Last night we saw two different approaches to addressing the market’s desires in supplying a new free-to-download mobile phone app. The women quickly started on some valuable market research, getting a team onto the streets, talking to mobile phone users. The men sat back and brainstormed.

It’s hard to be sure of timings on Apprentice projects, because the needs of TV editing to create tension inevitably distort time frames. But it did seem as if the women were in danger of over-researching and leaving themselves too little time to find and evaluate a solution. At the last minute: one idea – sold!

Both teams did well, working on the basis that it is impossible to under-estimate the public’s desire for the pointless and the puerile, so what did we learn?

Spoiler alert

The women won for one reason: they had discerned (consciously or not, the editing did not allow us to know – I’m going to speculate “not”) that the essence of the brief was “worldwide distribution”. �The men clearly missed this point and created a very parochial app – which was far more successful in the UK market. �The women’s app was largely culture independent (if we accept that a desire to play a set of random sounds to your friends represents any kind of culture at all!).

So today’s lesson comes from Marcus Aurelius:

“Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? �Discern its true nature.”

And a bonus courtesy of Mr flip-flop: when you are making a decision, it is oky to change your mind, but really: did he evaluate his decision carefully in the first place? �I don’t think he knew what to do. �I don’t think Leon Doyle has the smarts to survive long.

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