❤️ I love you… and saving money - The Hustle
The Hustle

❤️ I love you… and saving money

Plus: A big red boot, the Love Tester, an engineer-minded note-taking app, and more.

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In today’s email:

  • Adidas: The brand braces for a tough 2023.
  • Chart: I love you… and saving money.
  • Wash trading: An old scam comes to crypto.
  • Around the Web: The history of the Love Tester, a note-taking app, how to fix your posture, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear about the impact housing costs have on relationships, Barney returning to make bank, Adidas’ tricky year, and more.

The big idea

2023 could be really bad for Adidas

One analyst says Adidas is struggling to find the next big thing.
Mark Dent

Adidas has a messy, overflowing closet these days.

After severing ties with the controversial rapper Ye (better known as Kanye West), the world’s second-biggest sports apparel brand has ~$750m worth of Yeezy-branded inventory it may never sell, setting up a rough year for the company.

Adidas anticipates a percentage drop in sales in the high single digits compared to last year — a total that could reach ~$2B, according to Business Insider.

Ye was a huge earner for the company

His Yeezys, which retail for $200+, were among the hottest shoes in the world, earning Adidas $1B+ annually in recent years.

But he’s not Adidas’ only problem. Its strategy over the last few years has centered on partnerships with other artists — like Bad Bunny, Pharell Williams, and Beyoncé — that haven’t always met financial expectations.

Bey’s Ivy Park clothing brand (a collaboration with Adidas) has struggled in recent times, per The Wall Street Journal:

  • 2021 revenue was ~$93m
  • 2022 revenue was ~$40m (vs. $250m projected)
  • 2023 revenue is projected to be $65m — a far cry from an earlier target of $335m

What’s the next big thing in the shoe industry?

As one analyst explained, Adidas has struggled to find it, and newer rivals like Hoka One One and On may capitalize.

BTW: Adidas hired CEO Bjørn Gulden away from Puma last year, continuing a bitter rivalry that dates back to the founding of the companies by the Dassler brothers.


Big boot: The viral art collective MSCHF made a big, red, cartoonish boot, and the internet is entertained. They’ll be available for purchase starting Thursday for $350 while supplies last.


Barney is back. Mattel is relaunching the purple dinosaur franchise across TV, film, YouTube, and merchandise. In 1998, the Barney brand made $750m in licensed retail sales.

GeoComply said it verified the locations of 100m+ sports bets over Super Bowl weekend, up 25% YoY, and FanDuel said it processed 50k Super Bowl bets per second at its peak.

Go forward. Via, which makes software for optimizing public transit systems, raised $110m at a $3.5B valuation. Via now works with 600 communities in 35+ countries.

In just 48 hours, 1m+ people signed up for Microsoft’s new AI-powered Bing. Read our previous coverage here.

Toyota is recalling 16.6k+ RAV4 Primes over a software glitch that can cause its lithium-ion battery to shut down in cold weather.

The Dawn Project, which advocates for tech safety, ran a ~$600k Super Bowl ad showing a Tesla running over a child-sized dummy and a stroller, claiming its self-driving mode “is endangering the public.”

TikTok’s American user growth declined slightly in 2022. Now the company is reportedly looking to add paywalled videos and focus more on older audiences.

Wow: Scientists found the fossil of the largest penguin in history on New Zealand’s South Island. It would have weighed ~350 pounds, 50m+ years ago.

Zoox zooms: The Amazon-owned company began testing its driverless, pedal-less, steering wheel-less shuttle with employees on a public route in California.

Coca-Cola’s latest experiment is Coca-Cola Move, a collab with singer Rosalía that supposedly tastes like “transformation.” Meanwhile, Dr Pepper’s got a new strawberries-and-cream flavor.

Who says New Year’s resolutions are for January? Start setting new goals and knocking ‘em down with five free skill development templates.


That cheeseburger you just bit into might not actually be made from beef… or cheese. The food industry is moving out of farms and into labs in the race for a sustainable future.


Will you be my valentine — uh… I mean roommate?

New data sheds some light on housing costs and relationships.
Jacob Cohen

A new survey of 3k consumers from Realtor.com has shed some light on the impact housing costs have on relationship decisions.

Among baby boomers, 44% of respondents said money and logistics were factors when considering moving in with a romantic partner. In comparison, 80% of Gen Z respondents said the same.

  • Gen Z respondents were also more likely to sign a pre-move contract with their partner detailing what would happen in the event of a breakup, with 54% of the group admittedly doing so.

Seventy percent of all respondents said moving in with a partner saved them money.

  • 27% said the move saved them $1-$500.
  • 20% said it saved them $501-$1k.
  • 13% said it saved them $1k-$2k.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the survey also found 42% of respondents who had moved in with romantic partners regretted it, with 17% saying they broke up soon after.

Free Resource

Are brands leaving Twitter this year?

Twitter’s going through some things, y’all.

We appreciate some Elon entertainment as much as the next tech junkie, but the ham-handed handles have prompted many users to ponder the doom of blue-check micro-bloggers.

Sixty-six percent of marketers said “no” to leaving Twitter… but 71% said they plan to decrease investments on the platform in 2023. Here are the rest of the findings from our research team.

How marketers are eyeing Twitter:

  • A short survey of recent experiences
  • Growing alternative social platforms
  • Why a potential downfall could drag

We’re hoping things take a turn, for the sake of our favorite journalists.

Is Twitter OK? →
It’s a Wash

Wash trading and crypto, explained

Wash trading is a market manipulation tactic that dates back to the ‘30s. It’s since come to crypto.
Juliet Bennett Ryla

Wash trading is when someone sells something to themselves to inflate demand or make it look like there’s more activity in a marketplace.

NPR’s Wailin Wong offered this example: You buy several copies of your self-published novel to make it seem popular. Because you spent the money you earned, it’s “a wash.”

In the 1930s, traders used wash trading to manipulate the market and short stocks. In 1936, the US passed a law making it illegal.

It’s since come to crypto

A 2022 Forbes report that analyzed 157 crypto exchanges found that 51% of trading was fake.

In a working paper, the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests wash trading accounts for up to 70% of trades on non-compliant exchanges (which don’t perform Know Your Client (KYC) identity verification), per Business Insider.

While some of it may be unintentional, it could also be investors pumping prices or crypto exchanges trying to entice investors.

Who’s doing something about it?

That’s surprisingly tricky. Securities, like stocks and bonds, fall within the SEC’s jurisdiction; commodities, like gold and oil, are regulated by the CFTC. No one’s decided what cryptocurrency and NFTs are.

“Until the government decides how to classify crypto assets, it’s hard for regulators to police the way they’re traded,” Wong explained.

But exchanges can step in. Wash trading is prohibited on Binance, which last month announced a new opt-in Self-Trading Prevention feature to prevent unintentional wash trading.

BTW: There’s also something called a “wash sale,” which can cost you big-time if you’re not careful.


🗳️ On this day: In 1899, Congress approved voting machines for use in federal elections.

💕 That’s interesting: The history of the Love Tester, an arcade machine that can supposedly detect if you’re head over heels.
✏️ Useful: Stashpad is a note-taking app aimed at developers, but handy for anyone looking to quickly create, compartmentalize, and customize notes or lists.

🧍 How to: Improve your back posture and fix back pain.

🥰 Aww: And now, gotta get in the middle.


🎶 Work, work, work, work, work, work (Link.)

How did you like today’s email?
Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Big penguin” Dent.

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