Daily Crunch: Experts say Musk's open-source vision could make Twitter vulnerable to attack




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It's April 26, 2022, and today, all we've been heron about is news that has made our stomach churn - a case of irritable owl syndrome, if you will. No fowl play is suspected, although we did get an impression that Musk is just winging it here.

We know, we know -- all of these puns are clucking terrible, but what is a poor pair of newsletter writers to do when they pull our favorite social media site from the stork exchange? - Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Same Twitter time, same Twitter channel: Today, we took a look at the aftermath of Elon Musk's deal to buy Twitter, this time on the privacy front. Cybersecurity experts say that Musk's idea to make Twitter's tech open-source could make it more susceptible to attacks, though his ideas for going after spam bots may lead to better detection - and perhaps a reduction of followers for many people wondering about that blank egghead following them.

  • Left Lane making a right turn when it comes to investments: It was the gift that keeps on giving for Left Lane CEO and managing partner Harley Miller, who closed the venture capital firm's $1.4 billion fund on his birthday. The firm is targeting "internet-enabled consumer tech with recurring business models," which Miller felt was a white space among all the other enterprise and SaaS investors. We wonder what his birthday gift will be next year.

  • Teach a teen about money and you'll raise a more financially conscious adult: At least that's the goal most parents have. Being a good steward of your money is something even adults can have trouble with, which is why we've seen so many child- and teen-focused financial apps attract funding. The latest is Copper, which raised a $29 million Series A, offering debit cards, ATM access and digital wallet support. Parents can participate alongside their child, adding funds and monitoring their spending. Copper even helps with the financial basics, like what compound interest is.

Po-tee-weet?

If you don't give two craps about Twitter or Elon Musk ... we're really sorry, it's got to suck being you on the internet right now. Take a breath and go look at some actual birds. You know, the ones that live outdoors.

Break out the binoculars; we're doing a lot of bird-watching today, just so you have it all in one handy place. In case you've been offline for the past month, we put together a handy timeline, which will give you some of the context.

We reported yesterday that Twitter accepted Elon Musk's offer to buy Twitter, and then all hell broke loose. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said Musk is the only solution he trusts, but as you read above, Carly isn't so sure, saying that this is going to be a privacy nightmare. We discussed both how Trump wouldn't be coming back to Twitter and how that is hogwash; he'll be back.

Alex took a punt at what is next for Twitter with Elon taking over the penthouse suite of the birdhouse and encouraged Musk to please not mess it up. Natasha wondered what the Twitter diaspora will get up to. Sarah was curious whether all the advertisers are going to make nests on other platforms, and Amanda reported that Twitter is locking away the source code for the platform.

Startups and VC

The hardware dweebs among us were having a great day today. The detail of the EV Corvette using excess battery heat to heat the cabin -- much like ICE cars using excess engine heat to make you nice and toasty as you cruise around - is such a cool (ha!) detail. The obvious benefit of reusing waste heat instead of spending electric power to run heaters is extended range - very clever indeed. Also in the world of hardware, Launcher demoed a 3D-printed rocket doing a full-scale burn, and the space-obsessed 15-year-old that lives within us is very very excited.

Non-Twitter news:

  • Au, au, au, it's magic: AppDynamics founder's Midas touch strikes again as Harness valuation hits $3.7 billion.

  • Might as well face it, you're addicted to leads: Qualified raises $95 million to help Salesforce users with sales pipeline generation.

  • The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees: In the wake of Fast's collapse, Volume thinks it can crack the payment checkout conundrum.

  • Leaving, on a (private) jet plane: Investors think that Mirai Flights can make it easier to book a private jet.

  • Here's my number, so call me, maybe: Call center automation software vendor Replicant raises $78 million.

  • It's only rock 'n' roll but I like it: Social music platform BandLab scores $65 million at a valuation of $315 million.

Klaviyo co-founder Ed Hallen's 3 top pieces of advice for launching a startup

Image of two silhouetted heads, one orange and one yellow, with arrows running from one to the other to represent knowledge transfer.
Image of two silhouetted heads, one orange and one yellow, with arrows running from one to the other to represent knowledge transfer.  

Image Credits: jayk7 (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Most founders are not experienced entrepreneurs, which means they tend to make the same mistakes as they try to overcome universal challenges like fundraising and hiring.

According to Klaviyo co-founder and chief product Ed Hallen, luck was a contributing factor to his marketing automation company's success.

"But it's also clear that if we had known more upfront, we wouldn't have had to luck into those choices in the first place," he says. "And for a founder, less luck means you'll encounter less risk."

In a TechCrunch+ guest post, he shared three fundamental pieces of advice for new founders. Lesson one: Don't attempt to change user behavior - instead, look for a problem to solve.

"Rather than focus on telling a story, we found a problem and came at it hard because we knew if we found enough people with the same problem, we could build a company."

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • We talked a lot about cars yesterday, and even though Ford is trying to tease us with a second electric pickup truck, let's head over to public market land to talk about the earnings announcements of Warner Bros. Discovery and General Motors (yes, we realize it's still cars). Warner Bros. Discovery had some mixed reviews, with one star going to WarnerMedia, a unit it picked up earlier this month. AT&T delivered that blow already. The five-star ratings went to the Discovery and U.S. Networks units, which both saw a rise in revenue. As for General Motors, Jaclyn and Rebecca laid out some predictions (EV to the rescue!) for what we might see when earnings come out later today.

  • If you like an app on the Apple App Store, you might want to check if it is on this list. Apple is attending to one of its regular cleanups, and Sensor Tower predicts some 3,000 apps will be taken off the shelves.

  • Having a community is important, and Reddit perhaps has one of the biggest communities around. It is now putting some money behind it with a $1 million fund to help its users make their ideas and events become reality. And in other community news, YouTube is allowing users to send thanks in the way of a tip to content creators.

  • Not much of a surprise here, but TikTok was the most downloaded app in the first quarter worldwide.

  • Roku users rejoice! The streaming provider signed a multiyear deal with Lionsgate Films to freely stream some of the production company's upcoming films for 2022 like "John Wick 4," "Borderlands," "Expendables 4" and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" (haven't read that book in 30 years, so yay it's going to be a movie?).

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