Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Apprentice - 09.09.04

Well, it's the beginning of another season of The Apprentice, and in my views it didn't get of to a great start. Both teams (Apex and Mosaic) were asked to develop a toy for Mattel using all of Mattel's RESOURCES (the key word). After coming up with a toy, the design was given to Mattel's design team, which was then put before a children's focus group for constructive feedback.

Basically, all the guy's thought that they knew how the world worked, and the women, well they also thought they knew how the world worked. The men (being led by a female project manager) developed some kind of a wild animal that you could change it's body parts. They ladies (being by a male project manager) developed a remote control car that you can customize by changing it's body kit, tires, etc. In the end, the Mattel team selected the remote control car.

Now, as a project manager what I would have done differently is not from the angle of what kind of toy I would have developed, but rather the process by which I would have developed the product. First, the key to all of this was to use all of Mattel's resources (as indicated by D. T.). By doing so, I would have consulted Mattel's Business Intelligence department (I am sure they have one) and requested a report detailing which children demographic cohort has the most amount of sales. Second, I would take that report back to my team and have them think more specifically like that demographic cohort and try to come up with a product that children in that age group would enjoy, which in return would be profitable for the company.

One challenge down, fourteen to go. See you next week.

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