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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Lessons from The Dragon's Den

I'm a  fan of the BBC's programme for entrepreneurs The Dragon's Den and an occasional viewer. Several common features reappear again and again.

First, the show reveals our limited knowledge. One or even two Dragons will rubbish a new product with vehemence bordering on rudeness, to the great embarrassment of the entrepreneur, so that you think the product is the daftest invention in the history of the world. But then one Dragon will say he disagrees and believes the product has massive even global appeal! What this reveals is that each of us sees just one tiny part of the whole (in this case understands one tiny part of the global market).

Second, the need for perseverance. What, at the start of the grilling appears a futile case may soon turn out to be an amazing opportunity.

Third, the need to take risks. One of my sons complains that Deborah Meaden, of all the Dragons, avoids risks, at least in the Dragon's Den. She is forever, he says, coming up with an excuse so that she can say "And for that reason I'm out". (This can't be true in all of her life, since she is a wealthy woman). At some point in life we all have to stop saying 'I can't' or 'I won't' and take the leap of faith.

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