Re/thinking the Big Event
Welcome to the first Code Conference, and thanks for once again taking a chance on us.
We first asked speakers, attendees and sponsors to trust us way back in 2003, when we created and produced the initial D: All Things Digital conference, which became the country’s premier tech and media gathering and ran for 11 years. Now we are back as an independent startup, determined to rethink the conference without forsaking its core values: Quality live journalism with great speakers onstage, and valuable networking with a terrific, select community of attendees offstage.
As you participate in Code this year, you’ll notice a fresh look and feel, including new staging, different types of programming, more intimate seating, reconfigured spaces for better networking, and a reimagined way of presenting our traditional demos of a select group of new products.
We hope you’ll still feel at home, with the same free flow of ideas and hard questions that we’ve been proud to present for years — both inside and outside the main ballroom.
All of this is consistent with our view of both the industries we cover and of our own endeavors. We know that in the tech and media industries, the very best companies are always reimagining, reinventing and revamping what they do and how they do it. And that applies to us, as well, especially now that we have moved from being a product group in a large company to becoming our own venture.
It’s why we named this event’s sister website Re/code.
Over the next three days, we aim to engage our speakers on just about every important tech and media theme imaginable, from mobile to wearables to health to education to the cloud and much more.
We’ll do this with a stellar speaker lineup. On opening night, we’ll bring you Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO, in his first public interview as leader of the software giant, followed by a candid conversation with Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
The next night, we’ll help answer the question: “Besides Tim Cook, who runs Apple?” To do that, we’ll invite onstage two powerful Apple execs who are rarely seen publicly outside of the company’s own tightly scripted events: Craig Federighi, who controls Apple’s mobile and desktop operating systems, and Eddy Cue, the boss of the company’s online and media services.
In between, we’ll talk with an impressive array of important and thoughtful figures, including a crop of new CEOs from Intel, Qualcomm and BlackBerry.
We’ll wrangle answers out of Brian Roberts, CEO of cable giant Comcast (he gets no mercy just because one of his companies, NBCU, has a minority stake in ours), and from his nemesis of late, Netflix boss Reed Hastings.
Want to know how Sprint hopes to swallow T-Mobile, and by combining two weaklings, remedy America’s “horrible” broadband situation? Us, too, so we’ll ask Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son. We wondered what would happen if we paired Twitter CEO Dick Costolo with digital-savvy entertainment figure Ryan Seacrest — so we did.
And you’ll hear from the leaders of hot smaller companies like Dropbox, Uber, Beats Music and Nest — and also the CEO of a giant one, Walmart.
Interested in the enterprise? Pay attention to our pairing of Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff and Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri. Focused on training young people to code? We’ve got you covered with Hadi Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, and Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College.
Oh, and once again, Mary Meeker — Kleiner Perkins partner and longtime Internet prognosticator — will speed through a zillion slides with clarity and foresight to deliver her annual State of the Internet summary.
Thursday will feature an array of onstage demos of new products. In addition to Reed Hastings kicking off the day, we’ll introduce the “Product Spotlight,” a 90-minute session in which six companies will show off new products while fielding questions and comments from all four Re/code reviewers.
Lastly, there will be some “Spotlights” sprinkled throughout the program, with content that may surprise you.
We want to sincerely thank all the speakers and sponsors who took a chance that our startup company could build on the tradition of D and even amp it up a bit. And we’d be nowhere without NBCU and Windsor Media, who are not only our funders and minority investors, but also key strategic partners and advisers in the fullest sense of those words.
And we are eternally grateful for our amazing editorial, business, tech and conference production staffs. They are not only the best in the business, but they stuck with us when we struck out on our own.
Still, we reserve our most fervent gratitude for you, the Code attendees. You helped us sell out this conference in a matter of hours — months in advance — despite a name change and understandable uncertainty. We know you will add immeasurably to the value and quality of our inaugural installment of this rebooted conference. We are proud to have you here.
/ Walt Mossberg & Kara Swisher