You're viewing an email archive of The Hustle newsletter. Join free to receive the 5-minute newsletter keeping 2.5M+ innovators in the loop.

🍑 It’s not all peaches and cream

Sign up for the free, 5-minute newsletter keeping 2M+ innovators in the loop with stories on business, tech, and the internet.

View Online

The Hustle

Want to own a Banksy mural? You can right now, along with ~27k friends: Fractional ownership of the artist’s “Valentine’s Day Mascara” is on sale at ~$153 per share. The mural won’t be installed in any shareholder’s home, but just imagine the epic 27k-player Rock, Paper, Scissors tourney that’d transpire if so.

In today’s email:

  • California dreamin’: Plans for a utopian city hatch outside SF.
  • Just peachy: Its peach crop is decimated, but Georgia’s alright.
  • Digits: Get your Fyre Festival II tickets, “diverse founders” is code for white women, and more.
  • Around the Web: Baklava’s sweet history, “Twin Peaks” as a PS1 game, Instagram marketing tips, and more.

👇 Listen: Will the rich-person dream of building a smart city ever work?

podcast media player
The Big Idea

Will the Bay Area get a new city?

A mysterious group bought up so much land near San Francisco that it kicked off a federal investigation.

As it turns out, it’s a familiar scheme: Silicon Valley types dreaming of their own little mojo dojo casa utopia.

Since 2018…

… Flannery Associates has spent $800m+ on ~52k acres of mostly uninhabited farmland in Solano County, located ~60 miles northeast of San Francisco, per The New York Times.

The company, led by former Goldman Sachs trader Jan Sramek, is sparse on the details, with notable backers including Marc Andreessen, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and VC Michael Moritz.

The plan is to build a walkable city, bringing thousands of new jobs;  entertainment, shopping, and dining opportunities; a solar wind farm; orchards; and 10k+ acres of parks and open space.

Most importantly? Housing, in a state where costs have skyrocketed amid a shortage.

Is this feasible?

The area is served by a two-lane highway that’s already congested.

But the largest hurdle may be that the land isn’t zoned for residential use. Flannery may need to convince locals to vote yes on a ballot initiative to approve it.

Investors with deep pockets…

… often dream of building brand new cities:

  • Former Walmart exec Marc Lore’s Telosa is imagined as a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly city somewhere in the western US — its website notes it’s still scouting locations.
  • Peter Thiel wanted to build a self-sustaining, independent libertarian island, co-founding the Seasteading Institute to do so. He left in 2011, but the group is still active.

The problem is that many fail to manifest, while existing cities struggle with outdated infrastructure, homelessness, and other issues.

But Flannery Associates does have a massive amount of land in its corner and California needs more housing, so it’ll be interesting to see if this thing — or any similar project — really happens.

View on site
eyeball wearing a hat

Rite Aid, America’s third-largest drugstore chain, is preparing to file for bankruptcy in order to cover $3.3B in debts — and 1k+ pending lawsuits over its alleged role in the opioid crisis. Rite Aid will likely close 400+ locations in the process.


Instacart filed paperwork for its IPO on Friday. It will be the biggest VC-backed tech firm to go public since an IPO slowdown started in December 2021.

In reverse: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey vetoed a bill that would have guaranteed rideshare drivers $1.40/mile and 51 cents/minute. Uber, which threatened to leave the city over the bill, has agreed to pay drivers $15.19/hour.

The SEC accused Wells Fargo of overcharging ~11k investment advisory accounts in fees totalling ~$27m. The bank agreed to a $35m fine without admitting or denying charges.

Heineken sold off its seven Russian breweries to Arnest Group for ~$1, a $324m loss. The company has been trying to exit Russia since March 2022.

“Pokemon Sleep” is a game that incentivizes healthy sleep; it uses smartphone sensors to rate players’ snoozing — the better they sleep, the more Pokemon they catch. It now has 10m+ downloads.

Zillow is offering prospective homebuyers in Arizona a 1% down payment option through its newly launched program. The move is part of the company’s plan to become a one-stop shop for homebuyers.

Celebrity video site Cameo has seen new accounts surge 137% as performers join or reactivate their profiles amid the SAG-AFTRA strike — with notable actors charging upwards of $1.5k per video.

Furry friends: Ferris State University is piloting a new program that would allow students to bring pets to their dorm rooms.

Dream team: Working with a VC is about much more than landing initial funding. Here’s how to build a strong long-term partnership.

peach growers
Olivia Heller

A summer without peaches sucks, but the Peach State has a lot more going for it

Georgia is known for Martin Luther King Jr., Coca-Cola, college football excellence, and, yes, now presidential mug shots.

