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"The Apprentice" (Spoilers)

Wow - Bill strikes back:
"In business it's all about the numbers. It's not just 'you should buy this product because I'm cute'"

Nicely done.

Trump is making a killing on this - he's getting thousands of man-hours of work for nothing...

*Awesome* to see the contrast between Troy and Nick - Troy working *with* his clients, Nick selling *at* his clients.

Heidi should've made noise about only rewarding two of her team ("Mr Trump, why don't you leave the camera crew behind so I can reward my whole team?"). I also think she should've sent three subordinates instead of going herself.

ROFLMAO!!! Trump to Nick: "What makes you think you have charisma?"

Very nice to make Bill choose - to see how he handled the decision. And Bill fumbled the ball - he was bitter about Erika ignoring his decisions, so he made the personal decision.

It's really a tough call on who to fire - I was concerned that they were going to fire Erika just for being frazzled while she was putting the paperwork together - that's something that can be trained away, and controlled stress in a pressure situation can be beneficial.

Nick, on the other hand, is arrogant and incompetent and doesn't even realize it - when pinned down with numbers, instead of questioning his abilities he questions reality.

But when Trump said that Erika was simply too emotional in general, including picking her companions based on emotion (now I get "your girlfriend let you off the hook") - that makes it more of a coin toss between the two of them.

Also of note - no shots of the people Heidi *didn't* pick during the helicopter ride? :)

My prediction, absent another shakeup - Troy vs. Bill in the final showdown.


Friday, February 27, 2004

Does Kwame ever do anything?

I haven't seen him be an issue in any setting, or have any interviews with the camera.

Friday, February 27, 2004

My money is on Troy and Amy being the finalists. Troy has awesome people skills, which I believe are one of the most important keys to success. Amy has a combination of people skills and intelligence that is a very formidable combination too. I would love to work with either of them.

The others? Whatever. A few of them are going to have difficulty getting work after this. For example, I can't imagine why anyone would ever hire Omarosa.

Friday, February 27, 2004

My money has been on Bill and Amy, but now I'm starting to reconsider.  Troy has really stepped it up in the past two episodes.  Not only is he good at sales, but also he steps into the lead and pulls people together.

Amy's always solid.  I still like her to be in the top two.  Donny Deutsch (of the Deutsch ad agency from episode 2) has been subbing this week for Kudlow on CNBC's Kudlow & Cramer.  He said Amy was the most impressive, and, ironically, he was really impressed with Jason (who got canned that episode).

Regarding Kwame - he's floating under the radar.  The people who get the most air time are the one's in conflict with one another and the one's in frontline (sales/negotiating) positions.  He doesn't seem to have a lot of conflicts, nor does he take alot of frontline positions.  Being nice makes for boring TV, so he doesn't get coverage.

Also, has anyone else noticed that you get punished for stepping up to bat on this show?  In the past 3 or 4 episodes, the people who take the support roles are less likely to be picked for the boardroom than people who take frontline roles.

Friday, February 27, 2004

A little off topic ... but I promise there's a point here ...

For some reason, they have been broadcasting a lot of poker on TV lately.  Big names in the poker world playing for big money.  Inexplicably, I am hooked.

There's this one guy, Phil Helmuth,  who is just awesome, basically a king among kings at the game.  He has this fantastic ability to read people.  Based on how they bet, sit, fidget and so forth, he knows what they are going to do. 

Recently, after a fellow contender beat Phil, he commented, "I only won because I had better cards.  He knew what I had every hand ... he kept telling me so."  Apparently during the game, Phil had continually dropped hints that he knew what the guy was holding.

Anyway, watching Phil work his opponents is kind of like watching Troy sell water.  He seems to have a much similar innate ability to read people and respond to that in a manner to his favour.  He was passive with some customers and more aggressive with others.  Always seemingly to his advantage. 

I think its this intangible that will eventually win him the job.

Ereka is a basket case.  I would lose it working with someone as flighty as her.  It was really funny at the end when she wouldn't shake Bill's hand after she got the boot.  Did she honestly expect him to side with her when the three of them had to meet with Trump?  Yikes ...

Friday, February 27, 2004

When is dt going to fire the guy who makes (grows?) his hair-piece?

Friday, February 27, 2004

I'll predict Bill and Amy because it started as Men v. Women and in order to keep the viewers, just like with Average Joe, Trump was probably told "keep one of each until the end."

Though Trump does seem to have a certain admiration for raw chutzpah, I think this week he ruled out Nick simply for being not self aware enough. He makes assumptions about himself and others without getting feedback, and his promises about how he'll run Trump's corporation are obviously a lot of hot air.

"I did great today and I'll continue to do great" sound bad when you actually did horrible today.

Erika being "frazzled" is just the flipside of Nick's bluster. I.e. not thinking clearly because of a high pressure situation. I was surprised how awkward and nervous Nick seemed in the sales situations. It's not that he didn't care about the customer, it's that he was too nervous to think clearly. I've seen it in his eyes before, he's very stiff in general, too self concious.

