Zachary Crockett
Editor, Senior Writer, The Hustle

Is the Midwest the next Silicon Valley?

We’ve all heard the trope: Silicon Valley is the only place to be if you want to launch a tech startup — the only place where you can secure funding. Well, the Midwest has something to say about that. There’s a huge tech boom underway in middle America… So big, that some predict the region […]

Zachary Crockett • December 20, 2017

Chuck E. Cheese has a very odd way of protecting its intellectual property

After a Chuck E. Cheese location closed in a small Illinois town a few weeks back, a strange video made the rounds on the internet. In the foreground, all appears normal, as employees wheel old machines and decorations out to a moving truck. But in the background, a horror story unfolds: 2 women hover over […]

Zachary Crockett • December 20, 2017

VC money funding hits an all-time high, but fewer companies are getting a piece of the pie

Market research firm Pitchbook recently found that global venture capital investment is at an all-time high of $142B. But there’s a catch: fewer and fewer startups are getting funded — and the successful ones are raking in way more early-stage $$$ than they used to. Since 2012, the median seed round deal has doubled from […]

Zachary Crockett • December 19, 2017

Should meat get a sin tax like tobacco?

Last week, the ag firm Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) put out a report suggesting states institute a “sin tax” on meat to combat the worsening environmental impact of livestock. What’s a sin tax, again? In short, they’re state-sponsored taxes that are levied on goods or services that are deemed to be “sinful” […]

Zachary Crockett • December 18, 2017

The FCC repealed net neutrality yesterday — but the fight’s not over yet

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to undo the net neutrality regulations put in place by the Obama Administration in 2015. The regulations defined the internet as a public utility and prevented internet service providers from charging more money, blocking access to sites at their discretion, and picking and choosing the content people can […]

Zachary Crockett • December 15, 2017

India has a condom problem

In India, social stigma is getting in the way of effective condom marketing -- and it’s hitting the industry hard.

Zachary Crockett • December 14, 2017

Old coal mines are being turned into solar farms around the world

In a classic changing of the energy guard, engineers around the world are building solar plants on top of non-active coal mines.

Zachary Crockett • December 13, 2017

One of tech’s biggest seed investors is a Chinese billionaire you’ve never heard of 

In 3 years, a little-known Chinese billionaire named Shan Xiangshuang has stealthily built the largest seed fund in tech.

Zachary Crockett • December 12, 2017

China is rebranding its rural towns… one sex shop at a time

To boost the local economy, the Chinese government signed a $1.5B contract to turn Yucheng into a “Happy Town” full of sex toy shops and adult-only hotels.

Zachary Crockett • December 11, 2017

Delivery robots just got bot-blocked in San Francisco

Ground bots are the new battleground for companies looking to automate deliveries of everything from food to marijuana. And San Francisco's not havin' it.

Zachary Crockett • December 8, 2017

Depeche Mode is selling more concert tickets than some of today’s hottest pop stars

Nearly 40 years after its formation, the ‘80s electronic band from the UK is experiencing an insane comeback.

Zachary Crockett • December 7, 2017

Christmas tree prices are out of control

The price of the average Christmas tree has spiked 125% over the past 3 years -- and we have a familiar culprit to thank...

Zachary Crockett • December 6, 2017

The SEC just busted its first ICO scam

On Monday, the SEC shut down villainous-sounding cryptocoin startup, PlexCorps, which raised $15m from thousands of investors through ICO.

Zachary Crockett • December 5, 2017

One of the food industry’s titans is hanging up her Oreo-encrusted crown

Irene Rosenfeld to step down as CEO of Mondelez -- yet another sign that junk food’s in the tank thanks to newly health-conscious US consumers.

Zachary Crockett • December 4, 2017

Meet the world’s most-poached mammal: the pangolin

Chinese official just uncovered a crate of 13.1 tons of scales from the world's mostly highly-trafficked animal: the pangolin.

Zachary Crockett • December 4, 2017

Expensify’s “SmartScan” technology was secretly being powered by humans

The expense report hero has been secretly posting personal invoices to a freelancing website to transcribe their expenses for their "autonomous" tech.

Zachary Crockett • December 1, 2017

Why do execs get huge bonuses after running their companies into bankruptcy?

