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The Apprentice: Why Bill Wonby David Bloomberg -- 04/21/2004
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In order to fully understand why Bill won, we need to look at him as he progressed through all the challenges. When we first saw Bill in the lemonade stand challenge, he was trying to stop Sam from wasting time on his crazy ideas. In the second episode, he was again trying to deal with Sam. By the third episode, he was the one who suggested making Sam their project manager! Sure, Sam isn’t as bad as Omarosa, but Bill did his share in dealing with a problem coworker.
In the fourth episode, Kwame was the project manager of the Planet Hollywood challenge. However, due to Kwame’s laid back style and Bill’s initiative, Bowie commented that Bill seemed more like the project manager than Kwame did. Although the guys lost the first four challenges, Bill was never brought to the boardroom for the final decision. Kwame, however, was there twice.
In the fifth episode, after the teams had been reshuffled, Bill really started to come into his own. He found the deal on t-shirts the new team would use in the flea market challenge. He suggested they blow through the merchandise to make sure they weren’t stuck with any unsold inventory. The team Bill was on won, the one Kwame was on lost.
Bill took the helm in the sixth episode, and had to deal with another troublemaker, Tammy. Still, he led his team to a victory in the celebrity auction challenge, while Kwame’s team again lost. In the seventh episode, Bill was put in charge of negotiating the final apartment deal. It was then that he got into an argument with Ereka, who decided to take a break while they were on a tight schedule. Eventually, he got a 10% markup on the apartment’s value, which seemed to be a pretty good deal and was, indeed, what the team had talked about shooting for. However, they lost and Katrina tried to pin the blame on Bill – thus creating his first trip to the boardroom for a possible firing. However, Katrina took most of the blame for not handling the rent negotiations herself – and then Tammy was fired for being so disloyal.
In the next challenge, Bill showed his understanding of business and tried to explain to his team that buyers would be more interested in the price of Trump Ice water than in its sparkling qualities. He was shown to be right when Ereka tried her “let’s create a buzz” pitch and got nowhere, but Bill saved the day. Then he had to do the same for Nick. In the boardroom, after much cajoling from Trump and George, Bill pointed to Ereka as the weakest link – and she was sent home.
While Amy came up with the idea to sell advertising space on the rickshaws in Episode 10, Bill was the project manager and leaped at the concept. In the casino challenge – after he had been traded to the other team – Bill was the one who had what ended up being the winning idea for targeting the VIPs and going for quality rather than quantity.
All along, we saw Bill soldier on, able to manage different difficult situations, coming up with good ideas. He also helped himself out in the boardroom, such as in the 12th episode, when he planted the seed of what would be one of his eventual winning strategies, remarking to Trump that Kwame needed more experience to go along with his book learning.
When it came time for the interviews by four of Trump’s executives, Bill received the highest marks, from what we saw, and did a good job defending himself when some of the interviewers tried to catch him off guard (for example, regarding his education). Earlier, he also scored some points when Amy named him as her biggest competition.
Along the way, Bill became more confident in his boardroom dealings. When he was first asked about who did the worst job, he didn’t answer. Later, he answered after some persuasion. But eventually, when he was asked if he would hire Troy, he gave straight answers without having to be drawn out. This helped solidify his image as somebody who could, in fact, make the difficult decisions. Also, in the final boardroom, Kwame seemed hesitant to take credit and talk himself up, saying that in 30 years they would be neck and neck. However, any expert will tell you that in a job interview, you have to talk yourself up. Bill treated the boardroom as a job interview (which it was, really) and did just that. He had a good answer as to why he’d be better off than Kwame and supported it without being rude or nasty to Kwame.1 2 Next-->
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