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

The family business that owns a share of the $7B James Bond franchise

In June 1961, inside a tower on Manhattan’s 7th Avenue, independent producers Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman walked into a room with 10...
Mark Dent • August 28, 2021

Inside the world’s most booked Airbnb

The world’s most popular Airbnb listing isn’t easy to find. From San Francisco, the journey begins with an hourlong drive down Interstate 280 and a...
Zachary Crockett • August 21, 2021

The time Pepsi got sued for a $33m fighter jet

In the spring of 1996, Pepsi debuted a hot new TV commercial. It opens with a cocky teenager donning a Pepsi shirt. The text, “T-SHIRT...
Zachary Crockett • August 14, 2021

How the explosive growth in satellites could impact life on Earth

If you have any doubt about the meteoric growth of the satellite industry, consider this: In 2019, there were ~2k high-tech devices orbiting the planet Today,...
Caitlin Macleod • August 7, 2021

The big business of nobility titles

If 23&Me has yet to reveal a long-lost royal relative, there are plenty of sites that promise to make you a Russian tsarina, a...
Juliet Bennett Rylah • July 17, 2021

The economics of dollar stores

A visual explainer of the numbers behind America’s ubiquitous bargain-basement …
Zachary Crockett • June 26, 2021

The thriving business of ‘Ikea hacking’

Last August, Alex Hernandez found herself in the market for a new piece of furniture. Holed up in her Miami studio apartment, the 31-year-old executive...
Zachary Crockett • June 19, 2021

Why is lumber so expensive right now?

Prices are 4x what they were a year ago. Here’s an illustrated explainer of the factors driving up the …
Zachary Crockett • June 11, 2021

What happens to your bitcoin when you die?

Earlier this year, Ryan Klein had a near-death experience. While cleaning out a gutter at his California home, the 32-year-old IT professional took a misstep...
Zachary Crockett • June 5, 2021

The man who sold millions in counterfeit wine to rich collectors

In the early 2000s, a new face appeared in America’s elite wine circles. Rudy Kurniawan was secretive about his past. But the gregarious 20-something quickly...
Zachary Crockett • May 22, 2021

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

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