Founded in 2015 as an events company, The Hustle newsletter was founded the following year and has since evolved to become largely known for its carefully curated content and distinct voice. Now they’re launching a new premium subscription-based product with a Netflix-style approach that allows them to provide high-quality content at an affordable price, alongside events and membership perks. Trends — powered by Piano — was introduced to The Hustle's one million plus readers on June 4 and made its content debut on June 11.
To discuss what went into the launch of Trends, Piano spoke to John Dunkel, lead product manager at The Hustle. First up: a view into what the planning stage looked like.
John Dunkel: We see Trends as a way for our community not only to engage with each other, but also to surface actionable opportunities.
We look at thousands of data points, look at industry reports, talk to leaders, talk to successful entrepreneurs, look at case studies, deconstruct different industries, and combine all of that into a subscription-based product that shows entrepreneurs — or even people looking to make a jump into entrepreneurship — how they can get involved. It’s not just covering what has already happened, but is really forward-looking.
Dunkel: We've built new capabilities that enable our community to interact with each other, share projects they're working on, find co-founders or investors. We will also provide content that goes deeper than normal business reports alongside a bunch of new features. It'll also have brand new tools that our community has not seen before.
The product has a lot of value, especially at our price point. There are some legacy market research providers that also provide business insights — just data points, mostly — but many of their subscriptions start at $50,000 or $100,000 a year. We wanted to make a product for people who could actually take this content and use it; to help people find ideas at a price they can afford. We know that not everyone can spend $100,000 to get this kind of data — so we wanted to make it more affordable, on par with a Netflix subscription. That was the driving motivation.
Dunkel: Initially, planning just involved talking to a lot of people. We wanted to listen to our most engaged users. Then we said, “Okay, we keep hearing this, maybe we should try it.”
So we put together some sample content. We looked at an emerging trend we had noticed, and analyzed why it was happening. We turned all of the data points surrounding that trend into a case study — something actionable. For an entrepreneur who might want to pursue the idea, this analysis offers a way to do that.
Our initial reports really resonated with our readers; people loved seeing not just the trend, but actual ways that they could take advantage of it. So we decided to move forward with it given the response.