Now, I'm a massive fan of business shows. I have watched all of the episodes of The Apprentice more than once, including the USA, New Zealand and the Irish ones. I've watched all of Dragons' Den, both UK and Canada along with the USA's Shark Tank.
I am continually disappointed with the UK's offering, and last night's new episode reminded me precisely why (the Canadian one is best by far by the way). Our dragons just seem out of touch. Yup, I said it.
What is it about the UK dragons that winds me up? They seem to have become a cliche of themselves. They speak in catchphrases and seem largely intent in catching the entrepreneurs out and making them look foolish.
They also seem rather obsessed with originality and protection of ideas. They love a patent, and they want products that can't be copied. This just isn't the business world I see anymore. People who succeed don't sell in isolation, and without competitors. Starbucks didn't invent coffee, they just served it differently. Starbucks were 'copied' and yet still make millions every year. Chanel isn't the only company who make tweed box jackets, but they manage just fine. Nails Inc didn't invent nail polish but opened nail bars, and applied it for us.
The dragons seem intent on finding people with unique and patentable ideas, but that just isn't necessary for successful businesses. You don't need to invent the wheel, surely history tells us that you just need to offer the wheel in a different way, or help us fit the wheel, or offer the wheel cheaper (or more expensively)........enough with the wheel metaphor.
Our dragons' den seems to have become a show more weighted towards an entertainment show, but I do tend to find the examples from across the pond are still privy to more in-depth business discussions.
Have you seen the other shows? What do you think? Do you still enjoy the UK version?