Jon Evans, TechCrunch

Jon Evans

TechCrunch

Berkeley, CA, United States

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Recent:
  • TechCrunch
Past:
  • The Walrus
  • Quartz

Recent articles by Jon:

Surfing the reverse mullet with Alexis Ohanian –

For many years the allure of Silicon Valley was contingent on the ability to move here. Its ecosystem didn’t work remotely. “We see a very strong indication that where you’re located does matter… come to Silicon Valley,” intoned Joe Kraus of Google Ventures at the first Disrupt conference I ever intended, speaking for essentially all […] → Read More

Surfing the reverse mullet with Alexis Ohanian –

For many years the allure of Silicon Valley was contingent on the ability to move here. Its ecosystem didn’t work remotely. “We see a very strong indication that where you’re located does matter… come to Silicon Valley,” intoned Joe Kraus of Google Ventures at the first Disrupt conference I ever intended, speaking for essentially all […] → Read More

Armenia and the technology of diaspora –

It’s a tough world out there for small countries. Technology is the future, everyone knows that; but how do you claim your share of that future when you’re competing with America, China, the EU, and India? How do you build a thriving ecosystem of tech wealth and tech education — successful international businesses whose alumni […] → Read More

The siphon and the forge –

The tech industry has won at capitalism. From America to China, from Amazon to Alibaba, from Alphabet to Tencent, the most valuable and most dynamic companies in the world are technology companies. But what kind of capitalism? Because there are really two different modes, two ways to get rich. One is to claim a share […] → Read More

Facebook’s plan for our post-web future –

Let us connect some dots. Five years ago, Facebook acquired VR pioneers Oculus for $2 billion. This week, it snapped up neural-interface pioneers CTRL-Labs for somewhere north of $500 million, and announced that its own massively multiplayer VR shared universe Horizon will launch early next year. Oculus became (somewhat creepily named) Facebook Reality Labs, headed […] → Read More

Our motto: Dronepocalypse Now –

Last week someone knocked out 5% of world oil production with a small swarm of drones and cruise missiles, and in doing so, inaugurated “a change in the nature of warfare globally,” to quote The Independent. These were relatively crude drones, too. Let’s pause a moment to imagine what happens if and when sophisticated autonomous […] → Read More

Please get your digital affairs in order –

I really wish I hadn’t had cause to write this piece, but it recently came to my attention, in an especially unfortunate way, that death in the modern era can have a complex and difficult technical aftermath. You should make a will, of course. Of course you should make a will. But many wills only […] → Read More

Would we miss the Media Lab if it were gone? –

A friend and MIT grad wrote to me yesterday, “I don’t know if the Media Lab is redeemable at all.” This in the wake of the bombshell Ronan Farrow piece in the New Yorker, reporting that the Media Lab under its director Joi Ito had covered up a much closer relationship with Jeffrey Epstein than […] → Read More

3D printers on the final frontier: Made In Space is building satellites that build themselves –

In a nondescript building near Moffett Field, still undistracted by any VC funding, an 80-person company named Made In Space is building tools for the next generation of satellites and space exploration, including most remarkably, the first self-manufacturing satellite, due for launch in three years’ time. Building in space rather than on the ground, courtesy […] → Read More

Crypto means cryptotheology –

Cryptocurrencies are a religion as much as they are a technology. They almost have to be, given their adherents’ gargantuan ambition of fundamentally changing how the world works. This means they attract charlatans, lunatics, frauds, and false prophets, and furious battles are waged over doctrinal hairspliitting; but it also means they inspire intransigent beliefs which […] → Read More

The mainstream media have still not learned the lessons of Gamergate –

This week the New York Times published a five-years-later retrospective on Gamergate and its aftereffects, which is chilling and illuminating, and you should go read it. It makes an excellent case — several excellent written cases, actually — that “everything is Gamergate,” that it and its hate-screeching online mobs were the prototype for all the […] → Read More

2020 and the black-box ballot box –

One of the scarier notions in the world today is the prospect of American voting machines being compromised at scale: voters thrown off rolls, votes disregarded, vote tallies edited, entire elections hacked. That’s why the nation’s lawmakers and civil servants flocked (relatively speaking) to Def Con in Las Vegas this week, where hackers at its […] → Read More

We’re all doomed, 2019 edition –

Every year the great and good (and bad) of the hacker/information-security world descend on Las Vegas for a week of conferences, in which many present their latest discoveries, and every year I try to itemize the most interesting (according to me) Black Hat talks for TechCrunch. Do not assume I attended all or even most […] → Read More

The Russians are coming! The Russians are

Did you know that Russia’s security services, particularly those related to hacking / information security, have been in the throes of vicious high-stakes infighting for years? Did you know that the perceived Russian doctrine which informed much Western analysis of Russian strategies never actually existed? Did you know that the Kremlin’s secrecy has built an […] → Read More

Your security team is probably an infuriating obstacle – but it doesn’t have to be this way –

Security is empty, meaningless theater — or, at least, that’s the lesson taught to most employees of most large companies. Security is your password expiring every few months, your inability to access crucial services if you’re new or a contractor, a salty message from a team you’ve never met explaining that your new initiative is […] → Read More

On the Amazon panopticon –

Last year, “Amazon employees met with ICE officials … to market the company’s facial recognition technology,” the ACLU informs us. Amazon VP Brad Huseman later said “We believe the government should have the best available technology.” Then, last month, Motherboard revealed Amazon has partnered with police departments around the country to create “a self-perpetuating surveillance […] → Read More

The dreaded 10x, or, how to handle exceptional employees –

The “10x engineer.” Shudder. Wince. I have rarely seen my Twitter feed unite against an idea so loudly, or in such harmony. I refer of course to the thread last month by Accel India’s Shekhar Kirani, explaining “If you have a 10x engineer as part of your first few engineers, you increase the odds of […] → Read More

What will happen when the bad times come? –

Here in America we are now in the longest economic expansion in history. That doesn’t mean it’s about to end. But it does raise the question: what happens when it does? When the economic cycle finally inverts into recession, perhaps unexpectedly and with no obvious cause, perhaps because of some geopolitical crisis? We know what […] → Read More

Don’t hold your breath for the moon –

In the house in which I grew up, a single framed newspaper front page loomed over us. “MAN ON MOON“, it declared jubilantly, in an enormous, suitably momentous typeface. Subheadings included “‘It’s very pretty up here … a fine, soft surface’” and, of course, “A giant leap for mankind.” One leap forward, three steps back. […] → Read More

Don’t blame flawed Silicon Valley for the rot of Wall Street and Washington –

The techlash is well underway. Blame Facebook! Blame Google! Blame Amazon! (Apple and Microsoft still seem relatively immune, for now.) And, I mean, there’s a lot of objectively blameworthy behavior there, especially in that first case. But I find myself wondering: why does the ire go beyond that, into irrational territory? What is it about […] → Read More