Hello, friends! Welcome back to Week in Review, where we quickly recap the most read stories on TechCrunch from the last 7 days. The goal: If you had a busy week, you should be able to skim WiR and still have a pretty good sense of what happened in tech. Want it in your inbox? Sign up here.
Many, many thanks to Henry Pickavet for putting WiR together while I took a couple weeks off. I wish I could say it was a wonderfully relaxing few weeks off, but I was traveling with a back injury and my 3-year-old … so, yeah, nah. I had a great time, but I’m glad to be home and putting words on the internet again!
The most read story this week, by far, was news that Elon Musk quietly had twins with “one of his top executives” last year. Musk responded to the myriad takes with a tweet: “Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis. A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.”
Elon Musk says he’s killing the Twitter deal: Elon Musk’s legal team announced late Friday that they intend to halt the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, citing “false and misleading representations upon which Mr. Musk relied when entering into the Merger Agreement.” Twitter chairman Bret Taylor immediately responded with a statement that “the Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement.” This is gonna get messy.
Glance is headed for the U.S.: Glance is a company that puts tailored content/games (and, of course, ads) on an Android phone’s lock screen. After finding its way onto around 400 million smartphones in Asia over the last few years, the company is prepping for a U.S. launch “within two months,” according to a scoop from our own Manish Singh.
A bigger, tougher Apple Watch: Rumors of new Apple devices are always in the air … but when the very-often-correct Mark Gurman says something is coming, we tend to pay attention. Gurman says that Apple is building a beefed out version of its Apple Watch for “extreme sports athletes” — one with a bigger display for easier reading mid-workout and a tougher design so you’ll worry less about dings and dents.
Apple’s “Lockdown” Mode: It’s a generalization for sure, but the more features your phone has, the more potential attack vectors there are for hackers to target. With that in mind, Apple this week announced “Lockdown Mode,” a setting coming to iOS/iPadOS/macOS that lets you instantly disable a number of features — think things like what files it’ll open, what websites are allowed to do, who can contact you, etc. It’s meant primarily for those who “may be at risk of highly targeted cyberattacks,” an Apple press release said, but will be available to all later this year.
Vauld hits pause: Cryptocurrency prices saw massive crashes throughout May and June, and crypto lending platform/exchange Vauld said early this week that it is suspending “all withdrawals, trading and deposits” as it explores “potential restructuring options.” In a series of tweets, Vauld co-founder Darshan Bathija noted that customers had withdrawn over $197 million from the platform in the last few weeks alone.
Sunny Balwani found guilty: After a 3-month trial, former Theranos COO Sunny Balwani was found guilty on 12 criminal charges this week. For those who haven’t been following every beat of the Theranos disaster, Amanda put together an excellent, succinct overview of the case thus far — and the impact it has had on the startup ecosystem already.
Amanda interviews MKBHD: I may be half a decade older than him, but I want to be Marques Brownlee when I grow up. Otherwise known as MKBHD, he’s a wildly popular tech YouTuber, increasingly popular TikToker, professional ultimate Frisbee player (!), and an all-around-cool human. Amanda caught up with Marques at VidCon, where they talked about everything from evolving the long-form content he’s known for with the pacing of TikTok in mind, his thoughts on the metaverse and the tech he thinks isn’t getting enough attention.
Podcasts! You like them, we’ve got them.
Over the last few days, Darrell chatted with Amanda about her trip to VidCon on The TechCrunch Podcast, Jacquie and Anita talked about crypto’s “savior” on Chain Reaction, and the Found podcast team talked with WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg about his 19 years leading the company.
You can find all these and much, much more in our weekly podcast roundup.
Want even more TechCrunch? Head on over to the aptly named TechCrunch+, where we get to go a bit deeper on the topics our subscribers tell us they care about. Some of the good stuff from this week includes:
The thing that makes your pitch deck useless: “You’ve brushed off your Keynote skills, you’re giddy that you’re finally going to be able to start paying yourself a living wage, and you are excited to start pitching your startup’s next round of funding to your investors,” writes Haje (TC’s resident Pitch Deck expert). “It’s heady times, for sure, but hit the other pedal there for a moment, friend — you may be forgetting something.”
Meanwhile…: That last post covered the slide Haje says every pitch deck needs; this one’s all about the slide he thinks is useless.
So are we in a startup recession or what?: Alex Wilhelm spends more time thinking about the nitty-gritty of startup economics than just about anyone I know, so when he opens a post with something like “I don’t know what is going on in the startup market and it’s a bit of a pain in the ass,” I read on.