You're viewing an email archive of The Hustle newsletter. Join free to receive the 5-minute newsletter keeping 2M+ innovators in the loop.

💸 AI startups are loaded

View Online

The Hustle

Better to invest in finding your forever love… or whatever inferno towers and eagle artilleries are? If you’re Bernard Kim, CEO of Match Group, why not both? Kim revealed that he spent $50k over three months on “Clash of Clans.”

In today’s email:

  • Ryan Reynolds: From silver screen to golden touch.
  • Need a quick billion? Try an AI startup.
  • Weekend Reads: Our top reading recs.
  • Around the Web: A lunchbox museum, a dream job, hacking your brain, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Jacob, Mark, and Juliet discuss Ryan Reynolds’ Midas touch, the AI gold rush, a very expensive concert, and more.

The big idea
Ryan Reynolds holding money

Ryan Reynolds, marketing genius?

Ryan Reynolds: movie star, philanthropist, former People’s Sexiest Man Alive, and… exceptional at business?

In 2019, Reynolds acquired a 25%+ stake in Mint Mobile, a prepaid phone plan company that uses T-Mobile’s wireless network. Earlier this week, T-Mobile announced plans to buy Mint in a $1.35B deal.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert touted the benefits of Mint’s “marketing formula,” which largely centers around Reynolds, who also appeared with Sievert in a video announcing the acquisition.

Reynolds’ involvement is the key

Reynolds co-founded production studio Maximum Effort with former 20th Century Fox exec George Dewey in 2018, which:

  • Is building a production studio in Canada
  • Will launch its own network on FuboTV, in which Maximum Effort owns a stake

This has allowed Reynolds’ companies to produce not only films, but funny, engaging, and topical ads.

Case in point: Davos Brands’ Aviation Gin, in which Reynolds acquired a stake in 2018.

  • Following Peloton’s uncomfortable holiday ad about a woman who receives a bike from her husband, Aviation’s parody featuring the same actress downing a martini went viral.

In 2020, Diageo acquired Aviation in a $610m deal, per Food & Wine. In 2022, Reynolds opened an Aviation distillery in Portland, Oregon, that ends with an escape room set in Reynolds’ “office.”

But wait, there’s more

In 2020, Reynolds and actor Rob McElhenney took over Wrexham AFC, a fifth-tier Welsh football team they hoped to revive.

Per Huddle Up’s Joe Pompliano, they invested $2.5m in the team, signed a 25-year local stadium lease, and Reynolds’ studio produced a docuseries about the process.

Wrexham has since enjoyed myriad sponsorship deals, a nearly 3x increase in season ticket sales, and a boom in social media followers.

Now, Reynolds is looking to conjure the same magic with the Ottawa Senators, a Canadian hockey team. If successful, he intends to build the team a new rink and produce another series about that process.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
eyeball wearing a hat

New moon suits dropped. NASA worked with contractor Axiom Space on the latest lunarwear, which is earning high marks for flexibility and fit for more body types. More space fashion shows, please.


Microsoft is hailing “a new wave of productivity growth” through Copilot, a new AI tool integrated into Microsoft 365 apps. Expect pricing and a rollout timeline for your new work BFF in a few months.

LinkedIn likes AI, too: The platform, owned by Microsoft, rolled out assistive tools for AI-generated profiles and job descriptions.

Tok block: The UK is banning TikTok on government-owned devices, and the US government is reportedly demanding that the app’s Chinese owner ByteDance sell its stake or risk a general US TikTok ban.

Too perfect for this cruel world: AR legend Google Glass is officially going away. But Google will continue to test a new smart glasses product.

Virgin Orbit, Richard Branson’s rocket-launching company, paused operations and furloughed most staff members. Commercial spaceflight sibling Virgin Galactic continues onward (though some analysts question its sustainability as well).

Smokey’s gonna love this: A wildfire detection device is now on sale from startup Torch Systems. The $299 outdoor sensor monitors up to 10 acres and doesn’t require line-of-sight visibility.

Stripe’s valuation is on the move. Peaking at $95B two years ago, the digital payments processor’s latest raise slashed its value to $50B. The company is still private.

