Tulsa wants you

Tulsa now offers ‘digital nomads’ a chance to earn $10k just to move there, but is it worth it? The Hustle Can small cities like Tulsa pay ‘digital nomads’ to put down roots? The city of Tulsa just launched a program offering remote workers $10k and several sweet perks to move to Oklahoma’s most happening […]


November 15, 2018

Tulsa now offers ‘digital nomads’ a chance to earn $10k just to move there, but is it worth it?

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Can small cities like Tulsa pay ‘digital nomads’ to put down roots?

The city of Tulsa just launched a program offering remote workers $10k and several sweet perks to move to Oklahoma’s most happening town.

From Vermont to Alaska, underpopulated areas are rolling out incentive programs to attract footloose digital workers. But, even as remote ranks swell, it will be difficult for Small Town USA to turn the urban tide.

Plugging the brain drain

The digital economy has altered the geography of the workforce dramatically: Tech jobs replaced manufacturing jobs, causing states like Pennsylvania and Oklahoma to lose big.

And, while some tech jobs were specific to cities like Seattle, many weren’t: remote jobs rose 115% after 2005.

Now, areas that lost young workers are trying to reclaim some talent by offering perks to — or outright paying — remote workers. Tulsa’s program offers 25% up front, and doles out the rest monthly to keep workers around. Vermont offers a similar program, but over 2 years.

Making digital nomads feel at home

Remote workers often make the same salary no matter where they work, but a Tulsa dollar isn’t a San Francisco dollar: according to Trulia, the median cost of rent in Tulsa is $950 — in San Francisco, it’s $4,450.

But to lure workers away from cities, remote areas need to provide more than money: Vermont naturally sweetens the deal for millennials with maple syrup and mountains (which both make great Instagram posts).

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum (sadly no relation to P.T. Barnum) took a more mundane approach, offering free memberships to a co-working space.

Are small towns the new cities?

Sadly, the numbers say nay: in 2015, 82.7% of Americans lived in cities, and that percentage is forecast to increase to 89.2% by 2045.

Areas with attractions (ski towns, beach towns, towns with really good ice cream) will attract some remote workers. But, for the average rust belt city, free co-working memberships and cheap rent can only do so much to cut through the natural musk of the bustling city.

Let’s just hope Tulsa’s co-working spaces have enough kombucha and scooters to attract all the nomads it needs.

Click here to move to central Indiana

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Can you keep a secret? Victoria’s Secret’s stock has plummeted in the last 3 years

The secret is out: The glory days of Victoria’s Secret’s bra and underwear monopoly has all but disappeared amid the rise of new direct-to-consumer underwear brands with a focus on body positivity.

Quartz reports Victoria’s Secret’s stock has nosedived 72% in the last 3 years as investors continue to jump ship from its parent company, L Brands. What’s worse? 43% of that drop happened in 2018 alone.

D2C underwear brands are taking over

As new body-conscious, mainly direct-to-consumer brands, like Everlane, ThirdLove, Aerie, and others take over Victoria’s dominant market share in all things ladies underwear, the brand is struggling to keep its empire intact.

Reports show that women’s perception of the iconic lingerie brand has been declining since 2013, as more women have shifted toward female empowerment instead of hypersexualization.

You mean Kendall Jenner strutting the runway in an aqua lace corset doesn’t scream women’s empowerment and inclusion??

Not really, no

And, much like what Victoria’s Secret has been “encouraging” its models to do since the beginning of time, the brand has begun slimming down to fit into an increasingly tighter market.

Victoria’s Secret cut its apparel and swimwear in 2016, and this year it plans to close 20 stores.

» No more secrets.

ServiceTitan raises $165m to end bummers for all the plumbers

ServiceTitan, a startup that makes software for home service providers like air-conditioner installers, just sealed the deal on a $165m Series D.

The 2 co-founders started the company to help their fathers — both air-conditioning contractors. Now, just five years later, the company is worth $1.65B.

