On last week's The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, the contestants went to the dogs — to raise money for the Broadway Barks auction benefit, a challenge that came back to bite David Karandish. The 22-year-old Internet-company owner, who invented the AIM Talk feature for instant messages, found out that spending too much time with his laptop could be a bad thing. (Even easygoing Merv Griffin, who was making a donation to the auction, told David that his constant note-taking was annoying!) TVGuide.com quizzed the Mensa member about why he was so obsessed with jotting things down and whether Martha will take him up on his offer to revamp her website.
TVGuide.com: I like that you didn't try to drag project manager Marcela through the mud in the boardroom. You just stated why you should stick around.
David Karandish: I've always been a big proponent of taking the high road.
TVGuide.com: It was a nice change of pace.
David: [Laughs] I can't speak for anyone else, I can only speak for myself.
TVGuide.com: And Martha didn't really come down too hard on you, either.
David: No, she didn't. It was nice. I think it was the nicest letter anyone's heard so far, definitely.
TVGuide.com: Basically, she and Charles let you know that there was a chance for you to make over the MSLO website.
David: It's awesome. She's opened the door to an opportunity for letting me help her out with her Internet presence and I'm definitely going to take her up on the offer.
TVGuide.com: So you haven't called her yet?
David: Not yet.
TVGuide.com: But it's on the list?
David: It's at the top of the list.
TVGuide.com: Were you a big Martha fan going in?
David: I'll be completely honest with you: I'm a 22-year-old male. I don't have a lot of Martha experience, but I do think that there's a huge potential to help out in her Internet division and that was why I tried out for the show.
TVGuide.com: Do you think you would have fit in if you had won the corporate job?
David: I do. I'm sure I would have.
TVGuide.com: Let's talk about the auction task. When Merv Griffin told you that taking notes on your computer was annoying, why didn't you stop?
David: I guess you've got to target your audience. If Merv Griffin found it annoying, he was the customer, so I probably should have taken my notes on paper. I think taking notes is generally a good thing in business. If you don't write things down, there's always a potential to miss things.
TVGuide.com: Did Matchstick assign you that duty, or is it something you decided to do on your own?
David: Somebody had to take notes, so I said I would do it. I had no problem with that.
TVGuide.com: Come on, watching it on TV, did you wish you had turned the computer off?
David: Yeah, a little bit. But hindsight's 20/20.
TVGuide.com: What was it like — honestly — working with Jim?
David: Honestly, if you notice when I was project manager, Jim was very controlled. If directed well, he can shine like the stars. If Jim is out of control... well, all of America can decide what they think of him.
TVGuide.com: I was reading in your bio that you're a Mensa member. That's really cool. How did it come about?
David: I just submitted a test I took from school, in kindergarten or whatever.
TVGuide.com: In kindergarten? So this isn't something you did in college?
David: No. I just joined Mensa recently, but IQ tests don't have a date range or anything. I had to take one for school in kindergarten or second grade.
TVGuide.com: Wow! That's really impressive.
David: Thank you. I give the credit to my parents for the genetics, and God.
TVGuide.com: Do you have a secret Mensa handshake?
David: [Chuckles] No. I've only been to one of the meetings so far.
TVGuide.com: You also invented some computer software.
David: A friend of mine and I invented a program called AIM Talk, which converts instant-message text to speech. It was a cool little project we did in college.
TVGuide.com: Yeah, just a "little project" that got picked up by one of the largest Internet companies out there.
David: Yeah! It's doing very well. We didn't really pitch it to AOL — it's basically a plug-in, so after you download AOL Instant Messenger, you can download my program and it fits right into it. It takes your regular instant messages and speaks them out loud.
TVGuide.com: You've done all this and you're just 22. What is next for you?
David: Ooh, that's a great question. I am still working on my Internet business, which is going very well. I'm also launching a new website with a couple of other Apprentice: Martha candidates. We are going to take the model of business consulting used on the show and apply it to other businesses. We'll target individual niche markets twhere we can best apply our skill sets. I can't say who else is in it yet, you'll just have to watch and see.
TVGuide.com: You seem like you're already at the top of the Internet world.
David: There's going to be a lot more to conquer in the next few years and I'm going to try to be right at the forefront.
TVGuide.com: Any more reality TV in your sights?
David: I don't think so. You never know, though! But I wouldn't see any [appearance on The] Surreal Life coming out soon.
TVGuide.com: Do you even watch those kinds of shows?
David: I don't really watch a lot of TV. I watch one show, and that is Smallville, my absolute favorite show of all time, because I'm a huge Superman fan. I think it's very well done.
TVGuide.com: What does your family think of how you came off on The Apprentice? You were a little quiet.
David: My family knows that I've got a big mouth, so they've enjoyed the whole thing. They've told every relative on the planet that I'm on the show. It's been so amazing. I've had a great experience. I have only good things to say about Martha. She was just amazing.