From a hush-hush Apple meeting to mysterious executive departures, 9 of the most important tech stories Business Insider reported in 2018

GettyApple CEO Tim Cook.

From massive, multibillion dollar acquisitions to boardroom shake-ups and disturbing scandals, the tech industry had an eventful 2018.

Business Insider’s team of tech journalists was first to report some of the most important developments, from the surprise departure of Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene to the internal turmoil at augmented-reality (AR) pioneer Magic Leap and the problems leading up to Uber’s fatal autonomous-car crash.

As the tech world moves ahead into 2019, we decided to distill the year’s catalogue of exclusive stories and investigations into a list of the nine most important reports. Check out the list below for some great reads you may have missed, or to refresh your perspective and challenge your assumptions as you prepare for the new year in tech.

Microsoft in talks to acquire GitHub

GitHubChris Wanstrath, GitHub’s cofounder and former CEO.

A Microsoft acquisition of GitHub – the popular platform for software developers – seemed like a wild notion when Business Insider’s Julie Bort and Becky Peterson broke the news this summer that the two companies were in discussions for a multibillion-dollar deal.

Within days, however, Microsoft announced plans to buy GitHub for $US7.5 billion, sending shockwaves throughout the tech world and spurring competitor IBM to acquire Red Hat.

Read the full story here »

The inside story of Travis Kalanick’s downfall at Uber

Samantha Lee/Business InsiderTravis Kalanick, Uber’s former CEO.

A lot of stories have been written about the internal turmoil at Uber that led to the ousting of CEO Travis Kalanick.

Business Insider’s chief tech correspondent, Julie Bort, wrote the definitive account, speaking to dozens of people over six months. She unearthed important new details, revelations, and behind-the-scenes events that set in motion a boardroom coup that’s sure to be analysed by business-school professors for years to come.

Read the full story here »

Apple’s secret app-developer meeting

Kif Leswing’s fascinating and detailed report about an invite-only meeting with app developers that Apple hosted in a New York City luxury loft shed new light on the iPhone-maker’s strategy to focus on subscriptions.

With Apple’s recent shift to focusing on its “services” business, building a reliable app-subscriptions revenue stream and keeping developers happy will become increasingly vital to the company’s success.

Read the full story here »

Instagram’s new TV service recommended graphic videos that appeared to depict child exploitation

Instagram; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

When Instagram launched a video-streaming service called IGTV in June, the launch was hailed as a move to encroach on YouTube’s business. But, as Business Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton discovered in an investigation, Instagram’s new TV service was recommending a crop of graphic and disturbing videos, which contained content that appeared to include child exploitation and genital mutilation.

Instagram removed the videos after being contacted by Business Insider, and Britain’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children reported the videos to the police.

Read the full story here »

The breakup of high-flying Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Social Capital

Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunchChamath Palihapitiya, founder and former CEO of Social Capital.

One of the biggest stories in Silicon Valley’s rarefied world of venture capital in 2018 was the demise of Social Capital, the firm founded by former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya.

In a series of exclusive reports, Business Insider chronicled the growing tensions and finger-pointing between the members of the firm and its larger-than-life founder.

Read the full story here »

Facebook backs off from drones and shutters its Building 8 skunkworks labs

FacebookMark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.

As Facebook was whiplashed by one scandal after another in 2018, the social-network giant backed off several of its most ambitious projects.

Shortly after Business Insider’s Rob Price described the high-level departures and changes at Facebook’s Aquila drone project, Facebook confirmed it was getting out of the drone business.

Price also reported the first details about Facebook shuttering its ambitious and high-profile Building 8 hardware lab and moving some of the projects to various units within the company.

Leaked Andreessen Horowitz data reveals how much Silicon Valley startup execs really get paid

Kimberly White/Getty; C Flanigan/Getty; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

How much do engineers, designers, and other techies working at startups make?

Venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz conducts an annual survey to get a sense of Silicon Valley salaries, and Business Insider’s Rob Price got ahold of the results. The interactive graph that BI created, based on the data, has quickly become a must-have resource in the competitive world of tech.

Read the full story here »

The story of the mysterious exit of a $US2 billion tech startup’s CEO

Apttus; iStock; Skye Gould/Business InsiderKirk Krappe, former CEO of Apttus.

Kirk Krappe, the longtime CEO of $US1.86 billion startup Apttus, left the company in July 2018 with little fanfare. Two months later, Apttus was acquired by a private-equity firm.

As Business Insider’s Becky Peterson discovered during an investigation into the events, the CEO’s abrupt departure followed a string of problematic incidents at the company, including a claim of sexual assault at a company retreat and a corporate culture rife with dysfunction.

Read the full story here »

Uber’s new CEO encourages employees to have “the D”

Greg Sandoval/Business InsiderDara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber.

This may not rank among the most consequential stories of 2018, but it sure is one of the most memorable. Becky Peterson’s account of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s pet catchphrase, and its unfortunate double entendre, is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

Read the full story here »

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