The ski trip that started it all

ServiceTitan co-founders Ara Mahdessian and Vahe Kuzoyan met in 2012 on a ski trip sponsored by the Armenian student organizations at Stanford and the University of Southern California.

After bonding over their shared history in home-services, the partners launched ServiceTitan for the “tireless men and women of home services who ensure the world has the basic necessities of life.”

Now, ServiceTitan has 2.5k clients representing 50k technicians in plumbing, air conditioning, garage door, and electrical repair.

Lots of money drips out of leaky faucets

All those tireless men and women also serve a big market: ServiceTitan’s network of technicians provides $10B of services each year, covering about 20% of the market across the US and Canada.

But ServiceTitan’s not satisfied with 20% — it wants to carve out a larger chunk of the $400B home services market.

To do that, the company plans to use the $326m it has raised so far to offer a more accessible product than competitors such as Amazon or Angi Homeservices (formerly Angie’s List).

» There’s business in the pipe

Lime will drop its first carsharing service on Seattle street corners this week

Lime has already dropped its bike and scooter rentals in 88 locations, 27 US states and 17 cities in 10 other countries, and now, it’s adding cars to its metropolitan mix.

Bloomberg reports the San Francisco-based startup plans to deploy 1.5k of its “LimePods” to the streets of Seattle by 2019.

LimePod, not iPod

LimePods will operate similarly to its bike and scooter offerings. It plans to start by throwing 50 on the streets (and 500 by the end of the year). Users will use its app to find cars, then unlock them for $1, with a subsequent 40 cents per minute after that.

LimePods, described as “free-floating” carsharing to distinguish it from services like Zipcar (where each vehicle has a designated location), will top out at around 40 mph, but in the meantime, the company has purchased several hundred gas-powered two-door Fiat 500 cars to get a head start.

So much for getting cars off the streets

Of course Lime argues its new automobile business still fits into its mission of reducing car use. A 2016 study from a similar company, Car2Go, found it led to a 6 to 16% drop in the number of miles the average household traveled by car.

Listen, we’re no doctors, nor ones to ignore data, but… Car2Go and a similar competitor, ReachNow, have already flooded Seattle with fleets of about 700 vehicles each.

Now, Lime’s adding another 1.5k golf carts to the already packed Seattle streets? Fuggetaboutit.

» Remember when scooters were enough?
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things you should…

DRESS: Your body like the Entireworld does, $15 and up

A website like a 1990’s Apple advertisement and a fit like high school P.E. uniforms — that’s the image of fashion according to Entireworld, designer basics from veteran designer Scott Sternberg. We like the clean look and limited choices because let’s face it, fashion is hard.

THEY’VE MADE SWEATS COOL AGAIN →

GAZE: Into Facebook’s in-home Portal, Starting at $199

We’re not saying buy it — because who knows IF Zuck will be listening in — but the Portal’s intelligent camera tracking is pretty trick. We saw this in-person at a local tech shop and… we were impressed. It tracks well and the screen is top-notch. As for the whole “privacy thing,” we’ll let you be the judge.

IT’S TOTALLY NOT NOT LISTENING →

LIFT: Like the robot worker you are, Coming soon

The AIRFRAME from Levitate technologies makes manual labor a breeze by transferring the weight of your arms to the body’s core, so workers can labor like there’s no mandatory break. The frame is not yet for sale, but the company hopes it will increase worker productivity and help reduce workplace fatigue and injury.

BUT DOES IT COME WITH A FLAME DECAL? →

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Camp Kesem, the free summer camp for children who’ve been impacted by a parent’s cancer, is asking for your help this Giving Tuesday. Last year they raised $1.9 million in just 24 hours, and we want to help them surpass that number this year. Your donations will help give more than 9,000 children across the country the support they need.

YOUR DOLLARS MAKE CHANGE →

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MMM… TASTES LIKE MONEY →

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