Check out all the temperature checkers


May 20, 2020

May 20, 2020
The Hustle
TOGETHER WITH
Noom

Listeners love Joe Rogan — and investors must, too. The podcast wars heated up in a huge way yesterday, when Spotify announced a multiyear deal to make “The Joe Rogan Experience” a Spotify exclusive. It’s one of the biggest gets for Spotify since February, when it said it was buying The Ringer. Rogan’s show will debut on Spotify in September, and go exclusive there later this year.

Here’s how Spotify’s stock trended after the announcement — up 8.4%, closing at ~$175 per share.

Help Wanted

Meet the new jobs of the reopening economy

On the beach, a volunteer might make sure your sandcastle doesn’t get too close to your neighbor’s. 

At your favorite restaurant, a bathroom attendant may watch over the lines for the urinals and stalls, so they don’t get too crowded.

At home, a stranger might call to see if you’ve been exposed. 

The coronavirus crisis shuttered businesses nationwide and sent the US unemployment rate soaring to levels not seen since the Great Depression. As the economy reopens, America’s workforce will change — and we’ll see new jobs emerge.

Make way for the contact-tracing army

NPR has been surveying states on their plans for contact tracing. It found that they’ve hired 11k+ tracers so far, with plans to expand those ranks to 66k+. A labor market economist told Bloomberg that contact tracing could create as many as 250k jobs in the US.

The New York Times reported that the market for contact tracers is surprisingly competitive — and doing the job well requires finesse, to develop trust with a stranger after calling them out of the blue.

One caveat: The FTC is warning people not to be too trusting. On Tuesday, it said contact-tracing text scams were on the rise.

Check out the temperature checkers

Among the other occupations coming soon to a help-wanted section near you:

  • Companies of all sizes are hiring workers to check the temperatures of staff and visitors.
  • Retailers are already shifting workers to tasks like monitoring doors and making sure customers comply with social-distancing rules. 
  • “Cart sanitizer” is a distinct role some retailers are hiring for — the job is part of a coming cleaning boom.

Silicon Valley jobs are getting weird

Protocol perused the job listings at some of America’s biggest tech companies, and found that things are getting dark: Google, for one, is hiring a “policy enforcement manager” to prevent content violating YouTube’s policies from showing up on the site — “with a focus on suicide and self-harm.”

Tesla is hiring a community relations partner in Fremont, California, the home of its recently embattled factory. To the person who wants that gig, we say: Good luck with that.

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TLDR: 10 Quick Takes to Catch You Up

Today, Mark Zuckerberg eyes a slice of the ecommerce pie, airlines report a little less turbulence, and a coffee company could perk up the IPO landscape.

1️⃣ Facebook Shops, a new feature from Team Zuck, will let business owners peddle their wares within Facebook and Instagram.

2️⃣ Southwest, United, and Delta Airlines all said bookings are improving — Southwest’s are now outpacing cancelations.

3️⃣ The owner of Peet’s Coffee is seeking to raise as much as $2.2B through an IPO in Europe.

4️⃣ Meanwhile: The Nasdaq told China’s Luckin Coffee that it plans to delist the company over revelations about phony sales figures.

5️⃣ US book sales fell by 8.4% in March compared to last year, according to new figures from the Association of American Publishers.

6️⃣ A new study found that daily global carbon dioxide emissions fell by 17% in April compared to last year.

7️⃣ Lyft is teaming up with RAINN, an anti-sexual violence group, to offer free rides to individuals who contact a crisis-support hotline.

8️⃣ The DIY repair site iFixit launched a database focused on fixing medical equipment.

9️⃣ NFL owners approved an expansion of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority head coach (and now coordinator and executive) candidates.

🔟 Magic Johnson is pledging $100m to ensure minority-owned businesses don’t get left out of the government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

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Retail Diaries

The pandemic tells a very different tale for 3 big retailers

Wanna know why pot shops, gun stores, and craft emporiums fought so hard to be named an essential business during the pandemic? 

