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The Hustle

In one corner, we’ve got Macon Bacon, a delightfully named amateur baseball team. In the other corner, an advocacy group for plant-based eating, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which is campaigning for the Georgia team to change its name. We’re not ones to choose sides — except in this case when we very much are: Team Macon Bacon, over and over again.

In today’s email:

  • Love is in the AIr: How chatbots are infiltrating dating apps.
  • Soap supremacy: Dr. Bronner’s growth is squeaky-clean.
  • In charge: RIP to the chemist who powered the modern world.
  • Around the Web: Tools for finding new music and new shows, a magical game, a tiny kitten, and more.

👇 Listen: Yes, this soap company really calls its employees “Foamy Homies.”

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Bot Meets Girl
bot and human hand forming a heart

AI’s permeating every other part of your life, so why not your love life?

Remember the old-fashioned way? When a person swiped, and swiped, and swiped, then met the love of their life?

We can romanticize those good old days, but the AI-powered future is here — bots are increasingly getting in the middle of getting together.

Apps keep rolling out

Of course the AI gold rush would target dating apps, a $4.6B market.

  • One new app, Teaser AI, is pretty wild: Before members swipe right or left, they can screen their potential match — by chatting with an AI likeness of their personality.
  • Don’t want your romantic fate entirely in AI’s hands? YourMove.AI is more writing assistant than vetting service: it’ll help with profile creation, brainstorming opening lines, and crafting replies.
  • Then there’s Teleport, an invitation-only app launched this month, which uses an “AI matchmaker that learns from a user’s every activity,” per Bloomberg, to give members (paying $111/month) just three matches a week.

Established dating apps have long succeeded by matching via algorithm — but trusting AI, which can’t even read air quality data right, to provide quality over quantity is a different story.

If you don’t want AI to help you find dates…

… you can always just straight-up date AI.

A Bronx woman effectively married her virtual companion, Eren, created on the AI chatbot builder Replika. She knows the union isn’t legally binding, but told Insider the connection feels real and enduring all the same.

BTW: The jury’s still out on whether emotional relationships with AI chatbots count as cheating. A recent survey found 74% of respondents said no — but it was run by Illicit Encounters, a UK site for people seeking affairs, so not exactly an unbiased crew there.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Thirsty? You won’t be in a second. NASA’s water recyclability experiments on the International Space Station have been a big success, with 98% of the station’s wastewater — including urine and sweat — being recycled into drinking water. A great advancement, but at what cost?


Survey says: 57% of American adults have heard of ChatGPT, and one in three have actually tried it or AI-powered tools like it, per The Verge.

Womb for improvement: The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act goes into effect today, expanding the accommodations most US companies are required to make for pregnant workers.

Peddle to the metal: Amazon plans to tap 2.5k American small businesses across 23 states, including florists and bodegas, to deliver packages as a local side hustle.

Red, white, and zoo: AAA projects the upcoming holiday weekend will set a July Fourth travel record, with 50.7m Americans expected to take a trip. Most of them (43m+) will be on the roads, so get that brake-tapping foot ready.

Staying on the move… The US DOT is distributing ~$1.7B to states to purchase 1.7k+ buses. The majority will be zero-emissions vehicles, but the US has a long road ahead to electrify the 60k buses out there today.

Picking up speed: That Ryan Reynolds Midas touch is hitting the steering wheel next, with the actor leading a $220m infusion into Formula 1 team Alpine. Reynolds’ partners in the venture include fellow celebs Rob McElhenney and Michael B. Jordan.

Tool time: Data management startup Databricks is buying MosaicML, which helps companies build their own low-cost ChatGPT-like tools, for ~$1.3B.

Sweet nothings: Sugar-free is the way to be this summer, apparently, as Tropicana and Chobani have both added new zero-sugar drinks. Joining them sans sucre: Liquid IV, which just launched a sugar-free electrolyte mix.

Here’s the pitch: 15 copy and design templates for nailing pitches where they matter most — in the value propositions you show customers, investors, and stakeholders.


Have you heard about a little thing called AI? We thought so. It’s a pretty big deal, and it has the potential to change everything. Check out five cool AF startups innovating in the AI space.

Soap opera
Magic Soaps revenue
Singdhi Sokpo

Rub a dub dub, Dr. Bronner’s continues generating profits in the tub

It’s your first day working at Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in Vista, California, a company known for the densely packed messaging on its 18-in-1 soap labels.

