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The Apprentice, Episode 5: Flea CircusPage 2
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While New Versacorp is busy designing their product, New Protégé can’t decide what to sell. Jessie, Kwame, and Troy sit on a street corner to brainstorm. They reject the idea of buying cheap items at Wal-Mart as impractical, since there aren’t any in Manhattan (as Paris Hilton could tell you). Jessie asks, “Can you buy dirt?” and suggests that they sell dirt in plastic bags along with seeds. “We can make it look really cute,” she explains, so people would pay a premium for it. It’s a decent idea. Troy runs with it, and starts throwing around all kinds of dirt-related product ideas, including a long tangent about putting gold flecks in the dirt and allowing their customers to pan for gold. Jessie says in an interview that it’s frustrating to work with Troy and Kwame. She says, “Behind the madness, there needs to be some kind of organization, and I think that’s ultimately what their team lacked.” Good point.
It’s time for our Trump Lesson of the Week. This one is entitled, “Stand Up For Yourself.” Trump tells us that in business, it’s important to stand up for yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will.
New Protégé still doesn’t have a product. Kristi says that they can’t decide what to sell until they have a look around the flea market where they’ll be setting up. Heidi is utterly disgusted at the surroundings. She says that in a good business, something will catch your eye, like an end-cap display at a grocery store. Nothing there is appealing to her. In an interview, she says, “You have to have solid product to sell, and you have to have good clientele. That wasn’t there, and it was clear it wasn’t there.” Wow, she comes across as incredibly snobby. It sounds to me like Heidi thinks that the kind of people that would shop at a flea market are not going to buy anything, at least not enough for them to win the challenge. They’re not a “good clientele.” But hasn’t the success of eBay proven to us that people will buy just about anything just about anywhere? And if the flea market truly is a losing place to set up shop, won’t the two teams be at an equal disadvantage? Basically, Heidi doesn’t like the task, so she’s handling it by complaining.
Kwame says in an interview that Heidi exuded negativity and really brought the team down. He and Troy agree that they need to decide on a product, and soon. Troy thinks they need to find big ticket items with high profit margins. The team splits up into two groups, both hunting for potential products to sell. Kristi, Troy, and Omarosa head to Chinatown.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from The Apprentice, it’s that apparently Chinatown is the place to go if you want to buy something cheap in New York City. Whether it’s squid, a leg wax, or some random crap to sell at a flea market, Chinatown is your one-stop shop for inexpensive items.
Back at New Versacorp, Nick and Katrina have decided that they need to find a nice way to display their wares. They go dumpster diving and actually find a garment rack. That was lucky. Nick says in an interview, “It’s called being resourceful, and it’s absolutely brilliant.” He’s a modest one, that Nick. Katrina and Nick agree that Donald Trump would be proud of them as they wheel the rack into Trump Tower. Nick is really excited about the project – it’s simple and inexpensive. He’s confident they will win.
Meanwhile, Kwame, Omarosa, and Kristi try on hats in a shop in Chinatown. The other half of the team calls to say that they couldn’t find a product, so Kristi and company had better come up with something. Kristi tells the person on the phone that she found some parasols for $1.25 each that she thinks would be good. Omarosa is frustrated. In an interview, she says, “Kristi relied on the opinions of the members of the team who were sitting in the suite, not the members of the team who were standing there, looking at the things.” While I see her point, I didn’t see her or Kwame advising Kristi on the viability of the parasols. On the phone, Troy says that it’s supposed to rain the next day and asks Kristi if the parasols would have a practical use. She says that they would cover her head. That’s really pushing it. The parasols look like they’re made of paper. Picture a drink umbrella, only bigger. It really would be no more effective in a rainstorm than holding a newspaper over your head. Kwame is the voice of reason and says that the parasols would not hold up in the rain. In an interview, he calls Kristi’s style, “leadership by consensus.” Kristi finally steps up and says that she thinks they could sell the parasols for five dollars each. Kwame agrees, and they buy the lot .
Kristi says in an interview, “I really wish I could say one thing and have it be the right decision, but I’m getting consensus from everybody. I don’t want to be a dictator. I want to make sure my team’s on board, too.” That’s a great idea, to an extent, but when you reach the point that it’s late at night and your team can’t make a decision about what to sell the very next day, it’s time to take charge.
Kristi, Kwame, and Omarosa buy the umbrellas and head for the subway. Kristi puts some money in her back pocket and asks Omarosa to keep an eye on her butt so she doesn’t drop her money.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next-->
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