Introduction

Hi, I'm Danny. I’m managing editor at TechCrunch and I analyze issues of technology and global power. Get in touch at danny@techcrunch.com.

Formerly, I was a venture capitalist at Charles River Ventures and General Catalyst. I'm a Harvard PhD dropout and a graduate of Stanford in Mathematical and Computational Sciences.

Current Obsessions

The things I think about every day:

  • The Rise of China
  • Data Sovereignty and the fracturing of the internet
  • Cost Disease
  • Economic development in the 21st century
  • The challenge of megaprojects and infrastructure

Book Review | 4 min read

Two dystopias for the holidays: We & The Handmaid’s Tale

Two dystopias for the holidays: We & The Handmaid’s Tale

For novelists, there is a bright line between speculative and let’s say speculation fiction. In speculative fiction, the author’s goal is to hit the fast-forward button on our thinking, offering us a context to consider the patterns and trends we observe around us and see how they (may) play out. In contrast, “speculation fiction” (or plain old science fiction) just plops us in a whole new world, with no extension from our reality needed or implied.

Dystopias are interesting because they almost always end up on the speculative side of the divide, even when they might otherwise work better as pure speculation. Their authors want readers to meditate on certain matters precisely, and so creating a continuity with today is paramount for believability

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Writing Review | 1 min read

Writing Review for Week of Dec 17, 2018

Writing Review for Week of Dec 17, 2018

We are fast approaching Christmas - hope everyone has a great holiday season.

With today’s IPO sinking, a year of highs and lows for SoftBank

A very comprehensive overview of one of the largest newsmakers this year. SoftBank is a telco, a venture fund, and owns huge swaths of the infrastructure companies that make smartphones work. So its actions and strategy this year are critical to understand for Silicon Valley. Some great news around their assets like ARM, but a tough debt situation is going to make 2019 a tough year with stocks looking primed to go down.

The GPS wars have begun

GPS is a crucial technology for smartphones, but the United States has had a practical de-facto monopoly over the technology. Now,

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Writing Review | 2 min read

Writing Review for Weeks of Dec 3 & 10, 2018

Writing Review for Weeks of Dec 3 & 10, 2018

We are fast cruising to the end of the year, and lots of major stories as we close out the rapid news cycle before the holidays.

The nation-state of the internet

This was my most in-depth, thoughtful article the past two weeks. It’s maybe a little heady, but essentially, the internet is creating the context for a new form of the nation-state. That discussion was in the context of Imagined Communities, a book that is one of most cited of all time in the social sciences and discusses how the printing press was the enabling technology for the first nation-states to form. May try to follow up on this in the coming weeks.

Nvidia newsletters

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Writing | 1 min read

Writing Review for Weeks of Nov 12 & 19, 2018

Writing Review for Weeks of Nov 12 & 19, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! As another year comes to a close, it is always great to refocus on what we are thankful for each year.

Amazon did exactly what it should have with its HQ2 process

An argumentative essay that largely agrees with Amazon’s process for selecting its HQ2. Such location decisions are almost always the exclusive province of boards of directors, but Amazon did open it up a bit to offer politicians an opportunity to make their pitch. Maybe people didn’t like the process, or thought it was sickening how much cities were willing to fight for jobs (I don’t understand that personally). In the end though, it is great that cities had any input at all on a private corporate matter.

Experimental

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Writing Review | 2 min read

Writing Review for Weeks of Oct 29 & Nov 5, 2018

Writing Review for Weeks of Oct 29 & Nov 5, 2018

Damn good writing productivity this week if I do say so myself. A set of five articles packaged as part of a new content experiment at TechCrunch, a book review, and two more editions of TechCrunch’s Equity podcast.

Package: SoftBank and Form Ds

A set of five columns focused on SoftBank’s financial performance and Form Ds, which are the filings that startups typically submit to the SEC when they take venture capital. SoftBank loves debt, but yet has managed to continue to outperform on operating income growth, while

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Writing Review | 1 min read

Writing Review for Weeks of Oct 15 & 22, 2018

Writing Review for Weeks of Oct 15 & 22, 2018

Another busy two weeks (I repeat that a lot). I got the chance to review State Tectonics by Malka Older, cover a few news stories, and host TC Equity, the podcast that talks shop about VC.

In State Tectonics, an explosive ending for the future of democracy

Malka Older’s science fiction novel State Tectonics is an incredible romp through the future of democracy and politics. It’s filled with great vignettes, and has a thriller plot line as well. The characters are perhaps a bit underdeveloped, but in the end, people read speculative fiction for the speculation, and State Tectonics offers it in spades.

MIT announces new college of computing with $1 billion commitment

Major news story from MIT, which is going to put

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1 min read

Writing Review for Weeks of Oct 1 & 8, 2018

Writing Review for Weeks of Oct 1 & 8, 2018

As always, a busy two weeks as we head into the fall.

NYC wants to build a cyber army

A deep dive into New York City’s new cybersecurity ecosystem initiatives. The city wants to be one of the global hubs for the industry, since most of the major customers that use this software are based locally. These sorts of initiatives are tricky to get right, but the hope here is that the combination of an incubator, education initiatives, sales accelerators and co-working/community space can catalyze the industry against other leading cities like Boston, Washington DC, and Tel Aviv.

Equity Episodes

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Writing Review | 1 min read

Writing Review for Week of Sept 24, 2018

Writing Review for Week of Sept 24, 2018

This has been another really busy week.

The death of once high-flying VC funds

This was an in-depth look at the failures of four well-known VC firms in Silicon Valley. All four were widely popular with the press, and all four have all but ceased to exist just a couple of years later. What happened? The essential story here is that there really aren't all that many similarities. Much as the families of Anna Karenina are each unhappy in their own ways, each of these funds faced different issues which caused their undoing. Crazily enough, some of these funds may still turn out to have blockbuster returns.

China splits the internet while the U.S. dithers

One challenge that is not widely understood remains the

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