The truth is out there… in the terrifying fine print of corporate earnings reports.

Three titans of US retail weighed in on Tuesday. Their updates show how the sector is shaking out into a few winners and LOTS of losers.

The good: Walmart

America’s largest retailer benefited in a big way from staying open as an essential business. US same-store sales grew by 10% in Q1, and ecommerce sales skyrocketed by 74%.

Business Insider said Walmart’s experience showed how shopping habits changed as the pandemic set in and consumers started hunkering down at home. They made fewer trips, but spent more — the average receipt rose by 16.5%.

One interesting footnote: Walmart is discontinuing Jet.com, the online-only retailer it bought in 2016 for $3B. You win this round, Bezos.

The not-as-good: Home Depot

The picture for the home-improvement giant was mixed: Same-store sales grew by 6.4%, and Q1 revenue rose 7.1% over last year.

But the company said coronavirus-related costs were a huge drag on its finances. It spent ~$850m on employee benefits to keep stores and warehouses humming.

The ugly: Kohl’s

When stores close, as Kohl’s locations did, profits plummet. The company said sales were down by a whopping 43.5% in Q1 compared to last year. 

Its next challenge will be avoiding the same fate of other big-name retailers like J.Crew, JC Penney, and Neiman Marcus — all of which have sought bankruptcy protection. Pier 1, which filed for bankruptcy in February, is planning to close all of its stores.

Kohl’s has reopened about half of its stores, and the company’s CEO says they’re made for social distancing — because they’re big and they’re not in malls.

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Sponsored

It took a full 10 years, but tech finally cracked the code to weight loss

Start a free trial of Noom today and see for yourself

What’s the secret sauce? Crash diets? Three different gym memberships? Blending all your food so you can only sip it through a straw? 

No, no, and no. In fact, it’s much simpler than that… 

You just need to slowly tweak your habits

And that starts with not eating 7 meals a day directly from your fridge while you work from home (trust us, you can do it).

Losing weight requires one thing: sustainable behavioral change 

And how do you achieve that? With Noom.

Instead of prescribing hard-to-follow diets or radical life changes, Noom helps you slowly shift your habits. The proof is in the (sugar-free) pudding: 

78% of Noom users kept the weight off 9 months after they started their plan.   

And for some of us — like this copywriter — who’ve been struggling with #quarantine, it’s the perfect way to build healthy habits.

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Back in the Saddle

The training wheels are off: Americans want to cycle to work now

I hope you like turquoise, because if you’re trying to buy a bike nowadays, that’s the best color you’re going to get. 

As Americans rethink their coming work commutes, many are pumped about jumping on the bike. 

But these days, the bike lane is not the fast lane

Bike sales have sped way up since the pandemic began, and some categories are expecting 35% annual growth. The real-life Peloton is zipping through big cities in particular: One Brooklyn bike shop has seen a 600%+ jump in demand.

Shops have run so low on supply that customers are even settling for C-list bikes — the orange and turquoise two-wheelers, the extra larges and extra smalls.

One owner of 13 bike shops in Oregon and California told Bloomberg that people wait in lines outside of his stores every day — some for as many as 2 hours. 

Get used to rush-hour bike traffic 

To meet demand, Chinese manufacturers — who produce many of America’s bikes — are putting the pedal to the metal, but a new shipment of bikes isn’t expected until mid-June.

Researchers in Europe are encouraging cities to invest in electric bikes — which provide partial pedaling power — to help residents get to work. Cities are drawing new “pop-up” bike lanes to reduce crowding on public transit. 

There’s reason to think this trend, unlike the great chicken wing surplus, may last beyond the pandemic. Cities are already shutting down roads to create more space, and some, like Seattle, have made those closures permanent. That might translate into a coming biking renaissance.

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It doesn’t have to be so hard

Each day, we see a flashy new company being celebrated for raising millions in funding. 

