Elon’s Big Week – TechCrunch

Hey!

I’m Greg Kumparak.

I will be leading Week in Review for the foreseeable future, with its former host Lucas Matney diving into cryptocurrency with the launch of a newsletter and podcast called Chain Reaction. He’s not getting very far, and I’m sure he will come back from time to time.

If my name sounds familiar, it could be because I took over Week in Review a few times while Lucas was AFK/touching the grass/not looking at a screen. Or it could be because you’ve been reading TechCrunch for too long. I’ve been in this place for over a decade; I wore a lot of hats in that time. (Metaphorical hats. I have a big head, most real hats don’t fit right.)

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

the big thing

Lucas always started the newsletter with the “big deal” of the week… and, well, the big thing this week was arguably Elon Musk offering $44 billion to buy Twitter, and Twitter accepting it. If you were looking at our list of most read posts of the week, you might think it was the only thing that happened in technology this week. No joke.

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

[ … pause for effect]

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

Ron was quick with some thoughts on how Twitter has evolved since it entered 2007, and where it could go from there. Natasha pointed out that with several 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! How:

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

Snap built 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 friends, don’t take that selfie. Let me get the drone. Wait, let it boot. One second. Wait, no drones allowed here? It’s 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 news that takes me back to the wild gadget blogging days of 2010*, someone found what appears to be a prototype Google-made Pixel smartwatch forgotten in a restaurant. Google’s big I/O event starts in just a few weeks, so I hope to hear more about it. (* “Oh no, how was the iPhone 4/Gizmodo thing more than a decade ago,” he says to himself as he crumbles to dust and blows.)

added things

We have a paywalled section on our website called TechCrunch+. It costs a few dollars a month and is full of really good stuff! Starting this week, for example:

The 9 startups developing the batteries of tomorrow: From building smarter devices to tackling 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 over $4 billion in hopes of breaking the next era of battery technology. Also, he got a pun in the headline, which is a win in my book.

YC’s Dalton Caldwell on how to get into YC: A few weeks ago at our TechCrunch Early Stage event, Y Combinator’s Dalton Caldwell led a session on what he looks for when a startup applies. The session and subsequent Q&A were filled with real, actionable insights from someone who knows more about the accelerator application process than anyone else, and in this post I’ve collected many of the parts that stood out to me the most.

Should you put any of your 401(k)s in encryption? 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 the risks and rewards.

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