💧Coming soon: toilet water?


May 21, 2021

{date(‘MMMM dd, yyyy’,time(“now”))}
The Hustle

Snap rolled out its new Spectacles, AKA augmented reality (AR) glasses. Right now, they are not commercially available, and only a select group of AR creators can use them.

This probably makes sense because the battery life is only… 30 minutes.

The big idea
Toilet to Tap

The future of water is … sewage?

Are we ready for ‘toilet to tap’ drinking water?

Your dog loves drinking out of the toilet, why shouldn’t you? Well, you actually can with some added filtration steps.

In an op-ed for Bloomberg, Vanderbilt professor Amanda Little pushes for the US to get on board with recycled sewage, sometimes called “toilet to tap.”

What the heck is ‘toilet to tap’?

It’s recycled wastewater from sources like showers, toilets, and dishwashers that undergoes a multistep filtration process. It’s both clean and safe to drink.

In fact, Orange County Water District Manager Mike Markus told CBS in 2015 that its Fountain Valley plant — which treats 100m gallons a day — was the cleanest in the entire state of drought-stricken California.

But people still don’t like it because of what psychologists call

The Yuck Factor

Back in 1993, there was a plan to pump reclaimed water to drinking supplies in the San Gabriel Valley.

But it garnered enemies, including Miller Brewery, who had a nearby plant and worried consumers would be put off. The term “toilet to tap” actually originated during this squabble — and the plan never happened.

Then in 2015, SoCal announced another recycled wastewater project, and people were still reluctant. Only this time, Jon Stewart mocked people who thought recycled water is gross.

This is the way

Little thinks recycled wastewater is the future. While some water-treatment plants work by taking salt out of ocean water, that’s over twice as expensive.

According to the professor, it’s time to expand infrastructure beyond California. There is a nicer term, btw: “showers to flowers.”

And as for beer? A Swedish brewery made a wastewater Pilsner

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
SNIPPETS

NEW! Introducing our new and improved Snippets. You can now get extra snippets on your favorite topics. Follow the button below to get started.

  • China’s social giant ByteDance (owner of TikTok) is headed for a $250B+ IPO. Its CEO Zhang Yiming will step down in the lead-up to this public debut, handing power to the company’s head of HR, Rubo Liang.
  • The US government is proposing a minimum 15% global tax rate. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says such a move would stop the “race to the bottom” for tax regimes.
  • The market’s rally post-COVID created a record number of 401(k) and IRA millionaires, per wealth manager Fidelity.
Timeline to $6.6B
Squarespace goes public

Hip to be square (Source: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard)

Squarespace just went public. It all started in a dorm in 2003

Today, Anthony Casalena’s stake in Squarespace — his website for building beautiful websites — is worth ~$2.4B.

The platform has 3.7m subscribers and reached $621m in 2020 revenue (+28% YoY). Here’s its path to success:

2003: Anthony Casalena starts writing the code for Squarespace after recognizing the need for a website platform that takes design seriously.

2004: Casalena officially launches Squarespace with a $30k check from his dad to purchase servers. He manages the entire business out of his dorm at the University of Maryland. By 2005, Squarespace has 10k+ trial accounts and 478 customers.

2006: Squarespace brings in $1m+. Following college, Casalena moves to New York and begins hiring a skeleton team.

2010: After turning down a buyout offer from Getty Images, Casalena accepts his first institutional investments from Accel and Index Ventures for $38.5m.

2012: Squarespace surpasses 100 employees and launches its commerce offering in 2013.

2014: Squarespace raises another $40m in funding and purchases its first Super Bowl ad spot.

2017: Squarespace raises an additional $200m. Its Super Bowl ad featuring a pissed-off John Malkovich wins an Emmy.

2019: Squarespace acquires appointment site Acuity Scheduling and social media template platform Unfold.

2021: Squarespace raises $300m, acquires hospitality management platform Tock for $400m+, and goes public with a market value of $6.6B.

And it all started in a dorm room.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
New Funding Alert
Piano gets a boost

Get these guys behind a paywall! (Source: Getty Images / William Lovelace)

Publishing startup Piano gets an $88m boost

Another tech company tries to save flailing publishers, what’s new?

On Tuesday, TechCrunch reported that Piano — a subscription and analytics tool used by dozens of top media houses — raised $88m in a new round of financing.

This latest round brings Piano’s total raised to a whopping $241m. Notably, the internet’s favorite uncle — LinkedIn — joined as an investor in the latest round.

Publishing is so hot right now…

… and it’s undergoing yet another identity crisis, with journalists jumping ship to start Substack newsletters. Paywalls — once hated — are now in vogue.

Piano’s pitch to publishers: Don’t beat ’em, join ’em.

The startup offers publishers a variety of tools and services to track reader engagement on-site, sell subscriptions and memberships, and soon manage newsletters.

