Just a reminder that Dragons' Den returns tonight at 8 pm in most parts of Canada.
I think DD has become the most important show in Canada's history in terms of promoting entrepreneurship and, more importantly, entrepreneurial values (things like understanding opportunity, identifying how you create value, testing your plans by talking to customers, and collaborating with mentors, investors and other stakeholders). It's quite ironic that it took a Crown corporation to do this. We're seeing more business-oriented shows creeping on to our TV listings this year, but none has the dynamic and built-in audience identification of Dragons' Den.
Note that there's a new Dragon in the den this season: Bruce Croxon of Lavalife has replaced W. Brett Wilson. Brett certainly became a viewer favourite during his time on the show, for his unique personality as well as his personal commitment to supporting good people and socially beneficial businesses. But truth to tell, I thought he spoiled the dynamic of the show a bit; when the other Dragons cynically passed on investing in companies that didn't meet their investment objectives, he would often find ways to bend the rules in order to support the unloved entrepreneur anyway. It was good business for the pitchers, but seemed to violate the show's own rules about "You either get all the money you ask for, or you get nothing."
I had a chance to watch some of the tapings last spring, and I can assure you that Bruce Croxon is a good guy, but a hard-nosed investor. No free rides this year!