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🌪️ Tornado tragedy

The Hustle

Shortly after Facebook rebranded to Meta, an Australian artist who has owned the @metaverse Instagram handle since 2012 noticed her account had been disabled. After a month with no clear explanation, The New York Times reached out to Meta for an answer. The company said the account was “incorrectly removed for impersonation,” and restored the account 2 days later. Sure…

(P.S. We’re gonna start dropping some cartoons in the email. The goal is to make you do a light laugh out of your nostrils. You can find our 1st down below.)

Today’s rundown:

  • Tornado tragedy: What happened at Amazon’s warehouse?
  • “Bootstrapping”: The word has an inconvenient origin story.
  • TikTok goes green: Eco-hacks are going viral on the platform.
  • Around the web: Google Maps tricks, minimalist video chat, and more internet finds.

Let’s do it.

The Big Idea
emergency services

Amazon’s warehouse tragedy puts its safety procedures under the microscope

Amazon has faced scrutiny for its warehouse practices before, but recent events have taken it to another level.

Last Friday night, an Amazon warehouse in Illinois was struck by a tornado, causing part of the building to collapse, and killing at least 6 employees, per The New York Times.

In the wake of the tragedy…

… some of Amazon’s warehouse practices have been put under the microscope, including:

  • Cellphone bans*: The practice prohibits employees from using phones on the warehouse floor unless it’s an emergency. Employees argue phones are necessary to access alerts about extreme weather events before they happen.
  • Emergency training: Some warehouse employees say they haven’t had any emergency training, safety training, or fire drills during their time at the company — in some cases stretching as far back as 6 years.

Employees who previously insisted on safety drills were met with resistance due to scheduling challenges and a general pause on safety drills during the pandemic.

One former member of the safety committee at a distribution center in Kent, Washington, claims the reason is more sinister: “It’s because it would cost them a lot of money to stop production long enough to do it.”

Investigators are stepping in

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into the building collapse.

The organization has 6 months to assess if there were any clear-cut safety violations and determine the scope of penalties from there.

*NOTE: Amazon isn’t the only logistics company that bans cellphones on the warehouse floor — FedEx also faced recent scrutiny over the practice.

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SNIPPETS

Taking over the shower shelf: Harry’s, the D2C razor pioneer, acquired Lume, an all-purpose deodorant startup. #ecommerce-retail

Electric HOGs: LiveWire, Harley-Davidson’s EV arm, announced it will go public via SPAC merger in a transaction valued at ~$1.8B. #clean-energy

App upgrade: Adobe launched Creative Cloud Express, a new app that combines its Creative Cloud Suite and Acrobat PDF tools into one product. Along with a free version, the paid edition starts at $9.99/mo. #emerging-tech

Severe outage: Kronos, a payroll software company, suffered an outage due to a ransomware attack. The company announced the outage could last weeks. #privacy

Pay by doge: Elon Musk announced Tesla will start accepting dogecoin for merchandise purchases. The cryptocurrency jumped 18%+ on the news. #fintech-crypto

MFM: Win a 60-minute Zoom call with Sam and Shaan. Check out full details here. #mfm

Chart
gender and race disparities in funding

Who gets left out of ‘bootstrapping’?

It’s a badge of honor to “bootstrap” a startup, a reference to the great American tradition of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.”

In practical terms, bootstrapping a company usually means starting with no external funding. Proponents point to trendsetting companies that have bootstrapped, including GoPro, GitHub, Mailchimp, and (in its earliest days) Facebook.

Lost in all the praise, though, is an inconvenient origin story. And today, the phrase is drawing scrutiny as part of a broader discussion of growing inequality in America.

For our latest Sunday feature, we dove into the backstory of bootstrapping.

Read the full story →
Green TikTok
TikTok logo

TikTokers are sharing eco-hacks

TikTok is all about the hacks. Getting free stuff, modifying Starbucks drinks, learning Excel. But apparently, another trend includes… going green with sustainability hacks?

Uswitch, a UK-based price comparison service, looked at hundreds of TikTok videos featuring eco-friendly products or the hashtag #ecohack to rank the top trends by viewership.

They include making your own deodorant or lip balm, how to regrow lettuce, and turning milk containers into planters.

But the top 5 hacks were:

1. Ecobricks: 19m views

2. Banana fertilizer: 8.3m views

3. Growing your own loofah: 3.5m

4. DIY envelopes (like this): 2.3m

5. Reusing jars and containers: 1.5m

Wait, what are ecobricks?

If some of this stuff is new to you — well, us, too! So, we did a little digging.

Ecobricks are plastic bottles stuffed with other used plastics, then turned into reusable building material. This prevents the plastic from ending up in water sources, but it looks kind of cool, too — check out this video.

Ecobricks are easy to make and have been used in everything from buildings — like this one at the Helderberg Nature Reserve near Cape Town — to simpler DIY projects, like backyard gardens.

What else can TikTok teach us?

  • You can bake then grind banana peels into fertilizer for your plants.
  • Though loofahs may look like sponges, they actually grow on vines. Ripe, they look like big cucumbers. Dry and peel them to get a bath sponge.
  • You can regrow lettuce, onions, celery, and other veggies in just water.

#themoreyouknow.

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Podcast

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My First Million hosts Sam Parr (founder of The Hustle) and Shaan Puri (ex-Twitch exec) are offering what could be a game-changing opportunity.

The 2 ways to enter the sweepstakes:

  1. Follow My First Million via Apple Podcasts here.
  2. Refer your friends for extra entries.

We wish you good luck. And better luck if you spread the word.

Enter to win →
AROUND THE WEB

😧 ​​On this day: In 1973, Jean Paul Getty III, billionaire J. Paul Getty’s grandson, was found 5 months after he’d been kidnapped. This wild story was the basis for the 2017 film “All the Money in the World.”

🚗 How to: Get the most of Google Maps with these 10 features. Set your dietary preferences, send directions from your desktop to your phone, and get fuel-efficient routes.

🧑‍💻 Useful: Here’s an extremely simple video chat. No logins required.

👅 Cure boredom: Pink Trombone simulates how humans vocalize. You can move around the tongue, nasal cavity, and other elements to create different sounds. It’s weird, but cool.

🦋 That’s cool: Butterfly wings are covered in microscopic scales. Researchers recently observed how they form inside a chrysalis, which may help humans build things like iridescent windows or waterproof textiles.

🐇 Aww: And now, bunnies gone wild.

Cartoon
bitcoin cartoon

Credit: Zachary Crockett & Jacob Cohen

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Psst

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Data shows where markets are headed.

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