Are people really fleeing big cities?

August 17, 2020

Plus: We’re really running out of laptops.
August 17, 2020
The Hustle
Felix Gray

There are 20 Mondays left in 2020. But who’s counting?

:::Reads headlines about fire tornadoes and pepperoni shortages::: 

Us. We’re counting.

The Big Idea

How speaking a 2nd language can change your mindset — and help your career

It’s time to dust off that old Spanish-language dictionary. 

You won’t make an ass of yourself when that tapas place finally reopens … and it might change your outlook.

Research shows that speaking a 2nd language can open your mind to different perspectives, give you new ways to solve problems, and make you a more rational thinker. 

This is your brain on languages

Polina Marinova, Trends contributor and founder of The Profile newsletter, described how her thoughts change depending on which language she uses.

In her native Bulgarian, she said she’s “straightforward, logical and thoughtful when selecting my words.” In English, she’s “extroverted, friendlier and more emotional in my decision-making.”

She asked: “Can speaking a different language change our thought patterns, and in turn, our perceptions of who we are?”

Science says this is a real thing

These mindset changes are well-documented: In one study, bilingual Mexican Americans were given a personality test in both English and Spanish. Participants scored higher in extroversion after taking the test in English. 

This could be because American culture emphasizes assertiveness. 

Speaking a foreign language can also sharpen your decision-making. It requires logic to choose the right words and put them in order. You’re more likely to make rational — as opposed to emotional — choices.

And you thought talk was cheap

A 2nd language can give you a different brainstorming strategy. Stuck on a concept? Try thinking about it in French.

As Marinova put it: Speaking multiple languages can help in “connecting disparate ideas while understanding there’s always more than one way to think.”

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5 stories to catch you up quick

1️⃣ Black employees at Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s philanthropic group say there’s a huge gap between how the organization talks about racial equity — and what it really does.

2️⃣ Smaller pizza chains are facing a pandemic pepperoni shortage.

3️⃣ Facebook is merging chats across products — meaning your Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp DM’s are about to get more seamless. 

4️⃣ A surefire sign of the times: The helicopter rental startup Blade is launching a commuter pass.

5️⃣ People in the tiny town of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania kept winning T-Mobile giveaways — and bots may be to blame.

And 5 more to delight you 

1️⃣ Fourteen elephant seals donned trackers and sensors to help scientists study current patterns in the Antarctic Ocean. 

2️⃣ Michigan is dedicating a 40-mile stretch of highway to studying self-driving cars

3️⃣ The latest Instagram trend: Sunset travel pics are out, and PowerPoint slides are in.

4️⃣ Clever hackers can make ATMs spew cash using tricks collectively known as jackpotting.

5️⃣ That’s one way to end Shark Week. Over the weekend, an Australian man leapt atop a great white shark and punched it to rescue his wife.

5 Questions With

A lesson from Morgan Housel: ‘Ideas don’t matter if you don’t communicate them effectively’

We’re asking big names in business and tech to answer 5 burning questions. 

Today’s guest: Morgan Housel, partner at Collaborative Fund and author of the forthcoming The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness.

What’s your favorite book that you’ve read in the last 12 months?

The Body by Bill Bryson. It’s just fascinating. It’s basically an anatomy textbook told by one of the great storytellers of our time.

What’s one thing you splurged on recently?

A good mattress. Next to picking a good spouse, picking a good mattress is one of life’s most important decisions.

Who’s the most interesting person you know?

He’s no longer with us, but I used to know a guy who was a paratrooper over Normandy on D-Day. I was in so much awe of him. 

I can’t fathom what it would be like to be part of something so terrifying yet so important to world history and still think of himself as a normal, average Joe who no one would recognize. 

Most celebrities have accomplished a small fraction of what a lot of average Joes like that man have. I think that’s fascinating to think about. The world is filled with quiet heroes.

What’s the best piece of advice someone ever gave you?

Measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That, and don’t read the comment section.

What’s one mistake you made in your career, and what did you learn from it?

The details don’t matter but I’ve done things that I genuinely thought were well-meaning and innocent that came off as greedy and self-serving to others. Ideas don’t matter if you don’t communicate them effectively.

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We’re facing a whoooooole lotta screen time this year

Can’t go to the office? Zoom meeting. 

Can’t go to the gym? Stream a home workout. 

Can’t go to your parent’s house? Four (horrifying) words: Virtual family game night. 

Waiting for the world to open means leaning on tech more in our daily routines. More tech means more screens… and more screens means more strain on your eyes from alllllllll that Blue Light.

Do your eyes a favor by picking up some Felix Grays.

Felix Gray lenses filter 15x more blue light than other lenses. 

They filter up to 90% of blue light in the 380-440nm range — AKA, the real bad stuff and 15x more than others at 455nm AKA, the majority of blue light emitted by screens.. 

Other blue light glasses do… less. Felix Gray lenses work harder so you can work more comfortably in front of screens. 

Shop Felix Gray’s highly curated, timeless frame styles in prescription or non-prescription. Try them for 30 days risk-free right here — if it’s not love at first sight, send ’em back for a full refund.

