Smart Design on the Apprentice

Anybody watch it?

I was a bit dissapointed that they didn’t show more interaction with the designers at Smart Design.

I’m also guessing that Smart didn’t have any say in the editing as they might have clarified the fact that the individuals provided by Smart to help with the project weren’t “graphic designers”

I’m just surprised at how they didn’t think to use smart’s staff to help them design, but instead just using them as a model-maker. I would think a good up+coming business manager would know how to delegate tasks to the appropriate people. Why they were designing those things themselves instead of managing one of smarts interns or something is beyond me. I don’t think Trump does any concrete pouring for his businesses.

Yeah, both those concepts were pretty poor, especially that clumsy looking desk thing. I think the receptionist at Smart could’ve cooked up something better!

The Apprentice has really gone downhill quickly…every show is a big advertisement for something. It didn’t seem like it was as bad in previous seasons.

I totally agree they made smart design look like some model making shop- especially since the show made it seem like one of the Magma corp lawyer dudes drew up that icky table/desk thing all by himself- can that lawyer actually draw? Can the real estate broker lady, a Mary Kay sales lady, and fireman and a couple of lawyers actually design? In addition, the “corporations” were tiny two people and three people groups, whereas they showed dozens of Smart Design guys streaming into the room throughout the show, without introducing any of them. I’m sure all of those guys weren’t just model makers…
I think that the one remaining cool thing about this show is that Magna, the company that is constantly winning, clearly wins b/c they make sure to talk to whoever their customer is and then translate that into whopping Net Worth’s ass.

I thought the “street smart” team (Net Worth) would have clearly won this season for exactly that reason. It’s ironic that Magna is the one that’s actually banking on street-smarts. It leaves me with the feeling that Net Worth’s collective success is more about luck than specific, repeatable success traits.

As a designer I love seeing how businesspeople go about solving creative problems… Lot’s of action and very little process. But that’s not too surprising given that most schools fail to teach creative problem solving methodologies, especially in team environments.

I was on the team that designed the original clear “stackable” product they used as a genesis for the swivel design. It was fun watching these guys enter my world. We had tried lots of focus groups in an attempt to look at some new product “green fields”. We quickly learned the consumer was fair at identifying problems but not at developing solutions.

After watching the show I had a few thoughts:

  • Staples had already tooled and was selling the rotating desk organizer on their web site that night. How long ago was that show taped? That’s a huge injection molded item and the tooling alone probably took 4 - 5 months!! They have a web site dedicated to selling the item along with a $25,000 contest for more office product inventions.

  • Did Staples pay a placement fee to get wired into that show? They got a ton of exposure for a full hour of prime time.

  • I agree with the other posts that Smart Design looked more like a model shop than a design consultant. They probably donated their time in exchange for the exposure and if I were them I would have pitched a bitch at the way they were portrayed.

  • I’ve seen lots of organization concepts and the desk / organizer was a dumb-ass idea. It created clutter instead of solving it.

  • The program lacked one very important aspect of a “real-world” design project - cost constraints!!! In a real scenario they should have given each team a key price point ($19.99) and told them to hit that price (with a ± tolerance of 10%).

It was an interesting show to watch. It was the first time I had watched The Apprentice and I can’t believe Donald Trump has such a stupid haircut. What’s that all about???

So disappointing. I’ve worked w Smart and was looking forward to seeing them in action on the tube. graphic designers?! The American mainstream just does not get I.D.

The lawyer dudes lost this and the previous show because they’re… lawyers! They are asked not just to lead the creative process but to do the creating, aparently. I wonder if they are told not to solicit help from the experts (designers, photographers) around them or if they are just too proud/stupid. And the one dude thought that having a conference call with the Staples buyers would be just as good as a face to face meeting. Wow.

My guess is the latter