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The Hustle

Rare sighting of the week: a job opening on our team. Are you both an analyst and a writer? Entrepreneurial and editorial? Can you whip up copy and pull a rabbit out of a hat? Then we want to hear from you: Apply here. (Just kidding about the rabbit, though it wouldn’t hurt.)

In today’s email:

  • More distant landlords: Just what the world needs.
  • No dips for Dipsy: Teletubbies’ studio is cashing in.
  • YouTube: Show your playlist you care by adding these gems.
  • Around the Web: An April Fools’ archive, advice from founders with ADHD, a short escape game, and more.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Mark, Jacob, and Juliet discuss ByteDance’s new app, a terrible scam, and a home with 1k+ landlords.

The big idea

Fractional investing is making everyone a landlord… kinda

I can’t even get my one landlord to fix my sink, and now it turns out they may actually be a 100-headed landlord Hydra?

Per Wired, the hot new thing is “fractional investment,” or allowing multiple investors to buy shares of properties. Investors then do nothing except collect their share of the rental income.

It’s not entirely new

There have long been Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), akin to mutual funds — Fundrise, founded in 2010, has 387k+ investors across a $7B real-estate portfolio.

But fractional investment startups are on the rise as technology has made it easier to scout properties and streamline landlord responsibilities.

Arrived Homes, which accepts investments as low as $100 in vacation rentals and rental homes, has funded 240+ properties worth $89m+.

  • “The Brookwood,” which sounds like a haunted school for wayward teens, is actually a three-bed Atlanta-area home that rents for ~$1.9k/mo. and has ~1.1k investors.
  • “The Oasis” is a colorful Nashville vacation rental that 864 investors funded at ~$733.6k.

Similar companies include Here, which specializes in vacation rentals, and Landa, which offers homes and apartment buildings.

On the one hand…

… these models allow people to invest in property without accumulating debt, and earn passive income as their portfolios appreciate. In 2022, Arrived paid out $1.2m in dividends.

Yet there’s something a little dystopian about a rental experience that involves hundreds of unconnected people, who themselves may be unable to afford a home. Arrived told Wired that ~40% of its investors are renters.

Plus, every home that becomes a fractional investment property is a home someone can’t buy to live in amid an unaffordable housing crisis. In Q1 of 2022, investors bought 28% of single-family homes, up 9% YoY.

Meanwhile: Fractional investment startup Pacaso’s customers buy larger shares of vacation homes, which they can later use. Many of Pacaso’s properties are located in tony Newport Beach, California, where a ban is being considered as residents complain of party houses.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Pink diamonds. The Eternal Pink, hailed as “the most significant pink diamond to ever appear at auction,” will be available at Sotheby’s this summer. The rare stone is valued at $35m, and according to your waking nightmares, your ex’s new partner is said to be considering a bid.


A fun new way to learn the Meow Mix® brand story: Microsoft will start integrating more in-chat ads into Bing’s AI chatbot, offering an early look at how ad experiences could take shape in an AI-powered future.

Hard times in Roku City: On the heels of last fall’s 200-person cut, Roku announced it will lay off another 200 employees.

More layoffs: Electronic Arts announced a 6% workforce reduction (~800 jobs). The game publisher cited, you know, all the same reasons every company always cites in this situation.

Meanwhile, video game conference E3 canceled its annual event in LA, saying many companies wouldn’t have playable demos ready and were experiencing resourcing challenges.

Oof: A Florida principal sent $100k in school funds to someone posing as Elon Musk in exchange for a $6m investment in the school. The principal has resigned in the wake of the scam.

Speaking of Elon… His 133m+ followers have pushed him past President Obama, making him Twitter’s most-followed personality. You can’t put a price on validation, but it’s probably still not $44B.

Netflix and Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A: Netflix is reportedly working on a feature that would allow iPhones to be used as video game controllers that sync with TVs.

Ex spendables: Per the New York State Comptroller’s office, Wall Street employees’ bonus pool dropped 21% last year. The average employee received $176.7k, just barely enough for a new fully loaded Porsche Carrera.

Julius Seizer: A rare collection of William Shakespeare’s works is looking for a new home, with a $10.5m asking price. Props to Shakespeare for seeing Google’s Bard in the headlines and reclaiming his crown.