Peeper protectors → Infographic of the day

Conventional wisdom says the remote-work revolution will drive people from crowded, expensive cities to greener pastures (in the ‘burbs or the country). 

But new research from Zillow shows that’s not happening yet — many major cities are actually seeing declining housing inventory.

Except, that is, for San Francisco, where inventory is through the roof:

Mind your business

Remote workers are outfoxing employer surveillance tech

Take your tattleware and shove it. 

Companies have spied on their workers’ productivity for years (and it’s gotten worse during the pandemic). But now workers are poking the eye that watches them.

I think they’re onto us

As Wired reports, demand for monitoring software like ActivTrak, Time Doctor, and StaffCop has spiked since we were sent home. 

Some analysts predict 80% of companies will adopt tracking tech by the end of 2020.

But people will do anything to get away with sh*t 

Presence Scheduler’s software sets your Slack status to permanently active. Sales and traffic doubled for the company during the first 2 months of lockdown.

Tech-savvy slackers run virtual machines on their company laptops to work in one window and play in another.

For more inactivity inspo, here are a few of our favorite Reddit-approved hacks:

  • Keep your Slack status on “Away” even when you’re working. Your colleagues eventually won’t notice if you don’t have a green dot.
  • Open Notepad and set something heavy on your space bar.
  • Tie your mouse to an oscillating fan. Extra, we know.
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This Day In Business History

On August 17, 1982, the world’s first compact disc was manufactured at a Philips plant in Germany. 

The first pop CD to be produced at the plant? The Visitors, ABBA’s 8th (and final) studio album.


What grew faster than the S&P this quarter?

A Wall Street analyst, Robinhood trader, and Jerome Powell walk into a bar. They’re all equally perplexed by Wallstreet’s durability over the last quarter, but equally happy with the results. 

Meanwhile… over here at the Hustle, we’ve built up something that is growing quicker than one of the swiftest stock market rallies of all time. That, my friends, is Trends. Our group engagement has grown 44% in just the last 28 days. 

Here’s a glimpse into our most popular posts over the last month:

  • Dewey Rodgers asked, “Who here owns a lifestyle biz where you make $100k-$200k/year working less than 40hrs/week?”. Even we were surprised to see 278 responses. 
  • Jason Francis launched a Dalgona coffee brand for under $2k, based on one of our recent signals. 121 people responded with their support.
  • Irfaan Ameer asked, “If you were given $1,000 as capital to get to $100k within a year, how would you go about spending it?”. 138 people weighed in.
  • And our favorite? Ziyodbek Nazarov forgot to turn off auto-renew. This is how our community responded:

So if you want to join this rocket ship, we’ll see you on the other side.

Join our community →

Do you know where your robocalls are coming from?

Ask your neighbor. 

Average Joes and Janes can make big bucks running small telecom carriers out of their homes. These smaller players have driven down the cost of long-distance calling — but cheap calls come at a cost.

Robocallers love ‘em

As The Wall Street Journal reported, small carriers can land in hot water relaying spam calls into the US from overseas.

The ne’er-do-wells weaseled at least $38m from victims in 2019.

An entrepreneur named Nick Palumbo was making $266k/month at one point — his businesses routed hundreds of millions of calls over 38k phone lines.

The calls could end it all

The authorities say one of Palumbo’s companies became the largest conduit for Social Security phone scams (he said he didn’t know they were frauds).

Regulators don’t require carriers to police high-volume customers, but that could change. In July, the FCC asked for public input on ramping up efforts to shut down robocalls.

It won’t be easy. 

Gail Ennis, inspector general at the Social Security Administration, told the Journal that it could look like Whack-a-Mole: “The worry for us is of course that the volume just shifts to another player. That very well may be what’s happening.”

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The Hustle Says

“Graphic enlightenment.” That’s how one Visualize Value reader described the simple, powerful, eye-catching ideas that they communicate in graphic form every day. 

Here’s how to get a genius sales assistant without having to interview a single soul: Schedule a demo of Conversica, the Intelligent Virtual Assistant for sales, marketing, and even customer success.*

You don’t have to be a bouncer to check ID’s. Get the identity verification of tomorrow with Mitek and instantly start protecting your business.*

*This is a sponsored post.


Product Manager, Consumer Health at Fitbit: You’ll oversee a roadmap for Fitbit’s popular devices and software.

Social Media and Community Manager, MailerLite: ISO: email marketing experts with community-building chops.

SaaS Product Manager, Untappd: For product experts with a taste for beer.

Marketing Analytics Manager, Airbase: Airbase helps businesses understand how they spend. You’ll make sure Airbase captures essential insights.

Sales Development Representative, Abstract: This top-of-the-sales funnel role means you’ll have to make great first impressions.

Got a gig we should know about? Submit your opening here.

Search more jobs on our new Hustle Job Board.

See more → 2 Truths and a Lie

One of these storylines isn’t real. Can you spot the fake? Click to find out.

  1. Motorola teamed up with an inflatable pool company on a Razr inflatable chair.
  2. Amazon’s apparel brand is launching a line of Alexa-enabled face masks.
  3. Some pet owners are so bored in quarantine that they’re teaching dogs to talk.
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