Fyre merch sold for how much?

August 14, 2020

Plus: A movie chain is rewinding to 1920s prices.
August 14, 2020
The Hustle

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The Big Idea

You’re living in a fish flop summer

If you need proof that quarantine is messing with our collective sanity, just look at what we’re wearing. 

Tie-dye sweatsuits. Strawberry dresses.

Now the internet is totally hooked on fish-shaped flip flops. They’re so popular that The Daily Beast dubbed this the “summer of fish flops.” 

That’s not a typo

They look just like the real thing, and your toes peek through the fish’s open mouth.

For ~$24, you can reel in your own in the shape of salmon, mackerel, goldfish, or tuna.

You might be wondering: Why does this exist? 

Meet the fish flop codfather, British entrepreneur Jack Bennet.

Bennet got his start in business selling rare pet chickens. Then, in April 2018, he launched Coddies. 

He wanted to create “eye-catching footwear” that provides “the uniqueness and innovation that the market needs.”

According to VICE, he signs his emails as “Flounder & Director.”

And at the start of quarantine, Bennet’s sales were kinda floundering. But he used slick marketing bait to keep the biz afloat — catch him on TikTok going fishing for flip flops or turning them into plant pots

Know a good shoe pun? 

Coddies has probably already turned it into kicks. 

If fish flops aren’t your gillty pleasure, try the company’s other strange sneaks:

Still not sold? We have a few other ideas for future Coddies kicks, no commission necessary: 

  • A kitten heel in the shape of Grumpy Cat 
  • Toilet plunger themed clogs
  • Swiss cheese wedges
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5 stories to catch you up quick

1️⃣  For the first time in almost 5 months, weekly unemployment claims have fallen below 1m

2️⃣  A new report says TikTok parent company ByteDance censored anti-China content in Indonesia.

3️⃣  Facebook, Google, and Twitter are all rolling out verified voter information hubs to combat election misinfo. 

4️⃣  The investment firm Franklin Templeton is in talks to buy Allbirds, the trendy shoe behemoth valued at $1.4B. 

5️⃣  Russell Kirsch, the 1950s inventor of the digital image, died this week. 

And 5 more to delight you 

1️⃣  Not quite fish flops, but Nike’s new slippers are trading in the “Just Do It” ethos for “Just Do Nothing.” 

2️⃣  15 cents a ticket. That’s how much AMC will charge moviegoers — for one day only — when it reopens theaters. It’s roughly the price of a ticket in 1920.

3️⃣  Burning Man — your Gen X cousin’s favorite psychedelic desert escape — is pivoting to a digital experience. Shrooms and pixels, y’all.

4️⃣  Did a parasite write this? A group of scientists are insisting that ticks and leeches are essential to human survival. 

5️⃣  How are men and women described in literature? This analysis found that women are more often defined by their hair and thighs, while men get tons of references to their backs and thumbs (?!). 

Gotta Jet

Does it matter that business travel’s on hold?


You might not miss long flights and funky hotel bathrooms, but researchers say there’s good reason to stockpile travel-size shampoo: Biz travel boosts international economies.

It’s who you know… and their knowhow

A Harvard study found that when business travelers visit other countries, they share “knowhow” — intangible expertise that grows alongside other people.

Let’s say the US attracts a lot of business travelers from Germany, an auto-industry heavyweight. The study says it’s likely that the US car industry will grow, too.

And location is important: Countries that are close to knowhow-rich nations see big benefits.

The researchers estimate the economies of Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, and Denmark are ⅓ bigger than they would be without the imported knowhow.

Which brings up a problem

Stop traveling, and we’ll stop the flow of knowhow. 

Global GDP would drop by ~1% if the US (one of the biggest knowhow exporters) stopped business travel.

A permanent shutdown, the researchers predict, would drive a double-digit loss.

So it’s just like that old kids’ song: The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.

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Here’s how companies are dealing with the new WFH world

WFH is H2S (Here 2 Stay)… sorry, we had to.  

At first, that meant a lot of empty offices and Barbie playhouses converted into impromptu Zoom rooms. 

But as the shift to remote solidifies, businesses are working overtime to keep up. 

To do that, they’re turning to leading players in the space like Fully. 

As the need for work furniture that’s high-quality and available ASAP (not 3 months after they order) continues to skyrocket, everyone’s favorite office furniture aficionado has stepped up to the plate.

Fully is working with businesses to create smart stipend programs from scratch that help employees build the perfect home office — and fast.  