Mixed realities: Top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple’s mixed-reality headset may not debut until months after Apple’s June conference, meaning just 200k-300k units could ship in 2023.

This is a wild one: Bidder Jacob Garlick shocked NYC when he won a $190m auction for the Flatiron Building, one of the world’s most famous skyscrapers. Shocking the city anew, he failed to pay the $19m deposit. The building will likely head back to auction.

Listen here: It’s almost the weekend, so we’re providing some entertainment. Here are 27 small-business podcasts worth listening to.

Teletubbies annual revenue
Olivia Heller

Teletubbyland is a world of love and laughter — it’s also pretty lucrative

This week in moments that permanently alter the chemistry of our brains and understanding of the universe: learning that the original “Teletubbies” Sun Baby now works on the “administrative side” of a security company.

While she reportedly doesn’t remember much from her late ’90s career — which involved working alongside dancing rainbow aliens with TVs in their abdomens and an anthropomorphic vacuum cleaner — we think she’d be proud of where the show has ended up.

That place: The jewel of a Canadian entertainment behemoth

“Teletubbies,” originally a BBC series that built up the perfect parental arsenal — a war chest of 365 TV episodes — was purchased in 2013 by Canadian company WildBrain (then DHX Media) for CA$28.4m.

You may know WildBrain for other shows like “Degrassi,” “Caillou,” “Yo Gabba Gabba!,” or “Inspector Gadget.”

Hopefully, you do not know them for the “Teletubbies” high heels they debuted this month in celebration of the franchise’s 25th anniversary.

‘Teletubbies’ are the cherry on top of a very profitable sundae

WildBrain’s penchant for nostalgia-packed entertainment brands has paid off: The last fiscal year brought in CA$507.2m in revenue, up 12% YoY.

Those revenues are being put to use — earlier this week, WildBrain announced a CA$15.5m acquisition of House of Cool, an animation studio with pre-production credits including Despicable Me and Ice Age.

One boon for WildBrain’s business has been streaming deals, including a “Caillou” reboot with Peacock — and yes, a recent “Teletubbies” reboot on Netflix.

Controversially, the episodes feature a slate of five new Sun Babies.

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Free Resource

5 keys to growing a resilient online business

Whether you’re shooting for financial freedom or some scratch on the side doesn’t matter.

What does matter is surviving: making many moves, even if some are wrong, and tweaking your product and process until it works for you around the clock.

Steph Taylor started the Imperfect Action podcast to share the pointers she needed as a budding entrepreneur. Since then, she’s built her own million-dollar business — and taught tons of folks how to do the same.

Bump this episode for five tips on building a no-brainer business foundation.

Listen now 🎙️ →
YouTube and Chill

While you await MrBeast’s next video — which, for all we know, could involve building a school on the moon — feel free to check out some of the latest on our channel:

  • Turns out, all you need to make a $500m business is a yellow circle and some black lines. (Link)
  • Wondering how much cruise lines make off of you getting seasick and sunburned for a week? Wonder no further! (Link)
  • Sorry, ‘90s kids — your favorite online auction site may not be what it used to be. (Link)
  • A peek inside LA’s new Super Nintendo World — kinda like Disneyland, but with mushrooms. (Link)
  • A look into the business of Air Max and its architectural origins. (Link)

Grab some popcorn (a cob works, too), pop a squat, and enjoy.


🕶️ On this day: In 1999, The Matrix debuted in theaters. Lana and Lilly Wachowski shot the film for $70m, but it grossed $470m worldwide.

😜 Haha: An archive of online April Fools’ jokes dating back to 2004.

✏️ Blog: Twelve successful founders with ADHD share their stories and advice.

🗝 Cure boredom: A short escape room game.

🐱 Aww: And now, whack!

  1. There just aren’t any realistic recreations of dinosaurs taking a dump. SOURCE

  2. The invention of the golf cart turned out to be more popular than the sport of golf itself. SOURCE

  3. Earbuds that detect when you’re doing a crime, and they play cool crime-doing music. SOURCE

  4. Both concrete and glass are mostly made of sand, which makes skyscrapers really tall sandcastles. SOURCE

  5. The face wash boundary grows when you shave your head. SOURCE

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