Here is my full review of s01-e04. If you wish, you can check out my reviews of season one episode number one, two, three, and five. (note: if you haven’t watched them yet, skip them for now and watch the reruns first.)
Marc did a very good job presenting his business to the Dragons. His passion clearly shows through. What I like about Marc is that he is also a potentially good entrepreneur too. You see, March is business minded enough to expand his two stores when the business is good. And the bank was willing to loan him money (I hope strictly on his business without mortgaging his house).
It is obvious that Chocolate is a great and high margin business. Warren Buffet bought See’s Candies years ago for a reason. (smile) It is a business that a brand (and even a Lovemark) can be built if all the executions are done right. Witness what See’s Candies (US), Bernard Callebaut (my favourite award winning Canadian chocolate), Pierre Marcolini (UK, love to try it one day) managed to achieve! (all wonderful stuff)
One key thing about Lovemark is that it inspires Loyalty Beyond Reason. And with the right image, great quality, a wonderful story, etc. people are willing to pay more. Sometimes we are willing to pay slightly more and sometimes a lot more!
Good luck to Marc and Jim. May your brand become a Lovemark one day. Marc, it will be fun if we can get to work together to turn your brand into a Lovemark, it will take a lot of hard work and I am sure Jim will make sure you work hard. (smile)
Marc, I just saw your website. Great. As of this moment, people & chocolate lovers can call you long distance to order chocolate. Have you checked the cost for installing an 1-800 number? I would also like to see an email address where people can ask for pricing and shipping cost (until you create a page for that.) By the way, can your chocolate be safely shipped while maintaining the best quality? If you need the stuff to be FedEx to ensure best quality, then tell your potential customers that. It also serves as a signal to your customers that you will not compromise quality for sales. Wishing you the best of luck.
The Log by Ken Bailey
First of all, Ken is a gentleman of the first order. Ken presented himself so well. Never raised his voice, never acted or sounded cynically, never unestimated the Dragons’ intelligence or understanding of the market place, and the list goes on. I have much to learn from Ken and I think many other entrepreneurs too.
And Ken seems like a smart inventor too judging from The Log (TM) and other inventions. I am no water safety expert but I believe Ken has thought about safety too. And he definitely doesn’t want his 3 great grand kids get hurt for sure! Well, my research has found that The Log (TM) can be found at, according to The Log’s website, Miami University, Longmount YMCA, Camp Jewell YMCA, YMCA Magic Valley Family, Waterworld (California), etc. And Ken has provided a long list of places. So these places, to me, are not going to put up something dangerous unless they are fond of law suites and hurting/killing people. (ok, bad joke)
The problem with a TV show is that it has limited time to show the details (and some people get bored). Plus Ken’s lack of a working website (more on this later) to really showcase and explain how the product works, is also one source for confusion for people.
For those interested in The Log’s work-in-progress website, you can take a look at www.PoolLog.com. Which leads me to a comment here. Why is a functioning (may be a reduced function at that) website NOT ready for the big day (the day after airing)? There are hundreds and may be thousands of people that are interested in checking this neat toy out of curiosity. Aiming for a *perfect* website is a very dangerous game to play. Aiming for a less fancy website (AND keep making the website better and better, one step at a time) will be a much better approach. Just my 2 cents.
Kango Inc. by Michelle Messina
Michelle’s idea seemed simple at first sight but if Cineplex was willing to purchase her bags in the millions, I am sure Cineplex thought it was a great idea too. And I never argue with sales. Michelle started her presentation well (her patented idea, etc.) but she lost control and lost focus of her presentation when the arguments started. Plus the fact that Michelle didn’t seem to realize that how much damage backing out of the previous Cineplex deal has done. And the fact that Michelle thought that her bags were going to save the theatre business truly showed that there is a serious gap of business understanding here, to say the least.
Finally, walking out the way that Michelle did was totally unacceptable. We all make mistakes, fortunately many of our mistakes are private mistakes and they are not broadcasted and kept on forever. (Although this is changing with the advance of YouTube but thats a different story for another time.) So Michelle walking out on Jennifer who was nice and trying to help was simply uncalled for and should be an example for all entrepreneurs in the “What you should *never ever* do category.
Of course, I haven’t seen the whole event first hand. But the last few seconds of unedited exchange between Jennifer and Michelle truly, in my view, put Michelle in a very bad light. And it is all within Michelle’s control. Be leveled headed at all times, even when a deal went bad. Just my 2 cents.
Rashana Sound Essences by Jayne Hunter
First of all, Jayne is a nice lady, presentable, soft-spoken but determined. So I have nothing against her personally.
In terms of the business side, I am speechless on this business idea. First of all, I am not a medical doctor but I do have a scientific mind. And I do keep a blog category call Health Sciences & Medicine (10 entries so far and counting) and I also had subscribed to and read The New England Journal of Medicine for a year just for fun.
Sometimes, I would say I never argue with sales. The only exception is cases like this. I have a serious problem with anyone taking the name of science to advance their own gains in particular on unsuspecting buyers. Quoting from the website, ” RASHANA Sound Essences are created through the infusion of sound into pure spring water.” I simply cannot imagine water being “changed” by simply singing to it!
I am going to use some heavy words here but I have no choice. I think it is immoral and unethical to claim medical or healing properties unless there are many randomized, properly structured, and reproducible medical studies (by other independent and non-related researchers) to back up the healing and medical claims. And a quick look of the website this morning, I don’t see any medical researches to back up the claims.
I have never feel sad of seeing a Dragons Den business pitch on TV. I have always enjoyed the pitches, all the UK BBC shows that I have watched (7 in total) and all the 4 CBC shows, until I watched the pitch of “Rashana Sound Essences”.
Sorry Jayne, medicinal or healing claims is the one area that will automatically get me into a very serious discussion. In a world where major pharmaceutical companies may not have the best intention in their mind (e.g. they are more interested in providing and researching in “treatments” instead of “finding cures”. Treatments, you sell for life. Cures, you only sell it once!), I have absolute no time nor patient for companies or products that claim to heal without proper scientifically details researches to back up their claims.
Again, Jayne seems like a nice lady and I mean no disrespect to her personally. I just absolutely disagree with her product as it is presented at the moment.
Sockey by Scotty Lewis
Scotty’s game, in my humble opinion, is just old and not fun to play. I think Kevin’s comment may be a bit harsh but then Scotty’s fight back with a full swing. After that point, Scotty had definitely and totally lost all credibility in the Dragons’ mind.
Putting my “producers’ hat” on for a moment, I suspect CBC put this in so that Kevin’s harshness can be “balanced” by Scotty’s direct and to-the-point criticism of Kevin’s investment record and the importance of Kevin’s wonderful $3+ billion deal with Mattel. Witness YouTube’s $1.65 billion deal, you don’t need too many deals like that to get established, do you? (smile) On that scale, one deal is good enough.
Size is a Plus by Cora Rogers
Cora’s business may work quite well as an internet business or a small store. There is definitely a market for the Plus sizes ladies (and men). But the main problem is that it is difficult to scale up the business to a volume that the Dragons would be interested. Of course, Laurence’s view about market potentials and relative sizes are spot on.
Chi Designs by Agnes Dalisay
Agnes’s business may work quite well as an internet business catering to her niche clients. There can be some good potentials here. But it is difficult to scale up the business to a volume that the Dragons would be interested.