Zachary Crockett
Editor, Senior Writer, The Hustle
The economics of Christmas Trees

The economics of Christmas trees

In America, Christmas trees are a multibillion-dollar business. But who’s making the money?

Zachary Crockett • December 5, 2020

The man who invented the Zamboni

How the son of Italian immigrants created a niche industry for ice resurfacing machines and cornered the market.

Zachary Crockett • November 28, 2020

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

The child of freed slaves, Garrett Morgan invented early iterations of the gas mask and traffic light. Today, his contributions have been largely overlooked.

Zachary Crockett • November 14, 2020

The hidden economy of schoolyard trades

Some of our earliest lessons about economics happen in the schoolyard. We asked our readers to share their best childhood bartering victories.

Zachary Crockett • November 7, 2020

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

Nerdy Nuts leveraged TikTok, Supreme-style drops, and scarcity to scale their tiny operation into a peanut butter powerhouse.

Zachary Crockett • October 17, 2020

The economics of vending machines

The pandemic has boosted interest in vending machine ownership. But just how lucrative is the business? We spoke to 20+ operators to find out.

Zachary Crockett • October 3, 2020

The business of selling illegal cocktails on the streets of NYC

After hustling frozen cocktails for 15 years at festivals, beaches, and barbershops, one vendor is trying to take his operation corporate.

Zachary Crockett • September 25, 2020

The economics of the Tour de France

How does the world’s most prestigious cycling race make money? Who sponsors the teams? And how does financing impact the riders’ strategy?

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

The highest-earning Cameo stars

We broke down which Cameo stars earn the most, and who gives the most bang for your buck.

Zachary Crockett • August 26, 2020

Silicon Valley’s eccentric real estate king

Stanley Lo has sold nearly $6B worth of Silicon Valley mansions — and, in the process, reshaped the demographics of one of the nation’s wealthiest suburbs.

Zachary Crockett • August 22, 2020

The man who has created 100+ pointless inventions

What happened when one entrepreneur decided to share all of his crazy, rejected product ideas with the world.

Zachary Crockett • August 16, 2020

The king of unnecessary inventions

In a small workshop in Burlington, Vermont, 30-year-old Matty Benedetto creates hundreds of unnecessary inventions.

Zachary Crockett • August 14, 2020

The collectors who spend thousands on rare Hot Wheels

Every year, Mattel sells nearly $1B worth of new toy cars to kids. But on the secondary market, adult collectors and dealers reign supreme.

Zachary Crockett • August 1, 2020

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought with cash?

Teslas, skydiving classes, drugs, plastic surgery, and beach houses are among the many items our readers wrote in.

Zachary Crockett • July 26, 2020

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought in cash?

Fill out our survey, and we’ll share the most entertaining responses this Sunday.

Zachary Crockett • July 22, 2020

Meet the company that sells your lost airplane luggage

If you’ve ever permanently lost a checked bag, your stuff probably ended up for sale at a store in Scottsboro, Alabama.

Zachary Crockett • July 11, 2020

How my dad got scammed for $3,000 worth of gift cards

The most recent iteration of a widespread government imposter scam has bilked thousands of Americans out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Zachary Crockett • July 5, 2020

The house servant who pioneered the franchising business model

Martha Matilda Harper defied social roadblocks and gender norms to build a successful chain of hair salons. More than a century later, she’s still largely unknown to the general public.

Zachary Crockett • June 28, 2020

3 stories of black-owned businesses damaged in the riots

In cities across the country, rioters have taken advantage of peaceful protests, damaging, looting, and destroying local businesses — many of them owned by people of color.

Zachary Crockett • June 6, 2020

How a Florida couple “flipped” their way to a 6-figure income

Rob and Melissa Stephenson make a full-time living by scouring flea markets for discarded items — baby strollers, forklifts, prosthetic legs — and flipping them for a profit on eBay.

Zachary Crockett • May 30, 2020

Silicon Valley’s favorite magician reimagines his act in the age of Zoom

Daniel Chan has stumped billionaires, CEOs, and engineers with his technology-driven tricks. Now, in the age of Zoom, he’s trying to pivot.

Zachary Crockett • May 10, 2020

The man feeding a remote Alaska town with a Costco card and a ship

When Gustavus, Alaska, was cut off from its grocery supply chain, one resident decided to take action.

Zachary Crockett • May 3, 2020

Everyone is baking — and entrepreneurs are rising up to meet the demand

A look at the numbers behind the latest quarantine craze, and the small businesses that are filling a gap in the market.

Zachary Crockett • April 18, 2020

How small business owners survived the Great Recession

As COVID-19 rattles small businesses around the country, inspiration can be drawn from the stories of those who survived the last financial crisis.

Zachary Crockett • April 11, 2020

Meet the COVID-19 college graduates

Left out of the stimulus bill, Class of 2020 college grads are stumbling into a job market that isn’t ready for them.

Zachary Crockett • April 7, 2020

The end-of-the-world business is booming

“Coronavirus is just the spark,” says one doomsday prep supplier. “What’s really driving sales is the fear of what’s to come.”

Zachary Crockett • March 28, 2020

Amid a pandemic, Uber drivers choose between health and livelihood

As America holes up inside, thousands of full-time rideshare drivers are still out on the streets trying to carve out a living.

Zachary Crockett • March 22, 2020

The economics of cruise ships

In the wake of coronavirus and tanking stocks, cruise companies have sought assistance from the US government. But for decades, the industry has done everything in its power to avoid paying into the system.

Zachary Crockett • March 15, 2020

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