Television seems like a massive waste of time to a lot of people. To some it’s a great pastime. I’ve been hesitant to jump on either bandwagon, so I stand stranded in the middle. Nowadays TV programs that still remain on my watch list are mainly documentaries and talk shows.
However recently I’ve been fascinated by the show Dragon’s Den. If you’ve ever watched it, then you know how the reality show works. Entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a panel of venture capitalists (aka the Dragons) and have to show them that their businesses are worth investing in. The contestants come and go and the Dragons keep on making investments.
What attracted me to this show is the fact that it differs from all the other reality TV programs out there. In Dragon’s den, you see people running real businesses; they talk about revenues and margins in the real sense, not like the stuff you would glance over in a second year accounting textbook. When the net income is in the red you see the real terror in their eyes.
The show has really opened my eyes. A lot of people are making good money with their own companies. It’s the free market at work here. The successful start-up entrepreneurs simply have a product or service that people desire enough to pay good money for. The investors see this and they want a piece of the pie. So do us, the everyday laymen. But making money with your own business is no small feat. Most people who come on the show have really poor business ideas. Nine out ten start-ups fail within the first two years of operation. Nevertheless, this show has inspired me tremendously, to the extent that I’m certain I will start my own business someday. Honestly speaking, to start a business, you don’t need business degree; you just need a good product and a little bit of luck.
The Dragons make judgments about the entrepreneurs and people in general. They talk about valuations of these companies; they discuss the accounting numbers, the market, the industry, the competition, the suppliers; the manufacturers, the customers and money… they might not always be right, but you know they are the real source of knowledge and sparks behind all the gimmick of television. In a sense, Dragon’s Den is like a business school; with each business is a mini case study analyzed by industry professionals. That’s why I love watching the show, you never stop learning. It’s like a sponge that keeps on squeezing water out.
Although a lot of the on screen deals fail to pass due diligence part of the transaction for one reason or another, over the years, a great amount of money have been invested. The producers should measure the return on investment in a few years.