Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.
Apple's brand dominance felt around the world. The Atlantic reports on a new study released that puts Apple and Google as the two most powerful brands in the world. "The rise of technology and telecommunications is pretty amazing," notes Nigel Hollis, executive vice president of Millward Brown, the firm that completed the study. "We started with two or three tech brands in the top ten in 2006. Now they're four out of the top five. It points out how central telecom infrastructure has become to people's lives." Perhaps the most significant finding of the report is that Apple has ended Google's four-year run as number one brand in the world. "Basically Google is in a horse race and a faster horse just blew past it," Hollis says. "Apple has just had a phenomenal performance with the iPad and other devices."
A social networking device for smokers? The New York Times reports that Blu, the maker of e-cigarettes, developed a pack with sensors that lets users know, by vibrating, when other e-smokers are within 50 feet of them. "You'll meet more people than ever, just because of the wow factor," says Jason Healy, the founder of the company. "It's like with any new technology." But you better save up—packs cost $80 for five e-cigarettes.
Meet the wallet of the future. Pageonce, a service that lets you track and manage your finances via your smartphone, announced this morning that it has raised $15 million more in funding, bringing their total to $25 million. The start-up will use this new money to expand and reach its ultimate goal: to become the one-stop app for managing all of your cash, credit, and bills. And the free service (yes, free) has already earned a good rep for helping its customers save money by alerting users to deals, like cheaper credit card rates.
Groupon ups the ante on daily deals. Groupon, one of the key sites that popularized the daily deal, is now leading the charge for real-time deals with a new spinoff service, according to VentureBeat. Groupon has just launched Groupon Now, a new service that offers users to search for real-time deals in their vicinity by the time of day or their location. Currently, the service is only available in Chicago, where Groupon is headquartered, but will soon be expanding to other cities around the U.S. and the world. This move comes after last month's rumors of Groupon going public, but despite Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley co-leading the offer, the company decided to hold back.
Top Prospect introduces more informed social networking. Get paid to help your friends. It may sound too good to be true, but that's the basic premise behind Top Prospect, a four month-old start-up that helps users find jobs for friends within their social networks. A featured start-up on Mashable this week, Top Prospect rewards successful recruiters with a referral bonus between $10,000 and $20,000 for each open job they fill with a Facebook or LinkedIn friend. Now featuring 80 companies and more than 300 open positions, the networking service introduced new and improved features yesterday, including a "People You Know" update that gives users a better understanding of the relationships between your friends and employers and a matching game to determine best fit within a company culture.
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