tv Bloombergs Studio 1.0 Bloomberg April 23, 2016 10:30am-11:01am EDT
emily: she is one of the most influential women in technology and media, editor and chief of "the huffington post," a former candidate for governor of california, and the author of 15 books. including her latest, "the sleep revolution: transforming your life, one night at a time." joining me today on studio 1.0, arianna huffington. cofounder of "the huffington post." arianna, thank you so much for being here. ms. huffington: thank you for having me. so happy to be here. emily: verizon which owns aol and the huffington post say they
will bid for yahoo!. do you believe verizon has a longtime content strategy that include yahoo! and the huffington post and if so, what is it? ms. huffington: verizon has decided, and that is, of course, the reason why they bought "the huffington post," that the future for them has to include a very robust media technology company. so yahoo! would fit very well in the strategy. of course, there is competition. with softbank and maybe google, so we will see what happens. emily: what are the synergies you see with verizon and the huffington post? ms. huffington: verizon has huge distribution potential for us, especially as we are moving more and more into video. they have launched go 90 which is their mobile video play and have produced and paid for great content from many providers.
so this is fantastic for us, because it gives us great distribution. emily: what do you think about this whole idea of a wireless company getting into content? it is not just verizon or at&t. it's an interesting new world. ms. huffington: i think it's a smart move. the world is changing. it is really the innovator's dilemma that if you don't change fast enough because you are a big, successful company, like lateon is, then it is too to change. in a sense, if "the new york times" had changed early enough when it came to digital technology, there would be no room for "the huffington post." emily: there has been intense scrutiny on marissa mayer's own leadership and the turnaround, and now, she is now fighting for her job. do you sympathize with her at
all? ms. huffington: absolutely, i feel that marissa is a working mother who chose to run yahoo! a certain way and, at the moment, clearly, shareholders are not happy with the way it's been run. when you are a public company, that's one of the dangers. you run. emily: do you think yahoo! can be revitalized with new leadership? ms. huffington: well, i think one of the great advantages of yahoo! is it is a hybrid. it is a journalistic enterprise, and it is a platform, and it owns tumblr. i think tumblr is an incredible asset. more and more people want to express their views in more than 140 characters. you have an incredible opportunity to use tumblr to allow people to express their views and also to use it as a native advertising place. now, we see this for us,
definitely, and one of the most important monetization channels. you know, our relationship with ,oldman sachs and chipotle which are different brands, and sleep number, a mattress company, that create sections that are really for me one of the things of native advertising. emily: would you like to see yahoo! in the family at verizon? ms. huffington: absolutely, it provides us a bigger playground. emily: how have you liked working with tim armstrong, the ceo of aol, and do you buy into the idea to build a media and advertising giant that could compete with google and facebook? ms. huffington: well, first of all, tim and i have now worked together for five years. he bought "the huffington post" in 2011. which if you think of it, it was
a visionary act. the shareholders panicked. they thought it was a foolhardy move. aol received two bids while they were negotiating with verizon to buy "the huffington post" for $1 billion. clearly, he bought it for $350 million. so already, in what was then four years, he had an asset that , because he invested in us, had become significantly more valuable. he really backed me up when i want to take "the huffington post" around the world. it was really fantastic from our first trip together a couple of months after the acquisition in london. we announced we would be expanding in the u.k., in canada, and after that, it became -- we had the kind of first mover advantage of growing
internationally while now everybody is trying to do the same thing. emily: facebook is interesting because on the one hand, we are seeing this trend where, potentially, personal sharing is down on facebook, but people are sharing more news. ms. huffington: i'm an incredible believer in facebook. they have a winning combination here of live and video. i'm a big believer in life. -- in live. the way they are doing it, i mean, cheryl and i had that conversation yesterday and you suddenly have tens of thousands of people watching something and that is the right length, under 10 minutes.
emily: do you think facebook can win if twitter or maybe even snapchat is where you would go for live? ms. huffington: they know that and they are putting resources behind live. we partnered with them in launching a series called talk to me which is children interviewing their parents. actually, we have a great one of travis kalani interviewing his dad. emily: that is adorable. ms. huffington: it's all the children, so you can have, like, meaningful conversations rather than cute conversations. emily: what do you think about medium and the rise of medium? is it a threat to online publications? ms. huffington: i love medium. i think what they have done is absolutely fantastic. i just did a conversation on stage at a conference. and we want to partner together. i'm a big believer in partnerships. i feel partnerships are the future. the reason we have grown is that
every single one of our international additions is a j.v. or a partnership. a commercial partnership with a major media player. partnerships allow you to grow much faster, to have the advantages of having a player involved that knows the market. emily: why do you think the tech industry in particular has such a problem with women? ♪
emily: we have been talking a lot about issues like diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and the fact that women and minorities are underrepresented. when it comes to things like culture and inclusion, when should companies start thinking about these things? should they start thinking about these things on day one?
