Dragons’ Den s2e2 review

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(Cross posted at Kempton with additional readers’ comments)

The following are my brief reviews and comments on the Dragons’ Den Season 2 episode 2 pitches/ideas.

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Reality Check — IMHO, pure talk and no products don’t make a good business. And the 10+ Reality Check men and women seemed to me were just there for show and wasn’t really part of the business at all. Not a good way to pitch, IMHO.

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3D Fanware — Since they were fanware to wear at live games or at home, I suppose we don’t need to worry as much about safety. (I was picturing kids wearing these hamlets to play street hockey!) I forgot was it Jim or Arlene or someone else, the sports promotional business is a tough business and the novelty of the product may wear off quickly.

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PeerFx (their Facebook group) — I am the most interested in this business and will spend most of my time researching and writing about it in this review.

The team of Florence Leung, Robert Dunlop, Grant Ringham, Parham Yaghoobi and Lewis Zimmerman have done a great job developing PeerFx. And Florence and her teammate (sorry, I forgot his name) did a nice job presenting their ideas.

With a lack of precise details of the working of PeerFx provided on the show, I will post some of my questions and make some comments based on assumptions that are potentially wrong . But thats half of the fun, right? (big smile)

Questions & Comments

  1. If the users want to exchange Canadian $ and US$, do they need to have bank accounts in both currencies? Will the users need to provide their account numbers to PeerFx? The question is how does the users get their hands on the physical US$ or C$? And how long will this process takes?
  2. I am *not* a lawyer and I am definitely not a Canadian or US banking law expert. But PeerFx may need to find lawyers that know the area. When I was thinking about this area, PayPal came into mind. And the “The Legal Relationship between You and PayPal” section in the PayPal User agreement may be a good place to familiarize some issues, including “(i) PayPal is not a bank and the Service is a payment processing service rather than a banking service“.
  3. The issue of float. As an aside, float is an important and interesting topic discussed by Warren Buffett many times, for example see the title “The Power of float” in this link or search for float in the official 2004 annual report (a great read)).
  4. Now, since we are talking about float. Then PeerFx must be temporary hold users’ money. (issues in — trust, rules and regulations, etc.) I think it is important for the business to use the float wisely because if the amount of money being dealt with is sizable then there can be good extra income generated. (As a side note, the float of *only* a few days are how some payroll processing companies make their money processing companies’ paychecks to employees.)
  5. The barriers to entry is quite low in this business. But then the barriers to entry for Craiglist was and still is quite low too.

PeerFx definitely has a good business idea here and I am interested in how the team and the dragons execute it. Best of luck to them.

Oct 9th Update: Here are some further research and discussions on PeerFX’s patent.

By the way, I think PeerFX got $200K and gave up 51% of the company to three dragons.

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Forever Chelsey — Watching the dragons analyze the market and the product, I agree with their judgment.

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Sincerity Inc. — The products are just not good. But the web name sincerity.ca may worth something. (Note: sincerity.com looks unused and ready to be sold?)

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Urban Inukshuk — Sorry, just a bad idea. The art DYI “art” look quite cheap.

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Heartland International English School Like Robert pointed out, I think web based interactive language instruction is better than a simple phone based one.

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Island Sports Entertainment — (Thanks to Shaun for reminding me I missed this company.) — Although the wrestling match and commentary were entertaining but I will trust Jim and Arlene’s instinct on the limited potential of the business. The potential sales may be worldwide but how to generate paying interest around the world is a totally different story.

The ability to generate interests of the wrestlers outside of the immediate surrounding geographical area is a big challenge that these entrepreneurs have to face. And the valuation of over $600K just make the decisions to say no that much easier. Just my 2 cents.

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Vent Kit — I am really happy the lady got her $10,000 and a licensing agreement with the Dragons Jim and Laurence. Sometimes we all need a break and I am so glad that this lady got her break tonight. Hopefully with Laurence’s contacts and Jim’s help, this lady will make good on her words and create a nice viable business for herself and the dragons.

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11 Responses to Dragons’ Den s2e2 review

  1. Shaun Myall says:

    I dont see any response to our product. It was the most dynamic product. Our product has unlimited reach and scope.