Want to see Drake in concert? Your savings account doesn’t. Expect to drop at least $400 for a ticket for this summer’s tour.

Talking shop: After a surprisingly hopping January, US retail spending cooled 0.4% in February. Up: grocery stores (0.6%) and online shopping (1.6%). Down: restaurants and bars (-2.2%) and department stores (-4%).

Prosperous Prospecting
AI startup valuations
Olivia Heller

Hello there, AI gold rush

When we asked ChatGPT to write an intro about an AI gold rush, it told us to put on our “virtual cowboy hat”… and well, it’s hard to argue with the driving force of a multibillion-dollar boom.

Already, in 2023, VC firms have plowed $3.6B into 269 AI companies in the US.

In the past month, Cohere has reportedly been in talks to raise money at a $6B+ valuation, and Stability AI was said to be seeking a $4B valuation. Last week, Anthropic, after raising $400m and notching a $4.1B valuation, raised another $300m. This week, Adept raised $350m at a $1B+ valuation.

At least 50 companies being incubated at Y Combinator are focused on the space. Mobius AI, founded by four AI researchers at Google barely with an idea, was recently valued at ~$100m just a week after launch.

What’s that phrase about gold rushes? Sell shovels?

Many AI startups may struggle to outgun Big Tech’s armies of engineers and widespread distribution.

  • For instance, the AI-powered presentation maker Tome raised $43m last month. This week, both Google and Microsoft announced competing features.

Sam Lessin, a venture capitalist at Slow Ventures, told The New York Times, “The absolute vast majority of the [AI] spoils will go to the incumbents” and that the best way to invest in AI is through Big Tech stocks.

BTW: Yes, there is a $58m AI-focused “hacker house” in San Francisco. That’ll buy a whole lot of virtual cowboy hats.

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

Social media is evolving…

You know it, but what do you actually know about it?

Freshly pressed data from 1.2k+ social media marketers should help paint the picture. Read the major insights we scraped from HubSpot’s 2023 Social Media Marketing report.

How SMMs see the field in 2023:

  • 90% say they’re high on online community-building
  • 66% find funny content most effective
  • 48% are tweaking content to suit specific platforms
  • Primo posting time is 6–9pm and 12–3pm
  • Fridays are the GOAT — end of story

More figure-driven facts on the blog.

Social media stats →
The good stuff
Weekend Reads

Welcome to Weekend Reads

In case you missed ‘em, here’s this week’s best…

  • Tweet: What to know if you’re ever on the receiving end of a “per my last email.”
  • Blog: Maps, matrices, stools, and loops. If you thought those were some of the best decision-making tools for business owners, you’d be correct.
  • Chart: The chance you’ll regret looking at this chart visualizing the growing number of orders for breaded chicken sandwiches is low.
  • Story: There’s a lot of buzz about AI replacing lower-rank workers. But what about… automating the CEO?
  • Video: In this short clip from the pod, Morgan Housel lives up to his name and joins Zack and Rob to explain why it’s never been a worse time to buy one.

🍀 On this day: In 461 AD, Saint Patrick died in Saul, Ireland, where he’d built his first of many churches. The first parade in his honor was held in a Spanish colony in the Americas in 1601.

📺 Useful: Ever get hooked on a TV show only to find it was canceled and ended on a cliffhanger? Check this site first.

✏️ From our blog: Did you know you can hack your own biology to become more productive? A cognitive neuroscientist shares her tips on how to train your brain.

🥪 That’s interesting: Georgia’s Lunchbox Museum has 3k+ lunchboxes and 1k thermoses on display. Of particular value is a box featuring Kroger’s Toppie the Top Value Elephant. In 2021, one sold for $3.5k+.

🦘 Aww: And now, an absolute dream job.

