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And just like that, TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 came to an end. I’m exhausted, but it’s hard not to be optimistic about the future after spending three days listening to the vulnerable thoughts of some of tech’s brightest minds, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to the creator of Alexis Gay comic.
If I had to take one singular lesson from the hours of programming, the showroom, and Startup Battlefield, it would be this: Disruption needs direction. We are in the midst of an unprecedented period, and while this is good news for some entrepreneurs (and bad news for many of them), perhaps focus is what pulls us out of it.
The theme kept showing up in the panels I hosted or listened to. For example, when I asked Nisha Dua of BBG Ventures about how best to spend first-control capital, she continued to emphasize the need for entrepreneurs to invest their North Star, i.e. say the most defensible and innovative part of their business, rather than more flashy alternatives. . When I bugged Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn to find out where his now public company was going, he drew a line that ended just before disrupting the college degree. And of course, when I asked Reid Hoffman how early-stage founders can better attract capital, he explained why it’s important to have an opinion and stick to it – controversy is better. Even Nth Cycle, the runner-up of TC Battlefield, wants to revolutionize metal processing by complementing existing processes, without completely ignoring them.
It was refreshing to hear grounded but inventive perspectives throughout the week. For those who missed it, we’ll be posting recaps of all panels over the next week. Here are some of my favorite panels so far:
And of course, check out our podcast on TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield, where we go behind the scenes and talk about the finalists.
Thank you to everyone who came to learn, listen and support. As always you can find me on Twitter @nmasc_. In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll cover the bootstrap and crackdown on crypto that you should probably pay attention to.
The Mailchimp sale sparked a seed conversation, so my colleagues Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm took a look at what it means to jump capital and increase revenue (imagine!). In their latest collaboration, the duo discussed what bootstrapping looks like today – in a world of endless APIs, well-trained technicians, and a high demand for better software services.
Here’s what you need to know: They argue that the money is going further than it has ever been in the past.
But startups that don’t need – or maybe just don’t want – to raise expensive equity capital while growing have more tools at their fingertips than ever before. Income-based financing is now an established concept. Some companies go even further. Pipe has built a market where companies can sell income – or maybe we should describe it as a market where income can be traded. A more active market for buying and selling income should help price discovery, possibly leading to more attractive prices for founders and a more liquid market for their future earnings; the more the founders can access the capital by selling the high end instead of shares, the more the seed can be viable.
The latest crackdown in China
China’s central bank has said all cryptocurrency-related transactions are illegal in the country and should be banned. The crackdown in the world’s most populous country will prevent internal, financial and payment companies from facilitating trade on their platforms, reports Manish Singh.
Here’s what you need to know, according to Singh: “Chinese regulators have been considering a ban on cryptocurrency mining for several years. But in recent quarters, several local businesses have started embracing crypto. Chinese app maker Meitu bought Bitcoin and Ether for $ 40 million in March. It’s unclear if this ban will be any different from other tensions, or if the headquarters of the biggest crypto mining services will be cooled anytime soon.
Thank you to everyone who attended TechCrunch Disrupt 2021. It was heartwarming to see such an engaged, disruptive and genuinely fun audience come out on our virtual stage. However, in classic TC fashion, one event is over, another to come!
Then we’ll have TechCrunch: SaaS 2021 sessions. This is our first event that focuses on software as a vertical, and given the boom in the sub-sector, the timing couldn’t be better. Purchase discounted event passes and check out the agenda for a preview of some of the announced speakers.
All week long
Seen on TechCrunch
California mandates zero-emission autonomous vehicles by 2030
$ 200 Million Robotic Increases Attack
Clubhouse announces Wave, making it easy to start casual private lounges
A reward program for your rent payments? Meet Bilt
IPhone 13 Pro goes to Disneyland
Freshworks, Toast go public and we took
Seen on Extra Crunch
Dear Sophie: What is the difference between the IEP and the last proposed start-up visa?
Turns out fintech is worth as much as SaaS
Hints of a hot market abound like Freshworks and Toast IPOs