📱 Can USB-C solve e-waste? - The Hustle
The Hustle

📱 Can USB-C solve e-waste?

Plus: Recyclable running shoes, a curious cat, and more.

A DoorDash glitch allowed hundreds of people to order free food and booze. One person even ordered ~$275 worth of Plan B contraceptives from their local Walgreens.

In today’s email:

  • Chargers: What if all devices used the same one?
  • Digits: “Star Wars,” TikTok, slim cans, and more.
  • Recyclable shoes are the future of footwear.
  • Around the Web: Historical sandwiches, where to play pickleball, AI for seals, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Rob talk about recyclable running shoes, the latest in Elon Musk’s Twitter saga, a costly outage for a Canadian telecom giant, and more.

The big idea

Will the US switch to USB-C?

You know what’s some bullsh*t? Having to buy numerous chargers and adapters for all our modern devices.

The EU apparently thought that was bullsh*t, too.

Last month, it announced that most new portable devices (e.g., phones, tablets, headphones, etc.) must use a USB-C charger by 2024, per NPR. All new laptops must do so by 2026.

One charger to rule them all

In 2019, Wirecutter praised USB-C’s quick charging speed and symmetry — unlike the larger USB-A, there is no right-side up.

USB-C is now the standard port in many devices, including Google’s flagship Pixel phone.

But Apple still clings to its proprietary Lightning connector. It opposed the EU’s move, claiming that “strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it.”

Meanwhile, in the US…

… Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey wrote a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo last month, pushing for a similar mandate.

Why? Well, aside from the annoyance factor, needing multiple kinds of chargers — the average US consumer owns ~3 — can be costly and wasteful.

  • The EU predicts its new rule will save consumers ~$254.5m annually.
  • In 2019, humans produced 53.6m tons of e-waste globally, just 17% of which was recycled. Annually, old chargers account for 11k+ tons of e-waste.

Even if the US doesn’t act…

… tech companies may just adopt USB-C ports universally rather than make separate products for the EU. Apple Insider posits that Apple might switch to no ports and wireless charging.

If you’re worried about your charger becoming obsolete, The New York Times suggests buying cables with a USB-C connector on the other end, using USB-C adaptors, or going wireless.

Just don’t do this.

SNIPPETS

Nevermind: Elon Musk informed Twitter he would like to end his agreement to acquire the company for $44B, reportedly over Twitter’s failure to share data on spambots. If successful, Musk will need to pay $1B for backing out. Twitter chairman Bret Taylor says the company intends to pursue legal action to hold Musk to the deal.

Poor timing: Rogers, one of Canada’s biggest telecom companies, experienced an outage on Friday that wiped out ~25% of the country’s internet coverage. The outage could hinder the company’s proposed merger with fellow Canadian telecom provider Shaw Communications.

Prime pivot: Walmart, which usually holds its own promotion on Amazon’s Prime Day, reported it does not plan to counter Amazon’s event this year. The decision is due to the retailer already having more discounted items on hand than usual. That said, Walmart recently announced its own back-to-school promotion to compete with Target’s offering.

Box office hero: Thor: Love and Thunder topped the US domestic box office this weekend with a $143m haul, making it the second-best opening weekend for a Disney title this year.

Mental wellness: Gaslighting can create a toxic workplace that drives away good employees. As a founder, learn how to identify the signs and combat the practice.

GameStop fired CFO Mike Recupero and announced new layoffs as it strives for “sustained profitability,” per a memo obtained by Kotaku. GameStop reportedly laid off 100+ employees in May. #ecommerce-retail

#ecommerce-retail

Solar cash: Analysts believe the value of dead solar panels will surge to $2.7B in 2030, compared to $170m this year, due to growing demand for recycled parts and solar power in general. #clean-energy

#clean-energy

Something: Nothing will announce its first smartphone, featuring illuminating light strips on the back, July 12. You can watch the event on its website. #emerging-tech

#emerging-tech

Ouch: Fintech accounted for 10.1% of all ~36.8k startup layoffs in Q2 2022, making it the third hardest hit sector behind food and transportation. Or first, per TechCrunch, if you count real estate startups like Better.com. #fintech-crypto

