This week, The Hustle Daily Show hit 1m downloads. Huge thanks to everyone listening, and if you haven’t checked it out yet — give it a listen today!
In today’s email:
Instagram’s rough week, explained.
Chart: Europe wants AC.
Weekend reads for your Friday kalimotxo.
Around the web: Twitter university, paper masterpieces, “prairie madness,” and more interesting internet finds.
🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Zack and Juliet discuss Rite Aid’s refusal, Comcast’s stagnant business, and Airbnb’s impact on the housing and rental markets.
The big idea
Instagram’s rough week, explained
Someone recently told me they stopped using Instagram and, instead, scroll through Airbnb for fun.
Others are doing that, too. Not the Airbnb thing, but the spending-less-time-on-Instagram thing.
For many, the preferred destination is TikTok. So to combat the trend, Instagram’s been making increasingly blatant moves to TikTok-ify itself.
… new updates gave rise to an angry mob which included Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian.
By bringing algorithm-driven recommendations to feeds, funny clips from a random 15-year-old in Nebraska could theoretically outperform Kim K’s yacht pics. Hence the uproar.
In response, Instagram head Adam Mosseri, quite literally looking like a Minion, said that the updates need work but video is still the focus.
To make matters worse, all this was followed by Meta posting its first-ever quarter of declining sales Wednesday.
… in an interview with tech reporter Casey Newton, Mosseri said Instagram will walk back these changes so the company can design a better experience around them.
But while his update may have eased the tension, Meta still finds itself in a pickle.
On one end, it’s squeezed by TikTok in terms of engagement and ad dollars. On the other, it’s working toward the Metaverse, and a strong Instagram is necessary to fund its virtual future. (Apple, in the meantime, is finalizing its own VR headset.)
For the time being, Mosseri has put out the fires. Perhaps now he can figure out why my friend is more interested in scrolling Airbnb than Instagram.
After the bell: Apple stock jumped in extended trading after the company beat estimates for sales and profits. CEO Tim Cook expects to accelerate revenue in Q4 despite “pockets of softness,” which sounds like something you’d find in an actual apple.
Trending down: US GDP dropped 0.9% in Q2, marking the second straight quarter in decline. While it doesn’t officially mark a recession, two consecutive negative quarters has long been considered an unofficial sign of one.
Who’s got Spirit? JetBlue, that’s who. The airline agreed to purchase Spirit Airlines for $3.8B in a move that will make it the fifth-largest domestic airline by market share.
Flatlined: Comcast’s broadband business remained flat between April and June, making it the first time since 2008 the company has not added 100k+ subscribers in a quarter. Peacock subscribers remained flat at 13m as well.
Trademark filings revealed TikTok might be working on a music streaming service to take on Spotify and Apple Music. The app, which has become a platform for music discovery, released SoundOn, its own distribution platform for artists, in March.
Banned: Rite Aid joined the list of pharmacies that will not fill ADHD prescriptions from telehealth startups Cerebral and Done. Walgreens and CVS have already adopted similar policies.
Ask The Hustle: A while back, we invited you to slide into our DMs, and ~300 of you wrote in with questions. Now, we’re here with some nuggets. First up: How do you grow a social media following without buying followers?
AC sales are heating up in Europe
About 91% of US homes have air conditioning. But in Europe, it’s far less common. Why?
The climate: It’s neither as hot nor as humid in many parts of Europe as it is in many parts of the US.
The UK is often dreary and damp — much like Seattle, where only 44% of US households are equipped with AC. (Conversely, in Greece, where summers get toasty, 99% of households do have AC.)
They don’t like it: Cranking the AC can be seen as wasteful, and some Italians think it’s bad for your health.
But that could all change given recent heave waves
Amid record-breaking heat and wildfires across Europe, portable AC sales in Britain spiked 2.4k% in a week, perThe Washington Post.
An International Energy Agency estimate sees AC units across the EU more than doubling from 110m in 2019 to 275m by 2050.
Of course, more energy use…
… leads to more emissions, leads to more climate woes.
But Paul Hockenos, a Berlin-based author who covers renewable energy, suggests some more planet-friendly solutions, including:
Passive cooling (opening windows at night, drawing shades by day
Geothermal cooling (which moves heat into the ground)
Scientists are using dead spiders as robotic grippers ‘cause of course they are.
How to make a business out of Trends
We’d like you to launch a thriving business off our content.
Pick up best practices from the pros. Maybe hone the shit out of some baller entrepreneurial skills. But ideally the first. So we wrote about it.
A couple Trendsters running with our ideas:
Our air conditioning Flare led Sudhir to the lucrative opportunity of “heat pumps,” which are 2-3x more efficient than modern AC units — with low market penetration in the US. One Circle launches soon.
Our February 2020 digital privacy report pushed Taylor to start Eden Data, a cybersecurity outfit catering to startups. Their team of ten already does $300k MRR.