The Hustle

✋VR gloves, explained

In 2005, Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya started Chobani with a small loan in a dilapidated New York factory. By 2010, Chobani was a billion-dollar brand. It now holds 20%+ of the total US yogurt market share — and yesterday, it filed to go public. When’s the movie coming out?

Today’s rundown:

  • VR you can feel: Zuck is building VR gloves for the metaverse
  • Social stocks: How major platforms performed the week after going public
  • Faire: The marketplace unicorn taking on Amazon
  • Around the web: The “rule of clocking out,” a turtle smuggling ring, and more internet things

Let’s do it.

The Big Idea

Meta is building VR gloves for the metaverse

A few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg explained his vision for the metaverse and rebranded Facebook as “Meta.”

As part of its pivot, Meta said it’s spending ~$10B this year on VR, AR, and hardware related to the metaverse.

On Tuesday, the company unveiled one major project:

A prototype of haptic VR gloves

According to The Verge, Meta is building handwear “that reproduces sensations like grasping an object or running your hand along a surface.”

The glove has been in the works for 7 years and works like so:

  • It’s lined with ~15 inflatable plastic pads
  • The pads run along the palm, underside of the fingers, and fingertips
  • There is a camera and sensors to detect finger movement and bending

Example: If you pick up a plate in the virtual world, the finger pads will inflate to create that real-life feeling.

The technology is called soft robotics…

… and replaces traditional haptic technology that uses “bulky motors with tiny air valves,” per The Verge.

Even if Meta nails the tech, there are a number of challenges it faces before going mass market:

  • Hand sizes differ greatly and the glove needs to have a tight fit to be effective
  • Cleaning the glove will probably not be as easy as throwing it in the wash
  • Biometrics data collected from the glove raises potential privacy concerns

Another product is in the works

Meta’s Reality Labs — the unit responsible for AR/VR hardware — is also building electromyography tools to turn nerve signals in the arm into digital actions.

With a reported 10m Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets already sold, Meta’s solution will set pace for the industry… just like Zuck planned when this photo was taken in 2016.

(Source: CNET / Facebook)


Tennis player Naomi Osaka is the latest member of Victoria’s Secret’s VS Collective, which replaced its “angels” campaigns. #ecommerce-retail

Global green: BBC explores how some cities are attempting to become carbon neutral. Medellin, for example, is planting green corridors to reduce temperatures. #clean-energy

Ahhh: The FDA authorized Applied VR’s system for reducing lower back pain, in which patients complete 56 short VR breathing exercises over 8 weeks. #emerging-tech

Hackers stole ~4.4k phone numbers from Robinhood users in a recent breach, but the company believes bank info and SSNs are still secure. #privacy

A Canadian youth, who allegedly stole ~$36.5m in crypto in a SIM swap attack, was arrested in the US. The suspect was traced to a gaming username. #fintech-crypto

You’re the genius now: Apple’s new Self Service Repair program will let you repair your own products with official parts and tools. #big-tech

Social Stocks

Image: Singdhi Sokpo

What happens when social media meets the market?

Shares of neighborhood networking platform Nextdoor have rocketed since its public debut — and it’s not the only one to turn virtual popularity into real-world gold.

A look back at the IPOs of social media companies shows that almost all of them garnered enthusiasm from investors in the first 5 days:

  • Twitter leads the pack with a 64% pop
  • Pinterest is the runner-up with a 52% increase

The lone exception is Facebook, which elicited a pedestrian response in its early days. The company (now Meta, obvs) recovered from its stumble, climbing 800% since its 2012 listing.

Free Resource

The 2021 state of marketing operations report

Over 750 marketing operations professionals (MO pros) were surveyed in the creation of this report to explain:

  • The role of MO pros in modern businesses
  • Who these people are and how they think
  • How to help your MO pros feel valued
  • Career challenges and opportunities

Do you need a get-shit-done team?

MO pros are nothing new. But as digital dominance booms, demand for these specialists will continue to rise. The data in this report explains why.

Peep the “Key Findings + Methodology” section on page 6.

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No MO pro FOMO →
The other “everything store”

The $12B wholesale unicorn taking on Amazon

Everyone knows Amazon is the “everything store,” but what’s the everything store… for stores?

Faire — an online wholesale marketplace founded in 2017 to help independent retailers compete with Amazon and Walmart — could be the best bet.

The startup just raised $400m at a $12.4B valuation, per Business Insider.

Independent retail is big business

Across North America and Europe, independent retailers do more than 2x the sales of Amazon and Walmart combined.

Faire has 300k of those retailers on its marketplace, along with products from 40k+ brands. By aggregating products from a wide range of wholesalers and distributors, Faire helps retailers:

  • Get products they can’t find anywhere else
  • Save time and money by cutting back on trade shows where they would normally source products
  • Make smarter purchasing decisions

Faire isn’t shying away from anti-Amazon vibes

Besides calling the company out in its mission statement, Faire’s homepage features a section called “Brands not sold on Amazon.”

But big, bad Bezos isn’t standing pat. Amazon Business, the firm’s marketplace for businesses, was the fastest growing app in Okta’s 2021 Businesses at Work report, growing 341% YoY.

In other words, if Faire is going to prove there can be more than one “everything store,” they’ll have to earn it.


🎥 On this day: In 1928, Walt Disney released the 1st Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Steamboat Willie.” It premiered at the Colony Theater in New York.

🥳 That’s cool: The 1st Asian American muppet on “Sesame Street” is Ji-Young, a 7-year-old Korean American girl who likes to play guitar and skateboard. She’ll appear on “See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special,” which airs on Thanksgiving Day.

How to: The “rule of clocking out” can help you set your priorities, avoid burnout, and find more time in your day.

🐢 That’s interesting: A Customs agent was alarmed to see a package labeled “book” move on its own. Turns out it was full of baby turtles, leading investigators to an international turtle smuggling ring.

🧑‍⚕ Useful: Open Payments allows you to see if your doctor or hospital has ever received a payment from a drug or medical device company, revealing potential conflicts of interest.

🐕 Aww: And now, a sneaky dog pretends to fall off the couch for a sweet reward.

Pic of the day

Source: Digital Trends

The Nintendo Power Glove from 1989 was either Nintendo’s best idea or worst idea ever. We still can’t decide.

Gear: HOKA’s Packable Trail Hat

My colleague, Rob, has this hat. He looks absolutely fantastic in it every day. According to Rob, it’s lightweight for running, easily washable, has a cool drawstring tie, and is gender-neutral. Long story short, if you’ve been on the hunt for a good ol’ everyday hat, here’s one to consider.

— Jacob

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