Dancing In The Dragons Den

November 18, 2008

Here in the Great White North there is a CBC Show on the Telly called the Dragons Den .

Speed Dating, VC Style

In the show, budding entrepreneurs have a few minutes to use their elevator pitch and hawk their product or service to a panel of five of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurial business men and women (ergo, wealthy businessmen and women!) in an attempt to snag some investment cash.

In an episode that aired last night, I found one item that struck a note with some things that I have written on this blog; Being flexible, forget the long jump, and learn to dance.

Step. Evaluate. Step again.

Two groups of the entrepreneurs on that episode had existing products. Both products had revenue, and both products definitely piqued the interest of these investment Dragons.

However, both pitches were looking at migrating away from that core product competency. One pitch was into other unrelated products, the second was into a retail scenario for the existing product.

The Long Jump

When pressed about the core competency vs. the unrelated product, the first group of these entrepreneurs buckled down stating that their long jump approach was the way it had to be. They left empty handed.

Learning To Dance

The second entrepreneur, also when pressed about the core competency vs. a retail scenario was willing to re-evaluate. As such he snagged a possible commitment for cash pending further discussions on the market and the core product competency.

It is even more critical with this current economic climate, that we as small / medium business managers not have any sacred cows. We must be flexible. We must evaluate and re-evaluate each and every detail of our businesses.

Learn to dance. What worked last year, may not work this year. What was not done last year, may work next year.

PS: I confess to not being much of a television watcher, so my thanks to Rick Spence at Canadian Entrepreneur for tuning me in.

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