Why free stuff makes us irrational

If you’ve ever wondered just how passionate people are about free samples at Costco, look no further than these 2 incidents: It may seem odd...
Mark Dent • May 6, 2022

The strange business of hole-in-one insurance

On a warm day in September 2009, Jason Hargett, a 35-year-old restaurant manager and father of 4, stepped up to the tee at Red...
Zachary Crockett • April 29, 2022

The surprising afterlife of used hotel soap

One of the first things many of us do when we settle into a hotel room is reach for the packaged bar of soap...
Zachary Crockett • April 22, 2022

The first ‘Easter eggs’ were an act of corporate rebellion

In August 1980, Atari’s consumer relations division received a handwritten letter from a 15-year-old boy whose enthusiasm practically leaped off the page.  “I’M SO …
Mark Dent • April 15, 2022

Why most gas stations don’t make money from selling gas

Last month, gas prices hit a new national average record of $4.33/gallon, up nearly $1.50 from just a year ago. The price of gas is...
Zachary Crockett • April 15, 2022

Why thinking about inflation leads to more inflation

As America continues to reckon with inflation, neither businesses nor everyday people feel good about their financial situations.  Zachary Crockett / The Hustle It all means...
Mark Dent and Zachary Crockett • April 9, 2022

The guy who quit medical school to become an NBA referee

One day in 2013, Suyash Mehta was approached by a mysterious man. Mehta, then a 22-year-old pre-med student, had just finished refereeing a high school...
Zachary Crockett • April 2, 2022

The popular electronics chain that scammed America

On September 13, 1984, as stocks wavered through a bear market, a regional electronics chain held a hyped initial public offering. If it seems odd...
Mark Dent • March 26, 2022

Are advertisers going to infiltrate our dreams?

Last year, Molson Coors, the esteemed purveyor of watered-down frat-party beer, ran a jarring ‘experiment.’ In a discreet building in downtown Los Angeles, 18 subjects...
Zachary Crockett • March 18, 2022

Why people are really leaving their jobs during the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation has been the economic buzzword of the pandemic. The share of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs escalated from a fairly typical 2.3%...
Mark Dent • March 12, 2022

Meet the woman who builds the world’s most unique Airbnbs

You may not know the name Kristie Wolfe. But if you’ve used Airbnb, you’ve likely seen her properties. Over the past decade, Wolfe has built...
Zachary Crockett • March 5, 2022

How Ikea tricks you into buying more stuff

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Alex Santos journeyed to his local Ikea with a singular mission: the procurement of a new Poäng chair. It was...
Zachary Crockett • February 26, 2022

Is this the end of an Olympic ticket monopoly?

David McBride was an Olympic fan his entire life.  One of his friends coached Olympic volleyball teams, and another competed for the water polo team...
Mark Dent • February 12, 2022

The economics of Spotify

If you listen to Spotify’s music recommendations, there’s a good chance you’ve come across songs by Sadie Dupuis. As Dupuis told The Hustle, she’s been...
Mark Dent • February 5, 2022

Would you take free land in rural America?

Sitting in the basement of a historic courthouse in Lincoln — a wind-swept town in north central Kansas — Bradley Roberts laughs while comparing...
Mark Dent • January 29, 2022

The customers who repeatedly buy doomed products

There’s an age-old piece of wisdom in product marketing: Positive feedback = a sign of success In most cases, this is true. Companies love so-called high-value customers,...
Zachary Crockett • January 22, 2022

What it’s like to make $100k+ walking dogs

On the streets of New York City, Ryan Stewart is a curious sight. When he walks down the street, kids stop and stare. Drivers honk....
Zachary Crockett • January 16, 2022

The con artist who sold rich investors a fake country

On March 20, 1823, after 2 grueling months sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, passengers gathered on the deck of the Kennersley Castle for the...
Mark Dent • January 7, 2022

How the poinsettia took over Christmas

The poinsettia plant is a ubiquitous Christmas staple. Every year, just after Thanksgiving, it emerges en masse at nurseries, big-box retailers, fundraisers, and holiday …
Zachary Crockett • December 18, 2021

Who gets left out of ‘bootstrapping’?

Jeff Young is the Managing Editor at EdSurge. He recently launched a great 6-episode podcast series on bootstrapping, which you can listen to here. *** It’s...
Jeff Young • December 11, 2021

The insane resurgence of vinyl records

Long before the days of Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, vinyl records were all the rage.   In the 1970s, vinyl sales peaked at 530m units/year...
Zachary Crockett • December 4, 2021

The economics of Broadway shows

In early October, Rachel Sussman felt catharsis as she sat among hundreds of people for the Broadway debut of Is This A Room at...
Mark Dent • November 20, 2021

Why thieves love to steal catalytic converters

In the mass of pipes and steel under your car, there’s something called a catalytic converter. Situated between the engine and exhaust, these little contraptions...
Zachary Crockett • November 13, 2021

To reinvent work, we have to destroy the clock

On one end of the spectrum, there is Elon Musk. On the other end, there is Iceland.  Musk, like many celebrity CEOs, works a lot...
Mark Dent • November 5, 2021

The economics of pumpkin patches

There’s an old folktale about Jack of the Lantern, an Irishman who tricked the devil twice. Upon his death, he was barred from both heaven...
Juliet Bennett Rylah • October 29, 2021

The burgeoning business of OnlyFans consulting

Amberly Rothfield is not an easy person to get a hold of. If you want to book a consultation with her, you’ll likely have to...
Zachary Crockett • October 23, 2021

How Las Vegas became the world’s quickie wedding capital

On a recent morning in Las Vegas, Charolette Richards, owner of A Little White Wedding Chapel, sat at her desk, exhausted, after having just...
Zoe Bernard • October 1, 2021

Why America has a school bus driver shortage

Last week, Jim Mayers, a high school composition teacher in Boston, wanted to take his 11th graders on a field trip.  Per the usual protocol,...
Zachary Crockett • September 25, 2021

Why the University of Florida gets a ~$20m cut of Gatorade profits every year

The only thing left for the University of Oklahoma was the Gatorade shower. As the clock ticked down in the 4th quarter of the 2020...
Mark Dent • September 16, 2021

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