5 things in tech you need to know today

Welcome back! We’re changing things up as we close out the year. This week, some of Insider’s tech editors are sharing five of their top stories of 2021. We’ll be back in regular action next week. 

It’s Shona Ghosh here, UK technology editor at Insider. I look after our startup and Big Tech coverage from our London bureau, and mostly spend my working days shuddering at having to spell everything with a z.

America’s technology firms and investors have been heavily influenced by what’s happening in Europe and Asia. With that in mind, here are my favourite (sorry: favorite) stories of 2021.

If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider’s app – click here for iOS and here for Android.

An anonymous former Google Japan employee faces sexual harassment while working from home.

Google; Samantha Lee/Insider

1. Remote work has blurred the line between home and work — and in some cases made workplace harassers bolder. During the spring, we spoke to an ex-employee at Google Tokyo who made distressing allegations that a colleague repeatedly pursued her — only for HR to brush off the incident because it hadn’t happened at the office. Read her story.

2. Facebook wants to hire 10,000 people to build its “metaverse.” The metaverse doesn’t exist yet and its precise definition is unclear, but Mark Zuckerberg is adamant that virtual reality, or something like it, is the next major computing platform. He sees Europe as a major source of talent.

3. Hedge fund Tiger Global is blowing up the rules of venture investing, backing a tenth of all European startup deals. 2021 was the year of the “crossover” investor backing startups publicly and privately, and Tiger’s speed and capital has caught VCs by surprise. See how it’s picked up the pace.

4. Europe might kill Apple’s proprietary Lightning port. European rules are directly influencing product decisions at the major tech firms. Potentially forcing Apple to adopt USB-C is just one example.

5. Hopin is perhaps Europe’s most famous pandemic unicorn. Investors have giddily backed the conferencing software platform, founded by a 26-year-old, to a near $8 billion valuation. How founder Johnny Boufarhat coped with exploding growth.

Written by Shona Ghosh. Follow @shonaghosh on Twitter or email her at sghosh@insider.com. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb.

Read More