ms. huffington: i think they should start thinking about these things on day one. just take women for a moment. if you really make diversity and hiring women and encouraging them to get to the top from day one, you are going to act in ways that increase the pool from which women apply to join the ranks. women, according to the latest medical science, process stress differently, so we internalize stress more. so women in stressful jobs, which i'm sure includes every job in the valley, have a 40% greater risk of heart disease and a 60% greater risk of diabetes. so you see a lot of women drop out. and that is one of the things that needs to be stopped. and i feel that is kind of the
next revolution, when women don't say we want to get to the top of whatever world we are competing in, but they also say we want to change the world. because the way places have been designed by men are not sustainable. emily: why do you think the tech industry in general has such a problem with women? women in engineering and venture capital? there are just not enough. ms. huffington: i think the problem has a lot to do with the burnout culture. it is really important to look at the price we are paying for the way we are living. i mean, look at last year, how many executives we had literally collapsing, either on stage, like the ceo of bmw, or on the treadmill like the ceo of united, or jimmy lee, the head of m&a at j.p. morgan. emily: so what do workplaces need to do? what do tech companies need to do? ms. huffington: they need to make it very clear that there is a time when work ends, meaning you're not expected to be on all the time.
you know, you talk to people who work at google and there is a green light meaning you're still on, and there is this competition. are you on all the time and that's supposed to be good? or how quickly you return texts and e-mails. that is a culture that is barbaric, and that is changed by making it clear from the top. that is what we are doing at "the huffington post." when your work ends, you're not expected to be available. if there is something urgent, we will reach you but otherwise that's your time to recharge and return fully recharged to the office. emily: you started your own business. why don't more women start companies? ms. huffington: there is
something about risk-taking. i think living in institutional barriers with personal barriers, we have a harder time being disapproved of or dealing with naysayers. we have this voice that men have, too, but in my experience, women have it stronger than men. it is an obnoxious roommate living in my head. it puts me down and doubts me. that questions what i did or what i said. and it's very draining. if you start a new business, 3/4 of them don't succeed so you have to be more comfortable with failure. i was kind of lucky that i was brought up by a mother in a one-bedroom apartment in athens who kept saying to me failure is not the opposite of success. it's a stepping stone to success. so she always made me feel that it was ok to try anything and fail along the way. and so when i wanted to go to
cambridge, for example, and everybody said you will never get in, you do not speak english, we don't have any money, she said let's find a way to get to cambridge. we knew it was unlikely and i probably would fail but that did not stop us from trying. so i think more women need to have that sense that it's ok to fail along the way. because you have talked to every entrepreneur under the sun, is there anybody who has not failed along the way? emily: a lot of people blame the diversity problem in the tech industry on networking. people hire people they know. so men hire men, for example. you are very close personal friends with sheryl sandberg. what do you think about the role of networks and the power of networks to empower women but also work against them? ms. huffington: well, networks have always been important from ancient times because we want to work with people we like. they can become a problem if we
want to only work with people who are similar to us. i mean, i know, emily, when i was building "the huffington post," i realized if we were going to succeed, i had to hire people who i might not want to have dinner with. i had to hire people who were a third of my age, and you think i did not know? i would know them in a deeper way or i would never know them. they are essential for our success and the same applies in any field. and also, also, even if you are the boss, you need to realize u don't know everything, especially in a very fast-changing world, where constantly disrupting ourselves is essential for success. emily: sleep is one of the great mysteries of science. you have written a whole book about it. this originated from your own
emily: so, sleep is one of the great mysteries of science. it's something we still don't know a lot about, and yet, you have written a whole book about it. this originated from your own wake-up call. what happened? ms. huffington: so nine years ago almost to the day, i collapsed from sleep deprivation
, exhaustion, two years into building "the huffington post" with two teenaged daughters and, as a single mom, taking one of them around to colleges to decide what college she would apply to. i came back to my home office, and i got up to get a sweater because i was cold. i fainted. i hit my head on my way down and broke my cheekbone. and that was, for me, the beginning of reevaluating my life and recognizing that based on scientific findings, trying to get by on four to five hours of sleep is not sustainable, unless you're one of the 20% percentage, about 1% of us who are known as, in scientific circles, "short