    Diapers and cardboard party hats will fail, may I say Cheese Heads, the NFL already has marketing deals for any sports parafanalia that is out there and they lease ideas for pennies on the dollar.

    Power Pro Wrestling and Island Sports Entertainement can broadcast around the world, sell our own merchandise for excellent margins, somtimes a 4 or 5 margin.

    DVD sales, Pay Per View, ticket sales and merchandise are just some of the areas that we can bring in HUGE revenue. There are literaly 10 revenue streams that I have not even mentioned, no royalties to pay, no licencing fees, no second or third parties to pay off.

    PURE REVENUE

    Thank you
    Shaun Myall

    http://www.powerprowrestling.ca

  2. kempton says:

    Hi Shaun,

    Thanks for your feedback. I will write a reply later.

    Regards,
    Kempton

  3. Shaun Myall says:

    I understand your view on the company. There are two new wrestling companies now operation in the US, they are reporting initial revenues of over One Million for the fourth quarter.

    The one thing not mentioned in the editing efforts of the CBC was we are also in talks with a National Cable Provider. This interest was discussed.

    That deal is now in the negotiation stages. And looks to provide alot of revenue. Also we informed the Dragons of our deal with PPV providers to carry our product across Canada.

    Just a little inside not, we spent the better part of an hour and a half infront of the Dragons. These conversations continued and still do,

    Just a little note, we were asked to come back to the Dragons Den……

  4. Shaun Myall says:

    One more note, at the time when we appeared on the Dragons Den we had not heard back from one of our distrobution sourses on DVD Sales. We now have an avenue with Wal Mart International for international distrobution of our DVDs.

    Shaun Myall

  5. kempton says:

    Hi Shaun,

    I remember hearing you mention expressed interest by a national cable provider. My concern is that until you have a signed contract with good business arrangements, it is still too early to count money yet. IMHO. Same with the negotiations.

    re: Wal Mart deal. So what are the terms of your distribution deal with Wal Mart? Are they buying from you and then selling to make or profit? At what price are you selling these DVDs to Wal-Mart? Now, if your company is assuming the majority of the risk, then a Wal-Mart size deal can be a dangerous business move! Because if you are responsible of unsold stocks, you will be in a heck of a surprise if Wal-Mart shipped a few containers of products right back to you. Just my 2 cents.

    Regards,
    Kempton

  6. Shaun Myall says:

    The deal with Wal Mart is they buy the units with a minimum order of 10,000 units in the first run. We are only responsible for damaged goods or DVD’s that have production errors.

    Wal Mart is actually a very fair company to talk with. The company that we are dealing with is Anderson Merchandise LTD and they also represent other major merchants in Canada and the US.

    This is one of our many revenue areas. And yes it is early to count cash. However, I learnt a very important lesson once from a wise woman, NO YOU GOT YES YOU CAN GET. So why not go on the Dragons Den and ask for money.

    There has been contact with one of the Dragons after the TV taping and he has shown alot of interest….

    Shaun

  7. kempton says:

    Hey Shaun,

    As long as you are only responsible for damaged goods and Wal-Mart can’t return unsold items, I think that is a nice step in the right direction. Congrats.

    Now, if you can build some brand recognition around your wrestlers, you may have a good thing going. I suppose if you treat them fairly and have a good contract signed with them, it may turn out to be a good money maker.

    I hope by the time CBC ready to make the “Where are they now” episodes, you guys will have some good news to report. And good luck on your discussions with one of the Dragon. I am guessing Jim since he has the most experience in wrestling. Of course, I don’t know for sure. (big smile)

    Regards,
    Kempton

  8. Shaun Myall says:

    Actually it is Robert, But I would like to involve Jim….

  9. kempton says:

    Thanks for the clarification Shaun. Best of luck and hope you have more good news to share with us later.

  10. I should clear things up. I walked off the stage and said I didn’t want to be on the show because the producers of Dragon’s Den wanted my group to do our chants and cheers again after all the Dragons had already rejected us. I saw no point in putting up an act and pretending to be enthusiastic after we got blasted by the millionaires. It’s called video editing, and I guess the producers aren’t fans of me after I refused to cooperate.

