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The Hustle

Swiss startup Destinus imagines its hydrogen-powered hypersonic planes flying from Europe to Australia in ~4 hours. It hopes to operate limited-capacity flights in the 2030s that travel 5x faster than the speed of sound, which is cool but also the scariest thing we’ve ever heard.

In today’s email:

  • Quite the ad-venture: Telly’s free-TV gambit wants to invite brands into your living room
  • Think your boss is heartless? This CEO takes that literally
  • Bank shot: Will Steph Curry cross over to the billionaire’s club?
  • Around the Web: Watching paint dry is a YouTube sensation, Klingon tunes, polar bear hugs, and more
podcast media player
The big idea

This TV could be your new best friend — but, like, a terrible friend who gossips about you constantly

A company will give away 500k+ 55-inch televisions this summer.

The catch? Well, that’d be the attached 9-inch-tall secondary screen displaying weather, scores, stocks, and… lots and lots of ads.

Omnipresent ads in your home…

… Worth it for a free 4K TV? Telly, Pluto TV founder Ilya Pozin’s latest venture, bets you’ll say yes.

Pozin plans to ship millions of TVs, and his ability to scale shouldn’t be doubted — free streamer Pluto TV has 80m+ monthly users.

Telly will essentially trade TVs for customers’ data, then charge advertisers for the Holy Grail of marketing real estate: non-skippable, targeted living room ad space.

Oh, and that other wrinkle…

The “If the service is free, you are the product” adage can be overused — but it can’t be used enough for Telly.

  • It’ll know everything users watch and click, and share those insights with “data partners.”
  • It also has a camera. And a microphone. And a baked-in AI voice assistant always listening for “Hey Telly.”
  • And this deserves its own bullet: Telly’s sensors monitor for the “physical presence of you and any other individuals using the TV at any given time.”

Users can’t opt out of any of this without returning the TV or paying for it.

If Telly’s gonna blab about us…

… we can talk about its flaws out in the open, right?

  • Telly underestimates humanity — hackers will hack and resale markets will pop up like weeds.
  • Privacy concerns need more than vague assurances; offering a “privacy shutter” will only assuage so many fears.

Speaking of which, perhaps they’ve heard of… fabric? Congrats in advance to every Etsy shop that sells gobs of cute sleeves designed to block out Telly’s second-screen ads.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Sometimes, throwing money at a problem can be a good way to get something done. In this case, that something is… extending human life. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s other company, NewLimit, just raised $40m to research ways to do exactly that.


TodAI in AI: OpenAI chief Sam Altman testified before a Senate panel, acknowledging, “If this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong,” and inviting the government to work with AI leaders on regulations. The “how” is anyone’s guess, but hey, everyone had a nice chat.

Also in AI: Can’t say we saw English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys emerging as a vocal AI proponent, but sure, why not? Singer Neil Tennant hailed chatbots’ potential as a useful songwriting tool, one that’ll help musicians overcome writer’s block.

Apple demoed its new Live Speech tech for iOS 17. It powers a new accessibility tool that lets any user create a digital version of their voice, but is “aimed” at helping users who have difficulty speaking.

Taco Bell wants the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel chain Taco John’s 34-year trademark on “Taco Tuesday,” arguing it should be “available to all who make, sell, eat, and celebrate tacos.”

Finally: Egg prices are falling in both the wholesale and resale markets as demand drops and bird flu slows.

Whoa: Food-tech company Pairwise’s new mustard greens have been gene-edited to remove bitterness — the first US food product using CRISPR tech to hit the market. Pairwise’s next tricks may include pitless cherries and seedless blackberries.

Shelling out tens of millions for its first acquisition under the Elon Musk era is Twitter, with its purchase of job-matching startup Laskie. Perhaps this’ll help Twitter reflect Musk’s so-called “superapp” vision?

See ya there: There’ll be one heck of a lineup at INBOUND this September, from Oscar winners and neuroscientists to, oh, Derek Jeter taking the stage. In Boston. Want in? Registration is open.

Move over, YouTubers there’s a new creator in town and its name is artificial intelligence. Here’s how to make a YouTube channel from scratch using only AI.

automate CEO responsibilities

Zachary Crockett

Should we automate the CEO?