To do so, they’re keeping close tabs on what remote perks and programs industry leaders are implementing. That includes finding out that:

  • 35% of companies will provide a stipend for remote workers
  • The median stipend is $500 — plenty to buy a desk, but not quite enough for a full office overhaul

Now, we want to hear from you: 

What’s the best WFH perk or stipend that your company offers? 

Share yours here so we can get a gauge on the industry. We’ll highlight some of the most interesting in a future send.  

Spill the tea → Infographic of the day

What’s a better way to remember the cringe-inducing disaster that was the Fyre Festival… than buying an $800+ sweatshirt?

The US Marshals Service auctioned off 100+ pieces of Fyre merch, with the sales going toward the fraud’s victims. Here are a few of yesterday’s winning bids:

2 Truths and a Lie
  1. A Virginia water park offers deep sea diving masks to keep swimmers safe.
  2. Gucci will let you try on shoes that don’t exist.
  3. The amount of digital content on Earth could equal half the planet’s mass by 2245.
Future Tech

A fusion future is getting closer to reality

Time for The Hustle’s best Bill Nye impression (courtesy of a poli sci major). 

If we ever crack it, nuclear fusion could provide a limitless source of carbon-free energy. 

It produces 4m times more energy than oil, coal or gas, and 4x more than nuclear fission — which comes with the scary downside of radioactive waste. But scientists have never figured out how to do it.

We might finally be making progress

Last week, the US and 6 other partners — including Russia, China, and the EU — broke ground on the ITER Project, the largest nuclear fusion facility to date. 

The first trial, which involves burning plasma, is scheduled for December 2025.

Big fossil-fuel companies are getting into the game, too: Chevron, Equinor, and Eni have invested in the fusion startup Zap Energy

Also funded by the US Energy Department, Zap says it’s zipping to the “shortest path to commercially viable nuclear fusion.”

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Sunday sneak peek

The king of unnecessary inventions

Any serious entrepreneur knows that you shouldn’t create solutions to  problems that don’t exist.

But one inventor has made a full-time living out of doing just that. 

In a small workshop in Burlington, Vermont, 30-year-old Matty Benedetto creates hundreds of what he calls unnecessary inventions, like the Kazuul (a vape pen that doubles as a kazoo) and the Chip-XTractor (a device that retrieves the last chip from the bottom of a Pringles can).

One of his creations recently earned him a cease and desist letter from Crocs (and, subsequently, viral fame on Reddit).

Benedetto’s inventions are partly a critique of modern capitalism. But they’re also a call to action — a reminder that we should all put our ideas out into the world, no matter how zany they may be.

How does Benedetto manage to make money doing this? Where do his ideas come from? And what’s the point of it all?

Tune in on Sunday to find out.

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This Day In Business History

(Via US Patent and Trademark Office)

On August 15, 1848, an inventor named Milton Waldo Hanchett received a patent for the tilting dentist chair. 

After seeing this contraption, we’re never complaining about modern dentistry again.


Head of Content, Khan Academy: Sal Khan is one of the biggest names in online education. The Khan Academy needs someone to set the math and science vision for its India team.

Chief Revenue Officer, SafetyWing: Digital nomads, take note. This global insurance company’s head of revenue will manage sales, partnership, and more.

Head of Communications, Even: Are you a communications pro who knows fintech cold? Drop this financial services company a line.

Content and Marketing Operations Manager, Occipital: If you’re a results-driven storyteller intrigued by “spatial computing,” this one’s worth a look.

Staff Writer, The Hustle: Because we’re always looking for talent to join our pirate ship.

Got a gig we should know about? Submit your opening here.

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Shower Thoughts

Shower Thoughts are like your one cool cousin: They aren’t around too often, but when they finally show up, you know it’s time to party. 

Let’s party.

  1. Randomly hearing your favorite song playing somewhere is more satisfying than playing it directly from Spotify.
  2. Because of pregnant women, the average number of skeletons in a human body is slightly higher than one.
  3. The purpose of a lock is to convert doors into walls.
  4. You probably know more Latin, a dead language, than you do Mandarin, the most common native tongue.
  5. Technically, the mailman has never gotten in the house, so as far as the dog knows, his barking is working.

And a special bonus thought for all you horror movie fans…

The scariest part of being alone is not being alone

via Reddit
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Today’s email was brought to you by Michael Waters, Caroline Dohack, Belle Long, Malary Lee, Zack Crockett, and Bobby Durben.
Editing by: Nick “Codfather Part III” DeSantis, Jay Walker (Pedestrian Advocate).

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