Feb 7, 2017

Hot in Silicon Valley: the Crunchies

TechCrunch hosted its annual Crunchies award show on Monday. Highlights:

  • Tech leaders who are working with Trump "are on the wrong side of history, no matter what you accomplish, this will be your legacy," said Erica Baker, co-founder of Project Include.
  • Jeff Lawson, who co-founded and is the CEO of Twilio, reminded everyone "who the real enemy is"—and it's not fellow Americans.
  • Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, came out to present an award and somehow agreed to a script that poked fun at her company. Yahoo's sale to Verizon is still to be determined following the disclosures of two massive security breaches, but in any event, Mayer will need a new job.
  • The team of Otto, a self-driving truck company acquired by Uber last year, showed up to pick up its award for "Hot new Startup" while wearing trucker hats—a nod at the profession Otto's technology will soon eliminate.

Why it matters: For better or worse, the Crunchies have become a public attempt by the tech industry to show off its values. The event now makes a conscious effort not to offend (too much), and award winners are increasingly more diverse—an acknowledgement of the industry's overall lack of diversity. And yet, it might no longer be the "it" event it used to be—winners like Snap didn't even bother to show up and host Chelsea Peretti didn't miss an opportunity to point out the empty seats.

Go deeper

Pandemic and protests can't stop the stock market

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

United States equities were on pace to open higher Monday following big gains in Asia and Europe and a risk-on bid in currency markets.

Why it matters: Stock markets could continue to rise despite an unprecedented global pandemic, violent protests over police violence in the U.S. not seen since the 1960s, and spiking tensions between the world's two largest economies.

11 mins ago - Sports

The sports world speaks up about death of George Floyd

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. Screenshot: Jaylen Brown/Instagram

There was a time when a months-long sports absence would have silenced athletes, leaving them without a platform to reach fans or make their voices heard.

Why it matters: But now that athletes boast massive social media followings and no longer need live game broadcasts or media outlets to reach millions, they're speaking out en masse amid protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people — delivering messages of frustration and unity, despite their leagues not currently operating.

The technology of witnessing brutality

Charging Alabama state troopers pass by fallen demonstrators in Selma on March 7, 1965. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

The ways Americans capture and share records of racist violence and police misconduct keep changing, but the pain of the underlying injustices they chronicle remains a stubborn constant.

Driving the news: After George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked wide protests, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, “Thank God a young person had a camera to video it."