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🛰️ Why is in-flight WiFi so bad?

The Hustle

Today we’re pumped to introduce HubSpot Creators, a media accelerator for creators to get paid, get bigger, and get better. Learn more about the program below, and enter our celebratory launch giveaway for a chance at an iPhone, AirPod Pros, and more goodies.

In today’s email:

  • In-flight WiFi: Will Starlink disrupt the 30k-foot internet industry?
  • Chart: The brands that appear in our dreams.
  • Lunchflation: Office workers are feeling this one.
  • Around the web: What’s that birdcall, inside ordinary objects, a global game, and more fun internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear about why in-flight WiFi sucks, Substack’s snazzy new app, and more.

The big idea
in-flight WiFi

Starlink wants to disrupt in-flight WiFi

Elon Musk’s most recent obsession seems to be getting to Mars.

So it may surprise you that SpaceX, his rocket company, is working to solve an all-too-familiar problem here on Earth.

Per CNBC, Starlink, the company’s satellite internet division, is working on a solution to disrupt the in-flight WiFi industry.

The in-flight WiFi market…

… is led by 2 players in the US:

  • Viasat, used by Delta, JetBlue, and Virgin Atlantic
  • Gogo (owned by Intelsat), used by United Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines

Some airlines use both vendors.

The market for in-flight WiFi has massive growth potential. A recent report valued the sector at $3B in 2020 and predicted it could reach $6.7B by 2027.

That’s one reason companies have made investments to improve the product. While in-flight WiFi can be powered by towers or satellites, more and more planes have transitioned to the latter, which drastically improves connectivity.


… has 2 distinct advantages over competitors:

  • Its satellites orbit closer to the Earth — giving them closer proximity to planes, which could mean faster WiFi speeds
  • Its global network of 2k+ satellites may offer more reliable coverage, as the lag users experience is sometimes caused by moving from one satellite’s coverage to another

Starlink is also testing — and going through regulatory hurdles for — an aviation-specific antenna that allows planes to connect to its network.

If successful…

… Starlink could become an important player in a growing market and, in a rare instance for the airline industry, a favorable consumer brand.

JD Power’s 2019 airline satisfaction study found in-flight services to be the lowest ranked factor for passengers and poor connectivity is one reason why.

While Musk has been under fire lately for his intergalactic colonization plans, if he can finally solve the in-flight WiFi sh*tshow, all might be forgiven.

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Shopify’s new Linkpop feature is a link-in-bio tool that lets users promote several links and products on a single page. #ecommerce-retail

Cool: Brookfield Properties’ One Manhattan West, a 67-story skyscraper in New York City, will be completely powered by renewable energy. #clean-energy

The Routing Company is like Uber or Lyft, but with a bus. Its on-demand public transit solution is currently available in Seattle and Houston. #emerging-tech

Fintech company Jeeves raised $180m in Series C, bringing its value to $2.1B. The rapidly growing startup is a corporate card and expense management platform for businesses. #fintech-crypto

Another delivery lawsuit: Washington DC is suing Grubhub, saying it has a history of gouging customers through hidden fees. #big-tech

New nightmare?
companies that appear most in dreams

Zachary Crockett

Are advertisers going to infiltrate our dreams?

Last year, Molson Coors, the esteemed purveyor of watered-down frat-party beer, ran a jarring “experiment.”

In a discreet building in downtown Los Angeles, 18 subjects were instructed to watch a strange video featuring a synth-laden soundtrack and natural imagery interspersed with glimpses of Coors Light cans.

The participants were then asked to drift off to sleep while listening to an 8-hour soundtrack featuring audio from the video.

Coors’ stated goal was science-fiction worthy: The company wanted to “shape and compel [the] subconscious” into dreaming about beer.

Shockingly, it seemed to work. Now, as ads have infiltrated every facet of our lives, researchers say our last remaining respite — the dreamscape — is under siege.

We spoke to half a dozen leading sleep scientists and researchers to better understand advertisers’ efforts to infiltrate our dreams.

Read the full story →
Free Resource

We’re investing in talented creators…

That’s your wake-up call, in case you’re unsure.

HubSpot Creators is an accelerator to help emerging sensations build their media channel and niche community from scratch, or whatever stage you’re already at.

Think of it like a media-launching rocket ship.

This program is an opportunity to position yourself for long-term success. We’ll equip you with the tools and mentorship you need to climb to the top of the charts.

Perks of being a HubSpot Creator:

  • Production and distribution assistance
  • Get paid $$
  • Expert advice and mentorship
  • Community coaching
  • Cross-promotion

We’re with you, from liftoff to landing. Learn more below.

Power me, HubSpot →
No Free Lunch
plates and utensils

Lunchflation is real — and office workers are feeling it

The return to the office has been difficult for several reasons — gas prices, readapting to being in public, putting on pants. But there’s another woe on the rise: lunchflation.

As of February, restaurant prices were up 6.8% YoY, per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the largest 12-month increase since 1981.

The culprits: Food and labor

The Producer Price Index for all food increased 14.3% between January 2021 and January 2022, while average hourly earnings among restaurant employees jumped 13.2%, per the National Restaurant Association.

Meanwhile, Starbucks announced in February it would have to accelerate its price hikes and cut marketing to make up for increased transportation costs and supply chain issues.

What does lunchflation feel like?

Payments company Square analyzed the cost of lunch staples in major US cities and found significant YoY increases.

  • Wraps: +18%
  • Sandwiches: +14%
  • Salads: +11%
  • Burgers: +8%

The Wall Street Journal spoke with workers who found their usual orders have increased by $4-$10.

Coupled with surging gas prices, expensive food is yet another reason some are hoping to return to remote work. Others lament they’re missing team-building opportunities because they can’t afford lunch out with colleagues.

And while a packed lunch is almost always cheaper than going out, grocery prices are up 8.6% YoY — also the largest increase since 1981.

BTW: CNBC has some grocery-saving tips, including meal planning to avoid waste and changing up your menu to cut back on pricey items.

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🆗 On this day: In 1839, the abbreviation “O.K.” was published in the Boston Morning Post, meaning “oll korrect,” an intentional misspelling of “all correct.” Thus, one of our most commonly used terms was born.

🦜 Useful: Curious about that bird calling outside your window? Use Merlin, an app for identifying bird noises.

👀 That’s interesting: Scan of the Month takes an ordinary object and offers a unique look inside using a CT scanner.

✏️ Wow: An artist shares his 1st realistic self-portrait, then compares it to the progress he’s made in 5 years.

🚢  Cure boredom: Guess the country this game is referring to based solely on its exports.

Meme of the day
in-flight wifi meme

So accurate. (Source:

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