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🤓 Mommy, can I be a LinkedInfluencer?

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A new study suggests that spiders have dreams, which raises an interesting question — Do they have nightmares… about us?

In today’s email:

  • LinkedInfluencers, explained.
  • Chart: Why’s rent skyrocketing?
  • Cities vs. scheming slumlords.
  • Around the web: A funny dragon game, an online temple exhibit, a four-part problem solving process, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Zack and Rob discuss “broetry,” the rise of LinkedInfluencers, Walmart+, and more.

The big idea
Linkedin gif

What the heck is a LinkedInfluencer?

LinkedIn is a strange place.

First, there was “broetry” — a cringey style of self-help posts where stories are written in a long string of one-liners that look like a poem.

Now, the platform has become a hub for a full-blown B2B influencer revolution, per Bloomberg.

B2B influencers?

Yes, and it’s serious business. The average B2B contract is worth 10%-20% more than consumer influencer deals.

  • Ogilvy, a global advertising agency, is launching its own team of B2B influencers that it believes could eventually make up 20% of its influencer group.

With businesses less likely than everyday consumers to make impulse buys, one goal is to find where key executives hang out, and gently nudge them towards purchasing decisions.

That’s where LinkedIn comes in

The professional humblebragging networking platform boasts some impressive creator stats, including:

  • 11m members that opted into “creator mode,” which lets users identify themselves as subject matter experts.
  • 144k+ members with “creator” in their job title in 2021, up 16% YoY.
  • 18k+ writers publishing newsletters on LinkedIn, including Ariana Huffington and Richard Branson.

Even Mr. Beast, arguably the world’s most influential YouTuber, made an account earlier this year.

While LinkedInfluencers are on the rise…

… the trend has its skeptics. “You will not be invited to a red carpet because you’re a product manager at Facebook,” Josh Ogundu, an entrepreneur and former TikTok employee, recently tweeted.

Regardless, it’s no surprise a Microsoft-owned property is getting in on the influencer game. The company’s own executive team dropped the OG viral dance video back in ‘95.

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Legendary: Serena Williams announced she will retire from tennis after this year’s US Open. She plans to focus on her family and VC firm, Serena Ventures, which has invested in MasterClass, Impossible Foods, and other startups.

Walmart has reportedly been in talks with Paramount, Disney, and Comcast about adding streaming content to its $12.95 Walmart+ membership. It already includes a six-month subscription to Spotify Premium.

DocTok? TikTok parent ByteDance acquired Amcare, a Chinese operator of hospitals for women and children, for $1.5B. ByteDance has been scooping up health care companies since at least 2020.

Chip shortage: President Biden signed the $280B CHIPS and Science Act into law this week, which includes $52B for US semiconductor production.

Price hike: Ford bumped the price of its electric F-150 Lightning pickups by $6k-$8.5k, citing a rise in material costs. Tesla increased prices on its EVs by up to $6k in June, though it didn’t say why.

Overtime, a six-year-old sports media company, raised $100m in series D funding. It recently constructed a 103k-square-foot basketball arena in Atlanta, and will use the funding to expand its sports leagues.

Purr-niture? Searches like “Catify your home” and “Cat house design” are up 4x in 2022. Read the Trends report for business and product opps, like a low-key litter box that makes $139k/mo.

US cities with highest average rent hikes

Why is rent skyrocketing?

Back in May, Jennifer Davis received a written notice from her landlord: In 30 days, her rent would go from $1.4k to $1.8k — a 25% jump.

Davis, a single woman in her 40s living in Austin, Texas, was used to small market adjustments each year on her one-bedroom apartment. But $400 seemed excessive.

For many Americans, it’s a familiar tale.

We recently surveyed 3k+ renters and landlords to find out how much rent has gone up in 2022. Among our findings:

  • 71% of renters had rent hikes in 2021-22.
  • Four out of every 10 renters spend more than 30% of their gross income on rent.
  • In certain hot spots (Miami, San Diego, Austin), average rent went up 25%+.

To find out more about how much rent has gone up in 2022, and what’s driving the surge…

Read the full story →
Free Resource

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HubSpot’s annual tea party is coming up — in Boston. And we’ll be there.

Today’s the last day to grab a free Starter Pass to hear Viola Davis, Dr. Jane Goodall, and other legends on the livestream.

Or, join us in the flesh to catch:

  • The Hustle Daily Show live: We’ll be recording our Top 10 Business News pod in front of real people. (Not nervous at all!)
  • A Sam Parr Q&A: The dude who founded this newsletter also co-hosts our Top 5 Entrepreneurship pod, My First Million. He’s taking questions.
  • What’s Next, by The Hustle and Trends: A series about staying on top of markets and ahead of competition.

Use the code below for 20% off.

Payback Rent
slum image

Cities vs. slumlords

When a new company acquired her rent-stabilized Brooklyn apartment, Maria de la Rosa refused a buyout. Then came the leaks and the rats.

According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, it was part of a scheme to oust tenants, flip their apartments, and make bank.

Who’d do such a thing?

Ink Property Group LLC, apparently. It bought up dozens of units, largely in low-income communities of color.

Tenants were illegally offered buyouts to leave. Those who stayed were harassed — against the law in NYC — with some watching as their buildings became uninhabitable through construction or neglect.

Ink also:

  • Lied to banks to get more favorable loans.
  • Averaged ~26 housing violations per building, including having lead-based paint.

And now?

Ink will pay up to $1.75m to an NYC agency that helps create affordable housing and $400k+ in restitution to the tenants. Meanwhile, 28 units will return to permanently affordable housing.

While anti-tenant harassment laws don’t solve the nationwide housing crisis or skyrocketing rent, many municipalities think they can help prevent homelessness.

  • California already has anti-tenant harassment laws, with individual cities adding their own ordinances to further define them.

Case in point: A Santa Monica, California, landlord was recently ordered to pay $65k for illegally harassing and evicting a tenant.

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🤣 On this day: In 1948, Allen Funt’s “Candid Camera” premiered. Long before TikTok, the series pranked unsuspecting people before telling them, “Smile! You’re on Candid Camera.”

🐲 Cure boredom: You’re a dragon in this free and funny text-based adventure game. Make choices, do dragon stuff.

🛕 Art: Prambanan Temple in Indonesia is a huge and beautiful Hindu temple built in the ninth century. You can explore it online here.

🧠 How to: The Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process is a proven way to come up with effective solutions. Here are its four principles.

🐦 Aww: And now, hungry, hungry hummingbirds.

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

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In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

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