The Apprentice: Task Two – The Beach Accessory

If last week was a scrap between the boys, then this week was the girls turn…. and blimey didn’t they scrap!!  It’s easy for me to sit here and criticise what they did wrong, but to be wilting under the pressure in week two is far too early – and that’s exactly what Laura did.
She was completely out of her depth! On the other hand, Stella was moved to the boy’s team by Lord Sugar to help ‘kick them into shape’. This proved to be a masterstroke.  She got the boys on side very quickly by setting down objectives at the beginning of the task and was really confident in making decision and following through with them.
Both Synergy and Apollo went off to design their chosen products.  I still can’t believe the lack of planning by Apollo.  To make a decision based on 30 minutes left and not what everyone wanted was a recipe for disaster.
They should have picked the top three ideas, got some confidence in them ideas with research of their target consumer and then made a decision based on their findings – after all it’s who is going to buy the product.
Having designed a new beach accessory, both teams needed to market the product and then pitch to three customers that Lord Sugar had laid on for them. 
When things started to go wrong with the pitch for Synergy, Stella brought Chris to one side and made suggestions on to improve things and really united the team.
I commend Chris for having another go; I myself went badly wrong in the ‘The Tissue Task’ pitch – so I know how he feels. It’s difficult to get something perfect when you have so little time to practice!  Credit to Stella here as she recognised what needed to happen in order to win and did it.
Apollo for all their bickering and dysfunction, were offered a deal by the major retailers which needed to be exclusive and its here that they failed to win the task and another harsh lesson learnt. Business is lots of things and a huge element is being able to sniff out a deal that is suitable for all parties involved.
Laura surprised me here as she made the decision straight away to turn down the deal without really thinking about it; it’s a major retailer in the UK with over 500 stores UK wide offering not only to purchase the product but to help develop it too! Sorry girls… bad decision.
It’s fine line between winning and losing! Last week we saw Synergy lose by a margin of £15 and this week we have seen Apollo lose on not recognizing a great opportunity.
It’s not often I will say this, but I didn’t agree with Lord Sugar’s decision to fire Joy, although she did hide a bit, I think he should have given her a chance to shine and made her Team Leader for next week. I would have then fired Laura. This process is all about how you work as a team, cope with pressure and recognise good business and I’m afraid Laura missed all three!
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