Connector slayed on Dragons Den ?April 3rd, 2009
My 1 minute of fame
I’ve just about recovered from being slayed by the Irish investors on Dragons’ Den. It was weird to watch them knock me back and it was an uncomfortable looking Conor & friends in action but great publicity … I was interrogated for about 45 mins but they showed only 1 minute of the footage on TV.Â It was filmed 3 months ago and I went on the show to make some new connections & make the most of a great media opportunity.
What I wanted from the Dragons
Connector costs very little to run and I do not really need or seek investment.Â Thankfully I have a 4 day a week job @ Eighty Twenty I like the work & & my employers support my personal projects.Â I also thought some of the dragons did not have the profile I was looking for as a mentor or investor in such a specialised business.Â The discussions & negotiations were two way but the viewer did not see this – the dragons wanted to know if this a good investment while I wanted to know if this a good investor ?
I went into the Dragons’ Den ‘offering’ 10% for â‚¬50,000 but I knew they would want 30-40% of Connector to get involved in a risky personal project.Â That was never going to be acceptable to me as the status quo is more attractive.
There is no point in a deal for the sake of a TV show as I have a job I am happy with an in no rush to leave.Â A bad deal could ruin all the good work and goodwill for Connector.Â I was also disappointed none of them got out of their seats to look at my connector overview chart – they were about 10+ metres from it and I doubt could really see it.
The first step for me taking on a partner is for them to show an understanding of the new digital & social media landscape where Connector operates in the real & digital worlds. However, without the use of video (I was told I could only use an A0 or A1 board) and/or attending my Connector events, they did not get it.Â I left Bobby ‘dazed and confused’ and Sean saying I had an ‘identity crisis’ !Â (Given my background as the creator of CONMAN, that was accidentally insightful !)
The last person to bow out was Sarah Newman who did not like it when she discovered at the end that I had a job.Â They never really probed my background and focused solely on the idea.Â I did not tell them I was Irish Internet Marketer of the Year in 2005.Â I did not tell them that I was one of Ireland’s most successful internet marketers with several awards over the last few years to prove it.Â Well, they never asked me and I was surprised they did not think my profile & past employers was important, particularly for a ‘connector’.
I went onto the show for national exposure to my events & blog and I achieved my objective with a 60 second ad for Connector on RTE1.Â Bobby said he thought it was a publicity stunt, maybe he was right Â Niall, Conor M, Brendan, Natalia, Tania & I filmed some Connector videos on the day as that is what Connector is all about … showcasing my work, my friends talents & creating stories for my blog.
Connecting with Sean Gallagher
By concidence, I met Sean Gallagher last night at an Ernst & Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ charity dinner.Â He was very nice and had some positive comments about Connector which was great.Â He said that after I left the Dragons Den set, that he predicted that they had not seen the last of Conor Lynch & Connector.Â He was right … I’d bumped into him already while out connecting ! Connector has made great progress since then with new sponsors including Canon, Ben & Jerrys, Hosting 365 & Bulmers Light and the Connector events are going great.
Pity that everything said to me on the piece aired on Thursday was only the negative bits.Â Entrpreneurship is vital for Ireland today and people should be encouraged as much as possible.Â I am not alone in thinking the show has room for improvement next series with a less dismissive attitude from the dragons coming across on the show.Â Maybe they need better ideas or maybe it is simply down to the editing.
Thanks for all the support, comments & emails and those who joined me in Le Cirk to watch the show – we had lots of craic and I got to connect with some great new peeps including Anton Mannering & Marcus MacInnes who took the mobile videos below.Â There was also quite a buzz on Twitter & you can follow me on Twitter @connector_ie
Apologies if you were disappointed I did not get the cash. Â For what it’s worth, I’m very happy with the outcome.
PS – Thanks to Enda Kelly & Sinead Barry for making myself & Nick so welcome at the ‘Soul of Haiti’ fundraiser.