🗓️ Our Year’s Best


December 31, 2020

INCLUDING: The best GIFs, tweets, pods, and articles.
December 31, 2020
The Hustle
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We’re almost there, people… big thanks for hanging out with us during this crazy year. As we turn the page to 2021, we promise to keep bringing you the best (and EASILY the funniest) business newsletter out there.

We’re off tomorrow (Jan. 1), but don’t miss our Sunday story this week, when Zack breaks down his best stories of the year and a few that didn’t make the cut.

Happy New Year’s! 🙏🏻

The Big Idea
Zack making a gif

A GIF of Zack Crockett… making a GIF (literally, as meta as it gets)

The Hustle employs the world’s best GIF-maker…

… and his name is Zachary Crockett, who also happens to be our indefatigable Sunday story editor. 

When he’s not crafting 2k-word viral deep dives (e.g., “How a janitor at Frito-Lay invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos”), Zack is making the iconic GIFs that lead off our daily newsletters.

The GIF was invented in 1987… 

… by a computer scientist named Steve Wilhite (FWIW, he says GIF is pronounced “jif”, with a soft G).

The ubiquitous format was originally created to compress an image size with minimal data loss. Today, it’s an incredible medium to roast people convey information and tell stories. 

The genius of Zack’s GIFs is how little information he needs

Typically, he can craft the perfect GIF just based on an article’s title. 

Here were 5 of our favorites from 2020: 

From: “Can startups make their own mafias?”

From: “The App Store backlash is growing” 

From: “A new case for deepfakes”

From: “What’s powering Apple’s $2T valuation?”

From: “A Facebook ‘first’: a college-only social network”

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GIF-ppets

The GIF that took over a whole email

Zack’s best GIF work in 2020 may well have been on July 24. On this date, the lead story was about the making of alcoholic beverage White Claw.

While Zack did his usual fine work on the lead story, he incorporated the White Claw GIF into each subsequent news piece:

“The flavored-alcohol empire behind White Claw”

“Could sitting on the floor be better than parkin’ it in an office chair?”

“The most expensive thing you’ve ever bought in cash”

The “My First Million” podcast duo scheming during Before Times

The best ideas from our podcast, My First Million

Sam Parr and Shaan Puri (and stud producer Abreu Andrade) have fired off every cell in their brains this year on the My First Million podcast… all in an effort to cook up the best business ideas for you.

Here are some of the most popular episodes:

  • Episode #63 with Andrew Wilkinson: Buying cash-flowing internet companies
  • Episode #87 with Greg Isenberg: The millions to be made unbundling Reddit
  • Episode #101 with Ryan Begelman: How to succeed in applying private equity structure to startups
  • Episode #107 with Chris Bakke: This serial entrepreneur is an idea machine
  • #127 with Nick Huber: Building a $10m self-storage business and the opportunities in “sweaty startups”

From this glorious bounty of ideas, we asked Sam, Shaan and frequent guest Andrew Wilkinson to tell us their favorites from 2020:

Sam: “Clout Kitchens”

“Cloud kitchens are a booming, but competitive, space. So how do you stand out? By partnering with influencers, to create influencer-inspired meals (AKA ‘clout kitchens’). We first mentioned the idea in February… YouTube superstar MrBeast JUST released MrBeast Burgers, hitting top of the app stores.” (Episode #50)

Shaan: Hyper-local newsletters

“Fed up with poor local news coverage in his town of Victoria, BC, Canada, Andrew Wilkinson started his own local news outlet, Capital Daily. With 40k subscribers in a city of 200k, Capital Daily has a bigger audience than the local newspaper. He believes the model can be replicated in different cities, with each newsletter generating $200k-$500k in profits.” (Episode #97)

Andrew: Always-on AirPods

“With AirPods taking off and opening up SiriOS, an app should be created to allow you to have ‘always on’ communication, where you can send someone a voice message by saying their name — like an Alexa/AirPod hybrid.” (Episode #47)

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Our fave Twitter moments

The Hustle enjoys getting loose on the Twitter machine (you can follow our team here).

Meanwhile, these were some of our favorite Twitter-related moments of 2020:

Alex Garcia, our social manager, sent the battle of the burgers (“Whataburger vs. In-N-Out”) trending on Twitter LOL…

Source: Twitter

Andrew Yang shared our story about a town printing its own currency…

Source: Twitter

Trung got @ElonMusk to hit that reply…

Source: Twitter

Odds and ends

Thank you all again (with a special shoutout to Kaylee Jenzen, our email master who makes sure every newsletter is sent to perfection).

Top daily email newsletter sends of 2020

Mark Zuckberg jokes that received an “I’m crying LOL” reader comment:

  • Zucky McKeyboard
  • Zucky McHarvard
  • Scrooge McZuck
  • Zuck Daddy Coder
  • Zucky McBuckface 

The image of the year

The Hustle’s rock star designer Malary Lee made the “Mt. Rushmore of Beards” after the world saw Jack Dorsey’s out-of-control facial hair at an October Senate grilling.

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