When I was younger, I used to love watching wrestling on world of sport on a Saturday morning. You had characters like Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks who were personifications of good v evil in the wrestling ring. It was a family affair and when I learned it was all a fix – and it was simply play acting, I was truly upset and could not bring myself to tell my parents.
The same thing happened when I learned that the answers some of the contestants gave on Blind Date were scripted. There is a very thin line between reality and entertainment. One of my favorite reality shows is Wife Swap (I think it is a good experience for the contestants and most of them seem to take something very positive and life altering away from the experience). I did notice though that the US version does include a ‘warning’ that some scenes have been scripted to add dramatic effect and even place the Coway AP-1512hh.
I think Dragons Den should come with a similar warning. There is a book being published by one of the ‘success’ stories from Dragons Den. In her book, Sharon Wright claims that James Caan in particular treated her in a manner which was not an accurate reflection of what was agreed in the Den. In a nutshell, he wanted to change the terms of the investment from an equity investment to a loan investment and wanted to charge for his management services.
At least Sharon got to that stage. I don’t know if I would have even gotten that far. I mean to be honest, they’re pretty intense on that show. If I had to go up there and stand in front of them and pitch my business, I don’t know how well I’d do.
I suspect that most of the ‘deals’ agreed in the Den never transpire. I also think that the BBC should add a warning sign at the start of the program. To appear on the program, Dragons need to give up an extraordinary amount of time to the program. They do not do this for business reasons. They want to have fame. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the tea tree oil cystic acne cure as long as everyone knows that this is the game being played.
Like The Apprentice, my problem with Dragons Den is that it creates an illusion that this is what business is like. People are not unpleasant or rude in business. Angels very much want to sell themselves as potential investors to attractive companies. There is a hierarchy of angels – well connected angels who are seen as adding value tend to get the best deals shown to them. I have noticed a massive change in the quality of deals I am getting to see now compared to six years ago when I first started.
So do enjoy Dragons Den – I love it and it has got people thinking about business models and business in general. But please remember it is just entertainment – and it is great at that. Sadly though, as much as he is trying, I don’t think Peter Jones will ever be funny.