Last August, NetDragon Websoft — a Hong Kong-based online gaming firm with $2.1B in annual revenue — appointed a CEO to helm its flagship subsidiary.

The new chief, Tang Yu, was responsible for all of the typical duties of a company figurehead: reviewing high-level analytics, making leadership decisions, assessing risks, and fostering an efficient workplace.

Yu worked 24/7, didn’t sleep, and was compensated $0 per year. Talk about dedication.

Since her appointment, the company has outperformed Hong Kong’s stock market.

But here’s the kicker: Tang Yu wasn’t your typical CEO. In fact, she wasn’t a human at all.

She was a virtual robot powered by AI

Historically, most automation efforts have centered around so-called lower-level and blue-collar jobs. More recently, AI has threatened white-collar roles like accountants and journalists.

But while the bigwigs at the top of corporate food chains celebrate the cost-cutting virtues of AI, they rarely seem to turn the spotlight on themselves.

The incentives for workplace automation are largely financial. So, why not start by replacing the highest-paid employee of them all — the CEO?

Who knows, maybe one day employees will be secretly hoping for a software update allowing for casual Fridays.

Read the full story →
Free Resource

The LinkedIn profile playbook

LinkedIn as a social platform? A for effort, yet often despicable.

But LinkedIn as a job-hunting joint? Makes a lotta sense.

Considering that’s where career hustlers hang, we baked you this gleaming guide on how to spruce up your LinkedIn profile — and take your personal page from good to great.

Steps to spiffing up:

  • Write snappy headlines and summaries
  • Choose the perfect picture
  • Develop your content strategy (25 post ideas)
  • Grow a neighborly network
  • Harness LinkedIn messaging

Find gigs that fit. Articulate your worth.

Elevate your LinkedIn →
Net Earnings
Steph Curry

Steph Curry’s offseason: Saving Under Armour and joining the billionaire’s club?

The Golden State Warriors are done for the season, but Steph Curry’s work is just beginning.

Tiger Woods and LeBron James are the only two active athletes with Forbes-certified billionaire status, but Curry could soon be joining them in the $1B+ club.

The guy’s got range…

… and not just on the hardwood. His empire includes:

  • Unanimous Media, his production company with a busy slate, including an upcoming Apple TV+ doc about Curry himself.
  • A diversified investment portfolio, from personal finance to esports; plus endorsement deals aplenty, including Google, JPMorgan Chase, Rakuten, and CarMax.

Most prominently — and lucratively — Curry is the athletic face of Under Armour, a partnership extended last month, potentially for life.

Driving the lane to $1B…

… Curry’s portfolio has grown yet again, adding ~$75m in Under Armour equity and continued investment in the Curry Brand (basically Under Armour’s answer to Nike’s Jordan Brand), per Huddle Up.

  • Under Armour’s fate is tied to Curry: Its footwear business increased 350% YoY in 2015 when Curry won the league MVP and an NBA title.
  • Curry’s fortune is tied to Under Armour: If sales targets are met, his earnings will eclipse those from his day job (which, wow — Curry’s NBA contracts total $473m to date).

What’s standing in Curry’s way?

Nobody wins alone in sports. For No. 30’s net worth to reach its full potential, his teammates simply need to not suck:

  • FTX: In a rare misstep, Curry signed on to endorse the failed crypto exchange, opening him up to litigation.
  • Under Armour itself: The brand’s stock has been sliding, down 59%+ over the last five years.

But Curry has a way of turning sour moments into cash: He recently inked another endorsement — to wear a lemonade-flavored mouthguard on the court.

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🕵️ On this day: In 1965, the FBI, which had been investigating whether the incomprehensible lyrics of the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” were secretly perverse, concluded that they were simply “unintelligible at any speed.”

🤣 Haha: A playlist of pop cover songs — only they’re all in Klingon.

🪵 That’s interesting: Martijn Doolaard is an unlikely YouTube star — he’s a 38-year-old Dutchman who’s restoring two old cabins with no modern amenities in the Italian Alps.

🎧 Podcast: While others panic, learn how to use AI to accelerate your career in this episode of Marketing Against The Grain.

🐻‍❄️ Aww: And now, just getting comfy.


But I’m very flexible on Wednesdays! (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “Curry favor” Berkley.

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