The Hustle

🍸 Exclusivity: Is it for everyone?

Plus: Soho House is growing, mind games at a job interview, a deep dive on egg yolks, and more.

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A French angelfish at the Denver Zoo that was swimming with a tilt paid a visit to the on-site hospital for a CT scan. The CT machine was large enough to fit a 700-pound grizzly bear, so the little guy was held upright by a sponge to get his scan. The diagnosis? He was gassy.

In today’s email:

  • Auto industry: It’s a big week in Detroit as strike talks loom.
  • Soho House: How the private club is building its empire.
  • Relax, baby: Luxury postnatal retreats could be the next big thing.
  • Around the web: Thinking in color, pondering egg yolks, a collection of documentaries, and more.

👇 Listen: How much does a brand name matter when buying water? (It’s only water after all.)

The big idea

If an auto industry exec tells you their job doesn’t suck, don’t believe them

A critical moment in the auto industry reverberates far beyond Detroit.
Ben Berkley

Summer is over, meteorologically speaking, but “hot labor summer” is just heating up.

If automakers do not meet demands from the United Auto Workers by Thursday, ~146k factory workers will go on strike, effectively pausing US auto production.

A walkoff would bring the number of employees who went on strike this year to 450k+, the highest level since 2018.

The pressure is on automakers

UAW wants 46% raises over the next four years, among other benefits, per PBS NewsHour.

In 2007, the union made concessions to float General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) through the Great Recession. Now that the companies are profit engines anew, collectively making ~$20B so far this year, workers want a bigger slice.

Emboldening them right now:

  • A winning summer for unions: Though Hollywood’s labor gridlock continues, unions backing pilots and UPS drivers have seen big wins.
  • Public support: A Gallup poll shows 75% of Americans support the UAW in its contract talks.
  • Political leverage: A study from consulting firm Anderson Economic Group shows how a 10-day strike would reduce US GDP by $5.6B and push Michigan into recession — but that’ll only increase pressure from a union-friendly Biden administration.

Things are already messy for automakers

Labor concerns aside, car prices are surging — the average price of a vehicle has surpassed $50k — which The Wall Street Journal warns “might be unsustainable for buyers.”

As consumers struggle with regular monthly car payments, automakers’ plans to increase profits include additive paid subscriptions for in-car features like entertainment and navigation tools.

  • It’ll be a tough sell; BMW customers were so upset about a $18/month heated seats subscription, the luxury brand ditched the plan.

Looking for a silver lining? There isn’t one for automakers today. The Mozilla Foundation released a report calling cars “the worst product category we have ever reviewed for privacy,” and calling the way car companies handle customer data a “privacy nightmare.”


Dish: A 2019 interview in which a boss said he offered applicants a drink from the kitchen, but refused to hire anyone who didn’t offer to wash the cup has resurfaced, leading to debate about whether this is a “deeply disturbing” mind game. At the very least, it doesn’t seem like an effective way to get the best people.


Instacart set a price range for its IPO that values the grocery company at as much as $9.3B — a far cry from its $39B valuation in 2021 at the height of the pandemic.

J.M. Smucker is buying Hostess Brands for $5.6B. Smucker prevailed over General Mills in snatching up the Twinkies maker, which has survived two bankruptcies.

Sony Japan launched a foster care program for its aging ERS-1000 Aibo robot dogs. Owners who cancel their plans can now donate their pups to medical facilities and nursing homes as emotional support pets.

Alibaba’s Daniel Zhang has stepped down as head of its cloud computing arm. The announcement comes less than three months after he resigned as CEO of the ecommerce company.

BMW will invest ~$750m to build electric versions of its popular Mini car models in the UK. The Mini Cooper and the Mini Aceman will be built at the company’s Oxford factory, backed by government subsidies.

Disney and Charter Communications have reached a deal, ending their ongoing dispute and a cable blackout. The truce, reached on Monday afternoon, allowed Charter’s ~15m cable customers to watch ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

Airbnb is adding James Manyika, Google’s AI ambassador, to its board of directors. The move comes as Airbnb reorients its platform with an emphasis on AI.

The FDA approved updated covid vaccines from Moderna, BioNTech, and Pfizer that target the newest omicron variant. The vaccines now await a recommendation from the CDC before they can be administered.

50 interview questions: Take this pack of 50 questions to prep for success, upgrade your confidence, and hopefully hop on payroll.


