Dragons’ Den

2008 October 1
by Stace

As Hedon said, we spent much of our home time watching the WNBA playoffs. But that’s not the only television programming on which I wasted vast quantities of time. Among the loads of saved shows that TiVo had stored for me was a BBC America program called “Dragons’ Den,” which we had tried briefly during our home time before last. I am happy to say that it has quickly become a favorite.

“Dragons’ Den” is a delightfully bloodthirsty reality show during which entrepreneurs seek financial investments from a group of five successful, wealthy business people (the dragons). The entrepreneurs must stand before the dragons, tell them how much money they are seeking and what percentage of their companies they will give in return for that money, give a short presentation about the business or invention they are promoting, and then answer the many difficult questions posed by the ruthless dragons.

On first glance, this may seem like a dull setup, unless you’re into business, which I’m not. What I find great about this show is seeing what sorts of things people truly believe will make them millions and millions of dollars (well, millions and millions of pounds, obviously, since this show is made in England). And I can’t help but be fascinated by the workings of the fire-breathing investors, as well. I mean, they really are brutal.

When I watch this show I get to feel embarrassed for the poor folks who come in looking like they are ready to faint from nervousness, their hands shaking and lips twitching. You know right away they aren’t likely to get any money, especially when they’re wanting investments for something like a company that sells personalized underpants. So you get to feel sorry for them when one by one the dragons tear their dreams to shreds. Bad dragons!

Then next will come in some cocky bastard who thinks the investors should give him 100,000 pounds for 10% of his grand business idea, say something like an energy drink. It’s great fun to watch this fellow get shot down.

And every once in a while, a calm and adjusted person will present a good idea, like a technique for farm-raising truffles (the mushroom, not the candy). One or more dragons will agree to invest, and all will shake hands agreeably. Ahh, a happy ending.

It’s really pretty fascinating to watch these dealings. I was shocked to see how high a percentage the dragons want in return for their investments. I’ve seen it go higher than 50% ownership of the company. And most of the time, the investors want a pretty high level of management control as well.

I’m surprised we don’t have an American version of this program yet. Maybe they are still trying to figure out how they can change the format to include the tits, ass and abs that seem to be required for American reality show. Wait a minute, I’m having an epiphany. Instead of average people trying to sell inventions like on the BBC version, the American version will have former swimsuit models trying to launch lines of bathing suits (and happily modeling them for the dragons), and body builders in teeny speedos giving presentations about their new exercise machine which is being demonstrated by a dozen sports-bra’d blondes. And, oh, I’m on a roll. Before they can present their ideas, the contestants have to mud wrestle and the winner gets to go before the dragons. Yeah, that’s probably how it will go.

At any rate, if you get some spare time, check out “Dragons’ Den.” You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder what the current exchange rate is for pounds and dollars. Uh … well … okay … you won’t actually cry. It’s still worth it.

7 Responses
  1. 2008 October 1

    I love the Dragons! Especially this one guy who is the richest and sits over there bitching when the supplicants don’t wear a suit.

    At first I thought he just had a stick up his butt, but then I got to thinking about it and decided he has a point. I mean you are going in there to ask these people to give you massive amounts of cash and you couldn’t bother to dress up a little? One guy walked in wearing a t-shirt and jeans. That’s how you dress in a business meeting *after* you’ve made it not when you’re just starting out. He got nothing as I recall.

    CAPTCHA: ideals SHAKEN as in… I’d like my ideals shaken not stirred. I’m Bond, James Bond…

  2. 2008 October 1

    I don’t even care about the dragons — I just wanted to support Viagra. Woo Hooo!

  3. 2008 October 2

    We have a version up here in Canada too, Stace. Five Canadian Dragons, including one woman, grill, steam, and otherwise broil alive the beggars and borrowers. It’s both hilarious, moving, scary and er, compelling viewing!

    We love watching our version.

  4. 2008 October 2

    I’ve never seen this show – but I like the concept. It reminds me of that inventors show – where people would come in with the craziest inventions and actually be SHOCKED when they were turned down! I have an idea for the Dragons….

    Oh, and did you intentionally spell Chaka Khan’s name? She’s the bomb!

    “Chaka, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan
    Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan
    Chaka Khan, let me rock you
    Let me rock you, Chaka Khan
    Let me rock you, that’s all I wanna do
    Chaka Khan, let me rock you
    Let me rock you, Chaka Khan
    Let me rock you, let me feel for you
    Chaka Khan let me tell you what I wanna do
    Do you feel for me, the way I feel for you
    Chaka Khan let me tell you what I wanna do
    I wanna love you, wanna hug you, wanna squeeze you too
    Let me take you in my arms
    Let me fill you with my charms, Chaka
    ‘Cause you know that I’m the one to keep you warm
    Chaka, I’ll make you more than just a physical dream
    I wanna rock you, Chaka
    Baby, cause you make me wanna scream”

    CAPTCHA: Submarine Dresses (Once all the rage. They’re coming back, you know.)

  5. 2008 October 3

    The show is pretty addictive. I do love it when they are shocked that the dragons don’t want to invest in their hair-brained Wile E. Coyote business plans.

    And yes, Salena, I did create that question. And I added Chaka as an answer just for you. Because you’re special and people like you.

    CAPTHCHA:large styles (This year in large styles the submarine dress — a whimsical take on the basic slate-grey muumuu — is making a comeback)

  6. 2008 October 3

    Actually, I meant to say….did you intentionally spell Chaka Khan’s name WRONG? Ooops – I was all excited about finding lyrics, I didn’t finish my sentence.

    CAPTCHA: Peace Six (which is nothing like the Keating Five)

  7. 2008 October 6

    Damn it! Chakka is wrong? And I googled it and everything cause I had no idea how to spell it. Damn that google.

    CAPTCHA: Mohr programme wormed its way into Google files and changed many spellings

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