Travel / Mixtapes

Inside Outsite: The Hustle Mixtape by Elliott Adams

Entrepreneur and professor Elliott Adams recently spent three weeks at Outsite Santa Cruz, and wrote an ebook during his time there, The Hustle Mixtape.

It's hard to keep up with all of the cool things that happen at Outsite. We know that Leo from Buffer spends a lot of time here (see: One Month Co-Living in Santa Cruz), and amazing companies like KIND Snacks have spent time giving back during their stay (see: Doing the KIND Thing At Outsite). Here's another great story: entrepreneur and professor Elliott Adams recently spent three weeks at Outsite Santa Cruz, and wrote an ebook during his time there, The Hustle Mixtape. We caught up with Elliott while he was at SxSW, to learn more about him, how he discovered Outsite, and The Hustle Mixtape.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I've worked in academia, government, and tech.  I was the CTO of CD Baby leading up to its acquisition for $22m in 2008, and then I served in the State of Louisiana’s Department of Economic Development after Hurricane Katrina. I was formerly an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Loyola University New Orleans, but now I'm a faculty member at Hult International Business School’s San Francisco campus. My classes there focus on media studies, social innovation, and online business models. I'm also the Director of Startup Next in San Francisco, a Techstars program.

Where did you hear about Outsite, and what was appealing about spending time at Outsite?

I heard about Outsite because I'd met Ashok Kamal at Startup Weekend in Oklahoma City. He had written a Linkedin post about Outsite in January, and the concept piqued my interest. I loved the idea of Outsite because sometimes co-working in San Francisco isn't enough to enable so-called 'deep work.' Being so close to amazing places like Santa Cruz and Tahoe, I thought it could be perfect to be productive and really focus on a project.

How did The Hustle Mixtape idea come about?

My forthcoming book, The Startup Mixtape, will be a "normal" book. As this is still months away, I wanted something simple but interesting to share with people. That's where the idea of creating The Hustle Mixtape as an ebook was born. I researched The Hustle Mixtape, wrote it, edited it with my editor, hired a designer for the logo, found and worked with an illustrator for the 12 drawings, and laid it out in Illustrator in just four weeks. Three of those were at Outsite.

What are a few of the hustle techniques most readers probably won't know?

Most people don't know that Tinder was actually seeded with users from Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority – co-founder Whitney Wolfe was an alum, and once she would visit the Kappa sorority on a campus, she would head over to the fraternities to show them how many of their classmates were already using the app. Hotmail was a great example that Google later used with Gmail (and many others have claimed as their own brilliant marketing idea): they added an automatic tagline at the end of every email that read "P.S. I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail." Most people assume Airbnb came blazing out of the gates, but there was a point in 2008 where co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia printed and sold "Obama O's" cereal in Chicago to raise enough capital to keep the lights on.

Read these and other stories of hustle in the The Hustle Mixtape, available now.

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