Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dragon's Den

For those of you who might not be familiar, I thought I would pass along some info about a TV show that seems pretty relevant to our class. BBCAmerica broadcasts a show called Dragon's Den (which also airs on the BBC in the UK). Dragon's Den originated in Japan (it was originally called Mane no Tora, which translates to Money Tigers), and is a reality show in which inventors face a panel of entrepreneurs who can provide capital for their inventions in exchange for a share of the business. The catch is that the inventor has to say up front how much money they need, and in order to get any of the money, they have to convince the "Dragons" to fund the entire amount. Sometimes its entertaining, sometimes painful, but when it first came on I was kind of addicted to watching it. 

A lot of people bank their entire lives and fortunes on their invention and have pretty strong reactions to questioning, and sometimes their hopes are dashed. It's been interesting to think about in the context of this class- is that an innovation? Is it a disruptive one? How about the show itself? Is it an innovation? It has certainly been duplicated- there are 16 versions of the show worldwide, and ABC is working on a U.S. version, called Shark Tank, which actually premiered this fall. What do you think? Will you watch it?

Here is a clip of the online version of the show:

And a parody version, where an inventor pitches the idea for an invention called the "Crapper":

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