We send a daily email with a handful of stories in business, tech, and culture that you should probably know. Here's the most recent one.
Sign up below ↓
Coming to a closet near you
The Hustle, aka. your new best friend
to me
Virtual reality is bringing new meaning to the term, “walk-in.
The Hustle Thu, Dec 8

 

Happy Tim Ferriss Day. Join us today in our private Facebook group in an hour and a half (10:30am Pacific) for a live Q&A with Tim Ferriss. Want the invite? Use your ambassador link to get 4 friends to sign up. And be sure to pick up Tim’s new book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers on Amazon.

Real estate marketing’s exciting evolution

Back in March, we wrote an article about the changing world of real estate marketing, where HD drone footage has phased out in-person walkthroughs.

It’s even crazier in the land of the millionaires, where agencies hire production companies to create legit short films (like this one) for their mega-listings, complete with professional actors and a plotline.

Why go to such great lengths to sell a home?

We’re talking about multi-million dollar properties here, so realtors go to great lengths because… they kind of have to.

See, when you’re selling an $800k home, there’s an 80% chance that the buyer already lives within 15 miles of its location. But for seven, eight-figure mansions, that number plummets.

Thus, the goal of these videos is to get as many eyeballs on the property as possible. Local efforts alone just aren’t enough.

Okay, but how do you actually get them to buy?

Even if some billionaire in Tokyo falls in love with a Beverly Hills Victorian via YouTube, not many people buy expensive property without stepping foot inside.

This, friends, is where virtual reality comes in.

Just ask Jack Ryan…

The former Goldman Sachs partner recently founded REX, an online brokerage firm that uses VR to sell its most expensive listings.

Turns out it’s a pretty effective sales tool. Who’d have thunk it?

For non-local buyers, Ryan says pictures just don’t cut it. But, he says, “if we send them a 3D, fully immersive experience, they can really see the waves and get a feel for this house and say: ‘it’s perfect for me.’”

Not gonna lie, it’s awesome to see VR being used in a practical, beneficial way.

Definitely beats reading about all of its hypothetical use cases that are always “a few years away.”

 

What’s the news out of Paris these days?

Paris is awesome and we don’t talk about it enough. But, word on the street is there are big things happening in the City of Love, so we figured we’d do some internet-ing, find out what’s going on, and report back with what we found.

Here goes nothing.

“Worst air pollution in 10 years”

That’s what they’re dealing with right now. In fact, it’s so bad (look at this picture) that the city is temporarily making all public transport free to get cars off the streets.

In addition, only drivers with odd-numbered license plates are allowed to use the roads.

The heightened pollution levels are due to the combination of vehicle emissions (ugh, humans), domestic wood fires (ugh, humans), and near windless conditions (that one’s on you, Earth).

Facebook’s moving into one of the city’s old train stations

A historic Parisian train station is being turned into a 365,000 sq ft “startup campus,” and Facebook just signed on to be one of its first tenants.

Station F, as they’re calling it, will eventually house 1,000 tech firms and accelerators, VC firms, and established companies (like FB).

And if it’s a success, it should help Paris compete for the title of “Europe’s tech hub” with London, which currently has a pretty huge lead.

Removed love locks will continue to spread love

18 months ago, Paris authorities began removing the famous love locks from the city’s bridges.

They ended up cutting down an insane one million padlocks… but what to do with all that metal?

The plan is to sell them to anyone hoping to possess a piece of history, and give all the proceeds to refugees. Which is awesome.

Okay, well there it is. You should be all caught up on Paris news for now. Adieu!

 

The battle for the future of human DNA

On Monday, the scientific community gathered in Virginia for a patent hearing to determine ownership of a technology that promises everything from malaria-proof mosquitos to mini pigs.

It’s called CRISPR, and whoever wins out will not only control the future of genetics, but its monetization — we’re talking billions here, people.

What is this mysterious CRISPR?

Basically, scissors for your DNA.

CRISPR is a method of editing genes by “cutting and pasting” specific sections of a cell’s DNA to change its function and structure.

Using this method, Scientists can modify the genes of any animal… even us. So, what will “Humans 2.0” look like? A lot healthier, for one.

Scientists have been able to purposefully reverse defects that cause diseases like sickle cell anemia in mice and now they’re ready for the big leagues: using CRISPR to fight cancer in human clinical trials.

Who can we thank for this awesomeness?

Well, that’s the question. On one side of the battle is UC Berkeley, on the other, the Broad Institute and MIT.

