Even ‘lighthearted’ is controversial now

July 24, 2019

Today, the most profitable sports teams compete while the gig economy heads back to the hot seat, but first…
The Hustle Sponsored by Credit Sesame
The Hustle Daily Email

Take a listen 🎧 Episode #5 of our podcast, My First Million, is live. Listen to it here

Plate-gate: Macy’s ditches dishes out of the gate as Pourtion steps up to the plate

When a set of Macy’s plates comparing portion sizes to jean sizes hit the Twitter-sphere last week, critics swooped in like vultures to fresh roadkill.

“F*ck these plates. F*ck these plates to hell @Macys,” wrote one commenter. 

“Yo @macys this is beyond effed up,” wrote another.

In response to concerns the plates promoted body-shaming, Macy’s said it “missed the mark on this product” and removed the plates from all its stores…

But it was too late to stop the plate-hate

Macy’s responded to the first tweet, which was posted by podcast host Alie Ward, in just a few hours.

But, thanks to Twitter, the controversy already had momentum: The tweet racked up more than 5.7k retweets and 48k likes in the 3 days after it was posted — and started a vitriolic debate about what should and should not go on a plate.

Unlike Macy’s, Pourtions insists its plates don’t hate

The sensational supper-ware — a plate featuring a small circle with the words “skinny jeans” and a larger circle with the words “mom jeans” — is served up by a small company called Pourtions.

The founders of Pourtions, wife and husband duo Mary and Dan Cassidy, were surprised by the controversy… but stood by their product.

“Pourtions is intended to support healthy eating and drinking,” Mary Cassidy told HuffPost. “That was all we ever meant to encourage. We also believe a touch of humor can, for some, be just the right touch.”

But, the incident plated up an extra helping for Pourtions 

Pourtions — whose mission is to sell “a conceptual line of tableware that deftly mixes social awareness with a humorous nudge in the right direction” — received hate for the plate.

But, as it turned out, some people also thought the plate was great: Pourtions’ online order volume tripled after the great plate debate.

F*ck the pl8-ers
Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter View in Browser
my first million podcast by

We’ve partnered with monday.com to bring you the first season of The Hustle’s first podcast: My First Million.

Here’s how Hot or Not? made $20k every night

Back in the baby days of the internet — before MySpace was a even a tiny twinkle in Tom’s eye — James Hong launched a controversial (and super viral) website: Hot or Not?. The site let you rate and date people based on their photos — and it was shockingly lucrative.

In the newest episode of The Hustle’s podcast, My First Million, James tells us how he got the idea, how it went viral, and how he turned it into his personal cash cow pulling in up to $20,000 per night. 

Click below to listen for free.

Subscribe below:

Startups going in style: D2C ear piercing startup raises $4m

Rowan, a new ear piercing startup, just raised $4m in seed funding to make more holes in teenage girl ears. Even better, subscribers can cringe in pain from the comfort of their own home.

The 3-in-1 D2C, on-demand subscription service, which targets girls between the ages of 7 and 14 (and their parents, let’s be honest) allows customers to book a licensed nurse who will come to their home to do the piercing.

Licensed — as in medically? Or as in ex-Claire’s employees?

The company has a network of freelance registered nurses in its piercing stable who, according to Rowan’s founder, Louisa Schneider, also serve as “brand ambassadors.”

The nurses show up in white Rowan coats and provide all the equipment necessary — minus the piercing guns which, according to the Association of Professional Piercers, are known to increase the risk of infection.

Fun for the whole gang

“It’s a rite of passage that transcends cultures and religion,” Schneider told Fast Company. “It’s one that typically brings multiple generations of women from a family together. But we have somehow relegated it to a mall.”

There you have it, folks. A utilitarian product with a spiritual component. Rowan is going to fit quite nicely into the Silicon Valley mold.

» Ears only?

Hey DoorDash, here’s a tip — pay your workers

You know how it goes: You put in an order from a food delivery app and once the driver makes the drop, your phone immediately pings you to provide a tip offering.

DoorDash recently came under fire when a New York Times report illustrated how the #1 ranked food delivery app in the US pockets those tips from its workers and includes the earnings in their base pay.

The ol’ mover and shaker model

Gig economy pay systems are set up pretty much the same way as the age-old “tipped wage” model popular at restaurants that allows employers to legally pay workers less than minimum wage — as long as the tips make up the difference.

But, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it isn’t deceptive (of course, some feel more strongly about it than others).

Painting the perfect gig-economy picture

Uber and Lyft drivers picketed back in May to protest low pay and poor working conditions. Even earlier this year, both Instacart and Amazon Flex were slammed for using employee tips to make up their base pay just like DoorDash (a method that Instacart has pivoted from amid outcry).

