15 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

This week we saw a slew of Twitter executives leave the company, a voluntary Apple product recall, quarterly earnings reports from major tech companies and much, much more. These are the stories you need to catch up on.

1. Matt Burns wrote about the water crisis in Flint, calling upon founders and entrepreneurs to find fixes for the city’s lead contamination issue.

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2. On Sunday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that a slew of top executives had chosen to leave the company. We rounded up more of the recent executive departures the company has seen. However not everyone is on their way out; the company confirmed Amex’s Leslie Berland as its new CMO.  

3. In this week’s Apple news, we learned that Apple made two acquisitions, an education startup called LeanSprout and VR company Flyby Media. Apple voluntarily recalled its two prong plugs over a rare shock risk, and we learned that Apple Pay is coming to ATMs. We also got a few more clues about what to expect when the iPhone 7 is unveiled. Rumors say that the iPhone 7 Plus could have a dual-camera system to take better photos.

4. Everything at Facebook seems to be growing, according to comments Mark Zuckerberg made on the company’s Q4 earnings call. Facebook now sees 100 million hours of daily video watch time. Facebook finally brought its new Live streaming feature to iPhone users, and in what seemed like a sudden move, shut down its Parse developer platform.

5. Apple, Facebook, eBay, PayPal, VMware, Amazon, Microsoft and Sony reported earnings this week. Highlights included Apple’s miss on iPhone sales, Facebook’s climb to 1.59 billion users and $5.8 billion in revenue, as well as VMware’s announcement that it will lay off 800 in preparation for the Dell acquisition. Bonus: Matthew Lynley and Katie Roof rounded up their predictions for which tech companies will IPO in 2016.

6. We sat down with Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim to discuss his new app Parlio, a new social platform promoting civil discourse on today’s issues.

7. Kim-Mai Cutler wrote about how California seems to be half-assing solutions to housing affordability in “A Long Game.”

8. Why do we keep arguing on Twitter? Matthew Panzarino writes about how no other social media platform engenders the kind of back and forth heated mini-mind competitions that Twitter does.

9. A Snapchat leak revealed plans for an upgraded messaging experience that includes audio and video calling and stickers.

10. Ingrid Lunden reported that Yahoo is downsizing in Latin America, closing operations in Mexico and Argentina.

11. Dropbox released a 2015 diversity report, citing some progress around having more women in leadership positions. But the report shows that Dropbox is only 2 percent black and 5 percent Hispanic. The crazy thing is that these numbers are actually an improvement. Let’s hope the company’s 2016 numbers reflect better minority representation.

12. Ron Miller wrote an analysis of the Box IPO anniversary.

13. Josh Constine reported on LendUp’s whopping $150 million Series A. LendUp wants to build a long-standing brand in finance “the right way,” rather than squeezing as much profit as possible from its customers in the short-term.

14. Danny Crichton wrote about how valuations for startups should reflect the risk in building the company, and yet, we have seen pre-launched products reaching a unicorn valuation or higher in “The End Of The Big Venture Formula.”


15. More bad news for blood analysis startup Theranos this week. Walgreens has suspended use of the company’s Newark, California lab, following news the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said that lab posed “immediate jeopardy” to patients.