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The Hustle

A New Jersey town was baffled when ~500 pounds of what seemed to be cooked pasta appeared in the woods. In reality, the son of a deceased homeowner had cleared the pantry, likely by dumping uncooked pasta into a stream — which is how we learned pasta can affect a water source’s pH level, so, uh, don’t do that.

In today’s email:

  • Sherlocking: What it is, and why it’s a developer’s nightmare
  • We all love oil: Supply of olive oil ain’t robust, so prices are
  • Ad-judication: Digital media’s reckoning comes for Vice
  • Around the Web: Let AI decide what’s for dinner tonight, a fox and badger share dinner, and other non-dinner gems
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Sherlocking, explained

You might assume “sherlocking” means using deductive reasoning skills, and that’d probably be true most of the time — but when it comes to Apple, in particular, that’s not the case.

Sherlocking is when Apple introduces a new feature that renders a third-party tool irrelevant.

How it started

Mac OS 8 and 9’s Sherlock feature could search for content on a user’s computer, but with OS X, it could also pull info from the internet using plug-ins, per How-To Geek.

In 2001, developer Dan Wood made Watson, a complementary $30 app that expanded what Sherlock could pull — movie showtimes, exchange rates, weather reports, and more.

But when Apple unveiled Mac OS X 10.2, Sherlock could do nearly everything Watson could. Wood claims Steve Jobs himself called, comparing devs like Wood to someone pumping a handcar along railroad tracks — tracks Apple owned.

From that point on…

… Apple upending a third-party tool has been known as “sherlocking.” Other examples:

  • Apple’s Pay Later, a potential replacement for services like Klarna
  • Medication and sleep-tracking tools, sherlocking… a whole bunch of apps, actually
  • Sidecar, which sets up iPads as second monitors, upsetting Duet Display and Luna Display

Apple isn’t alone in this, and the term has been used when other large companies do it — like when Google dropped a volume mixer akin to EarTrumpet.

In some cases…

… new features may simply be the natural progression of a company’s offerings.

Yet many smaller companies, including Luna Display maker Astropad and multiple health-monitoring companies, say Apple took meetings with them first or, worse, poached employees or tried to invalidate their patents.

Apple is frequently under antitrust scrutiny from regulators worldwide. In the US:

  • The DOJ is investigating if Apple favors its own products (e.g., AirTags over Tile).
  • Sherlocking came up in a 2021 Senate hearing. Apple’s chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer said it wasn’t copying or killing apps, but offering “a new choice and… innovation.”

But what will regulators say?

BTW: Astropad published some tips for sherlocked companies.

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eyeball wearing a hat

A new study blew the cover off the metaverse’s gigantic financial potential, suggesting it could add up to $3.6T/year to the global GDP by 2035 — oh, and by the way, the study was funded by Meta, the company that’s spending $1B+/month building the metaverse.


Whoa: The EU approved Microsoft’s ~$69B acquisition of Activision Blizzard, saying Microsoft offered antitrust concessions, such as letting customers play owned Activision games on any cloud service. Microsoft must still sway the FTC.

Never retiring: Americans are hanging on to their cars longer — this year, the average age of in-use US vehicles set a new record at 12.5 years. Or, in other words that we immediately regret publishing, almost old enough for a car mitzvah.

Eh for effort? TikTok is expanding its mental health awareness hub, more directly connecting users to advocates and resources. The company is also donating $2m+ to mental health nonprofits.

TodAI in AI: The job-replacement talk has come for social media moderators — at Facebook, AI is improving at flagging inappropriate content (a 97% match with human moderators).

Yikes: YouTuber Trevor Jacob pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal investigation and now faces 20 years in prison. Jacob staged a plane crash — which he parachuted from — for views and a wallet sponsorship.

Organic food sales bumped 4.3% to a record $61.7B in 2022. Produce, which raked in $22B, was the top-selling category, followed by beverages at $9B.

Follow-up emails shouldn’t take so long. Use this pack of 30 templates to circle back after interviews, networking events, sales meetings, and more.


