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The Hustle

Velociraptors have a reputation for cleverness. Humans who steal velociraptor statues from South Dakota science centers, however, don’t deserve the same reverence. Three suspects were charged with grand theft after surveillance video led police straight to their nearby apartment, where the heisted dino statue was prominently on display.

In today’s email:

  • Can you dig it? Tech is speeding up archeology.
  • Show me the money: The economics of Broadway.
  • Take that, covid: The pandemic tried to end buffets, but tummies always win.
  • Around the Web: Plant music, the history of chowder, where the subreddits went, and more.

👇 Listen: Why the slow days of archaeology are ancient history.

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Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones inched archaeology forward, but tech is bringing the big leaps

As the final (?) Indiana Jones installment hits theaters this evening, archaeologists are still processing their complex relationship to their field’s de facto mascot.

On one hand, Harrison Ford’s character spotlighted archaeology, drawing in a new generation of history fiends.

  • The Archaeological Institute of America once gave Ford an award for “stimulating the public’s interest in archaeological exploration,” per National Geographic.

On the other, the franchise evoked a warped view of the business; Dr. Jones’ methods and morality are questionable, at best, by today’s standards.

  • Actual field work — careful, tedious, minimal Nazi punching — just doesn’t square with the whip-toting dramatization.

One thing everyone can agree on

Archaeology is ready for its latest post-film boom, and its next crusade is being led, and sped, forward by technological advancements:

  • The preservation of Baiae, an ancient sunken city known as the “Las Vegas of the Roman Empire,” is on AI’s watch, per MIT Technology Review. A complex underwater monitoring network captures environmental data, processes it, and transmits real-time analysis to the surface.
  • Researchers at Sweden’s Lund University plan to use machine learning to determine the age of long-dead organisms. Today, ~50% of all published ancient genomes are unreliably dated, per Verdict; the Swedish team believes its new model will more accurately date remains.
  • Australian researchers are using AI to analyze ancient rock art — and helping them find it, too. Per The Art Newspaper, the model has been 89% accurate at delineating faded, barely-there paint from bare rock surfaces.
  • Archaeologists employed similar tricks to discover North America’s largest cave paintings in Alabama, per Artnet News. 3D photogrammetry tech identified faint works of art that had previously eluded the human eye.

BTW: Photogrammetry, which builds intricate 3D models from photos, alone could rapidly accelerate discovery. Artnet News detailed one team capturing 2k years of ancient graffiti in an Egyptian temple, “achieving work that usually takes years in a matter of days.”

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eyeball wearing a hat

Summer interns are making bank — at the bank. Median intern pay at US hedge funds is up 29% to $111/hour, or $4.4k per 40-hour week. For Citadel’s summer program, where the median wage this year is $120/hour, the hedge fund saw 69k+ applicants, up 65% YoY.


Fancy a cuppa? OpenAI selected London for its first international office, citing the city’s “world-class talent.” And just like that, we’re one step closer to a sophisticated AI office robot named Sir Bottingham.

Eye don’t: Google has killed off Iris, its augmented-reality glasses project, after years of development to focus on software over hardware.

Flying high: Joby Aviation stock surged after the company got a permit to flight-test its first electric air taxi built on a production line.

Chip-ping away: The Biden administration is reportedly weighing further restrictions on AI chip exports to China to limit the country’s AI capabilities.

Deliverance: DoorDash will give its couriers the option to trade off between per-delivery pay and a flat hourly wage. The move could help attract drivers for smaller orders, per NYT.

Scorn on the Fourth of July: A new, entirely unholy condiment will be available in four MLB ballparks next Tuesday: Pepsi-infused ketchup, or “Colachup.” There’s no better way to say “I love my country, but absolutely hate myself.”

Face value: Considering adding some wrist candy? The secondary market for luxury Swiss watches is sinking, per Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index, which tracks pre-owned watch values. In February 2022, Rolex and Patek Philippe watches averaged $60k; last week, prices were ~$36.3k.


Starting a business with a co-founder is a lot like getting married. To ensure your partnership’s long-term success, consider creating a founders agreement.

economics of Broadway shows

Watch: The economics of Broadway shows

Despite drawing 14m+ people a year — higher attendance than all NYC-area sporting teams combined — Broadway shows rarely have happy endings in the financial sense.

On Broadway, ~80% of producers and investors struggle to recoup their investments, a number that has stayed consistent since at least the 1960s.

And even though megahits like The Lion King, which has grossed a Broadway record $1.86B, happen every few years, the formula for success remains elusive.

“There’s an old industry [saying],” Rachel Sussman, a producer and co-owner of the consulting firm Business of Broadway once told us. “‘You can’t make a living, but you can make a killing.’”

So, how do the economics of Broadway function?

Watch the quick clip →
Free Resource

7 customer success strategy guides

Not one. Seven.

Because one won’t cut it for such a significant topic. And we have whole-ass teams dedicated to assembling great information.

So here are the customer success playbooks to help you connect with depth, in the marketing sense. It’s all about metrics and comms: running through renewal reminders, resource sharing, reengagement protocols — all the good stuff.

Ya know if ya know. We’ll just set this over here, then.

Customer success made simple →
Feast not Famine

All-you-can-eat your heart out: Buffets are back

If you’ve ever found yourself inexplicably clutching a plate piled high with crab legs, freshly cut sirloin, lo mein, and a miniature cheesecake, you might be familiar with all-you-can-eat buffets.

Buffets are both glorious and a little gross, and, per The New York Times, they are very much back.

Warm up those heat lamps

The communal dining style took a hit during the pandemic, when food left vulnerable to strangers’ sneezes suddenly became undesirable.

But the pull of bottomless fried things is strong, and Americans are back in the all-you-can-eat saddle:

  • Visits to leading buffet brands Golden Corral, Cicis, and Pizza Ranch were up 125% this March compared to January 2021.
  • Inflation and rising food costs have pushed price-conscious consumers to prioritize value, according to analysts.
  • Even luxury Las Vegas options, like Caesars Palace and the Bellagio, are seeing increased demand for upscale, pricey smorgasbords.

Buffets also tug at the heart strings of nostalgic Gen X and millennial customers who grew up attending birthday parties at Pizza Hut and their local Chinese buffet.

The buffet is not only back…

… It’s better than ever. The restaurants that survived the pandemic have become more nimble, using tech to track consumer habits, anticipate needs, and minimize waste, per NYT.

Speaking of staying nimble at the buffet, a tip: Focus on high-value foods and avoid filler carbs that’ll only slow you down.

(A Ziploc baggie in a coat pocket goes a long way, but you didn’t hear that from us.)

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On this day: In 1958, Brazil won its first World Cup, defeating Sweden 5-2.

👀 Useful: This site shows where subreddits have relocated amid ongoing protests over Reddit’s API changes.

🥣 That’s interesting: The surprising history of chowder, which was once actually a casserole made with preserved pork, onions, and biscuits.

🎧 Art: Even if you’re nowhere near Portland, Oregon’s International Rose Test Garden, check out Crystal Cortez’s soundwalk, featuring music made from various plants’ electrical impulses.

🦊 Aww: And now, zoomies.

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Hope all is well, and please, please, please do not respond back anytime soon! (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “Raider of the lost peppermint bark” Berkley.

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