Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

The Apprentice (spoilers)


Omarosa stays true to form - the manager I knew that was just like her also would have meetings for the sake of having meetings while people were actually trying to get work done.

Katrina flipped out on a misunderstanding - she thought Troy only said he wanted to take the apt she wanted, whichever one it was; instead he knew which one he wanted, independently, and just told her the facts, flat out.

More to the point - big lesson that all's fair. I liked it. :)

Did anyone else notice the freaking monitor they had? Looked like about 25" flat panel...

No real surprise on Tammy's firing. Bill could've done better (even I was shocked when he went a whopping $50 up in rent), and I don't think there was ever a chance of Katrina getting the axe - though Bill's failure rolled up to her, overall she did an outstanding job with the renovations.

Somewhat surprising that Omarosa suffered no fallout from her malingering - perhaps she will in the future.


Thursday, February 19, 2004

Philo, the credit's haven't even rolled yet, I'm watching Tammy talk to the camera as I type this.

Have you been sitting on this for the past 10 minutes, typing bits throughout the boardroom scene?

The Katrina/Troy thing was clever editing. Here's how it went down.

Katrina: I have a lot of experience in Real Estate.
Troy: You go first, I'll say what I want 10 seonds after you.
Katrina: Okay, to be fair, we'll write it down so neither one of us can be infuenced by the other's opinion.
Troy: Okay.. I want what you want.

Here's how the audience saw it.

Troy: I overheard her say 3rd street, and that's what my team was telling me.
Katrina: Let's write them down and then trade.
Troy: I know what you want, and it's the same thing I want.

To us he was just being clever. To Katrina he was being a jerk, and didn't know what he wanted.

Standard disclaimers apply - We can't know what really happened.
Thursday, February 19, 2004

I actually thought Bill did about as well as could be expected.  I mean, I think they only had one person even look at the place, and I don't really think she was going to spend too much more than $1600.

I'm so very happy that Tammy got canned.  She *really* bothered me.  Did she contribute one non-stupid thing during her entire time on the show?

J. Volk
Thursday, February 19, 2004

"Have you been sitting on this for the past 10 minutes, typing bits throughout the boardroom scene?"

Last week I was in a hotel - laptop and TV. This week I'm home but happen to have the laptop in front of the TV tonight, so I was typing as I watched. :-)


Thursday, February 19, 2004

Bill should've added $200 to the asking price and come down from there. Renting an apartment is an emotional situation and you typically don't rent for purely logical reasions. You want to be in a neighborhood, you want a good apartment. You either like it or you don't. You're gonna live there, you have to be comfortable with it on something other than a purely logical level.

That woman could've seen 1 apartment all day (this one) and just told him she'd looked at dozens of others. She also could've told him she can't go above $1600, but had much more room to play. She's a better negotiater than Bill, though not that good - She could've gotten away with sticking to her $1600.

From a business perspective, he was too sympathetic, and probably too afraid the place wouldn't get rented if he started with high numbers. Katrina should have negotiated, she would've seemed a lot less eager.
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Yeah, you're right.  I'm a terrible negotiator.  He could have at least started high and then come down if the woman wasn't going for it.  I can't believe Katrina wasn't involved in the negotiation.  7+ years of realty experience and she wasn't even in the room for the most important part!

J. Volk
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Oh, and did anyone see the little teaser for "The Intern"?

I believe the next show in the works is titled "The Short-Order Cook".

J. Volk
Thursday, February 19, 2004

"Who wants to be an IT intern?"

After the tryouts, and the sixteen geeks spend four months getting down to a final winner, we find out the IT position is at

...and all the jerks who spent a season laughing at the silly geeks have to pry their jaws off the floor... [grin]

Bitter much? Not me...
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Omarosa "I worked for the President": gone.
Katrina "look at my abs, never been duped": gone.
Nick: whiner, gone.
Bill: nice guy, whimp, gone.
Amy: good manager, not a leader, gone.
Ereka: overestimates her intelligence. gone.
Kwame: potential. finalist.
Heidi: street smart. finalist.
Troy: dumb Idaho boy is smarter than he acts. finalist.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I don't think his negotiation was that bad. At that point, they had under an hour to close, I believe, and they had to cover the situation where the other team didn't close at all.

Kind of like the person who bids $1 in Final Jeapordy when he has more than double the next contender. Sure, you could go for more, but you only get the money if you win the game!

Friday, February 20, 2004

When someone's first offer is $1600, a counteroffer $50 higher is silly.

