It’s finally possible to own NBA highlights

Plus: In-flight wifi sucks. A new deal might change that.
September 4, 2020

What are two completely unrelated movies that can be summed up with the same sentence? Twitter user @leesteffen recently unearthed a great Reddit thread that poses that question. Here are our faves:

  • An unexpected pregnancy leads to a complicated situation (Alien and Juno)
  • It’s dad all along (Mrs. Doubtfire and The Empire Strikes Back)
  • A clown comes to town, no one laughs (It and The Dark Knight)
The Big Idea

Ever wanted to own an NBA highlight? Now you can.

Ray Allen’s corner 3-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals is considered one of the NBA’s greatest shots ever. 

Imagine if you could own it.

Well, Dapper Labs (a blockchain company) recently teamed up with the NBA to make ownership of in-game highlights a reality. How? Via a platform called NBA Top Shot

Sports collectibles are big business

We’ve heard of multimillion-dollar baseball cards and autographed jerseys. But Dapper CEO, Roham Gharegozlou, tells The Hustle that he believes digital sports collectibles are the next frontier. 

His platform (which we were given beta access to) offers users ownership of video clips like a “Jayson Tatum jump shot” or a “Zion Williamson block.”

These digital highlights come in “card packs” that start at $9. Each pack contains a different set of highlights that you can trade on the platform. Only one of each highlight is released, creating scarcity.

According to Gharegozlou, “cardboard cards are hard to authenticate, grade and move,” while these digital assets can be “sold at any time, don’t have to be evaluated and can have additional functionality over time.”

The team behind Dapper scored a previous hit with Cryptokittes 

Pre-blockchain, the creation of digital collectibles was a challenge.

Launched in 2017 at the height of Bitcoin mania, Cryptokittes (a game in which users buy, sell, and collect virtual cats) became the busiest address on the Ethereum platform — and demonstrated, for the first time, how the blockchain could power a digital collectibles market.

Generally, digital goods are easy to copy (think MP3s) and have no reproduction costs. As a result, it’s difficult to: 1) claim ownership over them, and 2) create value through scarcity.

Because a blockchain is a decentralized immutable record, a digital asset can actually be assigned ownership to a single entity.

NBA Top Shot is built on a proprietary blockchain called Flow

Gharegozlou tells us Flow was created because existing blockchains (including Ethereum) are geared towards transactions rather than providing functionality for games, apps, and digital assets.

With $50m+ in funding, Dapper is moving into other digital collectibles categories. 

Just this week, they partnered with Warner Music Group to launch a limited edition Cryptokittes with the English music band Muse. Up next: a collaboration with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.


In-flight WiFi is in crisis — which could be good for everyone else

Next time you hop on a flight, your WiFi options are probably going to look a little different. 

GoGo Inc, the heavyweight that powers United, British Airways, and American Airlines, just sold its in-flight WiFi division to a satellite company called Intelsat.

And that might be really good for the future of your mid-flight live-tweeting.

It’s a rough time for the in-flight WiFi biz  

There are 3 major players, and none of them are doing too hot:

That’s speeding up a larger trend

GoGo is still the biggest player in the space. Until recently, it used an old-school system called “air to ground,” which basically works like your phone: it connects to cell towers through an antenna

But recently, Viasat has been wooing airlines with cheaper and faster service. 

Unlike GoGo, Viasat is more than just a WiFi provider — it also has its own satellite biz. That means it can use satellites to supply WiFi on the cheap. 

And there’s more where that came from

GoGo’s buyer, Intelsat, already has a ton of its own satellites. In theory, it can use those to beat the speeds of Viasat. 

And because GoGo is already so huge, that could mean a new renaissance of free in-flight WiFi.


Time is running out to invest in this $100B-industry-disrupting product 

The commercial landscaping market has two huge problems:

  1. High labor costs
  2. Incredibly slim margins

In a market this big, fixing just a single one of these issues would disrupt the entire industry.

So what do you call it when one startup manages to solve both? 

A massive frickin’ opportunity — and one that you have less than two weeks left to invest in. 

Meet Graze, the fully autonomous electric lawn mower 

Graze is the brainchild of John Vlay, a CEO with 35+ years of experience — and a huge exit — in the landscaping industry. He realized a product like Graze could help commercial landscapers explode their businesses through drastic reduction in fuel and labor costs.

How? Because Graze is 100% electrically powered (with support from top-mounted solar panels).

Plus, thanks to machine learning paired with smart features like a localization GPS, an optical suite, and proximity detection, Graze can map and mow job sites with maximum efficiency. 

Want to get in on a company primed to disrupt a $100B market? Join Graze on SeedInvest.

Invest here →
Senior moment

A VC company is funding training for home health aides

Hey. Call your grandma lately? You didn’t, did you?

Now that you’re feeling guilty, here’s a little grandma-adjacent news: the VC company, Kairos, is paying 10k people who became unemployed during the pandemic to complete home health aide training.

These workers are more important than ever

Even before the pandemic, home health care was a booming industry. Here’s why:

  • Americans turning 65 have a ~70% chance of needing some kind of senior care.
  • Home health care reduces hospitalization rates, saving Medicare $378m+/year (not to mention patient preference) 

Since the pandemic, ~35% of Medicare enrollees have put off healthcare needs because they’re afraid of contracting COVID-19.

A trained caregiver can take vital signs, give medication reminders, and make sure the client is eating well and bathing.

And there’s plenty of room for more

Currently, there are 500k unfilled positions in the healthcare industry.

Home health aides earn ~$23k/year in base pay — comparable to what newly unemployed hotel, restaurant, and retail workers were making. And this training can be a stepping stone to higher-salaried careers, like licensed practical nurse ($47k/year) or registered nurse ($75k/year).

To help with the career  transitions, Kairos has partnered with the caregiver training startup, CareAcademy. Kairos foots the bill for participants to complete CareAcademy’s training. Afterward, participants can find work through CareAcademy’s placement partners. 

Now call your grandma, damnit.

Disney Remix

How do Disney’s live-action remakes stack up against the animated originals?

Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan hit theaters Disney+ today. If you already have a subscription to the Disney streaming service ($6.99/month), you can tack on Mulan for another $30 — equivalent to ~2 bags of popcorn and a bottle of water at the theater.

Without a traditional box office take, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek said the movie’s impact will be partially measured by the “uptake of…subscribers” on Disney+.

This new cinema reality got us thinking about something semi-related: Are live action remakes more lucrative than the originals?”

In recent years, the verdict has been split.

One thing is for sure, though, it’ll be very hard to best Cinderella’s inflation-adjusted $2.8B take (there was a lot less Fortnite and Netflix to distract us in 1950):

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