Young Apprentice 2012 – Final Thoughts… or why its time that Young Apprentice should be fired

business planYoung Apprentice 2012 – Final Thoughts… or why its time that Young Apprentice should be fired

And the winner is…unexpected. Young Apprentice limped across the finish line as the third series came to a conclusion last night. I have commented several times that this bunch of would-be entrepreneurs has been disappointing and nothing that I saw last night changed my mind. In the end the result was academic (literally) with neither member of the winning team, Lucy or Ashleigh, having a clear idea of how they would invest Lord Sugar’s £25K. In their ongoing education…probably. That Sugar chose Ashleigh over Lucy, therefore, doesn’t really matter. In the end he went for Ashleigh, but I’m really not sure why.

The final task was to design a range of clothing for a defined market along with a marketing campaign incorporating a viral video and then pitch it to industry experts. Sugar wisely split up the two loudmouths (Ashleigh and Maria) and paired each with one of the timid toads (Lucy and Patrick respectively).

The majority of the programme followed how the more refelctive toads gradually got heard and the loudmouths were gagged! Although Patrick did assert himself, he did it behind Maria’s back, rather than confront her. This resulted in an ill-chosen idea of using a mixed age choir for their young urban cyclist themed brand, Cyc. This, added to Maria’s poor choice of colours (too close to the Wimbledon brand), cost their team the task. Of course, this perfectly reflects the modus operandi for these 2 candidates; Patrick apparently creative, but often with poor ideas; Maria opinionated and not listening, with a strong inner belief. Her idea of market research was to ask one middle aged cycle shop owner what he thought!

Lucy allowed Ashleigh full control in the early part of the task, then used her creativity to design a decent logo (Release) and ensure consistency in the brand. Her pitch was also excellent, and having on the team task, I expected Lucy, rather than Ashleigh to go on and win. In truth, of the final 4, only Patrick had a clear vision of how he would use the prize money (Clothes Design). But Lucy was the more rounded candidate and should have won.

I’m still not sure what criteria Sugar used to decide on Ashleigh. In truth neither Lucy or Ashleigh made a good clear case for how they would invest Sugar’s money, so perhaps Sugar sees Ashleigh’s drive  as more likely to produce a return. Who knows?

So, a generally poor series ends in a consistent but disappointing manner. If the BBC are going to commission a new series I think they need to recruit real entrepreneurs rather than “aspiring lawyers” or “future accountants”. A far more interesting series, given the BBC’s recent troubles would be a competition to see which BBC Executives should get to keep their jobs as they overcome a different corporate disaster each week.

Bye Bye, Young Apprentice – You’re Fired!

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2 Responses to Young Apprentice 2012 – Final Thoughts… or why its time that Young Apprentice should be fired

  1. Tim says:

    Both Ashleigh and Lucy’s final business ideas were poor, but then I think it should have been OK for Lucy to say “You know what, I want to complete my education first” rather than try to provide a business idea justification. (Ironically, Patrick probably had the most investable plan.)

    I’ve also been slightly disappointed by this series. Too often I have found the candidates’ lack of basic academic or general knowledge depressing, and there have been precious few “wow” moments. Ashleigh provided none, but Lucy had two: her cakes in the afternoon tea task (where she was very much on home turf) and her logo design last night, which was impressive by ANY standards and showed she completely grasped the “global” part of the brief.

    I would still have picked her as my winner, but then I’m also a quieter, creative type. I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised that in a fairly even final Sugar would opt for the candidate most like him: an opinionated grafter.

    Ah well. Suggestions for how the series could be improved are most welcome. I have a few which I will hopefully publish in the new year on my new blog.

    My final recap is here:
    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2012/12/20/young-apprentice-and-the-winner-is/

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