    So why Did I go on the show without a built product? Well we had a prototype and a solid business plan. For some reason or another the producers wouldn’t allow me to bring my laptop on to set (makes me wonder if I was set up for failure, since peerfx had theirs).

    I’m a 22 year old student that doesn’t come from a rich family. I have student debts up the “yahzoo” . In fact some tragic events happened to my family that I refused to use as an excuse on the show. It’s not my style to ask for pity. Google my fathers name. “Naji Al-Kuwaiti” (its on the cbc news site as well). I’ve been through a lot while trying to get a university education. So don’t judge me if you don’t know me. The cash mentioned in those articles was never confirmed by my family, and I can tell you we had it a lot worst.

    So I ask all you “smart” and “sophisticated” people, where else am I supposed to go for business funding when I’m a nobody In the “system”? Definitely not a venture capitalist or a bank. They want to see proof and traction of a built product. How do I get proof and a built product with no money? (Especially when what I’m trying to build is so expensive and technically savvy.)

    Well since the taping of the show in June, a lots has changed. I’m working with a team of Doctors, Nutritionists, Personal trainers, programmers and students. Ohh and yeah I got some serious funding to match the team of expertise. http://www.realitycheksystem.com – official launch date December 1st. Chek’ out our preview

    http://www.realitycheksystem.com

    Ammar Al-Kuwaiti

    founder of Reality Chek System

    p.s. Yeah I did lose my cool. I got emotional and probably shouldn’t of said some things, but GIVE ME A BREAK. I’m 22, broke, and going for my dreams, and you’re hiding behind your computer giving me slack?.?.? pleassseeee

  11. kempton says:

    Hey Ammar,

    First of all, may be I haven’t repeated it often enough, but I admire and respect all the entrepreneurs who went up the Den and pitch their businesses. Here is what I said in my episode 1 review and I will repeat it here for you and other readers,

    “Before I review the business ideas/pitches and the show, I want to say I have the deepest respect for ALL of the entrepreneurs who came to Dragons’ Den to pitch. Creating businesses with good product ideas are not easy to start with, and pitching in front of many cameras with bright TV lights and being grilled by the Dragons made the pitching many times harder. So I tip my hat to all the participating entrepreneurs.”

    So here I said it again. And let me turn to your feedback.

    First of all, I haven’t commented on your “walking of the stage” and I won’t want to start here as it will be your words against CBC’s since I wasn’t there during the live pitch and don’t know what exactly happened.

    re: Laptop. Computers are integral part of PeerFX’s business (exchange of foreign currency online) and I suspect we don’t really need computers to exercise. Plus computers just don’t usually look good on live TV. Anyway, enough said about computer by me.

    Now, I admire your right decision to not use family tragedy to help you pitch on TV. So I don’t want to say more about this because if I do, it will sound as if you were trying to use your family tragedy to help support your comments here.

    Now, unfortunately, in my humble opinion, you lost your cool here in your comment. There are no need to attack “smart” and “sophisticated” people here. They are people too. (smile) And it is uncalled for to attack me verbally, “… and you’re hiding behind your computer giving me slack?.?.? pleassseeee …”

    This kind of personal attack will make you look bad. Hack, I get angry sometimes too, but I tried my best to focus on the issues and things being discussed, not the people under discussion. Very seldom will I get personal. OK, there are exceptions but I won’t get into those here.

    As you said, you are only 22. You are a young man. You have youth and potentially many opportunities in front of you.

    Here is an advice from an old fart. Work hard on your job or business dream. Don’t over extend your claims.

    One more thing, you see, you were asking for big investments $$$ and that is why the dragons want proof of traction or built products. If you are starting your own small business with your own money or friends and family money, these investors will be less strict than other unrelated investors.

    I think the billionaire Richard Branson (boss of Virgin Group, one of my admired companies) started with nothing too and I don’t think he asked for a large investment to start his dream either. He started small and grow big, one small step at a time.

    Regards,
    Kempton

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