A new flex from Alexa

January 7, 2020

The Hustle

You can find Alexa almost everywhere these days… Everywhere, that is, except on birth certificates: After Amazon released its Echo, the popularity of Alexa as a baby name dropped 33%. Go figure. Today:

  • Alexa has her eye on your passenger seat
  • California’s privacy law is both bitter and sweet
  • SoftBank can’t shake its cold feet

Stay curious.

The Hustle Daily Email

Who’s riding shotgun in that Lamborghini? Alexa, of course

Amazon put the pedal to the metal on its ambitions for Alexa this week, announcing new partnerships with Lamborghini and the up-and-coming electric truck maker Rivian.

Later this year, owners of these luxury whips will be able to use Alexa to turn on their seat warmers, open and close their windows, and even view what’s inside their trunks via live video feed.

Alexa was already riding in other cars…

… like BMW, Audi, Toyota, and Ford — all of which had already inked agreements with Amazon to put Alexa in their vehicles.

But this Lamborghini partnership shows that Alexa isn’t just hitching a ride with mass-market cars — she’s also interested in copiloting luxury cars.

In fact, Amazon wants to be a passenger in EVERY car

And to do it, Amazon has also developed Echo Auto, a tiny, dashboard-mounted piece of hardware that can turn even an Oldsmobile into a new, voice assistant-enabled smart car. 

Since it launched in 2018, Echo Auto has given Amazon customers the ability to use Alexa to control their music, make phone calls, and use navigation services while driving.

Yesterday Amazon and Exxon Mobil announced that Alexa will soon be able to pay for gas at 11.5k Exxon and Mobil locations. 

Of course, Alexa’s expansion isn’t confined to the car

Since Amazon wants Alexa to be available all the time, the company has made an effort to add Alexa to just about everything.

In fact, the number of Alexa-enabled devices doubled in the past year..

So, in addition to your car, here are some other places you might find Alexa lurking:

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter View in Browser
California privacy image

Thanks to California’s privacy law, one company’s pain is another’s gain

As companies scramble to ensure they’re in compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act, a surge of startups is hoping to cash in on data solutions.

It’s a California Gold Rush redux

Companies meeting certain criteria are expected to spend a collective $55B making sure they meet the new rules, and it’s estimated that more than 200 companies and consultants are already pitching products and services. For example:

  • TerraTrue built a privacy platform allowing companies to better corral customer data and automate compliance with myriad laws. 
  • DataFleets offers machine-learning tools that limit the likelihood of leaking consumers’ private info. 

And the market could get bigger

California isn’t the only actor regulating how companies use consumer data. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, implemented in 2018, protects its citizens’ personal information.

And there could be additional legislation coming from:

  • The UK, post-Brexit 
  • New York and Washington states
  • India
  • Your US Congress

This potential mishmash of laws could prove complicated, which would mean more business for those who know how to navigate it.

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter View in Browser

A curious thing is happening with life insurance rates this year… 

They’re hitting rock-frickin’-bottom. 

We’re talking a 20 year low, largely due in part to changes in industry regulations and the way the average American lives. 

But, like anything in an unnaturally deep dip, they won’t stay this way forever. 

Cash in now, save big later (hell, maybe even forever)

The smart spender’s move? Treat life insurance coverage like stocks — buy low. 

Use Policygenius to pick up a policy today — you’ll lock in that same rock bottom market rate before prices level back out. On top of that, life insurance is one of those things where prices go up as you age… AKA, there’s never a better time to buy than right now. 

Want to see what your options are ASAP? Policygenius lets you compare prices and policies with zero obligation to buy. We call that “market research.”  

Cash in →
Softbank image

WeWork broke SoftBank’s heart. Now, SoftBank’s leaving other startups at the altar

Despite submitting term sheets promising hundreds of millions of dollars in investment months ago, SoftBank has backed out of a number of investments recently, raising eyebrows and blood pressures across the startup world, Axios reports.

SoftBank claims it’s not bailing entirely… 

And it says it’s just taking a long time to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. But that’s not an answer that satisfies spurned startup founders. 

So, who has SoftBank snubbed? 

  • Honor, which provides home care for the elderly, reportedly received a $150m term sheet from SoftBank in November.
  • Seismic, which makes business-to-business sales software, reportedly received a term sheet from SoftBank in August.
  • Creator, which develops hamburger-making robots, reportedly received a term sheet from SoftBank several months ago for “many multiples” of the $25m it had raised up to that point.

But then SoftBank bailed on all 3 of these startups… 

And SoftBank didn’t give any reasons for backing out  

Now, these screwed-over startups are struggling to recover from their failed fundraising efforts — but they won’t get back the time they wasted negotiating with SoftBank.

