The Apprentice 2014 – Week 2, Tenacity wins through

Your firedThe Apprentice 2014 Week 2, Tenacity  wins through

This week’s task was design based under the banner of Wearable Tech. Each team had to design and pitch an item to 3 retailers (Hight Street Retailer John Lewis, Sport Fashion chain JD Sports and novelty specialists Firebox).

The girls, newly re-branded as Tenacity after the mauling their previous monicker Decadence received from Lord Sugar, ended up being led, despite her protests, by Marketing Officer and fashion retailer Nunrun Ahmed. This was despite the fact that personal branding expert Bianca Miller who was a better fit but made excuses and declined.

Similarly in Summit, Fashion guru Robert Goodwin declined to take up Lord Sugar’s suggestion that he lead, as did technology expert Solomom Akhtar. Both claimed that their expertise lay elsewhere. Their team mates weren’t convinced, but accepted the offer to lead from Scott McCulloch, a Clinical Development Strategist, because he had ecently attended a Wearable Tech conference. Scott had been identified as hifding the previous week, so this was his chance to shine. Unfortunately, he adopted a leadership style ranging from Autocratic to Laissez-Faire, either shouting or refusing to take responsibility for any decisions. This came about because his (good) idea about a wearable health monitor was ignored.

Similarly inept as a leader, Nunrun faded into the background. She didn’t want this task, and stronger personalities came to the fore.

In brainstorming ideas, you need to think of the retailers you will be pitching to. Of the three, JD has the clearest market (sports fashion) and the biggest reach, with John Lewis representing conservative high street and Firebox novelty but with limited reach. So, go for an idea that JD Sports will order and you win. Neither team took this into consideration.

Both teams suffered from poor leadership, with the 2 PMs fading into the background and much bitching ensuing. The boys eventually settled on the Emoti-Shirt (a plain sweatshirt chosen by Robert, who was a back seat driver) with a camera in the breast region. Tacky and slightly creepy. For the girls, there as the Little Smart Jacket with gadgets (phone charger, lights) powered by solar panels in the shoulders. These had to be visible, which made the design very 1980s.

Lets face it, both ideas were crap, as was the leadership on display. For the boys, Mark Wright again impressed for his calm but assertive interventions, but Daniel Lassman was a disaster at pitching, even agreeing with the clients criticisms at one point. James Hill made a lot of good points, but they were mostly about how useless Daniel was.

Similarly in the girls, Nunrun was poor, so fitness entrepreneur Katie Bulmer-Cooke and Pamela Uddin dominated, but did not impress.

Neither team did well with the pitches; poor products, not taking into account the audience and useless leadership which led to personality clashes on a big scale.

Winning is easier if you have a united team pulling in the same direction, and no-one has ever been sacked from the winning team, so this has to be the main focus.

The boys lost again, failing to get a single order. The girls secured one small order from Firebox. Lord Sugar was not impressed with with either team. To be fair, the unwieldy size of the teams didn’t help.

Robert Goodwin - the first candidate to be fired this week. Courtesy of BBC

Robert Goodwin – the first candidate to be fired this week. Courtesy of BBC

In a surprise move, only in its timing, Robert Goodwin became the first candidate ever to be fired before being brought back in the final three! He was rightly punished for ignoring Sugar’s (big) hint to act as PM.

PM Scott brought back Daniel for his poor pitching and Solomon because Sugar had suggested he could have stepped in as PM. It made no difference, Scott McCulloch became the third person to be fired and the second this week. It was the right decision.

Quickly followed by inept Scott McCulloch. Courtesy of BBC

Quickly followed by inept Scott McCulloch. Courtesy of BBC

Once again, the girls didn’t win so much as the boys lost. Summit has got to change (geddit?). So far, so unimpressive. Undun was poor also and won’t last long.

Star Performer – Mark Wright once again

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One Response to The Apprentice 2014 – Week 2, Tenacity wins through

  1. Tim says:

    Mark was impressive, but in all honesty Sugar would have been justified in firing pretty much the entire boys’ team for the complete pig’s ear they made of this task. Yet again, the girls won pretty much by default. They tried to cram in too many features, organised themselves poorly and didn’t think about who the potential customers were at all. Dear, oh dear.

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