Friday, February 29, 2008

The Apprentice Season 1 Episode 1

Sell lemonade

Things people did right:

  • Country Time Lemonade. Great idea. Mixes instantly, tastes great, perfect for this task.
Things people did wrong, and what could have been done instead:

  • Omarosa tries to gather the female team together in the suite by yelling out "ladies, ladies, ladies!" out of nowhere when everyone is busy shmoozing. A better way to have done it would have been to take 5 minutes and talk to all other female contestants individually by interjecting into the conversation and say, "Hi sorry to interrupt. By the way I'm Omarosa. I just found a note from Donald Trump and its something we need to meet as a group ASAP. I'm trying to gather everyone for a huddle in 5 minutes. Is that good with you? Great."

  • No styrofoam cups. Does anything look good in a styrofoam cup? No. It actually decreases the value of the product. I would have stopped by one of those supply stores for restaurants and gotten clear plastic cups with tops and straws. When you're thirsty and you see a cup with ice and lemonade, it is very appealing compared to some mystery juice in a styrofoam cup.
What I would have done as project manager:
Location is key. I would have picked the location where there is the most foot traffic. This information would be provided by someone on my team who knows New York and where there is the most foot traffic at certain time of day. The less shade there is in that location, the better.

The pitch in the morning would be "Get your breakfast lemonade. Get your vitamins, and healthy boost of energy this morning on your way to work."
The pitch after the morning would be "For today only we are selling organic lemonade. It will be the best tasting lemonade you'll ever have. Don't miss your chance to try it."

At a hot day, lemonade with ice, will taste like the best lemonade you've over had. To be legit, I would buy a single organic lemon and make sure at least a drop made it into every gallon of lemonade produced.

At this stage in the game, one of the things we have is a lot of team members. And there will be strong sales people, and other people will just be like bad at it. I'll pull the people who are not bad in sales and pull them to the front of the table to make it seem like at least there are some people in line for the lemonade. This creates some interest and trust that the lemonade must be worth a consideration. The people that are good in sales, I'll let them loose so they can sell their asses off.

Take-away lessons:
In the boardroom, David said he would not have been a good leader in this task because sales is not his forte. With that one sentence, he sealed his fate. Of course, a huge requirement of the apprentice is not just some leadership, but top notch leadership skills. You should be able to lead any task. Also in business you have to know sales. As bad as Sam was, David just said he does not have a absolute requirement, and he was fired. For a guy with a PhD, MD, and "high IQ", he was very stupid in the boardroom. Its like coming into a porn audition, and during the briefing, you say "I'm here for the job, but I don't have a penis. Is that going to be a problem?"

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