Actually, the team's capital mistake was not having a target rental - once they finished the apartment, the next order of buiness should have been "what do we ask?" I saw them researching the market - that should've given them ample info regarding a target. Couple that with a desired percentage - if the trash heap was valued at $1500/month, then $2000 (33%) as an initial ask wouldn't have been unreasonable.

BTW, how far apart were the apartments? Was a little espionage doable? [grin]

Finally, any Fog Creekers care to weigh in on the real estate issues about the apartments and their locations?


Friday, February 20, 2004

They gave street names, but not cross streets so it's kind of hard to gauge, but I'm going to say that.

1. $1600 is a median price in this general vicinity.

2. Cheaper apartments are always going to be be easier to rent.

So the team with the $1200 apartment is definately going to have the advantage.
Friday, February 20, 2004

Does anybody out there have women like that in their office?  I have never worked with more than a couple good-looking babes, and they weren't the sharpest tools in the drawer.

Ok, call me sexist now, but I'd love to share a cube with Amy.

Bathmophobic skier
Friday, February 20, 2004

Bill is the mole, he works for Trump already.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Here's the thing:  They were measured by the percentage increase in rental price.

To get a 27% increase, katrina's team would have had to get $1,905 for the apartment.  Does anyone thing bill could have pulled that off?  We don't know, but I'm guessing he couldn't get past $1,800, which still would not have been enough.  If he had gone for "two hundred more" and "negotiated down", he still would have lost!

The team should have discussed three numbers for the apartment: Bare minimum, happy, and excstatic.  Not only did they not do this, (but the editing sure made it look like) neither team got a single solid prospect until 4:30PM, by which time they were desparate.

Did anyone else wonder if the "solid prospects" that rented the apartments were actually sent up by NBC at 4:30PM?  I mean, it would be realllly lame if the apartments didn't rent at all.

Matt H.
Friday, February 20, 2004

Just goes to show you that sometimes 7 years of experience ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Sounds like a case of 1 year of experience repeated 7 times.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Smoothest move ever when trying to sell a house - "Here's a pair of tickets, business class, to Hawaii to whomever sells this apartment for $2000/month".  Tell that to all the realtors in the area and let them drive the business to you.

Sounds like a better place to invest your money than in the apartment. 

I've seen this move work three times now - it helps move the place faster and/or at a higher markup.

Friday, February 20, 2004

I thought the trip to Trump's mansion was the funniest thing in the episode.  He has them taken up there, but doesn't even let them go inside.  Oooooohhhh, Trump grass is way better than normal people's grass.

I too thought the late arrivals that rented the place were suspicious.

And I never did figure out what Troy did that Katrina thought was so inethical.  Just because he said he wanted what she wanted?  She looked like a big damn crybaby.  I'm sure she's used to getting what she wants and throws a fit if she doesn't get it.

<aside> Wierdest thing - I just went to the Apprentice teams page ( ) to look at Katrina bio and got prompted for an NBC password. I wonder what that's all about?</aside>

Friday, February 20, 2004

Bill’s problem was that he had a terrible bargaining position. He was backed into a corner having about 20 minutes left to rent the apartment and only one prospect.

The episode worked out well though; getting rid of the nut job Tammy. They read parts of her resume on the Today show. It featured fascinating information like what kind of car she drives and what car she’s planning on buying next.

Now if we can just get rid of Omarosa next week things will be cool.

Clutch Cargo
Friday, February 20, 2004

One thing I'll add as someone who has signed 3 different leases in the nyc area... if you don't like the apartment, chances are there's 10 more within a 5 minute walking radius.  If I was looking at an apt, and the realtor came in with a ridiculously high price, I would probably just keep looking, rather than start negotiating.  Bill had absolutely no leverage whatsoever, and a 10 percent markup is much better than -100 percent markup.  (Not renting the apt, that is)

Friday, February 20, 2004

Given the extreme time constraints, I was surprised that any of them managed to rent it at even $1 over the assessed value.  Whenever you're in a situation that you need to buy or sell something RIGHT NOW, and that something is negotiable, you're lucky to even get as much as a normal market price.

It was obvious from the phone conversations that Troy didn't want that apartment independently.  But Katrina should have been smart enough to know that he would be listening, so she should have either walked far away or used reverse psychology.

T. Norman
Friday, February 20, 2004

I predicted from the beginning the team with the lower-value apartment would win.  I think it should have been based on net profit instead of percentage.  Granted, it didn't matter in the end, but it just seems fairer.  Or more fair.  Or something.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home