While DoorDash updated its payment terms to increase transparency in June, this still serves as a reputational dumpster fire for the food delivery unicorn as well as the gig-conomy at large.   

» What is ‘value’ for $400, Alex.
the hustle says…

If digital optimization makes your heart race, check out Opticon19, the world’s largest 3-day conference on digital experimentation. Readers of The Hustle get $100 off w/ code HUSTLE100.*

If you’re looking to spice up your life (and lunch), Yellowbird Sauce is where it’s at. Blue Agave Sriracha… need we say more?

If you want to screen a flick for the whole neighborhood, pick up this discounted projector from Best Buy and turn your yard into a movie theater (popcorn not included).

*This is a sponsored post.

Breaking news: Pro sports teams are worth a lot of money

No, seriously… like, a lot of money.

According to a Forbes report, the Dallas Cowboys are the world’s most valuable sports team for the 4th year running, at $5B. 

But they’re far from alone as a billion-dollar sports-ball operation… 

In fact, every single NFL, NBA, and MLB franchise is now worth $1B+

Pro sports teams have always been big business, but their growth has recently accelerated. 

Seven years ago, Manchester United soccer club was the only pro sports team worth more than $2B; today, there are 52 teams worth at least $2B.

So, why the big increase?

Sports franchise owners, powerful behind-the-scenes puppeteers, have simultaneously negotiated increased payouts from media partners like ESPN and NBC and decreased player salaries.

The NFL is a perfect example: More than half of the world’s 50 most valuable teams are in the NFL thanks to the league’s advantageous cost structure. 

Player salaries, one of the largest costs for any NFL team, are capped at $177.2m, while each team earns at least $260m from broadcasting networks.

» They ain’t playin’

The Elusive 800: How to get and stay there

Bowling’s top score? 300. Gymnastics? A perfect 10.0. And credit scores? The most sought after — 800 and up.

Getting an 800 or higher on your credit score is no easy feat. But the rewards are well worth it — better interest rates on loans, lower finance charges, and credit limits so high, they’re neck and neck with the Burj Khalifa. 

But to get there and stay there, you’re gonna need some help from Credit Sesame

Whether you’re just getting started and need to score big bumps, or you’re a confident credit-user who wants to make that 800+ stick, Credit Sesame’s educational resources, tips, and free credit score tool will help you reach your financial goals. 

Finance tip #1: It’s free, so sign up now. 

Road to 800+ → share the hustle

Refer coworkers, get free stuff

Step 1: Peek our sweet, sweet rewards

Step 2: Click “Share The Hustle” below

Step 3: Share The Hustle.

Step 4: Collect rewards, rinse & repeat.

Ambassador Rewards How did you like today’s email?
love it
hate it

Now Playing Now Playing:
The Dirt, Waxahatchee.
Wes Schlagenhauf
Wes Schlagenhauf
Conor Grant
Conor Grant
Bobby Durben
Bobby Durben
Brad “Don’t hate the plate” Wolverton
Nomar Car-seat-repairer
Automotive Refurbisher
Facebook Instagram YouTube
Join our Instagram community →
You opted in by signing up, attending an event, or through divine intervention. 251 KEARNY ST. STE 300, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108, UNITED STATES415.506.7210 Never want to hear from us again? Break our hearts and unsubscribe
The Hustle

Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free. We don’t spam. Unsubscribe whenever.


How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

We’re shooting our shot…

Start your mornings with The Daily.

Get the freshly baked 5-minute newsletter every day except Saturdays.

It’s filled with the most interesting stories on business, tech, and the internet.

And written for innovators of every industry. Sign up for the news that slaps.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.

