October 8, 2004

"The Apprentice."

Entertainment Weekly has this:
I'd like to say that my friend Al and I were all shocked 'n' stuff when Pamela got booted off for not being an efficient enough price gouger — I mean, we both made the obligatory sucking-in-of-air noises and placed our hands over our mouths . . . but then we both sort of went, ''Eh,'' and got up to get some pudding from the kitchen. We didn't even sing along with the dun-dun, Dun-dun, DUN-dun, duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh music. And we always sing along. Sometimes we sing it during Survivor, we find it so compelling.

Prof. Yin is doing some "Apprentice"/"Survivor" comparison. Television Without Pity has a recaplet up, making this point:
The men sell a panini grill for more than $70, while the women sell a cleaning sponge for about $30. Despite the fact that the women sell many more units, no thanks to Maria's insane television presence that makes everyone feel like they're watching someone have a rapid-fire nervous breakdown, the difference in price ultimately allows the men to earn the higher gross amount, which, for no particular reason, is the standard by which the task is being judged.
Yes, the men had access to a product that was worth much more. What was to stop them from pricing it at $1 and racking up a huge number of sales? The women were stuck with a much lower value product, yet they somehow sold a lot of them at a pretty inflated price. So didn't they really do the better job? The men made a mess of demonstrating the product on camera, and they picked a goofy price, $71.25, rather than something normal like $69.99. The show got all didactic about how pricing is everything in business, but what kind of pricing takes no account of the cost? I didn't quite catch who made the decision to sell such a low-value product, but if they knew at the time that only the gross sales figure would determine the winner, that's the person who should have been fired.

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