J.J. Abrams joins the “stream team”

Hustle Logo

Today, connected clothing companies are building backpacks with brains and land-hungry billionaires are buying up America’s plains, but first…

The Hustle Daily Email

Streaming wars heat up as media companies battle for the biggest, baddest producers

Last week, J.J. Abrams inked a $250m “exclusivity agreement” with WarnerMedia, which will see the superstar showrunner creating TV and movies for the media group through 2024. 

This mega-contract was one of the largest yet in the ongoing fight for streaming supremacy, but given the amount of money at stake, it’s likely that more big deals like this will go down.

It’s a competitive market for streaming services

In the early years, digital streaming was a money saver for cord cutters looking to 86 expensive cable bundles. 

But now there are more than a dozen streaming services ranging from $5/month to $55/month, which means consumers must piece together service combos that offer the content they want at a price they’re willing to pay.

And subscribers aren’t a loyal bunch

Because streaming subscribers aren’t locked into contracts as with traditional cable, they’re able to leapfrog to other services at any time… like when they finish bingeing their favorite show or land a better deal.

So the heat is on to nab top talent in order to keep viewers

WarnerMedia, which is betting big on Abrams partly in preparation for its launch of HBO Max, wasn’t the only streaming giant that was bidding: Abrams chose WarnerMedia over its rival Apple, which reportedly offered him a $500m contract.

Meanwhile, Netflix has struck deals with Shonda Rhimes ($150m), Ryan Murphy ($300m), and “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss ($200m). Oprah, meanwhile, will cast her documentary-and-book-club magic for Apple.

I want my streamed TV
Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter View in Browser

Google releases luxury backpack that syncs with your phone… for $1k?!

Google’s “connected clothing” venture, Jacquard, just released the sleek Cit-e backpack in collaboration with Saint Laurent. 

It’s the company’s latest attempt to bring connected fashion to the people — or at least to the wealthier people — and comes on the coattails of the smart commuter jacket they made with Levi’s a couple of years back.

Connected clothing is on the rise, with brands making everything from apparel that tracks fitness levels to smart socks that monitor babies’ breathing.

The Cit-e backpack aims to make your life easier

The pack’s brains come from the Jacquard Tag, a mini computer that lives in the left strap. The tag pairs with the Jacquard app on your phone and renders a series of hand motions, programmed by you, into directives the app can carry out.

You can, for example, get a rundown on the news, your commute, and the weather as well as snap a selfie with the wave of a hand. At $995, this backpack isn’t exactly affordable for the masses. But Google plans to release more affordable threads in the future, CNET reports.

Google’s not the only outfit with skin in the connected-clothing game

Lots of connected clothing brands want to sell you stuff, and many of the products out there focus on health and fitness. 

Wearable X makes smart yoga pants that guide you through your yoga practice via haptic pulses; ambiotex and Athos sell shirts that track fitness levels and muscle use; and Spinali Design makes bikinis that monitor UV levels. 

The smart-clothing industry is on the rise, with shipments projected to see a 76% compound annual growth rate between 2017 and 2021. So expect to see more futuristic threads come to market soon.

Smarty pants

America’s big business billionaires are buying up LOTS of land

A massive, 100-square-mile Texas ranch that belonged to recently deceased mega-millionaire T. Boone Pickens went on sale for $250m in 2017.

But compared to other land empires, Pickens’ plot was a small potato: 100 wealthy families own 42m acres of land across the US, and the amount of land owned by these lords of land has spiked 50% since 2007.

Why do billionaires want so much land?

Land tends to its retain value over time, making it a more consistent and predictable asset than other luxury investments.

For rich families with oodles of cash, land offers the added benefit of providing recreational opportunities — fishing, hunting, vacationing — to friends and family for generations.

But, as The New York Times reports, huge private land grabs also limit local access to public lands, which has made billionaire land barons unpopular in parts of the American West where they’ve bought up big lots.

So, who are some of the biggest landowners?

