The assigned task this past week on The Apprentice, Thursday 4/21/05 in this year of our Lord, was to design and build an office product for Staples, a giant office supply superstore.
Bren and Alex were one team, Craig, Kendra and Tanna the other. Bren, he of the cute bowtie, was fired. The way his termination came to be was astounding.
A picture of all contenders, current and already fired, plus other Apprentice analyses, is available on my Blog.
First, the products as designed by the teams.
Kendra's team came up with a desktop lazy-susan type of affair that sits atop a desk as a handy holder of those things we all need to efficiently operate our desks. It was a bit on the bulky side and had a rather large footprint that might not work on the smaller desks of the cubicle bound. Although it would certainly be something I'd consider for my desk as things scattered across a desktop drive me nuts.
Alex and Bren must not work at a desk is all I can think of.
For that foreign object they designed was not practical in any form or fashion.
It was, essentially, a small desk. We'll delve into their lame-brained in and out box notion shortly. The very first thought I had when I saw the thing was how it was impractical in almost any office situation.
It was a small desk mounted on wheels with an artfully shaped glass top. First problem, when one seeks desk and office efficiency, the problem is more often to corral what is already in the office into some sort of order. There is seldom enough room to lump in yet another piece of furniture for the sole purpose of organizing daily paperwork. Such organization should be done on our desktops because what good is clearing off our desks and plop all of its contents on another desk?
Alex and Bren thought it so clever to affix the in and out box under the glass top. "So you can always see the work below" as they both hyped.
The very first comment of a focus group member was the awkward method required to access the paperwork trays below the glass in full sight but difficult to get to. For the item was designed with a piano top hinge, requiring the lifting of the glass from the top. Which means nothing can be on top of the glass should one wish to access the paperwork below the glass.