I watched this show for the first time recently and i have to say i thought it was pathetic. why on earth should we be hyping a television show that actively seeks to discourage people from taking a risk and exploring new ideas. the dragons are deliberately rude and intimidating and even before the entrepreneur has opened their mouth, it is as though the dragons are already convinced the idea is a waste of their time.
i think this represents a big problem with the mentality of the masses in general – they love to see people fail. look at all the shows on our televisions, the apprentice, the weakest link, dragons den, etc are all popular shows because it gives people the chance to see other people fail at something. especially with dragons den, it leaves people with this image of entrepreneurship as something to be laughed at or a hobby that needs to be supplemented by a “real” job.
people will inevitably argue that the masses will always remain the masses and as long as there are people prepared to take a risk, then things will be fine. however i really disagree with this, i think the mentality is far more damaging to the economy than people are prepared to admit. any environment that seeks to foster enterprise must also encourage and admit failure. it is only through failure that people will gain any experience and build up that “trackrecord” everyone is so obsessed with. however how on earth can we foster such an environment when the general mentality still seeks failure as something to be laughed at?
i truly believe that in order for the UK start-up scene to really explode, we need to take more of the masses and give them the support and encouragement to take a risk. i say this because i personally a couple of years ago would never have considered turning down a very well-paid job to run a web start up. it is only by giving it a go and seeing how much i enjoyed the start up dynamic that i decided to take a risk. but with every show of something like dragons den, another borderliner (like i was) goes to sleep dreaming of that lovely pay cheque waiting for them at the end of the month…