Podwalk 009 – South Bank

Blackfriars BridgeThe Podwalk009 podcast was meant to come to you earlier, hot off the minidisc as I ended the walk in the land where the baristas wear black and green. But I had a Starbucks wi-fi malfunction and then I needed lunch and nothing in Tate Modern tickled my fancy. There will be a visit to the former Bankside Power Station in the near future, but not yet folks, not yet.

Meanwhile you can follow along on the Podwalk 009 flickr photo set (if flickr is working – it’s seemed slow and clunky for a couple of days – paying the price of success?)

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Evan Williams is interviewed at Ipodlounge (says Dave Winer on his newly minted podcatch.com) and quoted thusly:

“…More good ideas in the world. More knowledge. Less ignorance. Less conspiracy. Less corruption. And more funny. That seems important to me.”

Mmmmmm… “More knowledge. Less ignorance” – hey you know a great way to deal with that – talk to people direct about what you’re doing instead of chatting to an invited audience of people you know in advance are going to agree with you, and write a blog (yeah 10 contentless posts in as many weeks is fine) that’s so poorly maintained that archives from a two months ago throw a 404. Now *that’s* funny!

You know what would make this oh so much better? Can you say “Here we are folks with the first Odeo podcast”? Obviously not.

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I’m amazed at how many people continue to end up here looking for stuff on Alan Sugar and BBC Two’s The Apprentice – surely other people are blogging about this more than me?

Anywho – I’ve missed a couple of episodes (goodbye to the dreary Rachel and Sebastian) but just saw tonight’s Farmers Market show. It really showed how people just don’t listen to what they’ve been asked to do. This week’s task – as Alan Sugar so graphically demonstrated (while subtly reminding us that he’s still in the computer manufacturing business) – was about ADDING VALUE.

This was a task where you really had to do some thinking up front, starting with the end in mind – work out how much you thought you could possibly sell, of what, from a Market Stall at Ally Pally and then go all out to get the ingredients for the cheapest possible price, all the while thinking about the biggest possible margin – presumably bottling tap water wasn’t an option.

Then set prices very aggressively at the start of the day, working the numbers as you go and cutting the price to squeeze every last drop out of the market. But most of all ENGAGE with your customers – what a privilege to get the opportunity to speak directly to every single person!

And at the end of the day, the winning team were the ones who’d kept costs right down – negotiating free professional cooking in return for promo work on the day, for example AND were out there talking to people, offering generous samples and going oooh aaah isn’t it lovely, buy some now madam, show me the money.

The other team may have run more smoothly in the buying and production phase (putting aside some horrible spending mistakes) but none of that counted when they couldn’t sell for toffee (except for Paul – I have to say that ‘cos someone might read this to Paul and he might get cross – it has been known)

This is only going to get better in the last four weeks. My money’s on James or Saira (although neither of them really need a job with Sugar) – Miriam has just about used up her nine lives, and Paul’s close to the edge – Raj and Tim are actually dull and inexperienced enough to be natural management trainee material – but this ain’t Reality it’s Reality TV