Michael Waters
Staff Writer, The Hustle

The controversial business of private firefighting

A look inside the controversial industry.

Michael Waters • September 1, 2020

Infobip and the big business of sending corporate texts

Never heard of Infobip? You’ve probably used it.

Michael Waters • September 1, 2020

Meet the “menu engineers” helping restaurants retool during the pandemic

In a changing dining economy, restaurants are turning to a small group of experts who specialize in the science of menu design.

Michael Waters • August 29, 2020

Tons of startups are trying to turn streaming into social media

And it might just help the streamers keep their edge.

Michael Waters • August 28, 2020

TikTok gossip accounts are shaking up the media biz

They’ve built tabloid empires out of sharing screenshots.

Michael Waters • August 27, 2020

AI vacuums? Why Roombas are getting smart

The old Roomba? The company wants you to consider it lobotomized.

Michael Waters • August 26, 2020

Top Gun fans, unite: Hollywood is hosting a massive movie-prop sale

The spaceship from ‘Alien’ can be yours for at least $300k.

Michael Waters • August 25, 2020

This company wants to empower creatives to branch off on their own

Subscriptions are old news. Enter “presubscriptions.”

Michael Waters • August 24, 2020

CIA BBQ sauce and DEA baby bottles: The business of government merch

Those Post Office crop-tops are far from a one-off.

Michael Waters • August 24, 2020

Are private airports ready for liftoff?

Airports are valuable -- and cities could put the money from privatization toward more pressing issues.

Michael Waters • August 21, 2020

Hang on to your Tomatometers: Can algorithms direct movies?

Bots can write, direct, act, and generate sound effects. But Rotten Tomatoes won’t be giving them fresh scores quite yet.

Michael Waters • August 20, 2020

Is this the biggest meme account buyout ever?

Here’s why Warner Music Group just paid $85m for an Instagram meme page.

Michael Waters • August 19, 2020

What are therapy apps doing with your data?

Talkspace, Crisis Text Line, and Better Help don’t keep things quite as private as you might think.

Michael Waters • August 19, 2020

The record store is dead… unless you’re a rodent

Shops for mice are taking over Sweden’s streets.

Michael Waters • August 18, 2020

I scream, you scream, we all scream for a 4-day workweek?

Think you deserve some time off? A growing number of companies agree.

Michael Waters • August 13, 2020

Can talking roads end car accidents?

V2X tech sounds like sci-fi — but several states are already trying it out.

Michael Waters • August 13, 2020

Trade deals are stalling, thanks to… cheese?

European countries are disrupting negotiations over their fancy-schmancy cheeses.

Michael Waters • August 12, 2020

The 19th-century entrepreneur who pioneered modern ice cream

More than a century before Instagram, Agnes B. Marshall mastered the art of extravagant ice cream designs.

Michael Waters • August 9, 2020

‘Dark patterns’ are how online stores get your extra moolah

Countdown clocks, “low-stock” labels: Inside the world of corporate peer pressure.

Michael Waters • August 7, 2020

More than a bad batch: Why everyone is ditching browser cookies

The pro-cookie argument has always been: It’s more profitable. But new evidence is challenging that.

Michael Waters • August 6, 2020

5 facts you might not know about the founder of TikTok

Zhang Yiming is one of the most powerful people you probably know very little about.

Michael Waters • August 6, 2020

The chatbot banker will see you now

A banking startup called Zelf operates wholly out of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Michael Waters • August 5, 2020

‘Cloaking’ is the new biz of hiding from facial recognition

Run your thirsty selfies through Fawkes, and facial recognition AI will never know it’s you.

Michael Waters • August 4, 2020

Forget virality: This company is betting on podcasts that almost no one will hear

Artifact is producing podcasts that only you and 4 friends will ever want.

Michael Waters • August 4, 2020

TikTok’s terrible weekend is music to Triller’s ears

The smoke hasn’t cleared, but TikTok’s biggest rival is now at the top of the App Store charts.

Michael Waters • August 3, 2020

QVC’s Gen-Z-friendly cousin has mastered the product drop

NTWRK will turn your sneaker launch into a full-scale event.

Michael Waters • August 3, 2020

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