sleepers," and they can get by on that without any adverse effects, but it's a genetic mutation. emily: so it's a real thing. ms. huffington: a genetic mutation. you can test yourself for it. i don't have it. i optimally need eight hours. every scientist will tell you that unless you have the genetic mutation, you need somewhere between seven to nine hours to be operating on all cylinders and for your immune system to be strong so you don't get colds and other diseases, for your cortisol levels to be low so you don't have constant stress in your body, and also, your brain level for your cognitive functions to be at their best. emily: you are one of the most powerful women in the world. you founded "the huffington post." you run 15 editions around the world. what about the little guy? how do you tell your boss, i am sorry. i need to take a nap. ms. huffing if you have one
of those bosses, it's important to manage your discretionary time, the time you have some control over. and we all have more discretionary time than we acknowledge. somebody is watching "house of cards." emily: so in silicon valley, it's a cutthroat world and startups are trying to stay alive. you started your own company. you know how taxing this is. how do companies manage this issue of overwork and under sleep when they are trying to keep the lights on? ms. huffington: well, that is really the fundamental delusion, the delusion that by working around the clock, you're going to be more successful. and all the evidence is to the contrary. that, in fact, in order to be at your most productive and most creative and your most resilient, you need to be -- to have had a good night sleep, because that is when you operate at your best. i was talking to travis kalani today. he said as a young entrepreneur, he bought into much of the
delusion that he is not going to sleep, and he was going to drive himself into the ground, and he joked. he said, "i had failure after failure. then i hit my 30's. i realized i was much more effective, much better leader when i was fully recharged." emily: so you have not been shy about donald trump bragging about how little sleep he gets and how it's hurting his campaign. so i am curious. what if he becomes president? what does that mean for america? ms. huffington: so he has been bragging for a while that he only gets four hours of sleep per night and that he sleeps with his phone, because he does not want to miss out, and i think, ultimately, this lasting contribution to american life, he will be exhibit 'a' of sleep deprivation because he truly portrays all the symptoms that the american academy of sleep medicine has described as symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation, like inability to process basic information, mood
swings, outbursts of anger, paranoid tendencies, instability, and finally, he actually went so far when he called on women who have abortions to be punished that he had to retract it, and he does not retract anything. emily: maybe he doesn't become president, but nobody thought he would get this far. does it worry you? like, what if? ms. huffington: he got this far partly because of the media. the media really did not do their job. foruse he is so good ratings, and he could literally phone it in on any show, even the biggest sunday morning shows, which they would never allow any other candidate to do. emily: are you a hillary clinton supporter?
ms. huffington: like you, we are covering the election, and we are covering everyone. we believe that's our job. it's not our job to pretend we don't have a very strong position on a candidate. that we are completely beyond the pale like donald trump. emily: what keeps arianna huffington, the sleep guru, awake at night? ms. huffington: i am a neurotic mother. i'm working on it. i'm not saying it proudly. emily: aren't all mothers neurotic in some way? ms. huffington: i am particularly neurotic. like if i text one of my daughters, especially my daughters are 24 and 26, not five or seven, and if i don't get a response within 3.5 seconds, i move to major negative fantasy. so i am confessing this publicly, in the hope that somebody will provide some help. emily: what is next? this is your 15th book. ms. huffington: this is my 15th book.
i am very committed to this campaign. it is much beyond the actual book. we have this college outreach to over 100 colleges because i want to reach the millennial audience and help them understand that sleep is essential to their well-being and to their grades and to their careers. we have that campaign against drowsy driving, and we have a partnership with marriott, jetblue, and airbnb, so we want to reach a critical mass and change critical norms. -- cultural norms. emily: arianna huffington, thank you for being with us. great to have you. ♪
emily: i am emily chang. this is "the best of bloomberg west." we bring together the top interviews from the week in tech. the president of didi chuxing, the leading player in china's ride hailing space and a competitor with uber. we will hear how the company plans to keep uber at bay. plus, the third season of "silicon valley" premieres on sunday.