The Apprentice 2016, Week 9: The best business quotes, gaffes and advice

Female entrepreneurs have taken a lead following this week's show which saw teams tasked with developing virtual reality video games…

“Welcome to the future”, said Lord Sugar as he greeted the contesatants in his ‘virtual boardroom’ to introduce the next task.

This week’s show saw the candidates challenged to create video games for the burgeoning virtual reality (VR) sector.

As team Nebula’s Sofiane and Trishna both had business plans for concepts in the technology sector, Sofiane was moved over to team Titan and Courtney moved to Nebula to even up the numbers. The teams then had one day to create their VRgames before pitching to industry experts and the public at one of the UK’s largest pop culture conventions.

“A word of advice: make sure your brand captures the imagination”; Lord Sugar signed off – a statement you just knew would come back to bite them in the boardroom.

Two candidates got a reality check this week and left the process for good, leaving five female and one male contestant standing. Read on to find out the business tips lessons you can reap from Week 9 of The Apprentice

Poor project management

Who should get fired

After referencing his experience in the technology sector as reason to become project manager, Sofiane’s ego proved his undoing this week as he became another Apprentice casualty.

Despite Alana’s branding background with her cake company, and Dylan’s work as an art director and illustrator, Sofiane completely ignored their pleas to head up branding and put them in charge of designing the game instead.

After their game failed to secure any interest from investors and lost in a landslide victory in the public vote to Nebula, Lord Sugar fired Sofiane.

Business tip: Business is always a team game. As leader you may have the final work, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore sensible suggestions from talented employees or management– they may hold the key to success. Read our section on being a leader.

A lesson in listening

Dylan's creation

Although both his bid to be project manager and wish to be in charge of branding were dismissed, Dylan took to designing the game with his usual enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, his relentless belief in the power of his own ideas left no room for teammate Alana’s ideas, resulting in a poor game designed by a one man committee.

In the end, Dylan’s self-arrogant attitude cost him his place in the contest, with Lord Sugar pointing out that: “You know what, Sofiane disregards instructions but you’re exactly the same […] once you get something in your head you’re not going to listen to anybody”.

Business tip: Dylan is undoubtedly creative, but his refusal to accept that Alana might have anything to offer the creative process was shortsighted. Discussing ideas openly helps to expose problems and highlight positives to result in the best overall outcome. Dylan could certainly do with these lessons in communication.

A team divided

Trishna

There’s been a tendency for tribalism between the sub teams for the last couple of weeks, where personal rivalries seem to come at the cost of business sense.

This was most evident in Nebula, where Frances and Trishna expressed seemingly excessive criticism and frustration at the branding decisions of sub team Jessica and Courtney – again, Jessica was the main target of these feelings.

While Jessica had previously shown a knack for pitching and put herself forward to do the pitch, Trishna seemed set on Courtney, a poor pitcher, who admitted that he thought his teammate would be much better.

Business tip: Personal vendettas and emotions should be left at home in business. You may find yourself working alongside people you don’t like, but you still need to be able to recognise the qualities and skills they possess that could help you achieve your goals. These candidates would do well to heed this advice on dealing with people.

Coasting gets you noticed

Lord Sugar Grainne

Grainne seemed to take a back seat again for the second week in a row, contributing little to the design of the game or the creative process in general.

Her lack of effort didn’t go unnoticed however, with Lord Sugar saying he thought she seemed to sit back in this task: “How many tasks have you won?” he asked. “Three… I know that’s not very good”, she admitted.

Business tip: Starting a business is hard work and you’ll need self-motivation in order to succeed. You might be giving up the 9-5 day job but you may find that your start-up actually requires you to work 60 hour weeks, or more. Get motivated with our guides.

Missed last week’s episode? Catch up on week 8

Catch up on our review of The Apprentice week 7 here.
Catch up on our review of The Apprentice week 6 here.
Catch up on our review of The Apprentice week 5 here.

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