An employment update, the app store wars, an unexpected way to a client's heart, and the rest of the day's news.
Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.
Jobs report paints complex picture. With a new Labor Department report noting that first-time unemployment claims jumped unexpectedly last week, economists are shaking their heads in confusion. Claims—which were expected to drop to just more than 400,000—instead rose to 474,000, the highest level in eight months. But a separate report opens the possibility of a major rift in employment: a recruiting rift. The Society for Human Resource Management's latest report on the leading indicators of national employment shows that in April human resource professionals were having a harder time finding candidates for both manufacturing- and service-sector jobs, up 15.4 percent and 7.6 percent respectively, from a year ago.
App wars: Android Marketplace to surpass Apple this summer. According to a new report, the Android app store will be bigger than Apple's as soon as July 2011. Germany-based research firm research2guidance released a study today that confirms Distimo's findings earlier this year that by the end of summer this year, the Android Marketplace will surpass Apple at 425,000 apps. Android added 28,000 new apps last month, while Apple only 11,000, the study shows. Good news for your average Joe App Developer? Not so fast. The high growth rate doesn't necessarily mean more money for app developers.
The Wall Street Journal launches CFO Journal.The Wall Street Journal introduced CFO Journal, a web-based subscription service with content tailored to financial executives and advisors. The CFO Journal features hand-picked stories as well as original content on topics exciting for CFOs—like liquidity and accounting. It offers "an extremely efficient way to weed through the information clutter," says Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones & Company. And special kudos to Matt Quinn, deputy editor at CFO Journal, who used to work with us here at Inc.com.
Shacking up at a start-up. Hey, not every start-up gets $41 million in funding right out of the gate. TechCrunch checks out the digs of LikeALittle.com, a California-based start-up that facilitates web-based flirting, that's living a more down-to-earth start-up life. "Over the last few months we've seen some pretty blinged-out offices, featuring go-karts, gorgeous skyline views, and endless supplies of free snacks and beer," TechCrunch notes. "But the reality is that most startups don't look anything like that. Instead, they often consist of a handful of founders working (and sleeping) out of somebody's apartment and eating ramen noodles twice a day with the occasional pizza splurge. LikeALittle (LAL) is a lot like that."
The way to a client's heart? Job listings. In a guest column for The Wall Street Journal, author Mike Michalowicz shares a highly effective shortcut to help businesses land new deals: Find prospective client's job listings. By learning about the type of positions a firm is hiring for, you can learn about its language and culture and, furthermore, deduce what they have planned and what they need. "It works on so many levels. No blind cold calling. No pesky surveys. No buying lists. No direct mail," Michalowicz writes. "This time, you'll have something really specific to say, and you'll know exactly how to say it, which means this time, you'll get their attention."
How to focus your marketing. Long before you start promoting your product or service, you should carefully assess and understand why your customer really needs it. This three-step primer takes you through how you can go about doing that--the same way the pros and marketing agencies do.
A nimble, quick, and very, very preppy pop-up. Manhattan's latest pop-up store is actually a pop-up cottage, courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger. How'd the designer do it, and is the pop-up spectacle worth the expense? The New York Times has the story. And check out Inc.'s guide on how to open a pop-up store too.
ALLISON FASS is deputy editor of Inc.com. A longtime business journalist at Forbes and The New York Times, she has also held roles in venture capital and innovation at Hearst Interactive Media and digital strategy at a start-up consultancy. @alliefass