Zachary Crockett
Editor, Senior Writer, The Hustle

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

A few years ago, Roy Chong, a solar salesman living in San Diego, spotted the Rolex of his dreams on a watch forum. The...
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

Imagine this: An airline loses your checked bag. After an extensive search, customer support comes up empty-handed. They compensate you and life goes on. But...
Zachary Crockett • July 11, 2020

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

At 2:30 pm on a recent Monday, my dad received a jarring phone call. A man claiming to be a federal agent (David White, ID...
Zachary Crockett • July 5, 2020

The house servant who pioneered the franchising business model

Ray Kroc is often credited as the “father” of the franchising business model. But 60 years before McDonald’s, a woman named Martha Matilda Harper built...
Zachary Crockett • June 28, 2020

3 stories of black-owned businesses damaged in the riots

Black business owners face systemic disadvantages in America. For starters, only 1% of VC-backed startups are headed by black founders, and only 3% of VC...
Zachary Crockett • June 6, 2020

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

When you hear the word “flipping,” you might think of renovated houses, big upfront investments, and scammy YouTube ads. But most flippers — folks who...
Zachary Crockett • May 30, 2020

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

On a recent Thursday night, Daniel Chan — one of Silicon Valley’s top corporate magicians — was Zoombombed during a test run of his...
Zachary Crockett • May 10, 2020

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

On a Tuesday afternoon in late April, a small barge set off from Gustavus, Alaska, en route to the world’s most remote Costco warehouse. The...
Zachary Crockett • May 3, 2020

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

Four weeks ago, Aaron Caddel was in a sticky situation. He’d been forced to close both the San Francisco and Los Angeles locations of his...
Zachary Crockett • April 18, 2020

How small business owners survived the Great Recession

“Worst since 2008.” It’s a phrase we’ve seen a lot of in recent weeks, as COVID-19 continues to claim lives and shutter vast swaths of...
Zachary Crockett • April 11, 2020

Meet the COVID-19 college graduates

On March 11, I opened my inbox to find an email from my soon-to-be-alma-mater, Pomona College: In light of COVID-19, I had a week...
Zachary Crockett • April 7, 2020

The end-of-the-world business is booming

  There’s an old fable that doomsday preppers are particularly fond of: An industrious ant spends an entire summer gathering grain, while his neighbor, a grasshopper,...
Zachary Crockett • March 28, 2020

Amid a pandemic, Uber drivers choose between health and livelihood

  In the age of COVID-19 — of work-from-home quarantines, sweatpants, and Facetime cocktails — Mostafa Maklad’s routine is largely the same. His day begins in...
Zachary Crockett • March 22, 2020

The economics of cruise ships

  Cruise ships are often called “monsters” of the sea. If you’ve ever seen one in action, you’ll understand why: A vessel like Royal Caribbean’s Symphony...
Zachary Crockett • March 15, 2020

How Mount Everest became a multimillion-dollar business

It is said that from the 29,029-foot summit of Mount Everest, you can see the curvature of the Earth. But for the hundreds of...
Zachary Crockett • February 23, 2020

The unpredictable economics of pawn shops

  You’re down on luck, your funds are running low, and you’re in dire need of a few hundred bucks in cash — ASAP. The...
Zachary Crockett • February 15, 2020

The economics of all-you-can-eat buffets

  Few things epitomize America more than the all-you-can-eat buffet. For a small fee, you’re granted unencumbered access to a wonderland of gluttony. It is a...
Zachary Crockett • January 25, 2020

Why it only costs $10k to ‘own’ a Chick-fil-A franchise

In America, the majority of fast-food restaurants aren’t owned by the corporation itself, but by franchisees —  individuals who pay for the right to...
Zachary Crockett • January 19, 2020

The economics of unused gift cards

  The most desired item on wish lists this past holiday season wasn’t a pair of Airpods, a Nintendo Switch, or a Baby Yoda plush...
Zachary Crockett • January 4, 2020

Reminder: Your phone is tracking your every move (and the data isn’t so anonymous)

Anonymous cell phone location data isn’t so anonymous after all. Here’s what you can do about it.

Zachary Crockett • December 20, 2019

How much would it cost to buy all of the items in ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’?

If you’re looking to buy your lover all those turtle doves and gold rings, you better be ready to shell out $39k.

Zachary Crockett • December 19, 2019

The Baby Yoda black market is booming

Online platforms like Amazon and Etsy are rife with unofficial Baby Yoda merchandise.

Zachary Crockett • December 18, 2019

Millennials aren’t buying lottery tickets

Among the 121m hopefuls who buy lotto tickets annually, one group is woefully underrepresented: the young’uns.

Zachary Crockett • December 17, 2019

The man who made the “worst” video game in history

  On April 25, 2014, a bulldozer ripped into a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and unearthed a trove of 30-year-old Atari video games. As a...
Zachary Crockett • December 14, 2019

Why some of America’s top CEOs take a $1 salary

  In the last few decades, a curious trend has emerged: A small but growing number of prominent CEOs have reduced their cash salary to...
Zachary Crockett • December 8, 2019

The man who cleans 8-story-tall, $250k IMAX screens

  Late at night, long after moviegoers have scattered from the last screening and cleaning crews have swept away popcorn remnants, Michael Quaranto begins his...
Zachary Crockett • December 1, 2019

The tragic data behind Black Friday deaths

  This year, the National Retail Federation estimates that 114.6m Americans — more than 50% of the country’s adult population — will participate in Black...
Zachary Crockett • November 23, 2019

The man who repossesses multimillion-dollar airplanes

  On a muggy summer day in 2011, Ken Hill walked onto a small landing strip in DeLand, Florida, and announced his intention to repossess...
Zachary Crockett • November 15, 2019

The father of the modern frozen food industry

  Today’s frozen food section is a vast and adventurous tundra. In the course of a grocery run, one might encounter frozen gourmet turkey sausage, frozen...
Zachary Crockett • November 1, 2019

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