Friday, October 17, 2008

Dragons' Den

I usually do not watch reality shows. I have more than enough reality in my life. So it is not surprising that I have not watched American Idol, Dancing with the stars, Sa re ga ma pa etc. etc. While I know that these shows have great entertainment value and they are fun to watch, I just do not have time for this. That's all.


So when I first saw Dragons' Den on BBC America, I just flipped through it. But just then I saw what that show was about and now I have watched 2 + episodes of it and two of them on consecutive days. Not bad, not bad at all.


What impressed me about Dragons' Den is that it is an investment related show. In every episode, some folks, lets call them Joe the inventor, come up and talk about their idea which  can be the next big thing. They present their innovation to five multi-millionaires in UK. They have to present their case for the product and ask for a venture capital for a share in their company in return.


Now the fun has merely begun. The Dragons or the investors, ask the inventors many questions, ask them show demos of their product and also negotiate with them for business deal. It is surprising to see how quickly and candidly these guys refuse to invest in a new business. But more surprising is to see how smoothly yet ruthlessly these negotiations go.


It is not easy for the inventors. e.g. I watched an episode where a guy was demonstrating his electronic egg boiler or egg cooker to me precise. In the first demo, he forgot to put an egg in the machine. Then he failed in all the three consecutive demos and the egg was not cooked. But his luck was on the wind and he still got the money he needed for his start-up.


Some other inventions I have seen are portable toilet seat covers, a home gym which comes portable in a chair, automatic truck washing system. It is quite amazing to see people come up with these ideas.


I like this show because I can learn a lot from it. It has negotiation, presentation, public speaking and most importantly, if someone calls your product 'crap' in front of millions of viewers, you still learn how to keep a stiff upper lip and move on.


I will be glad if we get an Indian version of this show.

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