the startup rundown

Startup News: NASA Space Apps Challenge in NYC and Outer Space, Hacker School and a Spotify Challenger

The map of participating NASA Space App Challenge locations

3..2..1..BLASTOFF. It’s official: NYC is now one of the spots for NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, a two-day development event happening in cities on six continents and aboard the International Space Station. StartupBus NYC and the NY Tech Council are both helping with the coordination of the event, which focuses on how technology can address problems with minimal resources in creative and innovative ways. Register here.

SPLISH SPLASH. Don’t you hate it when all your friends get into a band you’ve already been sick of for weeks? You tried to spread the good sonic vibrations early on but to no avail—the world simply wasn’t quite ready for that new fangled rock ‘n’ roll music. But that’s not a problem anymore. Splash.FM, a new social music platform, will make sure you get the credit for discovering a band before they were cool. Splash.FM has been in private beta since Jan. 16 and is preparing to go live publicaly on April 17th. Like on Spotify, users can follow friends, search for and stream songs and make recommendations for friends—called “splashing.” Beyond that users will be be able to see what songs are trending among their friends and assign “splash scores” to rate other’s music discovery skills. It’s an official hipster socreboard! Splash.FM plans to eventually allow artists and labels into their analytics to see how when, how often and where their songs are being played. Take that, Spotify! Read More

Job Crunch

Layoffs at TheLadders: Jobs Site Lets Go of About 30 Staffers

TheLadder's 250 Hudson St. offices.

BuyWithMe wasn’t the only local company hemorrhaging jobs this week. Betabeat has learned that TheLadders laid off about 30 employees this week, across all departments.

“It was like Black Wednesday,” said the source of the overlapping job losses. However, where BuyWithMe let go of 55 percent of its staff, TheLadders downsizing was less severe, with seven percent of its 420 employees, according to our source who was familiar with the situation.

Until a month ago, TheLadders focused exclusively on the $100,000+ jobs market–its key differentiator in the market. The source said the layoffs were related to flat revenue growth at about $80 million, adding that the company’s two biggest expenses were people and marketing costs. “They already cut marketing significantly,” said the source, who called the job losses “cost cutting to reforecast budget due to lower than expected revenue growth.” Read More

Ch-Ch-Changes

Wow, Customers Are Really Not Happy TheLadders Said ‘Bye Bye’ to Jobs Over $100 K.

cendella

CEO Reed Hastings’s letter to Netflix customers may have dominated yesterday’s executive epistolary news cycle, but TheLadders.com CEO and founder Marc Cenedella also snuck in some pretty big news for the jobs site. In a post on his blog, Mr. Cenedella wrote:

“We’re expanding, and today we say ‘bye bye’ to helping only those over $100,000 and ‘hello’ to helping all career-minded professionals. TheLadders now takes all salary levels and shows the right jobs to the right person.”

Based on a sampling of the post’s 127 comments, folks were not pleased about a move that forgoes the company’s targeted focus for something, they worry, will end up more like Monster.com, but still require a monthly fee. Read More