Sequoia Warns Founders of ‘Crucible Moment,’ Advises How to ‘Avoid the Death Spiral’

The Information Weekend’s Last-Call 2021 Culture List

Amidst the deluge of year-end releases and top 10 lists, some worthy cultural phenomena undoubtedly slipped through the cracks. Here, we round out 2021’s best films, shows, albums, podcasts, board games, and TikTok chefs with 25 picks you might have missed.

Dec. 30, 2021 9:00 AM PST

There were plenty of unmissable cultural moments in 2021: “Squid Game” exploded, “Dune” dazzled, Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift dominated, Bennifer reunited, “Friends” and Carrie Bradshaw returned, and sea shanties took over TikTok. But those were just the headliners. Suspecting there was more to 2021 than Lil Nas X and #FreeBritney, The Information Weekend asked our plugged-in writers, reporters and editors to clue us in on the cultural phenomena that they loved and the rest of us may have missed this year.

Each pick on this list feels extremely of the moment, even though it may not have gotten the spotlight it deserved. We’re here to hype what we couldn’t stop talking about, from a venture capital newsletter to a comedic TikTok creator to a band we can only call “the Anglo-Saxon Haim.” So in your last few days of 2021, catch up on these semi-hidden gems—you’ll thank us in 2022.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing Venture Capital Startups
Startups in Sequoia’s ‘Crucible Moment’; Musk Pledges More Funding for Twitter
Photo by Bloomberg
As we reported last night, Sequoia Capital has once again taken on the role of Silicon Valley soothsayer, releasing a 52-slide presentation on advice to startups, which it says face a “crucible moment” as the economy slows and central banks retract the monetary stimulus that kicked off the boom two years ago. In particular, the partners at Sequoia told founders to rethink how they consider...
Latest Briefs
 
Chinese Ride-Hailing App T3 Seeks $750 Million as Didi Global Struggles
Musk Scraps Margin Loan, Committing Another $6 billion in Equity for Twitter Deal
Twitter to Pay $150 Million to Settle FTC Privacy Case 
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital. Photo by Getty
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Sequoia Warns Founders of ‘Crucible Moment,’ Advises How to ‘Avoid the Death Spiral’
Sand Hill Road’s doomsayer-in-chief—Sequoia Capital—is back with a warning to its startup founders: Don’t expect a recovery from the current market downturn to happen quickly.
(L-R) Jonathan Ive, Johny Srouji, Dan Riccio and Tim Cook. Photos by Bloomberg; Apple. Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Apple AR/VR
Behind the Apple Design Decisions That Bogged Down Its Mixed-Reality Headset
Apple’s executives had a critical design decision to make about the company’s riskiest product in years.
(L-R) Cameo CEO and founder Steven Galanis, and Cameo co-founders Devon Townsend and Martin Blencowe. Photo by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
At Cameo, Boom Times Give Way to Sharp Sales Slowdown
By the beginning of last year, six-year-old startup Cameo was on a tear. Pandemic-induced lockdowns in 2020 had spurred demand for the personalized video messages celebrities sell on its website and app.
Brian Armstrong, chief executive officer of Coinbase Global Inc. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Crypto
Coinbase Slashes Costs, Freezes Hiring Amid Crypto Crash
Cryptocurrency trading firm Coinbase, whose revenue has shrunk amid a downturn in the sector, is pausing new business projects, freezing hiring for two weeks and aiming to slash its cloud spending on Amazon Web Services, among other cost-cutting measures, according to a pair of internal emails sent to employees this week and viewed by The Information.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read Crypto
Panic at the Discord
The crypto party was as raucous as ever—and then someone turned on the lights. After a year of record-high token prices and newfound support from legacy financial institutions like Fidelity and BlackRock, reality bit hard the second week of May when the algorithmic stablecoin terraUSD (known as UST) crashed, taking down some $400 billion in crypto market cap with it.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Opinion AR/VR
VR Is Failing the Very People It Could Benefit Most
Consider this: In The Climb , a popular virtual reality game, any user can virtually scale skyscrapers and majestic cliffs simply by turning their head and gripping a trigger —any user, that is, except one with a muscular, skeletal or neurological disorder that makes even those movements impossible.