Both parties have filed patents on CRISPR and each claims unique rights to its discovery.

Here's why:

In 2012, UCB biochemist Jennifer Doudna published the first Science paper (like the magazine) and filed a patent on CRISPR’s use in vitro (test tubes).

Then, a year later, MIT bioengineer Feng Zhang published another Science paper, with a crispier CRISPR using live human cells.

He then applied to “fast track” his patent, beating Doudna in the process. Touche, Zheng.

If you’re not first, you’re last, right?

Not exactly. UCB is claiming that MIT’s patent was an “obvious” discovery based on their original invention. Meanwhile, Zhang says his methods were completely novel and, from the sound of the day’s proceedings, the judges agree.

We won’t have a final ruling until early next year and Fortune’s calling it “The Thrilla In Virginia,” so you know it’s gonna be hype.

But looking at the bigger picture…

This is the final showdown under the “first-to-invent” era of U.S. patent law, which shifted to a “first-to-file” model in 2013 juuust after this went down.

In other words, if Doudna can show that she invented the OG CRISPR, she wins, even if Zhang beat her to the patent punch.

Let’s just hope Doudna kept a thorough lab notebook. Like the Mythbusters said, it’s only science if you write it down.

 

We're all paying Apple to hoard money overseas

Back in August, European regulators ordered Apple to pay $14.5B in back taxes from its Ireland-based subsidiaries. Wait, Ireland?

That’s right. If you haven’t heard, about 90% of Apple’s profits are currently funneled to overseas accounts with more favorable tax laws.

But as it turns out, it’s not all just sitting under the blarney stone. Some of it is hiding — tax free — on our own turf.

They’re using U.S. bonds to game the system

Yep, Apple has been buying up U.S. debt using its foreign funds, to earn interest on its profits, rather than pay it.

How does that work? It’s all thanks to a loophole in America’s tax code that exempts companies from paying income tax on any money invested in Treasuries (like bonds).

To put it in perspective, the Treasury Department has paid Apple close to $600m interest in taxpayer dollars on its bonds over the past 5 years (that’s about $5 per tax-paying adult).

Very sneaky, Apple…

And they’re not alone. The top 10 U.S. multinational companies hold over $100B of the country’s bonds, much of it purchased with overseas (Re: Irish) holdings.

This practice isn’t incredibly lucrative thanks to low interest rates, but it does mean Ireland has become America’s third-largest foreign creditor, after China and Japan. There, now go impress your boss at the holiday party.

 
 
things you should…
 

TRY: The Most Dangerous Writing App, free

This web app is designed to “shut down your inner editor and get you into a state of flow,” Meaning that if you stop typing for more than 5 seconds, all progress is lost.
DON’T STOP TYPING →

WATCH: The CEO of Digg at Con Con, 37 minutes

Last month, Gary Liu graced us with his presence and gave one heck of a presentation. In it, he describes the different “internet eras” that we’ve gone through, plus what we should expect from messaging apps in the future. Cool tips on content creation, too.
LEARN SOMETHING →

READ: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, $17

The man, the myth, the guy who is doing an AMA in our private FB group… has released a new book. It’s all about the tactics, routines, and habits of success people. And it’s amazing. Here’s the full first chapter so you can get a little preview.
SNAG YOUR COPY →

BUY: Parachute Bedding

Imagine lying on a fluffy cloud and drifting off into the night… Now stop imagining and pick up some new bedsheets from Parachute. Thank us later!
GET YOUR BEST NIGHT’S SLEEP IN YEARS →

BUY: Quip electric toothbrush, $10 credit

It’s a fact that most people suck at brushing their teeth. That’s why Quip designed a slick toothbrush (seriously, this thing looks ‘designed in Cupertino’) that tells you how long to brush, and without the bulky charger. Plus, they’ll ship heads your way every 3 months to keep you minty fresh.
BRUSH ON, MY FRIENDS →

 
SUBSCRIBE JOBS ADVERTISE AMBASSADORS EVENTS
Kendall "buy a house, settle down" Baker
WRITER
Lindsey Quinn
NIGHT PERSON
John Havel
EDITOR
Kurt Rhymer
TACITURN POET
You opted in by signing up, entering a giveaway, or through divine intervention.
1381 9TH AVENUE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94122, UNITED STATES415.506.7210
TELL THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS
Let's take this to your inbox
Weekdays at 9am Pacific