‘Dragons Den’ BBC TV Series – Success Stories

Dragons Den BBC2 TV Series is unlike any other reality TV show in that there is something more at stake than the contestants’ pride. In front of some the richest and most successful businessmen and women in Britain members of the public pitch their products, ideas and their business acumen in the hopes of securing an investment that could turn their businesses and their lives around in a way that most can only dream of. The aim of the game is not to win but simply to make a life changing business agreement. The stakes are real, as is the money.

Whilst many of the ‘budding entrepreneurs’ that have entered the Dragons Den over the past five years have only succeeded in winning the dragons’ distain, an equal number have also made a lasting impression on them, winning not only their investment but also their valued advice. A number of the winning ideas featured on the Dragons Den TV show are now making their mark on the business world and we are witnessing the rise of a new business empire, controlled by the Dragons and made stronger by the wide-scale publicity that the show offers.

Perhaps the most successful of all the products featured on Dragons Den UK, however, has been reggae singer Levi’s brand of Jamaican BBQ sauce. Levi has been successfully selling his Reggae Reggae Sauce at the Notting Hill festival for the past fifteen years but with the help of Dragons Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh demand has exploded. Reggae Reggae Sauce can now be found on the shelves of major UK supermarkets.

Despite a shaky start on the show Ray Smith’s Magic Pizza – a device for ensuring that microwave pizzas do not go soggy in the middle – was also snapped up by the Dragons Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis, much to the delight of the thousands of pizza fans across the UK. Ray Smith has since been added to the gallery of Dragons Den success stories with his innovative product selling to single men, students and busy mums up and down the country. Other Dragons Den success stories include the i-teddy, the Cuddledry range of baby and toddler towels, the Concentrate range of school and college accessories and many more.

One of the most famous products from the Dragons Den are Trunki suitcases – colourful ride-on suitcases for kids, which was unsuccessful in securing funding from the dragons but has since gone on to become a great success story.

Ice Blading boots were a successful product pitch in which Theo Phaphitis invested. He loved the idea of these sohphisticated inline skates which allowed you to move like an ice skater but without the ice. They are being launched in 2009 so we are looking forward to see how successful this Dragon’s Den Product is.

With such successful deals being made right on our TV screens it is clear that Dragon’s Den is more than just another BBC reality show. It is helping to shape the business landscape of the UK and giving us an opportunity to see how the big boys play. For those of us with an idea to pitch and the guts to go up against the Dragons, this BBC2 TV show is also an opportunity to make it big by winning the interests of both the Dragons and the nation.

Yang Water Dragon 2012-13 – Fortunes of the 12-Animal Signs

The Chinese Calendar’s current 12-Year 12-Animal Cycle runs from 2008-20, as follows:

2008 Rat, 2009 Ox, 2010 Tiger, 2011 Rabbit/Hare, 2012 Dragon, 2013 Snake, 2014 Horse, 2015 Sheep, 2016 Monkey, 2017 Rooster/Chicken, 2018 Dog, 2019-20 Pig.

Earlier Dragon Years

2012-13 is a Yang Water Dragon-Year. Previous Dragon-Year/’Lung Nien’ was Yin Metal Dragon-Year 2000, Millennium Year!. Some of you may remember the celebrations, awards, excitement and ‘buzz’ accompanying our Vibrant Visitor then. Yang Metal Dragon Year 1988, however, saw the mid-air explosion of Pan Am Flight 103, the ‘Lockerbie Bombing’, whose repercussions are still evolving.

Dragon Year Details!

My greatly esteemed teacher, Grandmaster Yap Leong (‘Leong’ is Cantonese for ‘Lung’/Dragon) says China, the Great Dragon, is always active and full of surprises in Dragon Years. So watch out for these, they are usually pleasant ones! The maxim runs:’The Dragon (China) changes shape quickly, taking those unprepared by surprise!’ Anyway, the Chinese will be here in the U.K. for the Olympics.

Thus, Dragon Years are usually volatile visitors! Personally, it may seem like your good and bad traits are magnified. Issues may swing to-and-fro and so caution is required to avoid being carried-away by events’ However, the Dragon, associated with ‘Spirit’, is an auspicious Year for those Martial Artists and others ‘attuned’ to its energies. Idealism and flexibility may prove useful qualities over the period.

Yang Water (the Year Element) symbolises Wealth (consider Current Accounts, cash-flow,’floatation’, liquidity) and also Communication (word-flow, stream of consciousness, rivers of words).’Big’ Water representatives include: Oceans, Seas; the Yangtze River (aka the ‘Chang Jiang’ or ‘Long River’) the world’s biggest, and Multi-national Communications Businesses,. These could all be classified under ‘Big Water’, so watch out for developments in related fields(1).

Fortunes of the 12-Animals for Yang Water Dragon Year 2012-13

Dragon Year Fortunes 2012-13

Dragon in Dragon Year

This should be a good year overall, especially if arguments are avoided. Control your money-making urges and good prospects should manifest on the career and financial fronts.

Spring and Autumn are your best times this year-your summer may prove disappointing. December requires extra vigilance regarding your home and possessions.