[email-submission-form redirect-to-home="true" button-text="Join Free" include-trends-opt-in="true" id="main-signup-form" fail-url="" success-url="https://thehustle.co/signup" default-source="thehustleco" default-campaign="home"]
<script type="text/javascript"> var onloadCallback = function() { grecaptcha.render('verify-your-humanity', { 'sitekey' : '6LdddrcZAAAAALyttpvOqiwQGwq5BNhgDz4tMQGE' }); }; function getCookieValue(a) { var b = document.cookie.match('(^|[^;]+)\\s*' + a + '\\s*=\\s*([^;]+)'); return b ? atob(decodeURIComponent(b.pop())) : ''; } function setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, cookieName, defaultValue) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; var existingVal = el.getAttribute('value'); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookieValue(cookieName); if ((existingVal == null || existingVal == '' || existingVal == defaultValue) && (newVal != null && newVal != '')) { el.setAttribute('value', newVal); } } function setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm( wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, defaultValue ) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; if (el != null) { var existingVal = el.getAttribute("value"); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName); if (newVal != null && newVal != "") { el.setAttribute("value", newVal); } } } function initForm() { var wrappingDivs = document.getElementsByClassName('email-submission'); wrappingDivs.forEach(wrappingDiv => { var sp = new URLSearchParams(window.location.search); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-source', 'utm_source', 'funnel_source', 'thehustleco'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-campaign', 'utm_campaign', 'funnel_campaign', 'home'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-medium', 'utm_medium', 'funnel_medium', ''); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-referral', 'ref', 'funnel_referral', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-a', 'a', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-c', 'c', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-o', 'o', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-oc', 'oc', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-e', 'e', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-f', 'f', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-r', 'r', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-t', 't', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s1', 's1', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s2', 's2', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s3', 's3', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s4', 's4', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s5', 's5', ''); var error_message = getCookieValue('funnel_error_message'); if (error_message && error_message.trim() != '') { var error = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('funnel-error')[0]; var prev_email = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); error_message = prev_email + " is not valid. Please try again"; error.innerHTML = error_message; error.style = ''; } }); if (false) { initCaptchaFormV2(); } } function initCaptchaFormV2() { var v3RecaptchaResponseEl = document.getElementById('recaptcha-response-v3'); v3RecaptchaResponseEl.parentNode.removeChild(v3RecaptchaResponseEl); var wrappingDiv = document.getElementById('main-signup-form'); var subForm = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('email-submission')[0]; var captchaVersion = document.createElement('input'); captchaVersion.class = 'g-recaptcha hidden-input'; captchaVersion.type = 'hidden'; captchaVersion.name = 'g-recaptcha-response-v2'; captchaVersion.value = 'true'; subForm.appendChild(captchaVersion); var captchaEl = document.createElement('div'); captchaEl.id = 'verify-your-humanity'; subForm.appendChild(captchaEl); var captchaApiScriptEl = document.createElement('script'); captchaApiScriptEl.src = 'https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js?onload=onloadCallback&render=explicit'; captchaApiScriptEl.async = true; captchaApiScriptEl.defer = true; document.head.appendChild(captchaApiScriptEl); } function appendCheckboxes() { var optInDivs = document.querySelectorAll('.trends-opt-in'); optInDivs.forEach(el => { if (el.getElementsByClassName('trends-opt-in-checkbox').length < 1) { var checkbox = document.createElement('input'); checkbox.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('type', 'checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('name', 'trends_opt_in'); var label = document.createElement('label'); label.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-text'); label.textContent = "Yes, I'd like to receive updates on market opportunities before they explode from Trends by The Hustle"; el.appendChild(checkbox); el.appendChild(label); checkbox.click(); } }) } window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', (event) => { var funnel_email_cookie = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); if ( (true) && (funnel_email_cookie != null && funnel_email_cookie != '') ) { window.location.replace('/home'); } initForm(); if (true) { appendCheckboxes(); } }); </script> <div class="email-signup" id=main-signup-form> <div class="funnel-error" style="display:none;"></div> <form class="email-submission" action="https://cms.thehustle.co/api/v1/contacts/wordpress_create" method="post"> <div class="email-form-wrap"> <input class="funnel-source hidden-input" type="hidden" name="source" value="thehustleco"> <input class="funnel-campaign hidden-input" type="hidden" name="campaign" value="home"> <input class="funnel-medium hidden-input" type="hidden" name="medium"> <input class="funnel-referral hidden-input" type="hidden" name="referral_code"> <input class="funnel-fail-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="fail_url" value=""> <input class="funnel-a hidden-input" type="hidden" name="a" value=""> <input class="funnel-c hidden-input" type="hidden" name="c" value=""> <input class="funnel-o hidden-input" type="hidden" name="o" value=""> <input class="funnel-oc hidden-input" type="hidden" name="oc" value=""> <input class="funnel-e hidden-input" type="hidden" name="e" value=""> <input class="funnel-f hidden-input" type="hidden" name="f" value=""> <input class="funnel-r hidden-input" type="hidden" name="r" value=""> <input class="funnel-t hidden-input" type="hidden" name="t" value=""> <input class="funnel-s1 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s1" value=""> <input class="funnel-s2 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s2" value=""> <input class="funnel-s3 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s3" value=""> <input class="funnel-s4 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s4" value=""> <input class="funnel-s5 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s5" value=""> <input class="funnel-success-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="success_url" value="https://thehustle.co/signup"> <input id="recaptcha-response-v3" class="g-recaptcha hidden-input" type="hidden" name="g-recaptcha-response" value=""> <input class="signup-email" type="email" name="email" placeholder="Your email address" required> <input class="email-submit" type="submit" value="Join Free"> </div> <div class="trends-opt-in"></div> <div submit-success> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--success">Thank you for subscribing.</p> </template> </div> <div submit-error> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--failed">Your submission failed. Please try again!</p> </template> </div> </form> </div>