Here at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live conference in Laguna Beach, the very first speaker was Arianna Huffington. And the very first question that the Journal’s Dennis Berman asked her was about Uber, where she is a board member who has been especially prominent as CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down and former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took his place. The company’s biggest mistake, Huffington said, was not taking culture—which she calls a corporate “immune system”—seriously enough.
But then the conversation turned to Huffington’s startup Thrive Global, which aims to make sure that well-being and work aren’t in conflict. She teased an app the company is about to release—in partnership with Samsung, which will have a three-month exclusive—which is designed to help people ensure they don’t get hooked by social media. (That, she charged, is the goal of the engineers at companies such as Facebook.)
Even “normal people who are not addicted may spend seven or eight hours on Facebook or Instagram a week,” Huffington said. “At six hours we’ll cut them off.”
Speaking more broadly of smartphones, Huffington decried the modern habit of sleeping with one and turning to it upon awakening. “Your phone is everybody’s agenda for you,” she told Berman. “What do you want out of your day? Can you take 30 seconds to consider it?”