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Ramdev knows best
The Hustle, aka. your new best friend
to me
The marketing guru has expanded his line of products into some unexpected places…
The Hustle Wed, Dec 14

Ramdev’s the new Richard

To the awe of marketing nerds everywhere, yoga guru Ramdev is doing the impossible — building a brand as ubiquitous as Branson’s. That’s right, we just used the work ubiquitous.

Imitation is the greatest form of marketing

Whether he knows it or not, Ramdev’s company Patanjali is following the tenements of Virgin’s “challenger” brand philosophy, which has allowed them to walk in and disrupt pretty much any market.

Basically, they’ve gotten people to buy their values before ever selling them a product. As a result, they’ve turned the idea of “niche is riche” on its head, and developed “brand equity” and a reputation for quality across, whether they’re selling music or plane rides.

Compare this to, say, French’s, a mustard company who hasn’t even built up enough trust in the condiment space to get people to buy their ketchup (but really, who would buy that nonsense).  

What’s Ramdev doing to follow Branson’s lead?

What isn’t he doing? Seriously, the dude has launched over 500 product lines, from cleaning products to condiments (yes, including ketchup). And miraculously, his company hasn’t spread itself too thin.

Patanjali has grown by over 10x in the past 4 years, continues to expect over 250% growth (double the average growth for the rest of the consumer goods market). Thing is, it’s not that their products are that much better…

They’re better for you

Or that’s what Ramdev is claiming. He’s using his credibility as a yogi to position products as morally superior to competitors. In doing so, he’s tapped into consumers’ deep-seated need for self-improvement. Toothpaste that makes you a better person? We’ll take 20.

This means his company can (and probably will) sell anything… which makes it pretty hard to play defense since you have no idea where the attack is coming from.

We do have a tip on Punjali’s next move though — it’s looking like blue jeans. Watch your back, Levi’s, Ramdev’s comin for ya.


2 heads aren’t better than 1

This week co-CEO Montgomery Moran lost his position as Chipotle’s co-pilot (but we polled the office and he won best name in a landslide).

Monty stepped down to let co-CEO Steve Ells steer Chipotle stock up and to the right after getting knee-capped by E. Coli a year ago. Because unlike guac, when it comes to CEOs…

Less is more

Having 2 CEOs is like putting a sidecar on a motorcycle. It’s tough to pull off and it slows it down the whole machine.

The dual structure inherently hinders operations by making every decision-making process a battle between strong-minded leaders with equal sway.

Plus it isn’t cheap. Shelling out salaries for 2 top-earning executives is hard to justify to shareholders, especially in the wake of struggling sales. There seems to be a trend emerging for companies who are willing to take the risk and it’s usually a case of:

“Two CEOs enter, one CEO leaves”

Chipotle is just one more in the list of companies to emerge from the corporate Thunderdome one exec short. Citigroup, Whole Foods, and Martha Stewart Living CEOs have all reverted back to solo acts, either due to tension, or poor performance.

But, there are exceptions…

Companies with dual co-founders-turned-CEOs like Warby Parker tend to fare best, particularly if they have complementary skill sets or backgrounds.

Unfortunately, this kind of dynamic can’t be manufactured, which is probably why just 25 Fortune 500 companies in the past 25 years have adopted the co-CEO setup.

In the end, it looks like Chipotle just got a little carried away with that extra scoop of barbacoa… and now they’re going to have to re-wrap their whole burrito.


Machine learning, deep learning, and AI…

These buzzwords get thrown around all the time, but do we really know the differences between them?

Heck, even our editorial team struggles to tell them apart, despite constantly running into them during our daily quests for internet gold. And so, we figured it’d be beneficial to clearly define each term using, as always, about 350 words. Enjoy.

Artificial intelligence

AI is a field of computer science created in the 1950s aimed at giving a machine the ability to think, reason, and learn.

It’s an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of technologies (i.e. traditional logic, if-then rules, decision trees) focused on allowing computers, robots, and yes, even toasters to at least superficially resemble our brains.

Machine learning

Machine learning is a subset of AI centered on enabling machines to learn for themselves, as opposed to having to teach them everything they need to know (aka. write a bunch of code).

It’s all about facilitating a machine’s ability to evolve over time as it’s exposed to more and more data… and the whole idea is that this happens automatically, thus making human intervention obsolete.

An example: Facebook uses machine learning to personalize your feed based on things like past behavior, statistical analysis, and pattern recognition.

Deep learning

Just like machine learning is a subset of AI, deep learning is a subset of machine learning that’s focused on simulating the complexity of the human brain.

In other words, while machine learning helps computers learn over time, deep learning taps into multiple layers to help them adapt, make predictions, and reach conclusions that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

For example, a standard machine learning algorithm could easily recognize a picture of a cat, but the second you alter a few of those pixels, it struggles. Meanwhile, a deep learning algorithm would have no problem adapting to the small change and identifying the photo.

You can also think about this way: When you’re a child and your parents teach you not to touch the tip of a knife, they’re literally teaching you not to touch the tip of a knife. But what you end up learning is that you shouldn’t touch sharp things.

That’s kind of like deep learning in human form.


The Hustle Gift Guide has arrived

Scrambling to put together your gift list for this year? Same. Here are our top 10 suggestions from all of you, to help the rest of us slackers seem thoughtful. Because that’s the true spirit of Christmas.

  1. Allbirds shoes: Find us a person who bought these shoes and doesn’t love them. Seriously send us a picture, because we already don’t believe you.

  2. Personalized children’s book: Own a baby, or know someone who does? This site builds a personalized story complete with the baby name of your choosing.

  3. Hipcamp: Give the gift of the great outdoors, with amazing camping trips on private campgrounds and farms, complete with morning rooster crow.

  4. Mysterious package: A very mysterious gift from a very mysterious company to renew your giftee’s “sense of wonder.”

  5. Chocolate + Headspace: Gourmet chocolate wrapped in a subscription to guided meditations — for your stressed out friend with a sweet tooth.

  6. A bomb boardgame: An awesome spooky adventure game for the party host who keeps making you all play “Apples to Apples.”

  7. Wake-up light: An alarm clock that simulates a sunrise, to help non-morning people wake up refreshed — even if it’s still pitch black out.

  8. Drybar: For girls with hair!

  9. Solar charger: A portable, sun-powered charging mat for the friend who’s always at 3%.

  10. Charcuterie accoutrements: For your friend who got drunk in Napa and bought a wine subscription.

“Hey, you got any more of them gift ideas?”

Sure do. Check out the full list of 40 here.


Subscription boxes are convenient AF

And since we’re nice people, we decided to partner with 4 of our favorites: BarkBox (dog toys and treats); Wine Awesomeness (wine, duh); Mantry (food and recipes for dudes); and reBloom (natural sleep drink).

One lucky winner gets a 1-year subscription to each one. Click here to enter!

THE FINE PRINT: Open to US residents in the lower 48


And before we forget… Shoutout to Mike Shinoda, the lead singer of Linkin Park for making The Hustle a habit. Because in the end, nothing else really matters. Welcome aboard.

Kendall "Double Steak" Baker
Lindsey Quinn
John Havel
Theresa Pollinating
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