Scooters roll into new territory

February 7, 2020

The Hustle

Did you know an Oscars statuette is worth only $1? If you’re looking to buy one secondhand after Sunday’s ceremony, you’re SOL. The Academy prohibits the winners from selling them without offering them back first, for only a buck. But if you still want to practice your Best Picture speech, we’ve got ideas (read on for more). Today:

  • A scooter saga takes a surprising turn
  • The breakfast wars are starting to burn
  • Spotify tricks mean the Colonel must earn
The Hustle Daily Email

From scourge to savior: Are scooters the key to opening up gridlock?

Electric scooters rolled up uninvited in cities across America and became the hottest new toy on two wheels.

But it didn’t take much longer for “scooter rage” to set in:

  • In DC, someone apparently hurled a yellow Bolt scooter off a bridge and into a tree. A mystery artist painted scooter handlebars with turds.
  • The Instagram account Bird Graveyard posts pictures of scooters being mangled, stripped for parts, and crammed into toilets.
  • The makers of Angry Birds even created a rage-powered scooter. Now that’s innovation!

City lawmakers read the room and pumped the brakes. But in LA — where scooters have been set on fire and driven into the ocean — the rolling scooter sh*tshow has taken a new turn.

That’s because scooters say a lot about where — and how — we travel

The New York Times reports that LA’s transportation department created an open-source platform that collects data from the city’s scooters and bikes.

  • It helps city planners generate ideas for the future of infrastructure — by looking at where everyone has zipped around already.
  • It’s now used by more than 50 American cities and dozens more around the world.

The smart-growth set sees connected scooters as a way to cut down on congestion and cool the climate.

They may be green, but their future isn’t necessarily golden

Scooter companies reversed their ambitions in the face of regulation and competition.

  • Lime said in January that it was laying off 14% of its workforce and pulling out of a dozen markets.
  • Both Lime and Bird are focused on streamlining their supply chains. Bird has developed scooters that require fewer repairs — useful for when angry city dwellers go HAM on them.
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👚 Billions of these get consumed a year, but almost no one buys them. Curious? Look in your closet.

🖥 Algorithms arrive in the criminal-justice system — they’re making probation decisions and predicting which teens might commit crimes.

💸 30 companies have spent an estimated $16B on self-driving cars. So far, they have little to show for it

🍕… but autonomous pizza-delivery robots? They just got the green light.

🎧 Move over, 808s. Microsoft Excel is the new beat machine.

Want snippets like these in your browser? Download our Chrome extension here.

This week’s weirdest ways to spend money

The bigwigs behind the Oscars spend $44m on their annual red-carpet bash. The show is the toughest ticket in Tinseltown, and it’s almost impossible to get in unless you know a nominee. Thankfully, you can still act like a winner with a few of this week’s weird ways to spend money:

  • Oscars publicity campaign, $5m to $8m. Deep-pocketed filmmakers with red-carpet ambitions: This is how much an Oscars propaganda campaign will cost ya.
  • 2001 Oscars ticket stub, $450. To make your impression of Russell Crowe in “Gladiator” all the more lifelike.
  • Vintage Oscars parking pass, $85. It turns out parking was a rip-off back in 1981, too.
  • 7-foot tall cardboard cutout of a statuette, $41.59. For when you want to pretend that you’re the real prize.
  • Officially licensed Oscars webcam cover, $5. In case you don’t want to star in an internet stranger’s indie film.
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10 marketing prophecies for the next 10 years

Crystal balls? Genie in a bottle? A lonely oracle living in a desolate cave who can see into the year 3000? 

Forget all that — when it comes making predictions on the future of marketing, we turn to Marketo.

10 Marketing Predictions for a New Decade

Their new ebook has everything you need to get a head start on the next 10 years. 

How’d they do it? By polling experts from across the entire industry to find out what we can expect on the marketing front the next decade. Hot topics include…  

  • Values-based marketing and customer privacy
  • The significance of AI impact on marketing teams
  • Human empathy’s role in the future of marketing automation

Like all good things, it’s free — so go download your copy now and get a head start on your decade. 

Get the download →

For fast food giants, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day

A few months ago, Wendy’s announced plans to fire up its breakfast menu with $20m in investment and 20k new employees.

But in the past few months, McDonald’s, Dunkin, and Taco Bell have all doubled down on the breakfast games in response — and now it’s a full-blown bacon, egg, and cheese battle royale. 

So, why did big brands wake up hungry all of a sudden?

Well, foot traffic in chain restaurants is cooling off thanks to the rise of food delivery apps, so fast-food giants are looking for ways to cook up some more business. 

Research shows that morning is the only time slot when foot traffic at restaurants is growing, which means that fried eggs have quickly become the final frontier for fast-food franchises.

» Sizzlin’

Some agencies think sneaking ads into Spotify is a hot new marketing strategy

KFC recently commandeered the profiles of several popular Middle Eastern musical artists to launch its new Kentucky Burger in Middle Eastern markets.

As a part of the marketing stunt, the company replaced the artists’ photos with new pictures featuring Kentucky Burger promotions. And the commerce-crazed Colonel didn’t stop there… 

KFC also changed the names of the artists’ songs so that their playlists looked like poems from the fiery deep fryers of hell. 

One playlist looked like this:

  • “Discover” 
  • “New” 
  • “Kentucky” 
  • “Burger” 
  • “Come & Visit” 
  • “KFC” 
  • “Get It” 
  • “Before It’s Too Late”

Spotify Premium payers aren’t pleased…

After all, they paid extra for a premium product that explicitly claims NOT to have any ads.

Much like when The North Face gamed Wikipedia, the ad agency responsible for the stunt — in this case, Memac Ogilvy & Mather — claimed a huge win. 

But the stunt also caused people on Twitter to lose their appetites.

And KFC wasn’t the first to screw with listeners, either

In the past, activists have partnered with artists to spread their messages, and other brands like Chipotle have also tried similar stunts.

» SponCon-ify
Shower Thoughts

Because so many of you loved our Peanut Butter Shower Thoughts the other week, we figured there was only one logical next step… Jelly Thoughts. You’re welcome. 

1. Tomatoes being classified as a fruit makes ketchup a type of jelly

2. Jelly beans have no original flavor

3. Peanut-butter and jelly sounds good, but peanut-jelly and butter sounds disgusting

4. If you cut the crust off a poptart it becomes a jelly sandwich

5. Jelly fish are just wet ghosts

via Reddit

Got your own (non-jelly) thought to share? Drop us a line.

Want to win an Apple Watch?

During the month of February, whoever shares The Hustle with the most folks will win an Apple Watch (series 4, silver aluminum case with a white sports band to be exact).

How it works

Step One: Send your referral link to friends/family (even your enemies). 

Step Two: Every sign-up for The Hustle gets you closer to that sweet, sweet Apple Watch.

Step Three: Celebrate — you won a Apple Watch and societies approval!

To get started, click the button below and enter your email address, then scroll down to grab your referral link.

The contest starts in 3…2…1 Go! 

Get my link →
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