Many of the country’s largest landowners are famous business magnates. Here are a few of the big names — and how much acreage they’ve got:

  • John Malone, former CEO of Tele-Communications Inc: 2.2m acres
  • Ted Turner, founder of CNN: 2m acres
  • Stan Kroenke, owner of LA Rams: 1.38m acres
  • Peter Buck, co-founder of Subway:  925k acres
  • Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon: 420k acres
Jeez, lots of trees

Small business of the week: The Silicon Valley duo helping data centers waste less energy 

Every Monday, we feature a company started by one of our readers. Want your story told next? Fill out our Small Business Survey.

After graduating from Santa Clara University, Matt Renner attempted to get a plum job with a startup. But industrial engineers weren’t in high demand at the entry level. He ended up working for a company that buys, owns and operates data centers. 

He noticed a pattern: The biggest companies all went for new construction. They wanted a cut of projects that cost anywhere from $50m to $1B. Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are about 3m data centers in the country. Many of them need to be refurbished. 

Along with Aryn Bergman, Renner started Northshore. The company evaluates and retrofits older data centers to make them more energy efficient. “That’s the market niche we’re carving,” Renner says. 

They tapped into their existing networks to find clients. The first year, Northshore made $300k, mostly off consulting work for existing data centers. This year, with $1m in revenue expected, the company is consulting and retrofitting. 

“We’re ultimately trying to influence the improvement of energy efficiency across the world and save our shores,” Renner says.  

Stats at a glance:

  • Founders: Matt Renner and Aryn Bergman
  • Employees: 3
  • Years in business: 2
  • Cost to launch: $15k
  • Funding methods: Personal savings
  • 1st-year revenue: $300k
  • Current annual revenue: $1m
  • Annual overhead: $200k

We found a shortcut to mastering any skill…

And the best part? It involves binge watching. 

Skillshare, the world’s largest online learning community, makes mastering any skill easy by offering anyone unlimited learning

How does it work? 

It’s like the Netflix of creative learning: 

Your monthly membership gets you access to thousands of online classes taught by real creatives — AKA the people who live and breathe for design, photography, and living your best life.

From Photoshop to iPhone photography, mastering graphic design to going freelance, learn endless ways to skill-up for the projects you care about.

If you’re ready, the creative life is yours for the taking — and Skillshare’s growing community of 8 million is the proof. And because you’re a reader of The Hustle, you get 2 months of unlimited access for FREE

Cut some corners and learn something. 

Get learnt
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:
Love Will Turn You Around, Kenny Rogers.
[%Count%] Share the Hustle
Conor Grant
Conor Grant
Bobby Durben
Bobby Durben
Meg Furey-Marquess
Meg Furey-Marquess
Brad “I forgot to charge my socks” Wolverton
Oscar de la Rental
Car Rental Rep
Facebook Instagram YouTube
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​


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?

[email-submission-form button-text="Join Free" include-trends-opt-in="true" success-url="https://thehustle.co/signup" default-source="thehustleco" default-medium="home-exit-popup" default-campaign="home-page"]
<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 getCookie(name) { var cookieArr = document.cookie.split(";"); for(var i = 0; i < cookieArr.length; i++) { var cookiePair = cookieArr[i].split("="); if(name == cookiePair[0].trim()) { return decodeURIComponent(cookiePair[1]); } } return null; } function setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, cookieName, defaultValue) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; var existingVal = el.getAttribute('value'); if (utmName == 'ref') { var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookie(cookieName); } else { 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-page'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-medium', 'utm_medium', 'funnel_medium', 'home-exit-popup'); 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('email-submission'); 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.recaptcha.net/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 ( (false) && (funnel_email_cookie != null && funnel_email_cookie != '') ) { window.location.replace('/home'); } initForm(); if (true) { appendCheckboxes(); } }); </script> <div class="email-signup" id=email-submission> <div class="funnel-error" style="display:none;"></div> <form class="email-submission" action="https://cms.thehustle.co/api/v1/contacts/wordpress_create" method="post" autocomplete="email"> <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-page"> <input class="funnel-medium hidden-input" type="hidden" name="medium" value="home-exit-popup"> <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 autocomplete="email"> <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>