Choosing to hustle is a luxury. The hustle culture debate misses a bigger economic picture.
Why it matters: Workers are wary (and weary) of hustle culture, as the economy comes out of the pandemic. But for tens of millions of Americans, working nonstop may be a necessity.
Driving the news: Interest in “hustle culture” spiked to new highs this spring, based on Google Trends data dating back to 2004. That coincided with debates on Twitter, whose platform skews younger and more affluent.
Working to live: One version of hustle culture, as an aspirational lifestyle and micro-industry, can be traced back to entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk and Silicon Valley CEOs like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer.
“When reporters write about Google, they write about it as if it was inevitable,” Mayer told Bloomberg in 2016. “The actual experience was more like, ‘Could you work 130 hours in a week?’”
Celebrity “side hustles” on social media fueled the glamour.