But above all, the state is known for peaches.

Until this summer, that is — up to 95% of the Peach State’s crop was uprooted by harsh weather conditions.

  • Not just a Georgia problem, peach pain is everywhere this year, from New England to leading producer California, where yield is also down.
  • Be warned: If you see peaches this summer, the prices aren’t pretty.

Here’s the good news

You wouldn’t know it from strolling through any gift shop in the state, but peaches aren’t even a top-20 farm product in Georgia, responsible for only 0.58% of the state’s agricultural economy, per The Conversation.

Georgia’s chicken industry — the nation’s largest— is worth ~50x as much as its peaches.

  • Poultry and eggs add $28B+ in economic value, fueling a financial powerhouse of a state. (Georgia’s GDP outpaces the likes of Poland, Sweden, and Thailand.)

A bountiful harvest ahead

If the South’s changing climate can’t sustain peach crops in the future, perhaps a change to the “Pecan State” will be in order?

Everywhere you look, pecans are rapidly on the rise, per Food Dive. That’s great news for Georgia.

  • The US leads the world in growing the nut and Georgia is top among states. (It also leads the US in peanut production, BTW)

The pecan’s surging popularity could see supplies double by 2027 — international demand is up and grocery products featuring pecans have increased by 54% over the past decade.

But at the end of the day… only one pecan stat really matters: how people pronounce it. An American Pecan Council poll found 34% say “pea-can,” with 66% in favor of “puh-con.”

View on site
Free Resource

An intro to coding in Python

Python became a top language for beginner devs thanks to simple syntax and flex functionality. That’s also what makes it the most popular option for AI/ML specialists.

Learn about the language powering everything from websites to software to robots inside the free beginner’s guide to Python.

Why coders pick Python:

  • Use cases across industries
  • Methods + functions glossary
  • Coding standards + best practices
  • Overview of advanced features
  • Links to resources…

… like useful tools, research publications, and a browser-based code editor.

Python crash course →
A collage of images, from left to right: a man in his 20s poses with his mouth open, one disembodied

Buying homes with family money, Fyre Festival II, and more newsy numbers

$500-$8k: how much you’d have to pay to attend Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival II, which he claims to have conceived while in prison for conning the first Fyre Festival’s investors and attendees out of $26m+. The first batch of presale tickets supposedly sold out, despite few event details.

38%: the share of recent homebuyers under age 30 who used family money for the down payment, per Redfin. It’s an eye-popping figure that… actually seems a little low? To put the rising share of “nepo-homebuyers” — those who use a cash gift or inheritance money from relatives — in context: Kids born into homeowning families are far more likely to own in adulthood (79% of current homeowners had a parent who owned their home).

~$76k: in penalties, plus three months in prison, for Nathaniel Chastain, the former OpenSea product manager convicted in a first-of-its-kind crypto insider trading case. Authorities sought more prison time to deter future cryptocurrency crimes, but the judge felt a case built on illegal trades worth ~$50k wouldn’t have been pursued had it not been in the “slightly sexy” crypto space.

79%: the share of seed funding earmarked for diverse founders — women and people of color — that has gone to white women, per Crunchbase data. Through June, diverse founders have tallied $3.2B over ~32k deals, but women of color have only seen 5.2% of that capital, a miniscule slice of an already tiny piece of the overall VC pool (where $238B+ was allocated last year). Companies with all-white male founding teams aren’t hurting, scoring 86.3% of last year’s seed dollars.

View on site

🗨️ On this day: 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC.

👀 Video: Instagram marketing is constantly evolving with updated features and new algorithms. Here’s how to find marketing success on its 2023 global network.

🍯 That’s interesting: The history of baklava, a sweet, flaky dessert dating back ~500 years ago to the Ottoman Empire.

🪵 That’s cool: Have you ever wished “Twin Peaks” was a PS1 game? Probably not, but here you go anyhow.

🐱 Aww: And now, everyone loves this cat.

work boss meme

Remember the pics of Barack Obama at the beginning and end of his term that showed how much he had aged? Your boss can relate. (Link)

Today’s email was brought to you by Juliet Bennett Rylah and Sara Friedman.
Editing by: Ben “Peach fuss” Berkley.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

FB YT Insta Twitter
{{site_settings.company_name}}, {{site_settings.company_street_address_1}}, {{site_settings.company_city}}, {{site_settings.company_state}} 02141, US.
Never want to hear from us again? Break our hearts and unsubscribe.
The Hustle

Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox​

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less​



How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?