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14/05/2011 // INFO Leave a comment

Lord Sugar, you’re fired


Lord Sugar

It’s not just about cycling at GGB, we sometimes do other stuff too! On Thursday night that meant watching the latest Apprentice episode after reading a post on TechCrunch.

Easy money (apparently)

For those of you who missed it, this week’s competition was to see who could create the best app. Best being defined by how many times it was then downloaded in the next 24 hours. The aim being to show how easy it is a global economy with a good idea to make some cash. As an online business, even though we haven’t created an app, I watched with interest to see if we were missing a trick and it really was that easy.

In Lord Sugar’s consistently self-promoting address to the group he proudly trumpeted about how the task had proved how it possible to start a global business with no resources. Not like in 1967 when he only had a narrow market to play with. Poor poor him. The proof of this being you can now just create an app, publicise it and get it downloaded round the world. Allegedly. But does it really work like that? Let’s examine what he said…

“Develop quite simply”

Well not really. It’s not that simple unless you’ve got the resources to hire a specialist app development agency to work round the clock to deliver you an app inside 24 hours. Hey, you might be an ace coder and have this covered (in which case we’d love to hear from you!) but for everyone else this is not simple or cheap.

“Here you’ve got the world”

You potentially have the world yes. Once you’ve got your app approved. This takes time and is not guaranteed. And then you’ve got to get the world to hear about your app amongst the thousands and thousands of other apps. This is hard. It is much easier if you have access to three top tech blogs and the BBC arrange for you to give a keynote speech at a gaming convention. Good luck with that if you’re just starting out on your own.

“Put it up… make some money”

The winning team achieved a grand total of 10,000 free downloads. Their total revenue was zero. Exact loss unknown but significant if you factor in the real costs of development and marketing. Would Lord Sugar really promote this as an example of a business success?

So is it really that easy? No it’s not. You might get lucky but even if you have access to an app developer, TV production company and the ability to trade off BBC prime time exposure for access to publicity and resources you can still quite easily fail. Lord Sugar, you’re fired.

See Also:

The real Jeremy Clarkson super-injunction

The forgotten quality of a professional cyclist: nerve

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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