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The Hustle

Next time you whiff on an essential dinner ingredient, give yourself a break — you may have just pulled off a brilliant financial move. A fajita-craving North Carolina woman forgot tomatoes and seasoning mix, requiring a second errand that ended with a winning $250k lottery scratcher in hand.

In today’s email:

  • Stretched out: The glory days of the limo are long gone.
  • Need a carpenter? Get in line. Find out why they’re so hard to find.
  • Numb and number: A dizzying startup job market, plus app and digital payment stats.
  • Around the Web: The OG Wilhelm scream, a database of snacks, a cool newsletter, and more internet finds.
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The big idea

Stretch limos are going, going, going, gone

Welcome to our eulogy for the stretch limousine. (Dims lights, cues “The Long and Winding Road.”)

Once the ultimate status symbol — even if just for a one-night rental — society has evolved beyond the stretch limo. The National Limousine Association says they comprise less than 1% of limo company services today, down from 10% a decade ago.

RIP, but why?

There are a few culprits for the stretch limo’s demise, per The New York Times:

  • The Great Recession rocked the primary client base and changed their spending habits.
  • Coming out of the recession, affordable chauffeur services expanded in the form of Uber and Lyft.
  • Two prominent deadly crashes, in 2015 and 2018, soured public opinion and led to stiffer regulations.

To that, we’ll add: the internet happened.

  • Attention was at a greater premium pre-social media and the limo was a reliable eyeball magnet — when one pulled up, most passersby craned their necks to see who was inside.
  • Now adulation is available on demand — and not at the cost of easily navigating cities. Enter the inconspicuous black SUV, the new standard in luxury transport.

Limos’ future as a novelty act

It’ll be interesting to see how stretch limos fare with Gen Z. For a generation that runs on surprise, they may be too cliche.

  • Kids in Portland, Oregon, set a new standard last weekend, arriving at prom in a rented World War II tank.

But even if there’s just one prominent limo left in the end, it’ll be a badass one — US presidential limo “The Beast” isn’t going anywhere.

BTW: It’d be hard to de-stretch The Beast, a veritable Bond car full of weaponry and gadgetry, which requires space for a fridge carrying a supply of the sitting president’s blood type. Yes, really.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Everyone may be talking about Jared Leto dressing up as late designer Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette, at the Met Gala. But did you know that Lagerfeld reportedly left a portion of his $300m fortune to his kitty? (Read our wild deep dive on pet trusts here.)


The streak continues: The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter-point. The Fed’s 10th straight rate increase may be its last in the chain that started in March 2022 — Fed chair Jerome Powell suggested a pause could come as soon as June.

TodAI in AI: Alphabet, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Anthropic are headed to the White House to discuss AI safeguards with the vice president — a role that hasn’t been supplanted by AI… yet.

Meanwhile… FTC Chair Lina Khan wrote an op-ed titled “We Must Regulate AI. Here’s How.” She promises to enforce antitrust and consumer protection laws in the emerging market.

Huh: Casana received FDA approval for its Heart Seat, a smart toilet seat that tracks users’ heart rate and oxygen saturation over time.

The Biden administration proposed a 30% tax on electricity used by crypto miners, as volatile consumption can raise prices and cause service interruptions for neighbors.

Absolut and Ocean Spray are teaming up on a ready-to-drink vodka cran (AKA a Cape Cod). We wouldn’t suggest skateboarding while TikToking to Fleetwood Mac after consuming several of these.

Unlocked: Google users can now use passkeys, as opposed to passwords and 2FA, across all major platforms and browsers. Google explains how here, and here’s our previous coverage.

Beefing up: The Olive Garden owner wants a bigger stake in… steak. Darden Restaurants is buying Ruth’s Chris Steak House, with 150+ locations and $860m+ in 2022 sales, for $715m.

Gulp: IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said the company expects to suspend or slow hiring for jobs AI could potentially do. Over a five-year period, Krishna estimated that ~7.8k jobs could be impacted.

Financial goals: Sportico listed the world’s 50 most-valuable soccer teams, with Manchester United’s $5.95B valuation atop the standings. A total of 15 clubs — all European squads — had values projected in the billions.


