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🌭 Inflation is coming for your cookout

The Hustle

Ready for your new favorite dessert? The “Frenchsicle” is a ketchup-flavored popsicle created in a collaboration between French’s and Happy Pops. The crazy concoction is only available in Canada for now.

In today’s email:

  • Lease-to-own: A new path to homeownership.
  • Chart: Cookouts are costlier this year.
  • Weekend Reads for your Saturday morning coffee.
  • Around the web: Tools for filmmakers, Wordle meets DALL-E, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Zack, Juliet, and special guest Jordan DiPietro, Hubspot’s VP of marketing and head of The Hustle, discuss CEO exits at companies including Starbucks, Peloton, and Pinterest.

The big idea

Lease-to-own agreements are blowing up

In the next Mission: Impossible movie, Ethan Hunt should try buying a house.

Home prices rose faster than ever in 2021, mortgage rates are the highest they’ve been since 2008, and limited supply means buyers are scrambling for whatever they can get.

But an alternative option that gives buyers another path to homeownership is gaining steam, per Protocol.


… is a model that allows customers to make a monthly lease payment, with a portion of it going toward owning the property.

  • After a certain time period, they can either buy the property outright, or continue with monthly payments.

The movement is powered by fintech startups like Divvy, Verbhouse, and ZeroDown, which buy homes in cash and rent them to customers using lease-to-own agreements.

Here’s how it works

With Divvy, a typical agreement:

  • Requires 1%-2% of the home price upfront, which goes toward the down payment if the renters decide to buy
  • Charges a monthly rental fee, plus a home savings fee (i.e. your down payment savings account)
  • Locks in a future purchase price; however, renters can pass on buying and walk away with home savings funds

Divvy’s program is designed for renters to become “mortgage-eligible in three years,” according to the company’s website.

But rent-to-own agreements are controversial

They have a history of being predatory and targeting low-income Black and brown homebuyers.

Critics point out other downsides as well:

  • Rent-to-own encourages companies to shell out cash and compete with humans for limited housing stock
  • Locked-in home prices could be bad for buyers if the market drops
  • There’s no guarantee renters will qualify for a mortgage once their lease term is up

For its part, Divvy says roughly half of its customers are able to buy their homes. But the market likely wouldn’t be as competitive if these companies weren’t scooping up homes in the first place.

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Crypto consolidation: FTX is close to a deal to purchase crypto lender BlockFi for $25m. BlockFi was valued at $3B only 10 months ago. BlockFi CEO Zac Prince has disputed the acquisition price.

Apple gas: An update to Apple’s CarPlay feature will allow users to search for a gas station and pay for gas from their dashboard. The update is expected to go live this fall.

No limits: CVS announced it will remove its purchase limit on Plan B pills as sales have returned to normal.

Cancellations: Travelers are facing a spike in flight cancellations across all airlines, leading to uncertainty around holiday plans. On Wednesday alone, 2k+ flights were canceled nationwide.

Do you pay or collect rent? The rental market has been bonkers this year, and we want to hear from you. Please fill out our five-minute survey on the state of the rental market.

🎧 Surprisingly, our voices are bearable. The Hustle Daily Show was featured on Pocket Casts this week as a recommended daily listen.

Sneaker marketplace StockX will lay off 8% of its workforce as footwear sales fall and inflation rises. #ecommerce-retail

Just like before: Norsepower Oy Ltd makes hard, tiltable sails that can return wind power to the shipping industry (you know, the way people used to sail), saving energy and reducing fuel usage. #clean-energy

A University of Pittsburgh study found that working with robots reduces physical injuries, but increases mental health and substance abuse issues in the US — but not in Germany, where employees enjoy greater protections. #emerging-tech

Coinbase is reportedly selling geotracking data to ICE, allowing the agency to track transactions made through currencies including Bitcoin and Ether. #privacy

Amazon restricted searches for LGBTQ+ items including books and apparel in the UAE, where same-sex relationships are illegal. Amazon says it remains committed to inclusivity but must comply with local laws. #big-tech

July 4 cookout inflation

Selina Lee

Inflation is coming for your cookout

Gorging on burgers, hot dogs, and potato salad is a staple of July Fourth.

But before you fill your cart to the brim, you may want to take a look at the price tag on that beef.

This year…

… the overall cost for a cookout is up 17% YoY, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The organization attributes the increased costs to the trifecta of inflation, supply chain issues, and the war in Ukraine.

While a bigger grocery bill is a blow to consumers, farmers are getting hit even harder:

  • The war in Ukraine has led to hikes in the cost of fuel and fertilizer — farming necessities.

As a result, many farmers might not be able to cover costs even after passing some of it along to customers.

But there is good news

Prices for some Fourth of July staples have gone down since last year, including strawberries (-16%), sliced cheese (-13%), and potato chips (-4%).

And despite the overall increase, the average per-person cost of a cookout for 10 people is still under $7 — which means many can hopefully still afford settling into self-induced food comas.

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There’s still time to win the ultimate INBOUND experience

For you and someone you adore. Or respect. This is event-of-the-year-type sh*t.

What do we mean by “ultimate,” you ask?

One lucky winner (with their plus-one) will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Boston complete with airfare, lodging, and of course, two GA tickets to INBOUND 2022.

It’s easy to enter

Step 1: Register for a free INBOUND 2022 Starter Pass (digital) using promo code THEHUSTLE (no purchase necessary).

Step 2: That’s it. 🤠 The giveaway runs through July 10, so let your people know!

The free ride may be a long shot, but we hope to see you there regardless.

Don’t forget — the Starter Pass is free. Oh and one more thing, did we mention that President Barack Obama is going to be there?!

Enter to Win →

For official contest rules, please visit: The Hustle Giveaway Rules – Inbound 2022

Weekend Reads

Welcome to Weekend Reads. Here are some recs to pair with your weekend coffee.


  • Can a corporation “own” a color? A handful of companies have pushed the boundaries of intellectual property law by laying claim to individual colors.
  • Want to level up your business? Savvy entrepreneurs share their secrets to six-figure product launches, successful email marketing campaigns, and more in a Trends report on the Hustle blog.

Spot the fake:


🎵 On this day: In 1979, the Sony Walkman hit the shelves, allowing people to enjoy music on the go. Sony marketed the device by walking up to people in Tokyo and letting them listen.

🎞️ Useful: This TikTok account shares awesome tools for filmmakers. Here’s one on ShotDeck.

🤔 Cure boredom: Wordalle shows you several AI-generated images a la DALL-E, then asks you to guess the prompt.

🤣 Haha: YouTuber North of the Border makes “tiny, nerdy things.” And this realistic Lego person is… slightly horrifying.

🐱 Aww: And now, a tiny kitten making tiny noises.

Shower Thoughts
  1. “Wikipedia is Fan Non-Fiction.”  SOURCE

  2. “Some couples share all of their passwords because they trust each other completely. Others don’t, for the same reason.”  SOURCE

  3. “Most house dogs know more about humans than they do about other dogs.”  SOURCE

  4. “Military grade evokes a positive connotation unless it’s food.”  SOURCE

  5. “The only real beverage is water. Everything else is dirty water.”  SOURCE

via Reddit
How did you like today’s email?
Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst, Mia Sullivan.
Editing by: Mark “Grey Pouponsicle” Dent.

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