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The Hustle

Someday, anthropologists will puzzle over June 2023’s productivity spike, but we’ll all know: As 7k+ subreddits went dark yesterday in protest of policy changes, nonboycotting Redditors also experienced widespread outages. Our prayers to all the dormant to-do list items awakened from their forever slumber.

In today’s email:

  • Art Basel: The art fair finds inspiration in an unlikely place (hint: vroom vroom).
  • Subtitles: Why is everyone suddenly playing TV karaoke?
  • Sure, why not? Zeppelins get led into the future.
  • Around the Web: Customer survey tips, an AI-generated adventure, baby meerkats, and more.

👇 Listen: Tune in for more on Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino’s first email to her new company.

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Paint By Numbers
Art Basel

The event that sold a $40m steel spider wants to broaden its appeal

The art fair to end all art fairs, Art Basel, kicked off yesterday in — where else? — Basel, Switzerland.

Feel like Art Basel just happened? You’re not wrong — the organizers also host art mega-events in the fall (Paris), winter (Miami), and spring (Hong Kong).

That’s great, but why should nonbillionaires care?

Art Basel is known for top-dollar sales (see: aforementioned $40m spider) and it’s hard to get excited about shopping for a Rothko without the required millions in your wallet.

But the event is readying for an evolution. Per The New York Times, freshly installed chief exec Noah Horowitz envisions Art Basel’s future as more “experience” than art fair.

  • Horowitz views Art Basel as a growing brand — one that could host, in essence, cultural world fairs that convene the art, fashion, film, music, and design communities.
  • Lead investor James Murdoch (yes, of that Murdoch family) cited Formula 1, which takes over global cities for 23 races per year, as a model for Art Basel to follow.

Can they pull it off?

Art Basel has a strong head start — pre-pandemic, its flagship Basel event drew 93k attendees from 80+ countries — but its larger ambitions require more than branding; the global economy also must hold strong.

Inflation fears have already driven down art sale prices. In 2022, an Andy Warhol painting sold for $195m during New York’s auction week. In 2023, only one Warhol sold — for a measly $2m. Bummer.

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eyeball wearing a hat

🙏: TikToker Carolina Gelen has gone viral for a spiral hot dog technique that boosts caramelization, flavor, and room for condiments. This, friends, is why the internet exists.


TodAI in AI: New research shows employees working closely with AI systems — the thing most of us are being asked to do more of — have a heightened risk for loneliness, insomnia, and drinking. Great.

Microsoft announced several Xbox and Game Pass titles at Summer Game Fest 2023, including “Fable,” “Star Wars: Outlaws,” and a new “Flight Simulator.”

DoorCash: NYC bumped minimum wages for app food delivery workers to $17.96/hour, an increase of ~$13/hour.

Tamagotchi is on Web3 with the Tamaverse, featuring multiplayer parties, customizable looks, and brand ambassador Charli D’Amelio, who wasn’t born when the OG toy came out in 1996.

JPMorgan Chase will pay $290m, if approved by a court, to settle claims that it continued to work with convicted trafficker Jeffrey Epstein despite red flags.

Know your customers: Lean in to better branding with these buyer persona templates. They’re designed to help you hone in on smart, specialized content.


Too much work and not enough time? We can relate. Here are 10 of the best time management books for busy entrepreneurs trying to do it all.

Play on Words
Roku subscribers using subtitles
Singdhi Sokpo

The world’s subtitle use is speaking volumes

The hottest trend in watching content is… reading it.

Between 2017 and 2022, the number of Netflix subscribers using subtitles more than doubled. In 2022, 58% of Roku customers used subtitles, including two-thirds of millennial users.

Something about words on the TV screen has struck a chord with consumers, and it’s paving the way for a Golden Age of video accessibility.

  • For Roku’s customers, over one-third of subtitle users have diagnosed hearing impairments; another third uses subtitles situationally; and the rest… Well, they just do it.

Reading between the lines

In recent years, captioning and transcription software startups have seen tons of funding, like Verbit and Rev, which have raised $569m and $30.4m, respectively.

Another startup, Ava, which aims to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people live-transcribe anything from a Zoom call to, uh, “gossiping at lunch,” has raised $16.3m.

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Free Resource

Need an excuse to go to INBOUND this year?

Look no further than this persuasive “Convince Your Boss” sample letter. Since who are they, to slow you from growing yourself?

INBOUND 2023 will be the most beautiful business summit of the year. Tactical minds from every damn continent are linking up in Boston for grandmaster lectures, founder-led workshops, and about half-a-backpack of free swag… that is, if you’ve got the gift.

So slap your Hustle sticker on a Hydro Flask, and join us in September for seminars with Reese Witherspoon, Derek Jeter, Andrew Huberman, and other great growth-hungry leaders.

Save a spot. Call in sick. Though this is strictly business.

Tickets to INBOUND 🎟️🎟️ →
Lifting the Lid
Sergey Brin

What’s Sergey Brin been up to? Look up and you’ll soon find out

Hot air is attributed to many billionaires, but Google co-founder Sergey Brin is taking that to a new place.

Brin’s secretive side venture, LTA Research & Exploration, indulges his long-held flight of fancy: airships.

Yes, like the Hindenburg…

… but modernized, per Bloomberg Businessweek.

  • LTA’s airships, built largely with carbon-fiber tubing, are lighter and more durable than dirigibles of old.
  • Its first model, Pathfinder 1, is shaped like “a very tubby cigar” and powered by “helium cells,” diesel generators, and lithium-ion batteries.

OK, but why?

LTA imagines a few use cases:

  • Eco-friendly hauling: Its airships can travel 2k+ nautical miles per trip and carry ~10x more cargo than a Boeing 737.
  • Supply drops: Following disasters, ports, railways, runways, and roads can be inaccessible; airships can make vital deliveries without any of them.
  • Exotic travel: If people want slow, scenic jaunts between destinations, LTA’s open to making it happen.

Your takeaway: Find someone who loves you like Brin loves airships; this is his second startup attempting to revive them. Brin — still an Alphabet board member who’s worth ~$105B — has funneled an estimated $250m+ into LTA so far.

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🫢 On this day: In 1922, Charles Osborne began hiccuping and did not stop for the next 68 years. One doctor suggested he had destroyed the part of his brain that inhibits hiccuping after a fall.

👀 Video: Struggling to find a balance between five- and one-star reviews? Check out these actionable tips and best practices for killer customer satisfaction surveys.

🦒 That’s interesting: Scientists say they’ve figured out what animals were doing during the pandemic: journeying 73% farther without humans to bother them.

🎮 Cure boredom: Everything in this game was generated with AI, including the story, visuals, and music.

😍 Aww: And now, please look at these tiny meerkats.

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If only sugar could also be added to the boss’s emails… (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “Never not a Goodyear for blimps” Berkley.

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