Zachary Crockett
Editor, Senior Writer, The Hustle

The economics of movie product placements

In the 2000 film Cast Away, Tom Hanks’ co-star isn’t Leonardo DiCaprio, Meg Ryan, or some other A-list actor. It’s a volleyball, courtesy of Wilson...
Zachary Crockett • May 8, 2021

Why it’s nearly impossible to buy an original Bob Ross painting

Bob Ross is not a hard man to find. Though he died in 1995, the late TV painter remains an omnipresent cultural staple. His Chia...
Zachary Crockett • May 1, 2021

The secretary who turned Liquid Paper into a multimillion-dollar business

On a warm Texas night in 1956, Bette Nesmith — later known as Bette Nesmith Graham — sat in a garage surrounded by buckets...
Zachary Crockett • April 23, 2021

The Midwestern grandmas who became stock market celebrities

Thirty years ago, 16 little old ladies took the investment world by storm. Aged 41 to 87, the women hailed from a small agricultural town...
Zachary Crockett • April 17, 2021

Why Delaware is the sexiest place in America to incorporate a company

Take a look at any given corporation’s registration docs, and there’s a good shot you’ll see the address 1209 North Orange Street. Spanning less than...
Zachary Crockett • April 10, 2021

Meet a guy who made millions on Bitcoin — then millions more on NFTs

In recent months, the internet has been rife with tales about young speculators making life-changing money on high-risk markets. These traders usually opt to stay...
Zachary Crockett • April 3, 2021

The direct-to-consumer powerhouse you’ve probably never heard of

A little-known firm is quietly powering the direct-to-consumer efforts of some of the world’s biggest brands.

Zachary Crockett • March 25, 2021

People bought boats like crazy last year

Boat sales hit a 13-year high in 2020, thanks to younger first-time buyers.

Zachary Crockett • March 23, 2021

What the hell is a blank check company (SPAC)?

TL;DR: A SPAC is a publicly traded shell company set up specifically to merge with, and take public, a private company. In the past...
Zachary Crockett • March 20, 2021

Why NFTs are suddenly selling for millions of dollars

Jesse Schwarz could’ve bought a Lamborghini. He could’ve placed a winning bid on Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. He could’ve paid off a mortgage. But instead, on...
Zachary Crockett • March 6, 2021

The rise and demise of Subway’s $5 footlong promotion

In 2008, Subway introduced a tantalizing deal: For just $5, one could purchase any “footlong” (12-inch) sandwich. The promotion was a smash hit with cash-strapped...
Zachary Crockett • February 28, 2021

How one woman changed the safety standards of the entire car industry

Look in the trunk of your car and you’re likely to see a glow-in-the-dark emergency release lever. This little T-shaped device has come stock in...
Zachary Crockett • February 20, 2021

How are bitcoin created?

Bitcoin has had a banner start to the year. Less than 2 months after breaking the $20k barrier for the first time, the digital currency...
Zachary Crockett • February 14, 2021

What does it mean to short a stock?

Late last month, a truly bizarre scene unfolded in the market. GameStop ($GME) — a stock that began the year trading at ~$17 per share...
Zachary Crockett • February 6, 2021

The crazy market for the world’s most expensive pet fish

On a foggy morning in February 2017, federal agents in an unmarked car pulled over a white Toyota Corolla in Orange County, California. Guns at...
Zachary Crockett • January 23, 2021

How one of the world’s fastest-growing startups burned through $300m

On an overcast day in November 2014, Jason Goldberg sat at his desk in NYC, poring over the term sheet to sell his company,...
Zachary Crockett • January 16, 2021

The Hustle’s best Sunday stories of 2020

At The Hustle, we generally like to stay out of our stories and let the characters do the talking.  But this week, I’m going to...
Zachary Crockett • January 2, 2021

The economics of Christmas trees

On a frosty day in November, Beth Ann Bossio walks through the brilliant green rows of Douglas firs at Quarter Pine Farm in Smithfield,...
Zachary Crockett • December 5, 2020
The economics of Christmas Trees

The economics of Christmas trees

On a frosty day in November, Beth Ann Bossio walks through the brilliant green rows of Douglas firs at Quarter Pine Farm in Smithfield,...
Zachary Crockett • December 5, 2020

The man who invented the Zamboni

As the great sage Charlie Brown once said: “There are 3 things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a...
Zachary Crockett • November 28, 2020

‘Black Edison’: The 20th century’s prolific, oft-forgotten inventor

He called himself the “Black Thomas Edison,” but we should all know his true name: Garrett Augustus Morgan. Throughout the first half of the 20th...
Zachary Crockett • November 14, 2020

The hidden economy of schoolyard trades

In ‘90s-era schoolyards, there was a hidden economy at play. Before we had the hard cash to buy our own stuff, most of us acquired...
Zachary Crockett • November 7, 2020

How a tiny peanut butter company grew to $500k per month in sales

In August 2020, Craig Mount and Erika Peterson found themselves in an enviable position. Nerdy Nuts — the D2C peanut butter company they’d founded just...
Zachary Crockett • October 17, 2020

The economics of vending machines

Three months ago, Jalea Pippens — a phlebotomist at St. John Hospital in Detroit — had her hours cut. In the midst of the pandemic,...
Zachary Crockett • October 3, 2020

The business of selling illegal cocktails on the streets of NYC

Beneath the high-rises and skyscrapers of America’s wealthiest city, some 20k street vendors vie to make a living. The merchants who make up this bustling...
Zachary Crockett • September 25, 2020

The economics of the Tour de France

Right about now, more than 150 of the world’s most elite cyclists are charging up Col de la Hourcère in the French Pyrenees. Over a...
Zachary Crockett • September 6, 2020

How do Disney’s live-action remakes stack up against the animated originals?

Mulan is streaming on Disney+ (and in theatres in China). How will this live-action remake perform compared to its predecessors?

Zachary Crockett • September 4, 2020

Silicon Valley’s eccentric real estate king

Drive through the labyrinthine roads of Hillsborough, California and you’ll see why it’s America’s 3rd wealthiest town. Multimillion-dollar estates dot the lush hills — …
Zachary Crockett • August 22, 2020

The man who has created 100+ pointless inventions

At first glance, Matty Benedetto’s workshop in Burlington, Vermont is the typical inventor’s lair. Buckets of screws, springs, nuts, and bolts line the …
Zachary Crockett • August 16, 2020

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