#fintech-crypto

Streamer woes: In an interview with a French newspaper, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos blamed subscriber loss on inflation, a decline in smart TV sales caused by supply chain issues, and its exit from Russia. #big-tech

#big-tech

MFM: What’s the marshmallow test? And how does it relate to entrepreneurship? #mfm

#mfm
By the Numbers

Digits: Star Wars, TikTok, and 750m slim cans

1) Star Wars fans, take note — a stormtrooper helmet worn in the original 1977 film will hit the auction block this month. If you already grabbed your checkbook, prepare to pony up — the opening bid for the helmet is $300k.

2) Slim cans are taking over the world. From Starbucks to Sanpellegrino, a range of companies have embraced the skinny alternative to the traditional 12-ounce can. Molson Coors produces 750m+ slim cans per year from its Golden, Colorado, facility alone.

3) The UK officially adopted the metric system in the ‘90s, but the imperial system still has its fans. Since 2001, Active Resistance to Metrication, a group “opposed to forced metrication,” has painted and stickered 3k+ metric road and footpath signs with ones that feature imperial units.

4) TikTok is facing legal action from the parents of two children who died while attempting the “blackout challenge.” Overall, seven children have died attempting the viral challenge, which encourages participants to choke themselves until they pass out.

5) US almond exports are down 13% this year due to supply chain issues, which has created a nutty backlog. About 1.3B pounds of unsold almonds are currently awaiting shipment in processing and packaging facilities.

Free Resource

Templates for your next product launch

You want your next (or first) launch to go gangbusters. Go figure.

So, templates for alignment just make sense. The whole team on the same page has more than aesthetic benefits — collaboration and accountability are simple with spreadsheets.

We hope this array of go-to-market templates curated by SamCart and HubSpot helps you spruce up your launch process and, in turn, snag more sales.

Inside The Ultimate Product Launch Kit:

  • Product launch planning template
  • Product life cycle mapping template
  • Internal campaign update template
  • 10-point sales plan template
  • SWOT analysis template

Taking the time to stay organized goes a long way. For everyone involved.

Launch It →
Recyclable Runners

Are recyclable shoes the future of footwear?

Interest in sustainable fashion has been rising for years.

While many companies offer refurbished styles and recyclable materials, On, a Swiss running upstart, is looking to take sustainability a step further.

On’s new Cloudneo running shoe can be recycled to create a new pair, making it one of the first truly circular sales models in clothing, per The Wall Street Journal.

So how does it work?

On’s Cloudneo model starts with a subscription:

  • Customers pay $29.99 per month for an endless supply of Cloudneo running shoes
  • When the shoes get beat up, customers can return them to On, which will send them a new pair
  • On then ships the returned shoes to a recycling plant where they’re cleaned, ground, and melted into plastic pellets, then sent to factories for assembly

If customers cancel their subscription without returning the shoes, they have to pay a penalty as part of the agreement.

The model…

… isn’t without its challenges. Its success depends on a number of variables, including how many people join, how long they subscribe for, and how long the shoes last.

The $30/mo. price tag could also limit the model’s appeal to a niche running crowd — many of whom might not be willing to trade performance for sustainability.

But if successful, there’s one big benefit of the model — the more shoes that get returned, the more recycled material to use for new pairs, meaning each new pair will have a smaller impact on the environment.

AROUND THE WEB

😮 On this day: In 1804, US Vice President Aaron Burr shot and killed political rival Alexander Hamilton in an infamous duel.

🥪 Haha: Barry Enderwick has amassed 3.2m TikTok followers by replicating and reviewing sandwich recipes throughout history.

🦭 That’s interesting: SealNet is facial recognition software for — yep — seals.

🎾 Useful: Pickleball is in this summer. Here’s a roundup of this year’s best pickleball and tennis resorts and camps.

🐶 Aww: And now, precious cargo.

Meme

A top-10 feeling in life. (Source: imgflip.com)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Jennifer “Too many chargers” Wang.

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