Shower Thoughts
  1. The better the sign spinner, the harder it is to read the sign.  SOURCE

  2. A bouncy castle is a kind of mosh pit.  SOURCE

  3. For some reason, every toaster has a bread setting that will absolutely roast whatever bread is in it.  SOURCE

  4. Contractors must feel a little silly installing emergency fire sprinklers over indoor public pools.  SOURCE

  5. Somewhere, a minister is using ChatGPT to write their weekly sermons.  SOURCE

via Reddit
How did you like today’s email?
Love It Meh Hate It
Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, .
Editing by: Ben “Runner-up in Deadpool casting” Berkley.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

Facebook Youtube Instagram Twitter
2 CANAL PARK, CAMBRIDGE, MA 02141, UNITED STATES   +1 888 482 7768
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?

[email-submission-form button-text="Join Free" include-trends-opt-in="true" success-url="" default-source="thehustleco" default-medium="home-exit-popup" default-campaign="home-page" form-id="exit-popup-general" optinmonster-conversion="true"]
<script type="text/javascript"> var onloadCallback = function() { grecaptcha.render('verify-your-humanity', { 'sitekey' : '6LdddrcZAAAAALyttpvOqiwQGwq5BNhgDz4tMQGE' }); }; function getCookieValue(a) { var b = document.cookie.match('(^|[^;]+)\\s*' + a + '\\s*=\\s*([^;]+)'); return b ? atob(decodeURIComponent(b.pop())) : ''; } function getCookie(name) { var cookieArr = document.cookie.split(";"); for(var i = 0; i < cookieArr.length; i++) { var cookiePair = cookieArr[i].split("="); if(name == cookiePair[0].trim()) { return decodeURIComponent(cookiePair[1]); } } return null; } function setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, cookieName, defaultValue) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; var existingVal = el.getAttribute('value'); if (utmName == 'ref') { var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookie(cookieName); } else { var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookieValue(cookieName); } if ((existingVal == null || existingVal == '' || existingVal == defaultValue) && (newVal != null && newVal != '')) { el.setAttribute('value', newVal); } } function setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm( wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, defaultValue ) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; if (el != null) { var existingVal = el.getAttribute("value"); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName); if (newVal != null && newVal != "") { el.setAttribute("value", newVal); } } } function initForm() { var wrappingDivs = document.getElementsByClassName('email-submission');,wrappingDiv => { var sp = new URLSearchParams(; setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-source', 'utm_source', 'funnel_source', 'thehustleco'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-campaign', 'utm_campaign', 'funnel_campaign', 'home-page'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-medium', 'utm_medium', 'funnel_medium', 'home-exit-popup'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-referral', 'ref', 'funnel_referral', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-a', 'a', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-c', 'c', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-o', 'o', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-oc', 'oc', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-e', 'e', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-f', 'f', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-r', 'r', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-t', 't', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s1', 's1', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s2', 's2', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s3', 's3', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s4', 's4', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s5', 's5', ''); var error_message = getCookieValue('validate-email-message'); if (error_message && error_message.trim() != '') { var error = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('funnel-error')[0]; var prev_email = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); error_message = prev_email + " is not valid. Please try again"; error.innerHTML = error_message; = ''; } }); if (false) { initCaptchaFormV2(); } } function initCaptchaFormV2() { var v3RecaptchaResponseEl = document.getElementById('recaptcha-response-v3'); v3RecaptchaResponseEl.parentNode.removeChild(v3RecaptchaResponseEl); var wrappingDiv = document.getElementById('email-submission'); var subForm = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('email-submission')[0]; var captchaVersion = document.createElement('input'); captchaVersion.class = 'g-recaptcha hidden-input'; captchaVersion.type = 'hidden'; = 'g-recaptcha-response-v2'; captchaVersion.value = 'true'; subForm.appendChild(captchaVersion); var captchaEl = document.createElement('div'); = 