Overheard at TechCrunch Disrupt 2022


Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced take on this week’s startup news and trends by Senior Reporter and Equity co-host Natasha Mascarenhas. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.

As far as weeks go, this one was as disruptive as they come.

TechCrunch Disrupt 2022 has officially come to a close after an iconic three days of interviews, startup pitches and “Oh my god I know you from Twitter” moments. I think I can speak for my co-workers when I say we are all exhausted and refreshed, somehow, at the same damn time.

So, let’s do something a little different for Startups Weekly. This week, instead of running through our usual digest of news, I want to honor some of the best moments, on stage and off, of the conference. Below you’ll find some hilarious, witty and nuanced quotes linked with a related story if available.

If you want more than just the excerpt, don’t fret. Here’s a live transcription of all the panels, and make sure to check out TechCrunch and TechCrunch+ for further context on news that broke on stage. As always you can follow me on Twitter and forward this newsletter to a friend. But only if you want.

Enjoy, and we’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming next week.

Overheard at TechCrunch Disrupt 2022

  • “Would I pick this? If I had a magic wand to design a health care system that leaves people behind desperately, every single day? A health care system that says that someone like me, who looks like me, just by virtue of my race has a three to six times more likely chance of dying in pregnancy because of systemic factors because of completely unchecked racism in our system and our society and our health care system because of stigma? Because of lack of equitable access to services? Absolutely not,” Cityblock Health co-founder and CEO Toyin Ajayi. Full story here.
  • “Social products tend not to invent new behaviors. They tend to take things that we are wired to do as humans that we have fundamentally shown we enjoy doing, and they just make it dramatically easier to do it with anyone in the world,” Clubhouse co-founder and CEO Paul Davison.
  • “TechCrunch? That sounds like a candy bar,” “Chic woman in the elevator.”
  • “We’re past COVID, I again, argue, and we’re now looking at a potential recession. And in a recession, transportation historically is always stable; it’s a necessary thing that people need. And $30 salads on food delivery is not stable in a recession,” Lyft co-founder John Zimmer on why he’s not getting into the food delivery business. Full story here.
  • “I was told you folks did not talk about hydrogen over happy hour quite as much last night as you were supposed to. So they brought me back so we can really kind of r-emphasize it a bit here.” Advanced Ionics founder and CEO Chad Mason. Full story here.
  • “Make sure you say it again; I’m not being paid for this,” Comedian and investor Kevin Hart. Full story here.
  • “Trust is consistency over time,” Figma CEO Dylan Field. Full story here.
  • “Just to clarify, you extract lithium from brine and produce battery grade lithium and drinkable water?” TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief Matthew Panzarino to the co-founders of Minerva Lithium (and this year’s winner of Startup Battlefield). Full story here.
  • “The way I think about fundraising is it’s theater for toddlers,” Metafy CEO Josh Fabian.
  • “We actually bought most of the billboards in San Francisco for three months for $300,000. Which, you know, may seem like a lot of money but we had raised around $60 million at the time so it wasn’t huge for us. It was massively successful. We definitely got way more than that in revenue in the first month than we spent on billboards,” Henrique Dubugras, founder and co-CEO of Brex.
  • “I don’t need to BeReal because I’m real every day,” TechCrunch audience development manager Alyssa Stringer.
  • “If taking super glue from a founder to fix a broken acrylic nail crisis is the worst choice I make at Disrupt then I think I will have succeeded,” TechCrunch senior reporter Amanda Silberling.
  • “What’s your podcast?” Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green to TechCrunch hardware editor Brian Heater. Full story here.
  • “I’m gonna show up and probably be beat up by security guards or something. [I’ll tell them] she said I could play,” TechCrunch Deputy Editor Jordan Crook on playing tennis with tennis legend and venture capitalist Serena Williams.
  • And in response: “I said you could watch,” tennis legend and venture capitalist Serena Williams. Full story here. 
  • “There’s a new issue that we have with doing Equity on stage. I haven’t worn makeup for like four years and I touch my face a lot. So now I have makeup all over my hand. So if you see me, don’t let me hug you because you’ll get a weird shaped handprint,” TechCrunch+ Editor-in-Chief Alex Wilhelm. Full podcast here.

Chat next week,



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