The Hustle

💼 RIP, non-sucky job market

Plus: Starbucks is crushing it, give this cat some food now, and more

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Great news: Forecasters expect hotter-than-average temperatures this summer and teased an “extreme heat belt” forming in the US by 2053 that’ll push heat indexes above 125 degrees Fahrenheit at least once a year. Probably worth clarifying here that “great news” was targeted at vultures.

In today’s email:

  • Applying pressure: Good jobs come to those who wait… and wait… and wait
  • Organized retail crime: Target has bigger problems than shoplifting
  • Digits: App Store fraud, Bitcoin and esports in trouble, and more newsy numbers
  • Around the Web: Around the Web: Bizarre landmarks, philosophy is for the bros, a hungry cat, and more
The Big Idea

Having a terrible time landing a new job? You’re not the only one

Want a new gig? Be prepared for it to take a while.
2023-05-22T00:00:00Z
Ben Berkley

Job hunting is an exciting time. There are, uh, minimal challenges with dry eyes, and — well, the constant destruction of one’s self-worth highlights how important having it is, right?

OK, great pep talk. Now get out there and submit some cover letters!

If you’ve pursued white-collar work lately, there’s a good reason why your head’s always looking for a good wall to smack itself against: The market is brutal, per The Wall Street Journal.

Remember the friendly post-pandemic hiring market?

That’s been pretty well-obliterated in many industries, including real estate, finance, and tech. It’s a simple case of supply and demand:

  • Supply is down: US job postings have dropped by ~500k since 2022.
  • Demand is up: The market’s flooded with experienced candidates following two layoff-packed years — tech firms alone have shed ~363k roles since last year.

The result?

Competition. So much competition. AT&T, for one, said its applicants per posting have nearly doubled YoY.

Employers are realizing they once again get to be picky as hell.

  • Companies are taking longer to make their picks, per WSJ, with hiring now averaging 11 weeks, up from seven weeks in 2021.
  • That’s taking its toll on candidates, who’ve seen the norm increase from one or two interview rounds to an average of three to four.

In other words, if it isn’t going great for you out there, it isn’t necessarily on you.

By the way…

The WSJ highlighted an applicant who completed nine rounds of interviews only to have the company ghost her.

Prospective employers, need a quick etiquette refresher? We pulled together this handy guide:

  • Candidate completes one interview: Not OK to ghost.
  • Candidate completes two or more rounds: Not OK to ghost.

That’s it. Hope this helps.

TRENDING

Starbucks is crushing more than just barista unionization; the world’s biggest coffee chain is ditching cubed ice for nugget ice (AKA pebble ice). It’ll take years to fully roll out the new ice machines, but Starbucks ultimately expects less water usage as a result.

SNIPPETS

TodAI in AI: Evolv Technology, maker of AI gun-detection systems, doubled its earnings and increased its stock price 167% YoY after it started marketing to schools. How’s that for a snapshot of 2023?

Yeah, we know: Fed Chair Jerome Powell said inflation remains “far above” his target and “will take some time” to come down. No decision has been made on interest rates rising again in June.

No fly zone: A federal judge ruled against American Airlines and JetBlue’s Northeast US partnership due to reduced competition. One economist estimated it’d cost customers $700m+ per year.

Another Twitter clone: Meta’s microblogging contender will launch this summer. It’ll reportedly be a stand-alone text-based app, but integrated with Instagram so that users can keep their handles.

Meanwhile, there’s lots going on at Elon’s Twitter, per usual: Twitter Blue users are taking advantage of a new 2-hour video upload feature to pirate movies, and Musk tweeted “Lawsuit time” at Microsoft.

Imagine the utility bills, bills, bills: The buyers of the most expensive home ever sold in California? Jay-Z and Beyonce, who dropped ~$200m on a 30k-square-foot Malibu mansion — actually a discount, given the property’s $295m listing price.

Muscle memories: Kellogg is infusing nostalgia into the protein powder market, collaborating with Six Star Pro Nutrition on Frosted Flakes- and Froot Loops-flavored whey powders. Want to properly set up your gym for liftmate Tony the Tiger? His official height is 6’3”.

“Succession” but for real: Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman is stepping down within the next year, and it’s down to three internal candidates battling it out to replace him at the top.

Mentorship must: A good mentor can take your career to new heights, but the relationship is two-sided. Here’s how to be the best mentee possible.