'verify-your-humanity'; subForm.prepend(captchaEl); var captchaApiScriptEl = document.createElement('script'); captchaApiScriptEl.src = ''; captchaApiScriptEl.async = true; captchaApiScriptEl.defer = true; document.head.appendChild(captchaApiScriptEl); } window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', (event) => { initForm(); }); if(typeof hp_interval == 'undefined') { var hp_interval = 0; var hp_ts = 0; var hp_try = 0; jQuery(document).ready(function ($) { hp_interval = setInterval(function(){ $('input.hp_ts').val(hp_ts); hp_ts += 1; if(hp_ts >= 180) { clearInterval(hp_interval); } },1000); $('.email-submission:not(.prevent-default)').submit(function (e) { var form = $(this); if(hp_ts < 3 && hp_try < 1) { e.preventDefault(); if (form.find('.email-form-submit-message').length < 1) { form.find('.email-form-wrap').after('<p class="email-form-submit-message" style="padding: 0em 1.5em;">Too fast! Are you a human? Try again please.</p>'); } hp_try += 1; hp_ts = 0; $('input.hp_try').val(hp_try); } }); }); } </script> <div class="email-signup" id=email-submission> <div class="funnel-error" style="display:none;"></div> <form class="email-submission " id="exit-popup-general" action="" method="post" autocomplete="email"> <div class="email-form-wrap"> <input class="funnel-source hidden-input" type="hidden" name="source" value="thehustleco"> <input class="funnel-campaign hidden-input" type="hidden" name="campaign" value="home-page"> <input class="funnel-medium hidden-input" type="hidden" name="medium" value="home-exit-popup"> <input class="funnel-form-id hidden-input" type="hidden" name="form-id" value="exit-popup-general"> <input class="funnel-referral hidden-input" type="hidden" name="referral_code"> <input class="funnel-fail-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="fail_url" value=""> <input class="funnel-ip-country-wordpress hidden-input" type="hidden" name="ip_country_wordpress" value="US"> <input class="funnel-submission-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="submission_url" value=""> <input class="funnel-a hidden-input" type="hidden" name="a" value=""> <input class="funnel-c hidden-input" type="hidden" name="c" value=""> <input class="funnel-o hidden-input" type="hidden" name="o" value=""> <input class="funnel-oc hidden-input" type="hidden" name="oc" value=""> <input class="funnel-e hidden-input" type="hidden" name="e" value=""> <input class="funnel-f hidden-input" type="hidden" name="f" value=""> <input class="funnel-r hidden-input" type="hidden" name="r" value=""> <input class="funnel-t hidden-input" type="hidden" name="t" value=""> <input class="funnel-s1 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s1" value=""> <input class="funnel-s2 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s2" value=""> <input class="funnel-s3 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s3" value=""> <input class="funnel-s4 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s4" value=""> <input class="funnel-s5 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s5" value=""> <input class="funnel-success-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="success_url" value=""> <input id="recaptcha-response-v3" class="g-recaptcha hidden-input" type="hidden" name="g-recaptcha-response" value=""> <div class="signup-icon" style="display:none;"> <svg width="24" viewBox="0 0 24 24" fill="none" xmlns=""><path d="M22 6c0-1.1-.9-2-2-2H4c-1.1 0-2 .9-2 2v12c0 1.1.9 2 2 2h16c1.1 0 2-.9 2-2V6Zm-2 0-8 5-8-5h16Zm0 12H4V8l8 5 8-5v10Z" fill="#848B92"></path></svg> </div> <input type="hidden" name="hp_ts" class="hp_ts" value="0"> <input type="hidden" name="hp_try" class="hp_try" value="0"> <input type="text" name="first_name" placeholder="Enter your name" value=""> <input class="signup-email" type="email" name="email" placeholder="Your email address" required autocomplete="email"> <input class="email-submit om-trigger-conversion" type="submit" value="Join Free"> </div> <div class="validate-mistake-emails-message" style="display:none;"></div> <div class="form-options" style="display:none"> <div class="form-options-wrap"> <div class="trends-opt-in"> <input id="trends_opt_in_email_submission" class="trends-opt-in-checkbox" type="checkbox" name="trends_opt_in"> <label for="trends_opt_in_email_submission" id="trends_opt_in_label" class="trends-opt-in-text">Yes, I’d like to receive additional marketing emails on hot business opportunities from Trends, by the Hustle.</label> </div> <div class="privacy-text"> <p>We're committed to your privacy. The Hustle uses the information you provide to contact you about our relevant content and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our <a href="">Privacy Policy</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div submit-success> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--success">Thank you for subscribing.</p> </template> </div> <div submit-error> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--failed">Your submission failed. Please try again!</p> </template> </div> </form> </div>