It touts ~1k customers, including small media operations like The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and The Economist. Heck, even The Hustle’s own Trends once used it, but let’s not talk about that… we’re keeping this story friendly.

Wait… WTF is LinkedIn doing in there?

Per TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden, LinkedIn may use Piano to bring its network of ~740m users outside of LinkedIn.

Think of sign-on features at your favorite publishers using your LinkedIn account. Based on the professional network’s track record of rolling out new features, we’re not holding our breath.

Either way, Piano is padding a war chest — and with its lineup of big name customers, we bet you’ll probably be hearing more from them.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
Podcast

How This Man Sold His Soap-Opera Blog for $9m

Ramon Van Meer has never seen a soap opera. Yet somehow he built the most popular soap-opera blog on the planet — and was raking in millions per year! On My First Million’s Greatest Hits #3 episode, Ramon details how he got the idea and flipped a $49 WordPress theme into a multimillion dollar payday.

He breaks down:

  • How to test ideas quickly and build products with no technical expertise
  • How he dominated the soap-opera industry without having ever watched a soap opera
  • The tactics he used to scale from $0 to hundreds of thousands in revenue in a matter of months
🎧 Listen here →
Tweets of the day
This power family took Twitter

Source: Twitter / @loganbartlett

Here’s a wild story. You might have heard about the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds, but have you heard about the Saxenas?

This power family took Twitter by storm after it emerged that former money manager Puru Saxena had a parody account called Pedro pretending to be his brother.

After calling on his followers to report the account, they did precisely the opposite and formed a dozen new members of his family. Moral of the story? Embrace the meme and don’t take yourself too seriously on Twitter.

(P.S. This segment was written by Dr. Parik Patel, one of Twitter’s funniest parody accounts. Periodically, he will round up the “tweets of the week” for The Hustle. Check it out here.)

Shower Thoughts
  1. “If a sequel to a movie doesn’t have the screenwriters or directors of the first movie in it, it’s basically just a high-budget fanfiction.”
  2. “Speech is transferred at the speed of sound, but sign language is transferred at the speed of light.”
  3. “Until they can handle lava, quicksand and tar pits, all-terrain vehicles are falsely advertised.”
  4. “A duck army is an army, a navy and an airforce combined.”
  5. “There are legitimate companies getting paid real money to print fake (prop) money.”
  6. “A substantial portion of the conversations you have will be imaginary.”
via Reddit
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Cons Greatest Hits ebook

Over the years, we’ve learned… secrets.

The business secrets, tips, and tricks that have helped founders go from zero to millions — and even billions — of dollars.

Want to see ‘em? Just refer {3-referral_count} more friends to The Hustle and we’ll send you our curated set of interviews with founders from brands like Zola, AWAY, Vungle, Bonobos, and more.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Stickers

Laptop lookin’ sparse? Water bottle lookin’… clear?

You’re only {5-referral_count} referrals away from your first Hustle swag, Sam’s Stickers. Slap a few of these bad boys on the ol’ laptop and let everyone in the coffee shop know that you know. You know?

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Pint Glass

Look at you, smarty pants. You’ve already shared The Hustle with {referral_count} friends and enemies.

But hey, just because you’re a business nerd doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cool bevvy. Get {10-referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you a pint glass etched with The Hustle logo.

Anyway, here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

You’re only {15-referral_count} referrals away from earning our signature dad hat meant for ladies, gents, and dads alike to show folks they’re in the club.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Always be Hustlin' tee

You’re close to the most coveted item in Hustle-land: The Always Be Hustlin Tee.

The fabric? Luxurious. The cut? Relaxed, yet refined. The message? Indisputable.

Share this link with {25 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Hoodie

Damn, you’re on a roll. You’ve got the pint glass. You’ve got the hat. It’s time to complete your collection, don’t you think?

Get {50 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you our favorite piece of Hustle swag: The Startup Sweatshirt. Slipping into this piece of fleece might just transport you to Silicon Valley (or maybe somewhere better, your pick).

Share this link to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Trends Screenshot

Hey, we see you. You’re out there spreading the gospel of The Hustle like it’s nobody’s business. Seems like you might be ready for a little more…

Get {100 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll slide you a free subscription to Trends.

And no, this ain’t an ad. We just think you’re the kinda person who would thrive in our top-tier community (it’s usually $299) full of founders, investors, and builders (AKA ambitious, no B.S. business folks like you — and enjoy our premium research and content.

Share this link with {100 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Plane

If you love us so much why don’t you just marry us?

Get {1000 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll fly you to The Hustle HQ in beautiful, downtown eastern Austin, Texas. Round-trip flight, 2 nights in a hotel downtown, and some wining and dining with The Hustle fam.

Heck, you practically work here anyway. Copy & paste this link to share:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →

How did you like today’s email?

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime

Psst

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?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.