CHART
Olivia Heller

People love stealing stuff from Target

Organized retail crime is crushing US retailers.
2023-05-22T00:00:00Z
Ben Berkley

If Target’s mascot, Bullseye, were a real dog, he’d have A5 Wagyu beef for every meal and roll around in this $3.2m “Bugatti of dog collars.”

Target ain’t exactly hurting is our point here — its average customer makes ~23 trips per year, spending ~$50 each time; sales topped $107B last year.

Yet we grimaced when we learned about Target’s growing inventory loss problem.

How much are we talking here?

Last fiscal year, the retailer saw $763m in “shrink”: loss of inventory, whether by accident or a deliberate act like shoplifting, fraud, or cargo theft.

CEO Brian Cornell expects Target’s inventory losses to balloon beyond $1B this year.

  • It’s not just Target — Walmart, Walgreens, and Home Depot also recently lamented theft increases.

What’s changed?

Organized retail crime is up. (Or, in Target parlance, up & up.)

“It’s not people shoplifting an individual item for personal use,” National Retail Federation president Matt Shay told CNBC. Stores, he said, are fighting “sophisticated” networks stealing throughout the supply chain — on docks, trucks, and railways, as well as in stores.

Efforts to limit secondary markets for stolen goods are underway; a law goes into effect next month requiring US online marketplaces to verify high-volume sellers.

It’s easy to blame criminals, but…

… retailers must also look inward; investing in loss prevention can, y’know, prevent losses — yet 68.5% of retailers do not have teams fighting against organized retail crime.

Perhaps that’s because external theft only accounted for 37% of lost inventory last year — employee theft (28.5%) and process failures (25.7%) were other major culprits.

Back to Bullseye: Listen, we’re not saying he’s running a crime syndicate, but does anyone else have a presence in all ~2k Target stores? Just saying, it’s a little suspicious.

Free Resource

What you’re missing from Trends TLDR

We’re here to spark your startup synapses.

Trends TLDR just covered caffeine microdosing, buying boomer businesses, and a startup shipping breast milk for babies.

The week before that, it was non-sleep deep rest (NSDR), 3D-printed homes, and a professor who cleared $40k in his first month of consulting.

We’re sending out tasty stories each Tuesday — striking side hustles, plus growth talk with gumption. Join 500k+ builders and bootstrappers who are staying sharp on startups.

Business ideas, delivered →
DIGITS

Digits: Apple details its bad apples, and more newsy numbers

Plus: Esports lags, Bitcoiners pack their bags, and more.
2023-05-22T00:00:00Z
Ben Berkley

1) Apple’s App Store, which attracts 650m+ weekly visitors, declared itself one of the world’s most-talented bouncers: The company says it stopped $2.09B in “potentially fraudulent transactions” last year, and booted ~1.7m app submissions that didn’t adhere to its strict standards across privacy, security, and content.

2) The Bitcoin faithful haven’t reached the moon yet, and it appears there are fewer folks who have faith that’ll happen soon. With the price of Bitcoin down to $26.8k from its 2021 high of ~$69k, 12k+ people gathered at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami Beach to talk shop, down from 25k+ in 2022.

3) Esports industry investors may need to press pause and reconsider their gaming strategy. Esports group FaZe Clan, which went public on the Nasdaq last year, laid off 40% of its employees and risks delisting if it can’t get shares back above $1. Meanwhile, America’s biggest esports league saw a 32% dip in spring season viewership compared to 2021.

4) In its chase for domestic dominance, JPMorgan Chase has opened branches in 25 new states and DC since 2018, and now boasts ~4.8k branches nationwide. (For context, Bank of America claims 3.9k branches.) JPMorgan’s expanding footprint matches its outsized role in US banking — it’s responsible for 13%+ of deposits and 21% of credit card spending.

AROUND THE WEB

📰 On this day: In 1846, the Associated Press, a nonprofit news cooperative, was founded in NYC. 

🗺️ That’s cool: In honor of hitting 25k locations, Atlas Obscura staffers rounded up their fave strange places.

🎧 Podcast: My First Million brainstorms ChatGPT business ideas with HubSpot founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah.

🧠 Useful: Philosophy made simple, explained by bros.

🐱 Aww: And now, food, please.

meme of the day

The second one keeps busy as an HOA president or parking enforcement officer. The first one… That’s just us. (Link)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “Ghosting-buster” Berkley.

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