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⏸️ Need to hit pause on work?

The Hustle

🚨 Today is the final day to enter our vacation referral giveaway. To recap, we’re giving away four $3.5k vacation packages.* As the saying goes, you can’t win it if you ain’t in it. Details below.

In today’s email:

  • Career gaps: How LinkedIn is normalizing them.
  • Chart: Babysitting leaves inflation in the dust.
  • Cloud gaming: We tried Amazon Luna; here’s how it went.
  • Around the web: Global Twitter trends, fascinating wikis, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear about Rivian’s pricing screwup, Russia vs. Wikipedia, career gaps, Amazon’s bookstore closures, and more.

The big idea

How LinkedIn’s trying to normalize job gaps

Unless you work at The Gap, if you’ve ever taken time between jobs, you’ve likely asked yourself, “What do I do about the gap on my LinkedIn?”

Options include stretching your previous role into your next (AKA lying), leaving the gap unexplained, or calling attention to it explicitly.

According to Protocol, LinkedIn just solved that dilemma with a feature that lets users choose from 13 options to describe a gap.

What are they?

Options include personal reasons like caregiving and bereavement, as well as work reasons like career transitions and layoffs.

LinkedIn already offered “stay-at-home mom” and “stay-at-home dad” as job titles, but the new options validate other reasons to hit the pause button.

The move is also backed by data that shows general sentiment is changing.

  • LinkedIn reported a 39% jump in career gaps in 2020.
  • The company says 79% of hiring managers would hire a candidate with a career gap on their resume.

Though subtle…

… the new feature speaks to a shifting attitude toward workplace flexibility. Other examples include:

  • Remote work: A recent report believes 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by 2023.
  • 4-day workweek: Belgium passed a reform package allowing citizens to choose a 4-day workweek, and a growing list of US companies are trying it out.

At this rate, within a generation or 2, the 40-hour workweek and workplace practices of the 20th century will be relics of the past.

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Beauty boost: Beauty For All Industries, which owns D2C subscription companies Ipsy and BoxyCharm, raised $96m to expand. #ecommerce-retail

A for efforts: A new report rated 55 companies’ net-zero efforts. Only 3 received an A grade: Microsoft, PepsiCo, and Ecolab. #clean-energy

Hmm: An Apple exec tweeted about the company’s product event on March 8. But was it also a preview of Apple’s AR glasses? #emerging-tech

Yikes: 10k+ Android users downloaded a QR scanner from the Google Play store that secretly stole users’ data. #privacy

Experts suggest crypto donations are the fastest way to get funds to Ukraine. Donating USD would require you to convert it first. #fintech-crypto

As tech companies come down on Russia, Spotify has decided to close it’s Russian office and boot Kremlin-backed outlets, but is keeping streaming services operating. #big-tech

babysitting chart

Selina Lee

The babysitting boom is here

It’s a helluva good time to be a babysitter. Between 2020 and 2021, the average US babysitting rate jumped 11% to $20.57 an hour.

That means babysitting left the yearly increases in both national average wage (4.7%) and inflation (7%) in the dust.

It’s a major shift from the prior year’s 3.9% jump, and the result of a combo-punch of labor shortages and new, better-credentialed entrants like teachers and nurses.

(TIL: Supposedly “babysitting” has different meanings around the world.)

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Sky Games
gaming controller

We tried Amazon Luna and it’s not bad

Cloud gaming has been a hit (Microsoft’s Game Pass) or miss (Google’s Stadia).

So when Amazon took its gaming platform out of early access for US users this week, we gave it a shot.

How it works

Luna is a cloud-based subscription that allows you to stream games to your device, similar to Nvidia’s GeForce — except GeForce only lets you stream games you already own.

Luna lets you choose from a library of games for one monthly fee. And unlike gaming distribution platforms such as Steam or GOG, you don’t have to download or install the titles.

So, what can you play?

First, you’ll need a solid internet connection or cloud streaming is not in your future. After that:

  • Prime members get a rotating handful of games for free
  • For $5.99/mo., Luna+ users get a library of 100+ games
  • Add-ons include a family channel ($2.99/mo.), a retro channel, and a Jackbox channel full of party games (both $4.99/mo.)
  • A Ubisoft+ (“Far Cry,” “Assassin’s Creed”) subscription is $17.99/mo.

But is it worth it?

If you’re a casual gamer who wants to play without shelling out big bucks on a gaming computer or individual games, sure.

For example, I tried 4 games that aren’t exactly cheap on Steam:

  • “The Medium” ($49.99)
  • “Yakuza 0” ($19.99)
  • “Observer: System Redux” ($29.99)
  • “Devil May Cry 5” ($29.99)

And while many games are Windows-only, Luna worked with only minor lag on my MacBook Pro with a USB-connected Xbox controller. (FWIW, Amazon’s Luna controller connects to servers on its own and reduces lag, per PC Mag’s review.)

Other reviewers had success with tablets and phones, though nothing seemed compatible with my Pixel.

All in all, it’s not a bad deal — and a possible boon to the once-murky future of cloud gaming.

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5 big business ideas sourced from Twitter

Top startup ideas of the week, curated by Trends:

  • Remote home services: The man named @squeegeegod plans to scale his window-cleaning business to $10m. No cap, as the kids say. Learn how to execute his blueprint for remote home services.
  • A no-brainer Shopify app: Here’s a game-changing app missing from the ecommerce market. Securing 1% of Shopify merchants at $10 per month would be $1.2m per year, just saying.
  • CRM migration: Demand for software transition specialists is very high in niches like car dealerships, call centers, and real estate.

Two more are in the article, thanks to Sam Parr and Sahil Bloom.

Explore our business-building arsenal and network of 17k+ professionals. The Trends trial costs $1.

Get Access →

🎂 On this day: In 1924, one of the most famous songs ever was published: “Happy Birthday to You.”

That’s interesting: The heartwarming romance behind the “high-five too slow” photo series that, since 2008, has lived in Wikipedia’s entry on high-fives.

👀 Useful: Use this site to see global Twitter trends around the world.

🧠 Cure boredom: Need a good read? The Interesting Button features 1.7k+ Wikipedia articles determined to be interesting.

🦌 Aww: Dik-diks are small, extremely cute antelopes. Like this.


(A roundup of our best reads from the last couple weeks…)

🛒 How Ikea tricks you into buying more stuff  LINK

👃 Scent’s purpose in virtual reality  LINK

👚 Plastic looks great — but comes at a cost  LINK

🤝 The West Coast looks east for hiring  LINK

🏠 It’s getting hard to find garage doors  LINK

Shower Thoughts
  1. “The family pet tends to get more positive affirmation than all the human family members put together.”  SOURCE
  2. “For the average person, becoming Batman is more attainable than becoming Bruce Wayne.”  SOURCE
  3. “Cows live on top of their food. To them, it’s like living on a pizza.”  SOURCE
  4. “Snakes kill in 2 ways: hugs and kisses.”  SOURCE
  5. ““Retirement homes will just be big-ass LAN parties in 30 years.”  SOURCE
via Reddit

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How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

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