I don't know how Bill would've done as the sales guy (wasn't he the guy who negotiated the apartment last week?), maybe side guy helped him think more clearly. Certainly realizing it's about the money (come on folks, it's water, nobody even sees the brand of water you're being served).

More important than the man hours he got promoting his water, Trump got national exposure, which is important in getting an off brand accepted. If I saw Trump water on the street I'd never buy it - it's obviously someone coming in to a market late in the game, and using his name to sell something. But now at least I think it's not from the tap in Trump's gold and porcelin bathroom, so he's gained some trust there.

In the boardroom, when Trump made Bill choose, several minutes earlier he said "I worked with Erika and not with Nick," so Trump understood the constraints he was dealing with.

What's important here is that I think Bill will learn from his mistakes. When he said "but you don't have to live with them" and Trump said "sometimes you do," I think Bill understood that he was in an uncomfortable situation, and generally acknowledged it. Nick and Erika didn't seem to.

To put it another way, when the receipts started rolling in and Erika blamed Nick, Erika was flustered. Nick got blustry, but in the same situation, if Bill was in Erika's place, he may have gotten nervous, but taken a step back and said "Okay, what needs to be done?" Or if he was in Nick's place he would've said "What? No I did that right - Let me see them" and tried to correct his errors.

Kwame got them a lemonade stand, and signed basketballs instead of running Planet Hollywood. Sure it's "stick your neck out and it gets chopped off" but everyone on this show will have to stick their neck out sooner or later, so it's no real loss to Trump if they're passive early on.

Troy has good people skills, but I don't think he's the man with the plan. Troy is your point man, your coach, and your cheerleader. Bill is your general, and sits in the tent with the maps. Troy is the guy who leads the troops into battle. I'd want both in my organization - Troy working for Bill.

As far as training away nervousness, it can be done, but I just don't think Erika is a big picture kind of person. As far as choosing between Erika and Nick this week... It's not which one's a keeper, it's which do you think you can put up with longer. At least Nick is entertaining.
Friday, February 27, 2004

"Troy has good people skills, but I don't think he's the man with the plan. Troy is your point man, your coach, and your cheerleader. Bill is your general, and sits in the tent with the maps. Troy is the guy who leads the troops into battle. I'd want both in my organization - Troy working for Bill."

Well said Mark. My views too.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Can someone please explain, when faced with a volume distribution business for a new product that offers no tangible benefit over existing products, why one would have THREE people in a meeting with a buyer for less than 72 cases?

Separate, put a person or two on the phones all day and set up meetings and make sales.  When trying to win total sales in a 24 hour period why use your resource (time) so poorly?

Each team wasted 50%+ of their most significant resource to no tangible benefit.

Friday, February 27, 2004

This is a pretty sorry group of people, as a whole.  Troy & Bill are the only ones that have shown any promise.  Amy's saving grace IMO is that she hasn't done anything that reveals her as incompetent.  Ditto for Kwame (he's still ON the show, isn't he?).

Cluetrain:  One of the people on your team is involved in the distribution business (Bill).  Why not use his expertise?!?!

Nick was disappointing this time around.

If I had to work for somebody, or had to hire somebody to run one of my businesses, it would be Bill.  Troy would be in consideration, but Bill would be w/o a doubt the #1 choice.

The Ted
Friday, February 27, 2004

I think Ereka lost it when she explained why she didn't choose Katrina to come to the boardroom- essentially saying she didn't take a leadership role or whatever.  As a manager, you should be rewarding initiative, not punishing it.  I would have fired her based on that alone.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Mark, I completely agree with you about Troy versus Bill. 

But this show isn't geared toward showing what a great general someone is.  That's why I'm leaning toward Troy now.

I think in the final weeks of the show, the teams will be too small to effectively show leadership skills.  The contests will get down to an individual level, where selling and negotiating skills will play the biggest role. I think Troy has a big edge over Bill if that scenario plays out.

Also, a note on the previews for next week.  You heard the female voice, "I can't take the pressure anymore." Then they showed the camera panning the players.  The only female they didn't show was Amy, but I think it was an editing rouse.  I'm guessing it was Heidi due to her mother's colon cancer.  Two people in my own family have died of it, and my heart truly goes out to her.  It's awful.  For her own sake, I hope she decides (decided) to quit the contest and go back home.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Phil Helmuth??  He's a clown. He's the Sam of poker. Or maybe the Omarosa of poker. Whichever, it's not good.

He's best know for throwing tantrums, whining and berating his opponents.

Clutch Cargo
Friday, February 27, 2004

Nick, you never know, they may put the final 3 and 2 in charge of small teams of people otherwise unrelated to the show, similar to running Planet Hollwood.

It's too bad one of them will have to be eliminated a week early because the show will probably demand it stay men v. women until the end. I'd love to see Troy and Bill go head to head. The man with the plan vs. the action superhero. I hope I'm wrong and we do get to see this.