There are many different flavors of startup culture: some opt for efficiency, others prioritize flexibility. And for companies looking to encourage risk-taking and unconventional thinking, innovation culture might be the answer.

olive oil prices over time
Singdhi Sokpo

With more pressing concerns at hand, olive oil drama stirs on LinkedIn

If you’re an aglio e olio fan or have a soft spot for, uh, bottle design, this story may make you sizzle in your seat.

Data from the International Monetary Fund shows the global price per metric ton of olive oil closing in on $6k, its highest point since 1997.

To blame? In part, high temps and drought squeezing supply throughout the western Mediterranean, per Quartz.

  • Spain, which usually pumps out 1m+ tons annually, has been hit particularly hard, with last year’s yield down 50%.
  • Production in Italy, which had its worst drought in decades in 2022, is down ~37% this year.

Thankfully, it’s not all a pit of despair: Production in Greece is looking up and nearly doubled in Turkey in 2022, with exports on track to triple in 2023.

A pour decision?

The CEO of olive-oil-in-squeeze-bottle startup Graza recently went viral for a LinkedIn post calling out a “copycat” product: an oil meant for pizza that… also uses a squeeze bottle.

The post caused quite the stir in the comments section. “With all due respect, you did not create the squeeze bottle,” the founder of Haven’s Kitchen noted.

Hours later, Graza’s CEO returned with an apology, bringing to an end what will hopefully be enough olive oil startup drama to last us for the next 100 years.

Oil be damned! All this comes as Italy’s government conducts crisis talks over Italian pasta prices, which were up 16.5% YoY in April, more than 2x the country’s broader inflation rate.

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Free Resource

How to connect with your ideal customers

No matter the pitch — you’re talking to people.

To keep that top of mind, may we suggest whipping up a buyer persona? Because once you envision Tactful Todd (growth-guy-turned-founder from Phoenix), it’s easier to hone in on the perks and quirks that make him tick.

Jamal runs through the key points that will help you cater to your faves, or figure out exactly who they should be. Here we go.

Nail down your niche 🔨 →
Media Circus
Vice Media

Vice Media goes broke as the news continues to break

Digital media in the 2010s was an absolute mess, yet it was (weirdly) defined by optimism — that print’s demise would free up future-facing investments, that social media would be a favorable partner.

That the next great sustainable business model would take shape and save the newsrooms living on the razor’s edge.

It sure didn’t…

… and so we are here, at a rolling funeral:

  • So far this year, layoffs have hit the likes of Vox Media, NPR, The Washington Post, Insider, News Corp., and far more.
  • The Grim Reaper has come for Gawker (again), BuzzFeed News, “Vice News Tonight,” and MTV News, among many others.

Any publications you know and love not listed above? Assume they’ve suffered, too.

  • Perhaps just kneecapped in more subtle ways — editorial leaders pushed out, roles never backfilled, budgets that slice benefits or freelancers (or all of the above).
  • Or perhaps they’re soon to join Vice Media in bankruptcy; the company turned to Chapter 11 yesterday.

It’s quite the downfall — just six years ago, Vice lived atop the media world, swaggering to a peak valuation of $5.7B.

Where did it all go wrong?

Journalist Simon Owens pinpoints a stealthy reason why everything came apart: many once-proud digital media giants devalued their own ad inventory.

  • Embracing a programmatic ad model that “decoupled the reader from the publication they’re reading,” Owens argues, made it stop mattering if ads were served alongside quality journalism; just that marketers reached their target demographics.
  • Thoughtful, brand-building content (often costly to produce) fell out of favor; quantity and clickbait won the day.

To deliver those ads, media orgs bet on social media companies being cool with sending the masses away from their own platforms.

As it turns out — nope, they weren’t cool with that.

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🌍 On this day: In 1985, scientists announced the discovery of the “ozone hole” — unusually low ozone levels over the South Pole — in the scientific journal Nature.

🥙 Useful: An AI-powered recipe generator that allows you to input specific ingredients and dietary restrictions.

🎨 Art: Artist Josh Gluckstein makes realistic animal sculptures out of cardboard.

👀 Newsletter: Bulletpitch delivers a fresh, two-minute summary on a disruptive, early-stage startup every week. Sign up to get the next issue.

🦡 Aww: And now, two friends sharing a snack.

good idea meme

Nobody puts baby in the corner… but what about the corner office? (Link)


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

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