The Hustle

✈️ Business travel is dead

The Hustle - Silicon Valley Tech News


September 10, 2021

{date(‘MMMM dd, yyyy’,time(“now”))}

Tomorrow commemorates the 20th anniversary of 9/11. May we remember all those who lost their lives and the fearless sacrifice of those who ran toward danger to help.

Today’s rundown:

  • Business travel: The space may not fully recover, but it’s still absolutely gigantic.
  • A new, $400B city in the American desert? It’s a possibility.
  • Smart glasses: A brief history (and FB’s new collaboration with Ray-Ban).

Let’s do it.

The big idea

The pandemic knocked out business travel — now its future is up in the air

Prior to the pandemic, business travel made up as much as 75% of airlines’ profits. Those days are likely over.

A Bloomberg survey of 45 major global companies found that 84% expect to scale back business travel after the pandemic.

While Zoom fatigue is definitely real…

… the rise of video conferencing has proven not all meetings need to happen in person. Executives are citing a long list of benefits to cutting back, including:

  • Cost savings: Virtual meetings mean no need to spend on flights or hotels.
  • Environmental impact: Less air travel means less CO2 emissions, helping firms reach sustainability targets.
  • Employee well-being: A recent study found that frequent fliers shared the same cancer risks as obese people.

This is all unfortunate news for the airlines, which lost $126B in 2020 and expect to lose another $48B this year.

However, not all meetings are created equal

According to consulting firm AlixPartners, reasons for business travel are broken down across the following categories:

  • 30% customer support
  • 25% sales and business development
  • 20% trade shows and conferences
  • 20% internal meetings and training
  • 5% commuting

Airline executives are optimistic that the biggest cuts will come from internal meetings rather than trips supporting customer relationships.

While business travel may never return…

…to pre-pandemic levels, it will remain a massive cost center. The Global Business Travel Association estimates that, at worst, business travel will generate $1.24T by 2024 (down from $1.43T in 2019).

That’s reassuring news for airlines and hotels, which rely on business travel for ~⅔ of revenue.

While some travelers are itching to get back, those who aren’t can thank Zoom for sparing them some jet lag.

SNIPPETS

Plus-size fashion brand Torrid plans to open 25 new stores. The retailer also saw a 131% YoY increase in net income. #ecommerce-retail

Energy Vault, a company that stores and releases wind and solar energy, will go public in a $1.6B SPAC deal. #clean-energy

Service on wheels: At a Texas restaurant, robot servers deliver food and sing “Happy Birthday.” #emerging-tech

The New York Times examines the complicated mix of data privacy laws across the US, where only 3 states have comprehensive laws. #privacy

Ukraine legalizes bitcoin. But unlike El Salvador, Ukraine won’t roll out bitcoin as a form of payment or make it equal to its national currency. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Pixel power: Google teases the Pixel 6. A clue suggests the big announcement is coming next month. #big-tech

And now for something a little different, The Hustle’s Trung Phan explains “The Hero’s Journey” using “Star Wars” and “The Matrix” (just in time for the new trailer for The Matrix 4). #hustle-picks

Desert Dreams

A billionaire wants to build a brand new city in the American desert

This is not the plot of a new Netflix sci-fi series.

Ex-Walmart executive Marc Lore recently announced plans to build Telosa — a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly, $400B city to be designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels somewhere in the western US, per Dezeen.

Here’s the plan:

1. Lore buys a chunk of empty desert land, then donates it to a community endowment.

2. Telosa keeps the land, while residents pay ground leases to rent it.

3.That income, plus appreciation, funds the city and services like education and health care.

Telosa’s goal is to receive its 1st residents in 2030 and expand to 150k acres and 5m residents over the next 40 years.

Features include:

  • Self-driving electric cars and aircraft
  • Renewable energy
  • Aeroponic farms
  • A big central tower called “Equitism”

Though Telosa’s a long way off…

… the concept isn’t new. It’s based on economist Henry George’s Progress and Poverty (1879), which spawned the “Single-Tax” movement, now known as Georgism.

Under Georgism, citizens pay a single tax to rent land, but aren’t taxed on improvements to the land, income, or labor.

Some much smaller Georgist communities still exist:

  • Free Acres, New Jersey — founded in 1910, it has a population of ~250 people
  • Arden, Delaware — founded in 1900 by an architect and a sculptor — and its neighbors Ardentown and Ardencroft
  • Fairhope, Alabama — founded in 1894, making it the oldest single-tax colony in the US

Fun fact: “Telosa” is derived from an ancient Greek word for “highest purpose.”

Face Tech

From L to R: Google Glass, Ray-Ban Stories, Snap Spectacles

Smart glasses: A brief history

On Thursday, Facebook and Ray-Ban revealed their highly anticipated collaboration, Ray-Ban Stories. These are sunglasses that:

  • Are equipped with 2 front-facing cameras for photo and video (and bluetooth speakers in its frames to take calls)
  • Sync with a photo roll (Facebook View) that can share across all FB apps
  • Cost $299

There’s no Facebook branding on the product…maybe because Zuck is trying to avoid the curse of his predecessors:

  • Google Glass (launched 2013): Retailing at $1.5k, it was never clear what the search giant wanted people to use the glasses for.