After getting “crushed by a mountain of debt” and declaring bankruptcy, Toys R Us execs are seeking approval for $16m in bonuses to pay themselves. WHY?

Zachary Crockett • December 1, 2017

BuzzFeed faces a massive round of layoffs

Buzzfeed to cut 8% of its US workforce as traffic stagnates over the past year.

Zachary Crockett • November 30, 2017

A tiny Georgia county wants to house the next commercial spaceport

Before today, Camden County, Georgia (population: 52k) was best known as the childhood home of Jay, our growth marketing guru. But the sleepy region is now also the site of a recently proposed commercial spaceport that could soon play a key role in launching the rockets of a growing number of privatized aerospace companies. Not […]

Zachary Crockett • November 29, 2017

Time, Inc. bought for $2.8B… with a little help from the Koch brothers

The Kochs claim their $650m Time investment is just a “moneymaker," but skeptics bet they’ll use it as more of a “policymaker.”

Zachary Crockett • November 28, 2017

Your freedom on the internet is under siege: FCC announces plan to repeal net neutrality

Yesterday, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai officially announced his intention to repeal existing net neutrality rules.

Zachary Crockett • November 22, 2017

The man who sold shares of himself

Ten years ago, Mike Merrill was at a career crossroads. So, the 30-year-old did what any other aspiring entrepreneur would do: He divided himself...
Zachary Crockett • November 21, 2017

College football players are worth a ton of money to the schools they play for

Tossing the ol’ pigskin is a big ol’ business for top universities: ticket sales, media rights, branding, video game licensing, and other revenue streams add up to hundreds of millions of dollars per year at certain programs. Given this, how much would players be worth if they were permitted to receive compensation like NFL athletes? […]

Zachary Crockett • November 20, 2017

Facebook is gunning for YouTube’s video influencers

Last week, Facebook announced the upcoming launch of its new Facebook Creator app, designed to assist social media influencers in creating content and reaching a bigger following. It’s Zuck and team’s latest effort to lure creators away from YouTube and onto their own increasingly video-centric platform. The app itself isn’t that big of a deal […]

Zachary Crockett • November 20, 2017

The days of tax-free Amazon purchases are growing nigh

Earlier this year, Amazon started charging tax on goods from its own inventory in all 45 states that have sales tax. Goods sold by third-party sellers, which make up half of Amazon’s platform, are still largely tax-free — but that could all change soon: under mounting pressure from legislators, many of these merchants are expected […]

Zachary Crockett • November 17, 2017

VW’s going all-in on electric vehicles in China

Volkswagen Group has announced that it intends to launch 15 “new energy vehicles” in China by 2020. The decision, which will also include an $11.8B investment in EV technologies, comes as China edges toward a more environment-friendly future. Get your diesel out of here VW’s been on the wrong side of the news the past […]

Zachary Crockett • November 17, 2017

SendGrid’s IPO crushed it

Yesterday, the cloud-based email delivery service made its New York Stock Exchange debut, raising $131m in its IPO. The company’s success exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, outpacing projections of both share volume (8.2m) and price ($16) — and their shares debuted at 16% above the IPO price. A SendGrid refresher SendGrid was founded in 2009 with […]

Zachary Crockett • November 16, 2017

Cards Against Humanity is the undisputed champion of holiday promotions

The world’s raunchiest card game has purchased a plot of vacant land along the Mexico-US border and has hired an eminent domain lawyer to make it “as time-consuming and expensive as possible” for the Trump administration to build its proposed wall. To fund their effort, CAH offered a package of “six surprises” for $15 — […]

Zachary Crockett • November 16, 2017

The US oil industry just had its biggest boom of the century

Yesterday, the International Energy Agency released a 763-page whopper report detailing the meteoric rise of the United States’ oil and gas industry. Once an “energy-dependant importer,” the US is now among the world’s most prolific oil and gas producers — and within the next few decades, it is expected to churn out more energy resources […]

Zachary Crockett • November 15, 2017

Buffalo Wild Wings gets a hotttttt offer

Last month, private equity firm Roark Capital reportedly offered Buffalo Wild Wings an unsolicited, all-cash bid that would value the company at $2.3B. The hot wings chain, which boasts 1,237 locations in the US, has floundered in the past few years but has shown some glimmerings of promise — and it’s just the type of […]

Zachary Crockett • November 15, 2017

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