APPRENTICE 2011: Entrepreneur Simon Duffy reviews episode 11

My first stop following last night's Apprentice episode was Wikipedia. I can now tell you that "Nice guys finish last" is a phrase attributed to a baseball manager called Leo Durocher in 1939. Apparently "Leo the Lip" is ranked as the fifth greatest baseball manager of all time with over 2,000 career victories. Strikingly, Leo also suffered a massive 95 career ejections (4th on the all time baseball list) due to clashes with authority. Leo was clearly not a nice guy.

My favourite aspect about last night's Apprentice was that the nice guys actually finished first. What a pleasure to see a team working together effectively, positively and constructively to complete a daunting task and score a comprehensive victory.

Helen was decisive when she needed to be, claiming the PM role, but showed great confidence in Tom by ceding branding and concept development to him. It paid dividends. "MyPy" found a relevant and modern niche by focusing on quality British ingredients and foods. I thought their restaurant environment looked far fresher and more inviting than the run-of-the-mill Caraca's.

Helen and Tom also worked more effectively in covering all the various elements that this task required. They focused on a quality product and managed to get their simple concept out of the kitchen in less than five minutes.

Let's not forget that the odds were against them too. In the early stages, uneven numbers on the teams are far easier to absorb. In week 12 when faced with the labour-intensive tasks of running a restaurant's front of house and kitchen, being down to two people versus three is a massive disadvantage.

To record such a compelling victory against these odds was a function of better ideas and, crucially, better teamwork. Helen and Tom clearly have great chemistry, which is something we don't often get to see on The Apprentice.

I'll be watching with interest to see how much relationships are strained in the final weeks. Pitching real business plans and facing intense interviews will present a whole new type of challenge. Like the famous curveball of the Chicago Cubs' pitcher Burt 'Happy' Hooton, who knows where this one is going to end up.

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