🎨 Paint is expensive AF


September 27, 2021

The Hustle

We screwed up our email a little bit yesterday. If you’re interested in reading about why school bus drivers all over the US are leaving to work at Amazon, check out our story here.

Today’s rundown:

  • Dried up: Paint supply is running dry, and everyone’s paying the price.
  • Twitter’s crypto play: The blue bird app is rolling out features for Bitcoin and NFTs.
  • Digits: You can buy “The Conjuring” house for $1.2m, and more wild numbers from around the web.

Let’s do it.

The Big Lead
painting

Paint supply is running dry — and everyone’s paying the price

If you’re planning a home renovation, you may want to stop reading this and go paint shopping, like, now.

The perfect storm of factors has created a massive shortage in paint supply, leading to the highest prices since 2009, per CNBC.

It’s a classic supply and demand story

Here’s what’s happening:

  1. Demand for paint spiked when the pandemic created a rush of interest in home projects
  2. A freeze in Texas interrupted production of petroleum, which is needed to make paint
  3. The congested global supply chain has caused shortages of epoxies, acrylics, and solvents used in paint

As a result, popular paint colors are both harder to find than usual, and also way more expensive.

But consumers aren’t the only ones paying the price

The shortage is being felt across the board:

  • Paint manufacturers are facing rising costs for materials
  • Big stores are facing the highest producer prices since 2010
  • Small businesses are struggling to get any paint at all since producers supply the larger stores first

There’s bad news and good news

The bad news? Experts believe prices will continue rising through the end of the year.

The good news? It should be temporary — the Federal Reserve considers paint part of a group of materials experiencing a period of “transitory” inflation, which they claim is already showing signs of recovery.

The best news? There’s no shortage of paint-mixing videos on YouTube, which may help you relax while waiting for your favorite color to get restocked.

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SNIPPETS

Golf gold: ~25m Americans now play golf, and interest in the sport has led to record sales for brands like Callaway and Titleist. #ecommerce-retail

In 2009, rich countries pledged $100B+ in climate funds to help poor countries. While they missed the target date of 2020, the countries may hit this goal by 2022. #clean-energy

Cue Health is worth $3B after listing on the Nasdaq. The company provides at-home COVID tests and has capitalized on a big partnership with Google. #emerging-tech

Restaurant QR codes could be directing you to websites that are tracking you. #privacy

Amid a crypto sell-off, JPMorgan tells big clients that investors are rotating out of Bitcoin and into Ethereum. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Price drop: Google is lowering the take rate on 3rd-party software sold on its cloud marketplace (from 20% to 3%), as Big Tech continues to face questions over monopolistic app store policies. #big-tech

Twitter Updates
tweet

Jack Dorsey, a man of few profile words (Source: Twitter / @Jack)

Twitter is going all-in on crypto

In addition to his affinity for beards, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has long signaled his interest in crypto:

  • His Twitter bio says one thing: “#bitcoin”
  • The blue bird app is working on a decentralized protocol
  • Square — the other company he runs — grew in part due to its crypto trading platform

Last week, Twitter rolled out…

… 2 very notable crypto-friendly features

The social network previously tested a “Tip Jar” for fans to give their favorite creators money. Users will soon be able to tip profiles with bitcoin, per TechCrunch.

Next up: non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

These digital assets — often JPEG artwork — have exploded in popularity and are often used as profile pictures. Twitter is working on a solution to authenticate whether a user actually owns said JPEG. (Tech journalist Casey Newton says the move could help take NFTs “mainstream.”)

Twitter is speeding up product development…

… after years of stagnant growth. TechCrunch highlights a suite of recent feature:

  • Social audio: Spaces is its Clubhouse clone (Twitter will also launch a creator fund to support audio content)
  • Newsletters: After acquiring Revue, Twitter users can post their newsletters right in their bio for easy subscriber sign-ups
  • ‘Communities’: A new option for users to tweet to a select group of followers who share a common interest (instead of the entire network)

The most recent announcements come as Twitter agreed to pay $809.5m to settle a 2016 suit charging it misled investors about user engagement. If these new tools work, Twitter’s actual engagement should explode.

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By the numbers
The Conjuring

Digits: Phone cords, ‘The Conjuring’ house, fake Christmas trees, and more

1) Sorry, Apple. In a move to reduce the 11k metric tons of electronic waste tossed out annually by Europeans, the EU proposed legislation requiring phone makers adopt USB-C as a uniform charging cord.

2) The house from “The Conjuring” is listing on the market for $1.2m. The couple who owns it bought it for $439k and turned it into somewhat of a bed-and-breakfast for paranormal investigators. It’s booked straight through 2022.

3) Americans aren’t big readers. A recent Pew survey found 23% of US adults have neither read nor listened to a single book in the past year.

4) Last Christmas “I gave you my heart”, 85% of American homes with a Christmas tree used an artificial one, up from 46% in 1992. Inflated shipping costs mean this year’s prices could jump 25% for some retailers.

5) In 2020, Israeli companies raised $10.7B in total. In 2021, they’ve already raised $15.1B. Expect that to go up: SoftBank recently hired ex-Mossad chief Yossi Cohen to lead its cyber investing there.

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AROUND THE WEB

🌳 On this day: In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published, detailing the harm that pesticides cause to the Earth and sparking the environmentalist movement.

🔉 Useful: To quickly transfer files between devices, try Ozzillate. You upload a file to the website, which it turns into a sound that a 2nd device can receive.

🙄 Haha: This art critic is not as impressed as we are by a Godzilla statue meticulously carved from a single grain of rice.

🦇 Wild story: Vampire bats like to call out to their friends when they’ve found a good bite. It’s a sound humans can’t hear.

🧑‍💼 How to: Many new hires will find they start their new gig remotely. Here are some tips for adapting to a new job when you’re not in an office.

🦆 Wait, what: A federal duck stamp contest currently requires submissions to include a hunting scene. The mandate expires next year, but this year, artists are trolling hard.

Meme of the day
paint meme

Life is about the small things (Source: Imgfip / Pinterest)

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