Taking a company public is the North Star for many entrepreneurs. But the road to IPOing is long (and often bumpy). Luckily, other founders have paved the way: Here are 10 of the best IPOs you can learn from.

video on carpenters

Watch this clip nailing down why America has so few carpenters

Like finding a needle in a stack of 2x4s, builders have more trouble finding carpenters than roofers, electricians, or just about anything else — and by a wide margin.

Even among other construction trades, which have also long faced retention and recruitment problems, carpentry stands out for its importance.

  • “They’re indispensable for really any kind of residential construction project,” Paul Emrath, VP of surveys and housing policy research for the National Association of Home Builders, told us.

Without carpenters, the industry would be a bit screwed. They’re the glue that holds projects together — without them, things can fall apart like a poorly built bookshelf. (And with that, we’ve exhausted our bank of carpentry puns for the year.)

As people reckon with expensive real estate amid a national housing shortage and endure long wait times for repairs and remodeling, the question is more important than ever: Why doesn’t America have enough carpenters?

Take me to the quick clip →
Free Resource

35 tips to collaborate like a champ at work

Unless you’re a swank solopreneur and staying that way, playing nice with the pack is pretty much a part of the job.

Being on the same page is a solid place to start. Skim and share our workplace collaboration guide for tons of sensible tips on winning with the team.

Collaborate better for:

  • Meetings
  • Brainstorming
  • Strategizing with stakeholders
  • All sorts of personality types

Take one for the team. We’re making it easy.

35 teamwork tips →
Report Cards

Where business is headed in 2023: Highlights from 3 reports

Our inboxes are overflowing with reports:

  • The State of Startup Jobs
  • The fastest-growing apps
  • The Future of Payments

Here are a few takeaways from our skim:

It’s been rough, but there are positives for startup jobs

US startups hit harsh economic headwinds over the past year — job openings dropped 52% — but NGP Capital’s latest State of Startup Jobs report shows encouraging signs.

  • Seed hiring — jobs filled at newly founded companies — saw a comparatively minor dip (14%).
  • Healthtech and life sciences ran ahead of the pack, seeing high hiring rates in 2022.
  • Last year’s decline in openings hasn’t reversed, but it has stabilized.

The apps that make the world go ’round

Expected winners headlined Okta’s annual Business at Work study, with Fitbit dominant among health apps, and PayPal, Venmo, and Stripe as the power trio in finance apps.

But it wasn’t without intrigue:

  • Travel really boomed. Unique travel-app users rocketed up 197% YoY — quite the post-pandemic rebound.
  • Fastest-growing app categories included collaboration (top grower: Figma) and security (1Password).

(Kudos to our colleagues: Our parent company, HubSpot, cracked Okta’s top 50 apps list.)

Money will keep changing hands — sans hands

Mastercard’s Future of Payments report had so many interesting morsels, we’re simply going to rapid-fire ’em right at you:

  • Sick of NFTs? America isn’t. NFT sales topped $2.6B in 2022.
  • 80% of US consumers now connect their bank accounts to other apps (think Intuit for taxes or Mint for budgeting).
  • Digital wallet usage is growing — wildly. Expect more than half of humanity (~4.4B people) to use digital wallets by 2025.
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💈 On this day: In 1994, UK Parliament member Harry Cohen dropped a Star Wars pun — “May the fourth be with you” — into a speech, popularizing the phrase. May 4 is now widely recognized as Star Wars Day, a fan celebration that delivered us to humanity’s highest peak yet: the lightsaber churro.

😱 That’s interesting: The recording session that first captured the “Wilhelm scream,” a stock sound heard in countless films and TV shows, has been found. You can hear the director’s prompt — “man getting bit by an alligator” — for the 1951 film Distant Drums.

😋 That’s cool: An online database of 10.5k+ snacks.

👀 Must-read: International Intrigue is a newsletter created by former diplomats who scour 500+ sources daily. Subscribe for global news from people whose credentials far surpass our “traveled around Europe for a little bit after college” level of expertise.

🐐 Aww: And now, a victory dance.

inflation meme

Just do it for some piece of mind. (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “The sky’s the limo” Berkley.

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