But what we often don’t see is the messy cap tables, the years of “rise and grind”, the endless quest for profitability, and in many cases… the eventual collapse of even the best teams. 

But there’s an easier way to build businesses

Andrew Wilkinson has taken a different approach. He founded Tiny Capital with the intention of:

  1. Investing in profitable, bootstrapped internet businesses that can’t 10x.
  2. Becoming the buyer that he wished he could’ve had earlier in his career, closing deals in weeks instead of months or even years.

Tiny has invested in the likes of Dribbble, Designer News, We Work Remotely, Castro, and more. 

So, we’re bringing Andrew in for a live Q&A to discuss everything from how he selects Tiny’s investments to how he hires the right operators — without the pain. He’ll also comment live on your business ideas, so come equipped for live feedback!

Join us on Thursday 5/21, at 3pm ET (12pm PT).

Grab your spot → The Hustle Says

What’s your money language? Take this quiz to find out so you can improve your financial planning strategy.

This company is creating robotic kitchen assistants to automate cloud kitchens. Smell that? That’s the smell of a killer investment opportunity. Get in on their SeedInvest while it’s still open.*

This gif puts global wealth into perspective. Warning: Not for the faint of heart or those with outstanding student loan balance.

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You Said It

Office debates: Taco Bell and Pop-Tarts Edition

Last week, we asked you to help us settle some of our hottest office squabbles — like the best way to eat a Pop-Tart, the proper way to pronounce the extremely weird name Elon Musk and Grimes gave their baby, and the Taco Bell order that takes the whole enchilada.

Here’s what you told us:

The best way to eat a Pop-Tart is… cooked or uncooked?

  • 69% of you said the only appropriate way to pop a ’Tart is by cooking it.

When you finish cooking, you… do the dishes when you’re done eating, or wait ’til the sink fills up?

  • 71% of you actually wash your dishes when you’re done eating. Wish we could say the same. 

When you go grocery shopping, you… bring clean reusable bags, or curse yourself for forgetting them?

  • Actually, maybe you are like us: ~59% of you spend time cussing up a storm in the Trader Joe’s parking lot because you forgot the bags AGAIN.

Here’s how you said X Æ A-12 (the Grimes/Elon baby) is really pronounced:

  • “Kale… or because I watched Superman as a kid… Kal-el.” (Dave)
  • “Xylophone.” (Marce)
  • “X gonna give it to ’em.” (Scott)
  • “*Robot tongue sounds*” (Allie)
  • “Ironically, the same way you say the symbol that Prince used.” (Clay)

And last but not least, our favorite Taco Bell orders, in no particular order:

  • Sarah set the table: “Crunchwrap Supreme with fire sauce and an obscenely large Baja Blast.”
  • Caleb added a secret ingredient: “Equal parts Crunchwrap Supreme, Diablo sauce, and Pepto.”
  • Zac had a beverage tip: “#7 Steak, half mango tea, half pink lemonade (best drink).”
  • Brandon ain’t got time: “If there isn’t a Cheesy Gordita Crunch in that bag, get out of my face.”
  • Walton may prefer Wendy’s: “None — stopped smoking pot years ago.”
  • Josh went big: “F’n everything.”
  • And we’re feeling what John is feeling: “It depends on what I’m dealing with emotionally at the time of ordering.”
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Snippets

💣 Now’s your chance to snag a world record: Since the pandemic, new fastest times for the “cannonball run” — the nonstop dash between NYC and California — have been set 7x.

🛌 Today in Go the F*ck to Sleep: Children’s melatonin sales surged 87% in March compared to the previous year… as parents struggle for some kind of peace and quiet. 

👗 Cosplay is not just a niche show of fandom. For some people, it’s a career — and it’s not doing so hot these days.

🌃 Japan can’t get enough of its 24-hour 7-Elevens — but now, for the first time, many franchisees are closing shop early.

🌊 A Maryland restaurant’s social distancing innovation: “bumper tables” made of inner tubes.

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