But SoftBank’s strange behavior also exposes a crack in the once-glossy veneer of the company’s infamous Vision Fund — and it’s hard not to think that SoftBank’s soured investment in WeWork had something to do with its chronic case of cold feet… 

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter View in Browser
The Hustle says…

Okay, you’ve got your new Planet Fitness membership. Now what? Head over to MuscleWiki, click a muscle group, and use the exercises listed to put it to work. BRB, gotta blast my calves.

Under Armour’s Head Chef swears by Athletic Greens. Try the ultimate all-in-one supplement today and get 20 free travel packs with your first purchase.*

“Feeling good has never felt so good.” Those are the only words that come to mind when we think of Vuori’s Ponto pants, the softest sweatpants in the game.*

Honey gets you every single promo code available on over 30,000 sites in just two clicks. If you’re online shopping without it, well, you’re online shopping wrong.*

*This is a sponsored post.


🏙 New York City’s Silicon Alley is starting to shine. Tech jobs in New York have surged 80% in the past decade, putting the Big Apple in league with traditional tech hubs on the West Coast. In November, NYC’s nearly 27k tech job openings trailed just SF and Seattle in November. Big Tech is a big driver: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are expected to have 20k employees in Manhattan by 2022.

🍫 The cocoa cartel spiked chocolate prices. Ghana and the Ivory Coast, which together produce 60% of the world’s cocoa and have been collaborating to set cocoa prices over the past few months, decided to charge an extra $400 per metric ton of cocoa — a 16% increase on last week’s cocoa prices. Chocolatiers supported the move because it will improve the sustainability of cocoa production, but prices for cocoa-based products will likely rise in the coming months. 

🚚 Delivery robots could be climbing stairs near you soon. A walking package delivery robot called Digit is now for sale for more than $100k. The robot already has at least one buyer in Ford, which purchased some of the bipedal bots to continue its research on a last-mile delivery program.

What is World Wide What? The microblogging giant Tumblr launched an initiative to fight misinformation called World Wide What that will feature short, meme-able videos about digital literacy. Like other social media networks, Tumblr has struggled to rein in misinformation.

How did you like today’s email?

hate it


love it
Now Playing Now Playing:
A Charm / A Blade, Phosphorescent.
[%Count%] Share the Hustle
Caroline Dohack
Caroline Dohack
Conor Grant
Conor Grant
Bobby Durben
Bobby Durben
Meg Furey-Marquess
Meg Furey-Marquess
Brad “Compliance is king” Wolverton
Ed Amame
VP of Appetizer Ordering
Facebook Instagram Trends
You opted in by signing up, attending an event, or through divine intervention. 251 KEARNY ST. STE 300, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108, UNITED STATES • 415.506.7210 Never want to hear from us again? Break our hearts and unsubscribe
The Hustle

Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free. We don’t spam. Unsubscribe whenever.


How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

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

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

We’re shooting our shot…

Start your mornings with The Daily.

Get the freshly baked 5-minute newsletter every day except Saturdays.

It’s filled with the most interesting stories on business, tech, and the internet.

And written for innovators of every industry. Sign up for the news that slaps.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.

