These fares ain’t fair

May 8, 2019

Today, we unpack a “punk” water company’s agenda and explain how a shady scientist sells a placenta, but first…
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The Hustle Daily Email

Uber and Lyft drivers are striking today to protest Uber’s IPO. Here’s why.

Running late for work this morning? Let’s hope you don’t need a Lyft or an Uber. Drivers for the 2 ride-hailing giants are set to go on a global strike this morning in protest of low pay and poor working conditions.

The move comes a few days before Uber is expected to go public at an insane $90B valuation — calling further attention to the long-contested wage disparity between 2 multibillion-dollar corporations and the contract employees that carry them.

‘They treat their drivers like crap…’

— Uber driver, Corey Roberts, told The Guardian.

If Uber is valued at $90B+, then Travis Kalanick (its founder) stands to make close to $9B (not to mention the hordes of expectant millionaires below him). Yet some drivers are actually losing money on the job after you factor in insurance, gas, and maintenance.

Ahead of Uber’s IPO, drivers saw fare prices rise while their take-home pay shrunk. To make up for the slight, the company offered bonuses upon the company hitting the exchange (SEC rules prevent giving private stock shares to freelancers).

Yeah, but drivers still make like $20 an hour, right?

WRONG — Lyft and Uber shave 20% and 25%, respectively, off the top of their drivers’ earnings. 

And driver take-home pay is closer to $9 an hour, according to an analysis from the think tank Economic Policy Institute.

So what exactly will this accomplish?

While it’s unlikely to affect Uber’s monstrous valuation, the strike continues to increase awareness around the business practices of Uber and Lyft.

Ride-hailing drivers in New York recently won a 2-year fight for a law that is expected to increase their pay by an average of $10k per year — showing that if the push is hard enough, change is possible.

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The unproven science behind selling cells

Thanks to a lack of FDA regulation, medically unproven stem cell therapies have become a $2B business, according to a recent ProPublica report.

Some stem cell treatments, like bone marrow transplants, are medically legitimate. 

But other misguided “miracle cures,” which simply exploit sick patients, are on the rise: The number of clinics offering unproven stem cell therapies grew from 12 in 2009 to more than 700 in 2017.

Birth tissue bullsh*tters

Like most medical myths, stem cell fiction resembles stem cell fact. 

The real science: In babies, amniotic stem cells develop into a variety of types of tissue (proven). The pseudoscience: In adults, amniotic stem cells repair multiple types of tissue (NOT proven).

But despite a lack of clinical evidence, birth tissue-based stem cell clinics claim amniotic cells can treat arthritis, wrinkles, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, asthma, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart failure.

Pseudoscience cells…

One company that distributes to 30 clinics across the country, R3 Stem Cell, was founded by a former orthopedic surgeon whose medical license was revoked after 14 malpractice lawsuits.

Birth tissue suppliers like R3 obtain their tissue for free (mothers can donate placentas but, by law, may not be compensated for doing so). 

Then, the clinics charge pain-ridden patients between $5k-$10k for 10-minute therapy sessions.

R3 uses manipulative marketing strategies (“rejuvenate your sex life”) and duplicitous discounts (marking treatments down from $5,400 to $3,600) to sell its shady science to desperate patients.

» Selling cells

Would you drink something called Liquid Death?

Have you ever slugged a Dasani and thought to yourself, “Dang, this water is refreshing, but it’s not punk enough. Not like me…”? *throws up devil horns*

We suspect this is what Mike Cessario thought before he started Liquid Death — a D2C canned-water startup aimed at people who identify as “straight edge” punk rock fans.

Yesterday, the startup moshed its way into a $1.6m seed round, bringing the company’s total funding to $2.25m.

Mohawks, mosh pits, and tall cans of water — so punk

Liquid Death water — which is 100% mountain water, sourced and canned in the Alps — is looking to take a swig of the Big Water biz with its environmentally friendly aluminum cans.

So what’s punk about it? Well, the cans feature golden skulls and the totally sick tagline “murder your thirst,” and they made a truly psycho video — so there’s that. 

Is this really where we are as a society? 

Punk philosophy is the opposite of using punk culture to secure VC funding and push a product. 

Punk’s supposed to be DIY and dangerous — as in Sid Vicious, not $21.99 a 12-pack on Amazon — that’s like the price of 4 Fugazi shows in their prime.

   @ Me Anything
Wes Schlag, News Writer at The Hustle

If it’s considered “punk rock” to lock down seed funding, and overcharge for Austrian Alps water because it’s in a can with a skull on it, then consider me GG f*cking Allin.
Show this thread
» Punk is officially dead

What has tulips and a tourist problem? The Netherlands

With the number of tulip-trampling tourists expected to increase from 18m in 2018 to 42m by 2030 in the Netherlands, Dutch authorities are plotting ways to slow the selfie sticks.

‘Develop and discourage’ — Dutch tourist board

The Netherlands receives more tourists than it has citizens. The flood of visitors is particularly disruptive in places like Giethoorn, a village of 2.5k famous for its windmills that’s visited by 350k Chinese tourists annually.

Years of tourism campaigns have worked too well: The economy is flush with tourist dollars, but farms are being trampled and national emissions reduction targets are being derailed. 

Spread out the tourists, save the tulips

The Netherlands is lucky to be in a position where it doesn’t need tourists to keep the lights on: Not all countries can afford to turn their backs on a $91.8B industry.  

In the Netherlands, tourism accounts for only 2.7% of GDP: In places like The Bahamas and Barbados, it accounts for more than 25% of GDP. But since tourism still accounts for 1 in 13 Dutch jobs, the Netherlands needs to spread out tourism — not eliminate it.

Last year, the Netherlands removed its famous “I amsterdam” sign to make the city less ’Grammable — and encourage travelers to take their selfies elsewhere.

» So many selfies, so little time

The Oris Aquis: A badass, durable watch with something to say

And that is… “I give a crap about our water supply.”

Of course, Oris does use more elegant terms — it’s a handsome watch, after all — but that’s what the Oris Aquis is all about.

Don’t believe us? Just look at who they’re teaming up with: Expedition swimmer, water ambassador, and all-around badass Ernst Bromeis. 

He’ll be relying on the Oris Aquis Date Relief in all it’s stainless steel and red rubber glory to complete his Blue Miracle campaign — a 60-day, 800KM swim across Lake Baikal, an ancient lake in the mountains of Russia thought to be the deepest in the world. 

Oris knows actions speak louder than words

And while the Swiss Watchmaker is a long time favorite among watch enthusiasts (i.e. those in the know), you may not have heard of them because they prefer to let their performance do the talking. 

With the Oris Aquis Date Relief, they’ve produced a timepiece that handles demanding underwater environments as easily as it does dry land. 

It’s stainless steel construction, durable rubber strap, and sapphire-engraved watch hands (in a subtle homage to waters worldwide) make this watch as much of a fashion statement as it is a mission statement.

Oh, and did we mention it just straight up looks good?

Wear one for water → the hustle says…

The Gentlemen says… A tidy downstairs is the quickest way to a full home. Get clean with this Manscaped kit.*

The Puzzle Master says… if you want to kill a whole weekend, try solving this bad boy.

The Tailor says… don’t buy designer jeans that constrict your legs and your wallet. Get Revtowns and feel as good as they look.*

*This is a sponsored post.

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