Remember, Nick's background is in a mail order business - not much customer interaction, and I think that's his achilles heel. He's more sedentary, he's a thinker. Troy's a doer.

Regarding Ereka's (I'm using your spellings here, but someone has to be wrong) comments in the boardroom about her "girlfriend" as Trump put it, I wouldn't put too much stock into it. These are off the cuff remarks in a tense situation where Trump's job is to throw you a curveball.

Now here's a question:

What do you think of Trump's skills as an interviewer? Is he the ultimate "What is your weakest trait and why?" Do you think he has as much insight as he likes to think?
Friday, February 27, 2004

> Remember, Nick's background

Bill's background
Friday, February 27, 2004

I don't think Trump's abilities as an interviewer are that great, but he seems to be an astute observer.  It does appear that he and his aides watch a lot of tape before making their decisions, as Mr. Trump seems to know more than is said in the Boardroom alone.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Interesting comment, Lou. Some people attribute Warren Buffet's success to his ability to read a person's character, not his ability to pick stocks. I like the Warren Buffet hire/no hire test:

1. Do I like him?
2. Do I trust him?
3. Do I respect him?

But it's easy to be fooled on any one of these.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Mark - Trump made the "girlfriend" comment, and I saw it as referring to the idea that Erika chose who she did based on emotion (bring the people you don't like, not the people who didn't perform).


Friday, February 27, 2004

I don't disagree with you. You're right about the girlfriend comment being about someone she liked, not someone who actually screwed up or didn't contribute. Once she made her chioce she had to defend it, and that was what I was referring to.


A lot of who you choose in any situation is going to be someone you feel you can get along with. Other things being equal, you'll have a more efficient organization if everyone gets along and can work towards a goal rather than at cross purposes.

You just hope you don't end up with an organization of yes men. Speaking of which, I'll say again that Trumps advisors are yes men (and women). They may be good at what they do, they may be uncomfortable in front of the camera, they wait for Trump's approval before they speak about anything, and phrase things a little too carefully.
Friday, February 27, 2004

Oops. That Helmuth thing made me forget to comment on the episode:

People who think Bill has done a good job are “being duped”. He’s all style and no substance. Troy is light years ahead of Bill. While Bill may have pulled the wool over the eyes of some gullible JoS forum members, Trumps advisors easily saw through him when they said that none of the three in the boardroom were impressive.

Another great episode for Omarosa, who apparently wanted to sell Trump Ice one bottle at a time on the street corner. Classic moment was when she stopped to have a makeover while they were trying to do sales calls.

Right now Troy is so far ahead I’m wondering if the other contestants are going to try and sabotage him somehow. (The other advantage Troy has is that he’s the only guy around with worse hair than Trump.)

Clutch Cargo
Friday, February 27, 2004

I agree with the comments about Troy.  He's the only one that thought of selling water by the truck and delivering in smaller increments.  If he would've realized that the first day they would've outdone the other team 2:1.  Smartest of the bunch if you ask me.

Dan Brown
Friday, February 27, 2004

>>Bill's background
You do know that Bill is a millionaire who has walked the walk. As I said on a previous thread, Bill will win.

Tom Vu
Friday, February 27, 2004

BTW, does anyone know if the contestants are staying in his building for free? If Trump actually got NBC/Burnett to pay rent while they're there then The Donald is the Master of the Deal.

As for being a millionare... I think Sam was a paper millionare too, before the crash.

Clutch Cargo
Friday, February 27, 2004

Bill owns a company that does a few million in business, but that doesn't make him a millionaire.  Though I wouldn't be surprised if he was.  Where did you get that info? 

The Ted
Friday, February 27, 2004

>>Bill owns a company that does a few million in business, but that doesn't make him a millionaire.

He sold the company. He has proven that he has what it takes to start and follow through with an idea.

Tom Vu
Saturday, February 28, 2004

Tom Vu:  Are you just making sh*t up?  Where did you see that he had sold the company?  He's still listed on the website as being the sole proprietor.  Even if he would've sold the company, that still doesn't make him a millionaire.  Even if that company was valued at 10 Million selling it wouldn't necessarily make him a millionaire. 

Time to put up or shut up.

The Ted
Saturday, February 28, 2004

Beware of Mark Burnett's editing!  One thing's for sure...Troy will NOT win because he is being portrayed very positively. Ditto for Amy. I think Katrina will prevail since they're making her look bad with the editing. The only time she messed up is when Troy "tricked" her with the apartment negotiating - she did a much better job of the actual upgrade of it. This show has too many twists - I'm not buying any of it! Long live Sam!

Paris Hilton
Tuesday, March 2, 2004

I'm going out on a limb and predict that Kwame wins.  There is something about the editing that the camera is not focusing minimizes his contributions.  That's what's suspect.  He gets along with everyone, is balanced in everyway and if luck is with him I think he'll pull it off.

Felona Dee
Friday, March 26, 2004

Bill WINS!

Friday, April 16, 2004

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