If your startup doesn’t seem impossible at first, it’s not hard enough

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Startups exist to solve complex problems, not to generate revenue quickly, and their success lies in their unique value proposition. The more difficult the problem a startup tackles, the stronger its competitive advantage and the more indispensable it becomes in its industry. Simple solutions are easily replicable, jeopardizing the startup’s position and success.

The key to a startup’s success is its team and its ability to answer crucial questions about the startup’s purpose and challenges. Working on a difficult startup problem can bring industry recognition, facilitate sales and marketing efforts, and open the door to higher billing for your premium product. In short: if startup seems like an easy win, the founders are probably forgetting something, I discuss in my most recent column. Solve something that might seem impossible at first glance and you may be on the right track. If there’s no real chance of failure, you’re doing it wrong.

On this light tone, here’s what’s happening in the startup world at TechCrunch this week!

Someone call security

Locking a computer circuit board intended to illustrate security in a digital context.

Image credits: Getty Images / Yuichiro Chino

If you haven’t been paying attention to what our cybersecurity team has covered, you’re missing out. Zack, Lorenzo and Carly absolutely crush it. Let me make an impassioned plea that their work not be missed.

When we think “essential services,” we may think of water, electricity and hospitals – but internet connectivity is increasingly important as an infrastructure that connects the social fabric. As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, Internet connectivity in Gaza has been hit hard. Palestinian internet service provider NetStream has reportedly collapsed due to a severe fuel shortage, while other providers such as Paltel and Mada Al Arab are also said to be facing serious connectivity issues. Although the situation remains precarious, connectivity has finally been partially restored. There are indications that US government pressures Israel to restore internet connectivity in Gaza.

Meanwhile, in India, Apple has briefed several prominent Indian lawmakers and journalists about potential state-sponsored attacks on their iPhones, just months before the country’s general elections. Those targeted include opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, key Congress party figure Shashi Tharoor and leaders of several other influential political parties.

Atlassian has issued a warning about a critical security breach that could result in significant data loss for its customers. This product has notably recently been the target of Chinese state-sponsored hackers. Atlassian has not yet detailed how the flaw may lead to data loss, but urged customers to fix the flaw immediately.

There is more:

Also about the passage of time: Apple has recently fixed a long-standing vulnerability in its iOS software that undermined a privacy feature. Security researchers discovered that the feature introduced in iOS 14 did not work as expected.

Acquisition of securities for $400 million: As the tech industry in Israel is disrupted due to political events, Palo Alto Networks is acquisition of Israeli technology company Dig Security for an amount estimated at 400 million dollars. The acquisition will strengthen Palo Alto’s Prisma business focused on cloud security.

I guess we have to pay: Paying hackers in the event of a ransomware attack is a fairly common practice, but it has a ton of pitfalls: You trust anonymous criminals to do what they promise, and you could potentially violate US sanctions laws along the way.

What’s going on in the silicon farm?

Image credits: Apple

Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ event in October saw the announcement of their new M3 chip lineup including M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max. These bullet points, which were the highlight of the event, will be integrated into the new 24-inch iMac and the new MacBook Pros. The M3 chips focus on improved graphics capabilities. Compared to the previous M1 chip, Apple says the M3 renders 2.5 times faster and has a 30% faster processor. The videos from the event were great (of course, they were produced by Apple), but one delightful quirk was that they were all shot with iPhonesdemonstrating that phones are becoming more and more capable, even for professional work.

Magic Leap, an augmented reality hardware company, has replaced its CEO Peggy Johnson with Ross Rosenberg, marking the completion of its corporate pivot. Johnson joined Magic Leap in August 2020 and led the change in business strategy. His successor previously served as an executive at Belden and First Solar, and will now guide the company through its next period as the company faces the daunting challenge of achieving profitability.

Learn more about computer hardware:

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? : Shield AI, a startup specializing in autonomous flight systems for the US military, has raised $200 million in new funding roundreaching a valuation of $2.7 billion.

Eero grows with best-in-class Wi-Fi: Amazon’s Eero has launched its most advanced mesh Wi-Fi router yetthe Eero Max 7.

Boxing key: Launch of Danish start-up Soundboks its fourth generation Bluetooth speaker which was a success on the European festival scene, but has yet to gain a foothold in the American market.

Ups and downs in the startup world

Image credits: Keith Bedford/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The current bear market in cloud stocks has led to a reversal in revenue multiples compared to the start of the year, making it difficult for late-stage startups to create value, writes Alex on TC+. However, early-stage startups experiencing rapid growth may still be able to raise funds and demand better valuation. The trend points to a favorable environment for startups favoring growth rather than preserving their cash flow.

At the same time, we wouldn’t be surprised if WeWork ends up filing for bankruptcy (TC+). The company is facing significant challenges. WeWork stock hit a new low, falling more than 47% after hours to just $1.21, bringing the company’s market cap down to just $121 million. It’s a brutal fall compared to the $47 billion valuation it reached after its SoftBank-led Series H round in early 2019.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst: Startup co-founders don’t always succeed, and in his fantastic TC+ article, Rebecca explores what you can do to prepare todayif a co-founder rift is in the way of your startup journey.

Exceptional banking support in Brazil: Brazilian startup QI Tech, a banking-as-a-service platform, has raised $200 million in Series B funding round, marking the largest increase in Brazil this year across all sectors. The latest funding round brings QI Tech’s total capital raised to $262 million.

Appointment of the new CEO of the Web Summit: Former Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher has been named the new CEO of Web Summit, following the controversial departure of its previous leader, Paddy Cosgrave. Maher’s appointment comes as the tech conference faces the challenge of rebuilding relationships and trust within the tech community.

Best reads on TechCrunch this week

Brighter, smarter cards: Google is rolling out a variety of updates for Maps, integrating AI technology to improve user experience. The feature is currently available in France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with expansion planned.

From stopping and starting to early charging: On TC+, Tim is fed up with American automakers hesitating on electric vehicles, as Ford and GM show signs of backing down from their commitment to electric vehicles. Cowards.

A swan song from the ornithological reserve: X estimated its value at $ 19 billion, according to internal documents, a decrease of 56 % since the purchase by Elon Musk last year. Bad for shareholders and Musk, but potentially good for managers and employeesAmanda explains.

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