The issue with disamenities

October 14, 2019

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Today, studies show that burnout is reaching staggering heights, and Hooters’ holding company expands its sights, but first…

The Hustle Daily Email

Don’t you quarry ‘bout a thing: Residents protest the rise in resource mines in their ‘hoods

Locals in developing towns are generally on board with new schools, restaurants, and other infrastructure — until realizing that building a trendy new local bar means having a rock den in their background. 

Enter: “Disamenities”…

These increasingly problematic location-based drawbacks are causing tension in growing communities.

In general, people demand improvements and expansion of local buildings and roads, yet they resist the emergence of local resource pools (landfills, rock mines, etc.) necessary to deliver on those demands.  

Quarries are a particular source of rockiness, since they usually sit near residential zones in order to curb high transport costs and pollution. 

Take Raleigh, for example

The North Carolina capital highlights the rise of disamenity animosity. Faced with booming construction demand and dwindling rock resources, mining company Wake Stone inked a land lease with the local airport authority to extend its old, worn-out quarry into fresh land.  

The problem? The wooded area in question borders a popular public park and several mountain biking trails — a revelation that caused the outdoorsey Raleigh residents to respond with a collective, “Oh, hell no.” 

The ensuing quarry quarrel has become a political hot button 

Local environmentalist groups and bikers have pushed back on the plans through fundraisers, a lawsuit, and a petition signed by more than 20k people.

The ironic part? The fired-up residents are living and driving along infrastructure largely built from — you guessed it — local quarry rock. 

Therein lies the paradox of disamenities

Residents want reduced congestion and new entertainment options, but they fight the material sourcing — putting landowners and city officials between a rock and a hard place.

» Don’t quarry be happy

“Hey founder, looking to up your game?”

We’re back with more details on Day 2 of Hustle Con 2019. Session titles for Track 2: Founders & Operators Looking to up Their Game are live below. If you’re currently managing a lean, mean startup team, this Day 2 track is your jam. Save $75 when you purchase your Hustle Con ticket before Friday. 

Sneak a peek →

On the menu at Hooters: Chicken, cleavage… and cancer drugs

Hooters: The restaurant of choice for spicy chicken wings, cold beer, cleavage-baring waitresses, and… cutting-edge cancer drugs?! 

The parent company of the Hooters restaurant chain, Chanticleer Holdings — which lists on the Nasdaq under the ticker “BURG” — combined (via reverse merger) with Sonnet BioTherapeutics, a cancer drug developer. 

If it sounds crazy, it is… 

But that’s the way reverse mergers work, baybeeee

What’s actually going on here? Well, reverse mergers are a way for private companies — like Sonnet BioTherapeutics — to go public without going to all the trouble of holding an IPO. 

Usually, businesses that want to reverse merge look for struggling public companies whose public shell they can inhabit — like hungry, corporate hermit crabs. 

In this case, Sonnet chose a greasy, greasy shell

Chanticleer Holdings made the perfect reverse merger target: The company’s stock has fallen from a high of more than $35 per share to less than $1 per share. 

Some analysts point to an overall decline in the popularity of fast-casual dining as the cause of Hooters’ slump — or maybe a publicly traded chicken wing company built around staring at women’s breasts was just never that cool in the first place

In any case, the company formerly known as Hooters will wear decidedly different corporate clothes — that is, it will go by SONN instead of BURG on the Nasdaq. 

As for the chain of chicken joints? Apparently, it’s not possible to scrub away all that grease overnight: The company plans to spin off its “restaurant assets” into another company that will be owned by current shareholders.

» What a hoot

Some businesses bet tackling burnout will boost bottom lines

Feeling burnt out? You’re not alone: According to a recent study, half of millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left a job for mental health reasons. Hustle culture — both the ways we work and the way we let work define us — is part of the problem. 

What’s work got to do with it?

Increased workloads, limited staff and resources, and crazy-long hours are common contributors to the problem. Meanwhile, living expenses are out of control for many younger workers, and that student loan debt ain’t goin’ nowhere.

On top of that, there’s a deeply ingrained notion that work shouldn’t just bring in money; it should also provide a sense of identity. The feeling is so pervasive, some go so far as to call “workism” the new religion.

Naturally, there are economic consequences. The US spends $200B annually treating depression, stress, and anxiety. For employers, sick days and lost productivity cost big money. 

But some companies are trying to change that

Cisco implemented a number of changes aimed at encouraging employees to seek better mental health. The company claims 7% of its US workforce is accessing some form of mental health or substance abuse treatment. 

Other companies are instituting pro-mental health campaigns with some reporting significant savings on healthcare costs… and improved consumer perception.

Expect the trend to continue. Some researchers have gone so far as to call mental health “the next frontier of diversity and inclusion.”

» Mental wealth

Small business of the week: Duo looks to replace TP with “below the belt” wipes

Charlie Siciak and Sam Nebel met in the upstairs bathroom of their frat house with the same thing in their hands: baby wipes. After their friends kept stealing their wipes instead of buying their own, they realized they had a business idea. 

The pair launched Good Wipes — eco-friendly, scented, and adult-branded wet wipes for “down there.” The wipes contain no parabens or alcohols, and the tissue feels nice and thick (but still flushes and biodegrades). An added kick of aloe and chamomile help soothe the skin.

A major challenge for Siciak and Nebel has been destigmatizing the product: They’re trying to prove Good Wipes are better than regular TP and not embarrassing for adults.

So far, the founders have steered Good Wipes into all 1,800 Target Stores, CVS, HEB, and multiple outlets online, reaching  $2.8m in sales this year.

Along the way, they’ve relied heavily on feedback and advice for new products and scents from their Facebook group, Good Wipes Labs. Up next? They’re looking to launch a subscription service in the new year for people looking to replace their Prime Charmin order.

Stats at a glance:

  • Founders: Sam Nebel and Charlie Siciak
  • Employees: 5
  • Years in business: 5
  • Cost to launch: $75k
  • Funding methods: Personal savings, friends/family contributions, venture capital, crowdfunding, loans
  • 1st-year revenue: $172k
  • Current annual revenue: $2.8m

Give your online biz a festive funding boost this holiday season

The holidays are coming, and so is the busiest online shopping season of the year. 

Which raises the rather important question: Do you have enough ad dollars and inventory to crush your revenue targets? Or will you be sadly singing Silent Night into your eggnog as sales pass you by like reindeer in the night?

Don’t get stuck in a last-minute panic — now’s the time to beef up your marketing budget and make sure you don’t run out of product. 

For that, you need to turn to Clearbanc. They can hook your biz up with an investment as low as $10K or as high as $10M, all in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Forget high-interest bank loans or lengthy VC pitches; those are ghosts of fundraising past. Just fill out Clearbanc’s 20-minute term sheet, and get ready for the gift that keeps on giving.

Get that ca$h money
What Else…

📊 It’s trivia time! Grab your thinking caps. Here are a few trivia questions we gleaned from last week’s news. (Click the links for the answers.)

🎃 1) What is America’s most popular Halloween candy? (Hint: It’s not candy corn.)

🍎 2) About how much do you think it costs Apple to make 1 iPhone?

    1. $125.78

    2. $490.50

    3. $835.49

📱3) Which African country recently produced the first smartphone made entirely in Africa?

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