’s serendipity gave me a chance to meet briefly with her. I introduced myself by telling her that she is my new spirit animal. We decided in the moment that she was a honey badger, which somehow led to roller derby.
“I LOVE ROLLER DERBY!” she said with a big smile. Then paused to confirm, “You do that?”
I explained that I referee banked track roller derby and she listened, nodded slowly. Here is the woman who scoops big tech news on a regular basis. She even played herself on HBO’s Silicon Valley. And, she’s a roller derby fan. Just as I cheer for her and her voice, she cheers for me. I had made a connection – keep doing, keep writing, keep at it because our heroes and rock stars need us too.