The battery life (3-5 hours) didn’t provide for a truly augmented reality (AR) experience, even though you could check messages and surf the net.

The final nail in the coffin was probably that people caught wearing them were called “Glassholes.” Google discontinued the line in 2015.

  • Snap Spectacles (launched 2016): The social app unveiled trendy glasses that could snap photos, but really not much else.

A delayed rollout killed the hype. As with Google Glass before it, privacy concerns (AKA “are you recording me”) also hurt demand.

Only 0.08% of Snapchat users bought the product, per TechCrunch.

Today, Google Glass has pivoted to enterprise use cases while Snap is rebooting Spectacles with a focus on AR.

Apple may also be getting into the game

Not with smart glasses, though. The iPhone maker is rumored to be working on an AR/VR headset.

One designer created a mock-up of the product and… well… at least people can’t call you a “Glasshole” if you wear it.

Source: MacRumors

AROUND THE WEB

🎸 On this day: In 1991, Nirvana released the single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

👯‍♀️ Haha: This mashup of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” and Pee-wee Herman’s “Tequila” performance is oddly catchy.

🐶 Wholesome: A dog named Patch wandered onto a bus in Plymouth, UK, and took a ride. His fellow passengers used social media to return him to his owners.

🤗 How to: Feeling burned out? Psychologist and CoachAdviser CEO Rebecca Newton reveals how to “feel joy” at work again.

🏰 Wow: This 2k-piece Lego set makes a tiny replica of “Super Mario 64.”

🧀 That’s interesting: Despite major advancements in taste, vegan cheese still won’t melt. Here’s why — and how that could change.

In case you missed it

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

🤵 The family business that owns a share of the $7B James Bond franchise.

🛒 What’s the best purchase you’ve ever made for $100 or less?

🌐 Andrew Chen on how to start and scale network effects.

🤬 How a Robinhood newb got an $800k tax bill on $45k profit.

🌿 Why Amazon says weed could solve its driver shortage, visualized.

Shower Thoughts
  1. “The more chopped the animal in your freezer is, the more socially acceptable it gets.”
  2. “People who need to buy Ivermectin for genuine animal health purposes must feel really awkward at the counter because everyone will think they are insane and judging them.”
  3. “Blind people are probably better suited to picking locks than sighted people because they are accustomed to working on stuff they cannot see.”
  4. “We compliment landscape paintings by saying it looks so real while we describe a beautiful landscape by saying it looks like a painting.”
  5. “A man can go through his whole life not knowing he is sterile. He just thinks condoms and birth control work really well.”
via Reddit
SHARE THE HUSTLE

Over the years, we’ve learned… secrets.

The business secrets, tips, and tricks that have helped founders go from zero to millions — and even billions — of dollars.

Want to see ‘em? Just refer {3-referral_count} more friends to The Hustle and we’ll send you our curated set of interviews with founders from brands like Zola, AWAY, Vungle, Bonobos, and more.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE

Laptop lookin’ sparse? Water bottle lookin’… clear?

You’re only {5-referral_count} referrals away from your first Hustle swag, Sam’s Stickers. Slap a few of these bad boys on the ol’ laptop and let everyone in the coffee shop know that you know. You know?

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE

Look at you, smarty pants. You’ve already shared The Hustle with {referral_count} friends and enemies.

But hey, just because you’re a business nerd doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cool bevvy. Get {10-referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you a pint glass etched with The Hustle logo.

Anyway, here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE

You’re only {15-referral_count} referrals away from earning our signature dad hat meant for ladies, gents, and dads alike to show folks they’re in the club.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE

You’re close to the most coveted item in Hustle-land: The Always Be Hustlin Tee.

The fabric? Luxurious. The cut? Relaxed, yet refined. The message? Indisputable.

Share this link with {25 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE

Damn, you’re on a roll. You’ve got the pint glass. You’ve got the hat. It’s time to complete your collection, don’t you think?

Get {50 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you our favorite piece of Hustle swag: The Startup Sweatshirt. Slipping into this piece of fleece might just transport you to Silicon Valley (or maybe somewhere better, your pick).

Share this link to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE

Hey, we see you. You’re out there spreading the gospel of The Hustle like it’s nobody’s business. Seems like you might be ready for a little more…

Get {100 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll slide you a free subscription to Trends.

And no, this ain’t an ad. We just think you’re the kinda person who would thrive in our top-tier community (it’s usually $299) full of founders, investors, and builders (AKA ambitious, no B.S. business folks like you — and enjoy our premium research and content.

Share this link with {100 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →

How did you like today’s email?

Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free. We don’t spam. Unsubscribe whenever.

Exit mobile version