Dragons’ Den – Fighting Fires


By chance, I read Tod’s Inside the CBC blog entry “Blogging the Dragon” this morning and I have been fighting fires and trying to set a few things right since. I have written extensive comments in Tod’s blog which you can read here after Tod’s posting.

I have also read JohnDoyle’s Oct 2nd Globe and Mail article, “Is the CBC stuck in a dreary basement?” And I wrote John a passionate reply which I will post here. At the end of the day, this is just a passionate view by one CBC and DD fan. My views are my own alone.

(Oct 5th update: I later read a second and much more negative Globe and Mail review by John and you can read more here.)


Dear John,

In general, I understand why you are confused with CBC’s Dragons’ Den. I think a good part of it may be resulted from the promotional materials or wordings used by the CBC itself.

Before I go on, I should say I am a big fan of UK BBC’s Dragons’ Den and I am also a big fan of CBC’s Dragons Den. At the same time, I am not a blind supporter. I will point out all the problems I see in the show (in hope of CBC fixing it). You can read more of my DD blog postings here.
— Dragons’ Den Blog: http://kempton.ideasRevolution.com/tag/dragons-den/

Now, back to your article. I will try to respond in a most efficient manner, that is — in a list. (sorry, old computer scientist habits diehard)

1) “… is the CBC’s foray into Apprentice-style reality TV.”
I don’t know if “Apprentice-style” was in CBC’s press kit, if it was, it would have done Dragons’ Den a total disservice. Because I think Apprentice is a completely different and contrived show. Apprentice and Dragons’ Den are so different that I can write a lengthy email to point out all the differences if you wish.

2) “People who want to be entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to …”
Well, all of these people *ARE* entrepreneurs and many have actual products. These are real stuff with real (entrepreneurs’ own) money *already* put into the business. You see, only the first entrepreneur who pitched the $30 million (??) project is less “real”, but even for him, I think he has talked to someone in the government of Nova Socita (?) already.

So, the entrepreneurs we’ve seen on the season opener (the old eps 2 turned eps 1) these are not entrepreneurs “want to be”, I call them entrepreneurs. Mind you, I never say that their products are or will be successful, but I saw that as strength and fun of the show. The first Apple computer look really stupid and will most likely fail in the beginning too.

3) “… dark basement is, you know, dreary.”
Oh, you should see the UK BBC’s Dragons’ Den then. Their set and their cut-aways look absolutely run-down and rusty. But it looks really cool to me anyway. And it worked magic in UK. Quite a hit show.

I hope I haven’t bored you to death. For me, and I am biased, I think CBC’s Dragons’ Den beats all North American shows that are “remotely close/similar” to DD and it is really fun to watch. Plus I hope the show can let people learn on how to be a better entrepreneur too.

For CBC’s Dragons Den, I encourage you to think “The Charlie Rose Show” in business pitching show. Minimum fuzz and a show that let what matters shine through — the ideas.

These are just my 2 cents. And half of the time, I change my mind two minutes later. (smile)


3 Responses to Dragons’ Den – Fighting Fires

  1. […] Today, I read a second, and even more negative, review of the Dragons Den in the Globe and Mail by John Doyle called “The Nine: best new network drama this fall”. (Read more on the first review here.) This second review upset me enough to write an email to the editors and John at The Globe and Mail. (And I highly encourage you to contact The Globe and Mail team by email and/or by phone calls (I have linked their contact info here for you), if you think John’s article was either wrong, inaccurate or unfair. If you agree with John, please also let both me and John know. I like to learn from you.) It took me almost two hours to craft the first letter and probably another hour to craft my reply to John’s respond to my first letter. I will attach both of my letters below. I decided not to include John’s email out of respect for his privacy. But hopefully, even with his letter not included, I hope to be able to fairly represent the key points in the discussion. […]

  2. […] First of all, there will be one “minor spoiler” in this preview at the end that are very worthy to mention. And I will warn you before you read on. So you can skip it if you want a spoiler free DD tonight. You see, I had enough of fights recently here and here with John at The G&M that I won’t make the same mistakes. […]

  3. […] “Dragons’ Den” mistakenly when it first came out in 2006 and I pointed out your flawed analysis. It is my pleasure to write you a nice email when I see you write sometime insightful and […]

%d bloggers like this: