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Anything you can do I can do better
The Hustle, aka. your new best friend
to me
Instagram turned into that bully at school who just repeated everything you said in a whiny voice.
The Hustle Mon, Nov 21

Instagram can’t stop copying other apps

This morning, Instagram introduced two new features: Instagram Live and Instagram Direct Ephemeral.

Before we get into the details, the short answer is that they’ve taken the best of Snapchat and Periscope (or Facebook live), put their unique spin on it, and said, “Hey guys, time to start using our app for literally everything!”

Instagram Live

Like Periscope and Facebook Live, Instagram’s latest offering lets you broadcast video to your followers in real-time.

However, unlike its predecessors, there are no replays or sticking it on your wall. So once you’re finished, the video’s gone forever.

Instagram believes that this approach will get people broadcasting more frequently and in more casual ways, rather than holding off for big flashy events.

How do I use it?

Good question. First, you swipe from the Instagram Stories camera. After you start streaming, Instagram will send notifications to close friends and put a “Live” tag on your Instagram Stories bubble.

Viewers can comment and tap away to send a hundred hearts flying across the screen (unless the broadcaster turns those options off).

Also, Instagram’s Explore tab will include a section highlighting the best Live streams happening at any given time based on view count, geography, and language.

As TechCrunch puts it, “Instagram will provide a curated channel you can swipe through, creating the most laid-back Live discovery and consumption experience around.”

Instagram Direct Ephemeral

On Snapchat, sometimes you want to send a Snap to a select group of people, as opposed to making it a Story for all of your followers to see.

Now you can do that with Instagram Stories, too, all through the existing direct messaging section.

This might be a little confusing at first, as your direct message inbox will be a combination of disappearing videos and your girlfriend tagging you in the comments of @beigecardigan memes.

But hey, they needed it now that Instagram wants to be a place to share all of your moments, not just your highlights.

Ephemeral is a great word

Starry Internet wants to beat broadband monopoly at its own game

Warning: Board game puns ahead.

Starry Internet wants to stick it to Big Broadband and send high-speed internet wirelessly into your home. The technology is currently in beta, but founder Chet Kanojia (hell of a name) hopes it’ll be ready to expand to more customers in 2017.

Here’s the thing though: Getting Starry’s technology to actually work isn’t the biggest hurdle — it’s dealing with the broadband monopolies. And the truth is, everybody wants to be the racecar, but sometimes life’s a thimble.

They’re pulling a major chance card…

Kanojia’s last venture, Aereo, went head-to-head with the “TV Industrial Complex” to wirelessly stream broadcast TV and failed miserably, getting slapped down by the supreme court over copyright laws.

At the time, Kanojia said there was no “plan B,” but it looks like they’ve done some soul-searching and the rest of the alphabet looked a little more appealing.

Thus, Starry internet was born. Call us cynical, but in the game of high-speed internet, we’ve been burned before.

Do not pass GO, do not get superfast internet

Our lord and savior Google Fiber has already forsaken us, freezing plans in October to expand into new cities.

Sure, Google claims its fiber branch is still very active, but we have to wonder whether anyone can actually flip the board on the broadband monopolies. And, if Google can’t do it, then who can?

Maybe Starry is the hero we’ve been waiting for…or maybe it’s time for plan C.

No free parking

The mysterious success of Marco Polo

Marco Polo is the most popular messaging app you’ve never heard of and we can’t figure out why. The app, which allows users to send short video messages with text and filters, just raised $20 million led by VC firm Benchmark.

Seriously, another video messaging app?

Despite striking similarities to a certain ghost-like application, self-proclaimed “video walkie talkie” Marco Polo consistently ranks in the top 10 social media apps in the U.S. App Store.

No, we do not copy.

But Benchmark does. And based on their track record backing winners like Uber, Snapchat, and the app of the hour, Instagram, we’re inclined to believe them.

What’s so special about Benchmark?

For one, they’re a multi-billion dollar firm whose website is literally just their logo. Also, they’re scrappy as hell.

Like their website, Benchmark is a bare-bones team, purposefully limiting themselves to six equal partners (including the man himself, Bill Gurley, and most recently Scott Belsky) so in their words, “there’s nowhere to hide.”

Aka, no room for screw ups.

Which brings us back to the question…

Why Marco Polo?

Is it because the videos don’t disappear? Is it because they don’t have a length limit? Is it because our parents can’t figure out Snapchat? Please someone tell us what we’re missing, we feel like we’re taking crazy pills.

We really hope Benchmark proves us all wrong, but in the meantime, we’re just as mystified as you are.

So hot right now…
monday morning review

How you know you hired the right person

Last week, a reader sent us the following email (in reference to a line in Tuesday’s Nutella story):

Thank you so f*cking much for putting “(most of us)” at the end of that sentence. It fully encapsulated why I love the sh*t out of the Hustle in the way that I do. Never change. – Devon

We also got a lot of positive feedback on The Big Lebowski references in Wednesday’s Hulu post and the piece on professors making bank on big mergers.

Here’s the thing…

All of those were written by our newest hire, Lindsey Quinn!

You’ve likely seen her name added to the bottoms of the emails, but chances are you didn’t realize she was already helping carry the load (like that Nutella one).

And that’s exactly what we were looking for. Someone who could come on, write it in our voice, and transition seamlessly while also adding in her own personal flare.

We’re all super stoked to have Lindsey on board and we’re confident you’ll like her, too. Say hello on Twitter.

Update on hiring

We started our recruitment push with SEED — sales, editorial, events, and developer. Hired Adam, crossed off “S.” Hired Lindsey, crossed off “E.” That means we’re now looking for someone who can help take our events to the next level.

So, on that note… know any natural-born storytellers? Ask them to check out our Events Content Manager opening to see if it’s a good fit. Needs to be living in San Francisco or willing to move to our beautiful city.

Tell them I sent you.

– Kendall, shameless recruiter

This edition of The Hustle was brought to you by
Kendall "Short week" Baker
Lindsey Quinn
John Havel
Adolph Deflor
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