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Elon’s Big Week – TechCrunch

Hello!

I’m Greg Kumparak.

I’ll be headlining Week in Review for the foreseeable future, with its longtime host Lucas Matney diving into cryptoland with the launch of a newsletter. Y podcast called Chain Reaction. It won’t go too far, and I’m sure it will stop from time to time.

If my name sounds familiar to you, it may be because I took over Week in Review multiple times while Lucas was AFK/touching the turf/not looking at a screen. Or it could be because you’ve been reading TechCrunch for a long time. I have been at this location for over a decade; I’ve worn many hats in that time. (Metaphorical hats. I have a big head, most real hats don’t fit me.)

That’s all I’ll say about myself for now, because this is not the Greg in Review newsletter. But come say hi on twitter. Tell me what you like best about Week in Review as it has existed so far. I don’t intend to change the format much, but I’m always willing to do more of what people like.

the big deal

Lucas always started the newsletter with the “big thing” of the week… and, well, the big thing this week was, hands down, that Elon Musk offered $44 billion to buy Twitter and Twitter accepted. If you were looking at our list of the most read posts of the week, you might think it was the only thing that happened in technology this week. It is not a joke.

I’m pretty sure almost everything that can be said about Elon, Twitter, and the combination of Elon and Twitter… has already been said. Hot shots, not so hot shots… all shots, of all temperatures, have already been taken. I think if you don’t have anything smart to say, the smartest thing to say is nothing.

[ … pause for effect]

Fortunately, I have a lot of smart friends who have said a lot of smart things!

Ron quickly came up with some ideas about how Twitter has evolved since he joined in 2007, and where he might go from here. Natasha pointed out that, with a number of Twitter employees suddenly less happy and likely wealthier, this could be the start of a new wave of startups. Devin questioned…well, everything about it.

If you somehow find yourself saying “Wait, is Elon buying Twitter?”, here’s our recap of the entire wild ride.

other things

Believe it or not, other things happened this week! I like it:

PayPal confirmed that it is closing its SF office: Our very own Mary Ann Azevedo broke the news that PayPal is separating from its SF office, with the company saying it’s evaluating its “global office footprint” based on how the pandemic has changed the way we work. It appears that SF employees will be able to work virtually or travel to the San Jose headquarters.

Did Snap build a selfie drone? It’s adorable, but I’m having a hard time seeing how this becomes anything more than a silly side project for the company. “Wait folks, don’t take that selfie. Let me get the drone out. Wait, let it boot. One second. Wait, no drones allowed here? Okay, we’ll be quick. I’m not killing the vibe! You are. Well, the battery is dead, give me a minute.”

Someone found a Pixel Watch: In a story that takes me back to the wild gadget blogging days of 2010*, someone found what appears to be a prototype of a Pixel smartwatch made by Google, forgotten in a restaurant. Google’s big I/O event starts in a few weeks, so I hope to hear more about it then. (* “Oh no, how was the iPhone 4/Gizmodo over a decade ago”, he says to himself as he falls apart and flies away.)

things added

We have a paid section on our site called TechCrunch+. It costs a few bucks a month and is packed with great stuff! As of this week, for example:

The 9 startups developing the batteries of tomorrow: From building smarter devices to fighting climate change, we need better batteries if we want to keep moving forward. But what is really happening in space? TechCrunch newcomer Tim De Chant started off with a bang (zap?) with a deep dive into nine companies that have collectively raised more than $4 billion in hopes of cracking the next era of battery technology. Also, he got a play on words in the headline, which is a win in my book.

YC’s Dalton Caldwell on getting into YC: A few weeks ago at our TechCrunch Early Stage event, Y Combinator’s Dalton Caldwell led a session on what to look for when applying to a startup. The session and subsequent Q&A were packed with real, actionable information from someone who knows more about the throttle application process than perhaps anyone else, and in this post I’ve compiled many of the parts that stood out to me the most.

Should You Put Any Of Your 401(k) Into Crypto? This week, Fidelity announced that it will allow retirement account holders to invest up to 20% of their 401(k) in bitcoin. But should you? The excellent Anita Ramaswamy explores risks and rewards.