(Cross posted at Kempton with possible additional readers’ comments)
The following are my brief reviews and comments of the Dragons’ Den Season 2 episode 8 business ideas and pitches.
House keeping comments:
I quite enjoy the “where are they now” updates of the entrepreneurs in this episode. I think it mixed very well with the pitches. In particular, it warmed my heart to see the Anivac entrepreneurs/husband and wife team making some progress in their businesses and getting into pets care.
By the way, I found many comments in the Dragons’ Den forum actually quite insulting to the entrepreneurs and to other commentators. I think the $5,000 (?) prize for people who vote and the $50,000 prize for the entrepreneur who gets the most votes certainly generated lots of excitement in the viewers. At the same time, I wonder if these monetary prizes got the viciousness in people out in open? And make the contestants and their friends much more willing to insult others?
Some commentator in the Dragons’ Den forum found Packacone‘s idea similar to James’ idea. I did some more research and found the following. For Packacone’s patent, see US Patent 6338311, for James’ see Canadian patent application 2353127.
James wrote a pretty good reply on the difference in the DD forum, which I enclosed here in the comment section for completeness. As an aside, James’ reply is one of the clearest, most comprehensive and level headed reply I have seen from Dragons’ Den entrepreneurs.) There were so many accusations of people copying ideas (e.g. pizza box) in the forum that makes me wonder if these people actually took the time to read the patent before they accuse people?
Patent and market size: Now, it would have been great if James got both the US and Canadian patents. If only one can be obtained because of cost reasons, I say go with the US patent because of the market size.
Patent protection: James’ patent app is an interesting read for aspiring inventors. The drawings are pretty clear and it certainly helped me understand how the thing worked. Now, my concern is there is only one claim in the patent. May be it is enough, I don’t know as I am not a patent attorney. My gut feeling and lessons learned from my favourite video “How to Review a Patent App.?” is that I would definitely want to have a few more claims. Just in case some of my claims fail to withstand legal challenges.
Nice pitch James and all the best in your business.
Just my 2 cents.
I write notes sometimes to love ones but I usually use a blank post-in note to create my own. Karem was pleasant and was able to stand her ground. But I have to agree with the Arlene that it was surprising that, with the amount of publicity and media attention, the sales level remained small. So it may be a good small business for her for now, it may become an investable business when it grows much bigger.
Check out an update on the entrepreneur here.
Soft-pron as business always has its market but how big and if a business person wants to be associated with the pron industry is a different matter.
Carry Comfort, Pickers’ Mitt, Jamato Sweet Tomato Jam, Bottums Up, Bala Scarfa, The Hoodo
Some of these pitches were fun to watch (e.g. how Bala Scarfa turns a piece of scarf into a hat, etc.) but unfortunately they are not quite in the stage of investable businesses yet.