[email-submission-form redirect-to-home="true" button-text="Join Free" include-trends-opt-in="true" id="main-signup-form" fail-url="" success-url="https://thehustle.co/signup" default-source="thehustleco" default-campaign="home"]
<script type="text/javascript"> var onloadCallback = function() { grecaptcha.render('verify-your-humanity', { 'sitekey' : '6LdddrcZAAAAALyttpvOqiwQGwq5BNhgDz4tMQGE' }); }; function getCookieValue(a) { var b = document.cookie.match('(^|[^;]+)\\s*' + a + '\\s*=\\s*([^;]+)'); return b ? atob(decodeURIComponent(b.pop())) : ''; } function setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, cookieName, defaultValue) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; var existingVal = el.getAttribute('value'); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookieValue(cookieName); if ((existingVal == null || existingVal == '' || existingVal == defaultValue) && (newVal != null && newVal != '')) { el.setAttribute('value', newVal); } } function setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm( wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, defaultValue ) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; if (el != null) { var existingVal = el.getAttribute("value"); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName); if (newVal != null && newVal != "") { el.setAttribute("value", newVal); } } } function initForm() { var wrappingDivs = document.getElementsByClassName('email-submission'); wrappingDivs.forEach(wrappingDiv => { var sp = new URLSearchParams(window.location.search); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-source', 'utm_source', 'funnel_source', 'thehustleco'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-campaign', 'utm_campaign', 'funnel_campaign', 'home'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-medium', 'utm_medium', 'funnel_medium', ''); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-referral', 'ref', 'funnel_referral', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-a', 'a', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-c', 'c', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-o', 'o', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-oc', 'oc', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-e', 'e', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-f', 'f', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-r', 'r', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-t', 't', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s1', 's1', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s2', 's2', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s3', 's3', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s4', 's4', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s5', 's5', ''); var error_message = getCookieValue('funnel_error_message'); if (error_message && error_message.trim() != '') { var error = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('funnel-error')[0]; var prev_email = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); error_message = prev_email + " is not valid. Please try again"; error.innerHTML = error_message; error.style = ''; } }); if (false) { initCaptchaFormV2(); } } function initCaptchaFormV2() { var v3RecaptchaResponseEl = document.getElementById('recaptcha-response-v3'); v3RecaptchaResponseEl.parentNode.removeChild(v3RecaptchaResponseEl); var wrappingDiv = document.getElementById('main-signup-form'); var subForm = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('email-submission')[0]; var captchaVersion = document.createElement('input'); captchaVersion.class = 'g-recaptcha hidden-input'; captchaVersion.type = 'hidden'; captchaVersion.name = 'g-recaptcha-response-v2'; captchaVersion.value = 'true'; subForm.appendChild(captchaVersion); var captchaEl = document.createElement('div'); captchaEl.id = 'verify-your-humanity'; subForm.appendChild(captchaEl); var captchaApiScriptEl = document.createElement('script'); captchaApiScriptEl.src = 'https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js?onload=onloadCallback&render=explicit'; captchaApiScriptEl.async = true; captchaApiScriptEl.defer = true; document.head.appendChild(captchaApiScriptEl); } function appendCheckboxes() { var optInDivs = document.querySelectorAll('.trends-opt-in'); optInDivs.forEach(el => { if (el.getElementsByClassName('trends-opt-in-checkbox').length < 1) { var checkbox = document.createElement('input'); checkbox.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('type', 'checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('name', 'trends_opt_in'); var label = document.createElement('label'); label.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-text'); label.textContent = "Yes, I'd like to receive updates on market opportunities before they explode from Trends by The Hustle"; el.appendChild(checkbox); el.appendChild(label); checkbox.click(); } }) } window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', (event) => { var funnel_email_cookie = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); if ( (true) && (funnel_email_cookie != null && funnel_email_cookie != '') ) { window.location.replace('/home'); } initForm(); if (true) { appendCheckboxes(); } }); </script> <div class="email-signup" id=main-signup-form> <div class="funnel-error" style="display:none;"></div> <form class="email-submission" action="https://cms.thehustle.co/api/v1/contacts/wordpress_create" method="post" autocomplete="email"> <div class="email-form-wrap"> <input class="funnel-source hidden-input" type="hidden" name="source" value="thehustleco"> <input class="funnel-campaign hidden-input" type="hidden" name="campaign" value="home"> <input class="funnel-medium hidden-input" type="hidden" name="medium"> <input class="funnel-referral hidden-input" type="hidden" name="referral_code"> <input class="funnel-fail-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="fail_url" value=""> <input class="funnel-a hidden-input" type="hidden" name="a" value=""> <input class="funnel-c hidden-input" type="hidden" name="c" value=""> <input class="funnel-o hidden-input" type="hidden" name="o" value=""> <input class="funnel-oc hidden-input" type="hidden" name="oc" value=""> <input class="funnel-e hidden-input" type="hidden" name="e" value=""> <input class="funnel-f hidden-input" type="hidden" name="f" value=""> <input class="funnel-r hidden-input" type="hidden" name="r" value=""> <input class="funnel-t hidden-input" type="hidden" name="t" value=""> <input class="funnel-s1 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s1" value=""> <input class="funnel-s2 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s2" value=""> <input class="funnel-s3 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s3" value=""> <input class="funnel-s4 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s4" value=""> <input class="funnel-s5 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s5" value=""> <input class="funnel-success-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="success_url" value="https://thehustle.co/signup"> <input id="recaptcha-response-v3" class="g-recaptcha hidden-input" type="hidden" name="g-recaptcha-response" value=""> <input class="signup-email" type="email" name="email" placeholder="Your email address" required autocomplete="email"> <input class="email-submit" type="submit" value="Join Free"> </div> <div class="trends-opt-in"></div> <div submit-success> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--success">Thank you for subscribing.</p> </template> </div> <div submit-error> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--failed">Your submission failed. Please try again!</p> </template> </div> </form> </div>