As a self-employed web designer in Nottingham I always find business programmes on the TV interesting. It is natural that when one is in business, one finds the subject of other people in business interesting.
As such, I have always been a fan of the BBC programme, The Apprentice where Alan Sugar selects a winner from a group of people who undertake all sorts of business related tasks. The most interesting for me are those where they create profit from very little start-up costs such as the exercise where they went to a warehouse and sold what they could find on the market.
Many business lessons are there not just for the candidates but also for us the viewers. It shows that you can succeed even when you make mistakes. In fact, I would go further and say that in order to succeed, you must be prepared to make mistakes.
The only person who makes no mistakes is the person who does nothing.
I was bitterly disappointed with the result of last year's Apprentice programme (2011). After weeks and weeks of tasks, the weakest candidate won. He lost more tasks than anyone else, he was taken into the board room more than anyone else, his business plan was by far the worst and yet he still won.
The reason he won was that he had already developed a successful product (a hairdressing tool as I recall) and Lord Sugar seemed most interested in this than anything else. He suggested the planned new product was put on the "back-burner" and instead they developed his already successful invention.
The truth is, that is all that Lord Sugar was interested in. I don't blame him. It is much easier to earn money with something that is both unique and has a proven track record. My objection was to the fact that all the previous episodes in the Apprentice amounted to nothing. The most cynical of you might suggest that Lord Sugar had his eye on this all along.
This year, the candidate who won had a business plan that impressed some very impressive people. He wanted to set up a specialised recruitment agency for the scientific business community. He was a credible business-man with a very credible idea and when put against the other business plans, his made the most sense.
So all the tasks in the previous episodes led up to this result which is far more satisfying than what happened last year.