Entrepreneurs can only wear so many hats. Sometimes, you need outside help. A good place to start? This list of 12 startup consulting firms.

Members only

Soho House brings exclusivity to the masses

Soho House is expanding its social club empire across North America.
Sara Friedman

When the private members’ club Soho House began in 1995, it was a gathering space for local creatives tucked above a London restaurant.

Today, membership has become something to brag about (looking at you, pretentious first dates).

It’s also become something to budget for: In New York, access to houses around the globe rings in at $4.8k+ per year.

  • Soho House currently has 40 locations globally (with four more coming soon) and 176k members.
  • Prospective members join a waitlist of 95k people and must be suggested by an existing member.

Along with the houses — which offer amenities like gyms, spas, pools, and restaurants — the company also has Soho Works for coworking spaces, an events program for cities without physical houses, and bookable rooms for overnight stays.

Behind the growing empire…

… is publicly traded parent company Soho House & Co. And while its shares initially tanked post-IPO, they’re up more than 50% since the beginning of 2023.

Plus, the company has expanded beyond houses with:

  • Retail furniture brand Soho Home
  • Cecconi’s, an Italian restaurant chain
  • The Line hotels, purchased in 2021
  • The Ned, an additional hotel and member’s club
  • And skin care brand Soho Skin

North star

With North America accounting for 40% of all Soho House & Co.’s revenue, the company is going all-in on the continent, aiming for 20 houses by 2025.

Its Cities Without Houses list points to possible future locations, with house sizes determined by membership estimates for the first five years (Nashville could bring in 5k-8k members, and would get a large property, while Charleston’s would be smaller).

Like a true trendsetter, Soho House has inspired a social club resurgence. Now it just has to beat all the competition.

Free Resource

Spiraling Up Season 3: The power of the pivot

New deep dive docuseries just dropped.

Spiraling Up: The Journey to Become a Unicorn investigates the complex quests of founders steering toward a billion and beyond.

Season 3 of the HubSpot for Startups x LinkedIn production follows Spring Health ($2.5B valuation) and AI content darling Jasper ($1.5B valuation) — but it begins with Antoine Grant, who pivoted his focus from a fintech startup to a multimillion-dollar ecommerce platform.

Take ya daily dose of inspiration. Climb into the brains of builders who are hellbent on changing the world.

Watch the premiere →
Special delivery

Postnatal retreats are taking off in the US

New businesses are reimagining what the days after bringing a baby home could look like.
Sara Friedman

They say “it takes a village” to raise a baby, but the reality of bringing an infant home from the hospital looks very different.

For many, the process means facing sleepless nights, caretaking, and mental and physical healing in isolation.

But that experience is uniquely American

Other countries — like China and South Korea — have customs in which new mothers take designated time away from careers and housework, and get major assistance.

Now, new businesses are bringing elevated postnatal care to the US with luxury retreats to support new parents in the time between the hospital discharge and returning home:

These retreats come at a high price

The Village costs $950/night with a three-night minimum stay, while Boram charges $900/night for the first three nights with reduced pricing for each additional night (some guests stay up to 40 nights).

Inside these luxury rooms…

… is everything a new mom needs. The retreats follow the usual five-star hotel model, with some unique additions:

  • There’s 24/7 support, with professionally staffed nurseries at the ready should moms want some alone time.
  • Specialized food designed to promote lactation and help moms heal is delivered to rooms daily.
  • Lounges and common areas are offered for moms who want to socialize and interact with other new parents.
  • Lactation consultants and group educational sessions are available for everything from baby CPR and breastfeeding to changing diapers and swaddling.

Maintaining well-being immediately following birth is critical: It can actually determine future health outcomes.

So if postnatal retreats can become more accessible, they have the potential to do more than just soften the blow — they could change lives.


🛞 On this day: In 1909, chemist Fritz Hofmann received a patent for the world’s first synthetic rubber from Germany’s Imperial Patent Office.

🎥 Useful: A curated selection of documentaries.

🥚 That’s interesting: A deep dive on America’s relationship with egg yolks.

🎨 That’s cool: Associate a color with a word. Then see what colors other people chose.

🐶 Aww: And now, a dog whistle.


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Today’s email was brought to you by Juliet Bennett Rylah and Sara Friedman.
Editing by: Ben “Wasn’t born yesterday… but 24/7 support would still be nice” Berkley.

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