This was about innovation and design. The boys re-imagined the coffee percolator as an eco food compactor. That's what innovation experts call the “adjacent possible”. Ashaq leading the boys' team however was impossible. He ignored the simple but probably 'pound-shop friendly' scourer glove designed by Adam the Greengrocer and made a ridiculous choice on pitching personnel. Not the inventor Duane, who can put himself across, but unconvincing sales head Stephen - who acts like a timeshare tout who’s been to charm school. Here we started to see some toxic teamwork and the first fractures in the “bromanagement” approach I identified in series 6. That is put men in a team and they get all high fives while they are winning, but as soon as it looks like they are losing the bravado turns into a blame game. Ricky was assertive, Adam was good but to the point of sounding like a broken record as his scourer glove was dumped for the bin. Duane really shone when Stephen the salesman and Ashaq allowed him to.The girls, well they got fixated on a splash mat for the bath as Laura and Jane got all cooey. Someone should have stepped on that - probably Katy - and she tried to, but she did not push. The market research showed that the tap cosy/pillow was a winner. The focus groups hated the “splish spash”. Unfortunately Katy though bright is fairly diffident. She lets things wash over her and Jane even when unconvinced, steamrollers through her point of view even if it is in a quietly assertive Irish lilt. Her view of a focus group is to listen to it and then focus on exactly what she wants. Perhaps the biggest howler of the series ever (excepting the tomato costing debacle in series 2) was the mistake on margin. If a retailer could make 2.5 times the cost of producing anything you'd probably be looking at a rival to the iPad not a piece of perspex with some rubber ducks on it. The excruciating failure to calculate this correctly was their downfall. It made them look amatureurish and bumbling. The boys won (team Phoenix) with their re-invention of their "bin here before" concept. The girls (Sterling) lost it. Well and truly.Jane should have taken some of the rap, though was too strong a candidate to fire. Jenna was as comfortable with numbers as Kenny Dalglish delivering the keynote at a Diversity Conference. She took on the task anyway and probably deserved some credit for stepping up. Katy escaped on the basis that Jane's taking her in to the boardroom would have looked political and vindictive so Maria, loud but lightweight and literally falling asleep, was put out of her misery.Who's in front? For me Jane showed a lot of drive and I think she'll shine when tested but attitude is her problem. Ricky seems ebullient, clever and confident and the type Sugar likes but might wilt under fire. Katy seems like a strong candidate too. Nick the Bieberclone is also unlikely to be a flop and Duane if he irons out his flaws could be a contender. I will narrow it down to two by week 4. Who’s your bet?PerformersJane’s steely determination - plough on regardless girl!
Ricky wresting the limelight awayPloddersJenna with numbers but also everyone else who failed to challenge her!Please stop
Stephen saying "that's a great question" in response to any bleeding question whatsoever!
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