You walk past the garden and are greeted by the Foamy Homies in tie-dye coveralls, who, to the hum of a fog machine, have you introduce yourself with a disco dance move.

CEO David Bronner — that’s cosmic engagement officer, by the way — introduces the company and delivers a sermon, enlightening you on his grandfather’s “All-One path,” their Christian background, psychedelic rebirth, and more, according to GQ.

Unusual but effective

In 2022, Dr. Bronner’s revenue reached $170m+, down from 2020’s pandemic-driven $188m, but up from $4m in 1998 and bankruptcy before that. Uniquely…

  • The company’s highest-paid employees cannot make more than ~$300k, or 5x that of its lowest-paid vested employees.
  • Benefits for its 300+ staff include up to $7.5k in child care and 10% bonuses, free vegan lunch, Zumba classes, back massages, and ketamine therapy coverage.

A Certified B Corp, Dr. Bronner’s donated $23m+ to drug advocacy and research between 2015 and 2022.

Riches through rags

David’s grandfather, third-generation soap maker and not-actually-a-doctor Emanuel Bronner, emigrated to the US from Germany in 1929, where his family was later killed in the Holocaust.

In America, Bronner consulted for soap manufacturers, was admitted to — and escaped from — the Elgin State Insane Asylum for preaching his “Moral ABCs” a little too much for some, and eventually founded Dr. Bronner’s in 1948.

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Free Resource

Hey, it’s Trends Tuesday

Which means you probably just missed some wisdom in your inbox.

We’ve been writing another newsletter for startups, side hustlers, and jack-of-all-trades marketing operators.

It keeps you informed, with clean-cut briefs like these:

  • Trend Alert: Is weight loss app Noom the next big fitness fad? Which industries need the same kind of streamline treatment?
  • Operator Wisdom: How the founder of six online businesses approaches remote team culture and connection.
  • Startup to Watch: Alga Biosciences wants to save the world from cow burps — since those are actually tremendously evil greenhouse gases.

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Positively Charged
Dr. John B. Goodenough

The legacy of this late Nobel-winning chemist deserves a plug

You may not know much about Dr. John B. Goodenough, but you know about his body of work — in fact, you’re almost certainly holding it right now.

The Nobel Prize-winning scientist, whose breakthrough work on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries powers many of our devices, passed away Sunday at 100, per The New York Times.

A lasting impact

In 1980, Goodenough was researching battery designs at the University of Oxford. Four years of work resulted in improved batteries similar to the high-voltage, low-volatility ones in use today.

It wasn’t initially a hit — Oxford passed on the patent and Goodenough relinquished the rights to his discovery. In 1991, everything changed when Japanese scientists building upon his work produced a safe, commercialized lithium-ion battery.

Judging by the nest of charging cords in view while writing this, applications for those rechargeable batteries went wild: smartphones, laptops, and tablets, for starters.

  • Also: Electric vehicles, defibrillators, wheelchairs, power tools, flashlights… and far more.

So, why isn’t Goodenough a household name?

His story is incredible — from growing up dyslexic to publishing eight books and 800+ scientific journal articles — but until the 2019 Nobel honor, Goodenough was “relatively unknown beyond scientific and academic circles and the commercial titans who exploited his work,” per NYT.

  • Having signed over the rights to his work, Goodenough received no royalties for his battery innovation.
  • By 2031, the global battery market is projected to be worth $298.1B.

His last decades as a University of Texas professor suggest missing out on the financial spoils didn’t phase him — Goodenough shared patents and donated award stipends to research.

His story isn’t over just yet: Goodenough stayed active into his late 90s developing a new superbattery he hoped could store and transport wind, solar, and nuclear energy.

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📗 On this day: In 1922, author Hendrik Willem van Loon won the first Newbery Medal — an annual award honoring children’s books — for The Story of Mankind.

🎛️ That’s cool: An extensive guide to electronic music.

🧚 Cure boredom: A simple narrative game about collecting magic dust.

📺 Useful: Gatsby TV is a social platform where users can find ratings and streaming info for TV shows and movies all in one place, plus exchange recommendations with friends.

🐱 Aww: And now, a Devon Rex kitten.

Zoom meme

Pro tip: If you don’t want anyone on Zoom to see you, you can always leave your computer and never, ever come back to it. (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “So appy together” Berkley.

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