Rat in Dragon Year

There are excellent career and financial prospects for Rats this year. Rats born in 1960 should prove particularly fortunate during this period in most of their endeavours.

Those Rats in employment may enjoy a change of scene. There is a strong possibility of a meaningful relationship developing around November/December time.

Ox in The Dragon Year

Ox feet should remain firmly planted on the ground this year and a degree of caution exercised throughout. Swinging this-way- and-that and with potential ups-and-downs also, Ox finances need careful managing, and all contracts should be meticulously scrutinised before signing.

Caution is also the keyword in relationship terms this year for both married and single Oxen.

Tiger in the Dragon Year

Avoid lending-out money or underwriting the financial transactions of others and this could be a good year, financially and overall.

If arguments and disputes arise from romantic entanglements, Tigers may need to demonstrate self-control this year. Overwork (1960 Tigers especially) and domestic accidents are ongoing concerns throughout the year.

Rabbit in Dragon Year

Rabbits can expect good news from within the family. Rising income and expenditure accompany each other-saving is a good idea this year.

Mood-swings may occur from time-to-time, positive thinking may moderate negative influences. Spring and Summer are your best times of Year, but watch out for unnecessary expenditure in Winter.

Snake in Dragon Year

You may find obstacles in your path this year that thwart your chances of success and hold you back in certain fields, particularly on the work front.

In terms of love and romance, however, this could prove a fortunate year indeed. Sickness or injury could occur in Spring or early Summer.

Horse in the Dragon Year

To prevent this year being a disappointing one, be assertive. Avoid excess, act decisively but also rationally as the occasion demands.

Spring and Summer are your best times this year-make the most of them and prepare for the Autumn and Winter when your luck may not be as good.

Goat/Sheep in Dragon Year

Be patient as conflicts and reverses may thwart this year’s plans-legal and occupational set-backs, especially. Control your temper, be diplomatic and think before speaking. As Goats’ Financial prospects are poor this year, avoid gambling and speculation. and practice relaxation.

This is not a good year for Goat romance, rather you should practice positive-thinking and be creative.

Monkey in Dragon Year

Certain difficulties will arise for the ‘Great Sage'(1) this year but Monkey ‘Magic’ i.e. ‘Luck’ should be enough to cope. Avoid greed and speculation (especially in Summer and Autumn) and financial mishaps can be prevented.

Romance, for Monkey Males this year is a non-starter conversely, for Female Monkeys it’s an auspicious and promising time indeed.

Rooster/Chicken in Dragon Year

This is a fortunate year for Roosters/Chickens on the health, finance and occupational fronts. Take especial care in decision-making in Autumn and Winter and you may avoid losing money.

A year of difficulties, where romance is concerned, don’t go overboard in relationships as these will typically be short-term.

Dog in Dragon Year

Make no bones about it, there may be hard times ahead towards the end of the year. Use Spring and Summer’s surplus to even things out, in anticipation. Poor financial prospects towards the end of the year-avoid gambling and speculation throughout.

Tolerance and patience will be necessary for Dogs this Year on the romance and relationships front.

Pig in Dragon Year

Promising ‘Piggy Bank’ period! Pig ventures should prosper in the forthcoming year, although those of a speculative nature should be avoided.

Events should progress smoothly for Pigs this year, particularly where romance and relationships are indicated.

Notes

(1) ‘Chinese Qigong: 5 Elements, Pentagram and Pentagon Originals!’ analyses their dynamic interaction with the 12-Animals of the ‘Ghanzi’ Cycle.

USB Microphone for Dragon Naturally Speaking 11

Dragon Naturally Speaking 1 is an incredibly useful tool for businesses and individuals – in terms of productivity gains – but only if you have a quality headset microphone that is capable of supporting the Dragon 11 software.

For those who are unfamiliar with Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 – it is essentially voice recognition software that allows you to dictate to the computer in order to have your words transcribed into text that you can input into most windows programs. This means you can use it with Word and dictate essays, articles, and any other large quantities of text which makes it much faster than writing by hand. On average it is said to be around three times faster than typing normally would be. At the same time though it’s not just quicker than writing by hand, but also allows you to avoid some of the downsides of typing. For instance if you use this or other voice recognition software then you won’t have to be sitting down – you can be moving around and going about other things, for example why not tidy your home or even write something (this would really increase your productivity).

A USB microphone that is wireless like the GN9330e is designed for speech to text software like dragon. Likewise you can use this or similar software in order to write while driving. As long as you are careful to make sure it is all set up first and you obey your local driving laws- then it will be no different than talking on the phone hands free. If you’re not sure about the law in your area, then you will certainly be able to use the combination while walking places (if you have a small netbook). The other benefit of using a USB microphone with Dragon 11 over a keyboard is that you don’t need to look at the screen. If you’re the kind of person who finds they hate sitting and staring at a screen all day as part of their job, then you will be very pleased to learn that you can completely avoid this by using a USB headset and Dragon 11 in order to dictate your work from a distance – while looking out of the window or even doing press-ups.

All of this will increase your productivity and this has hundreds of uses for any business. If you work for a media company then it has obvious advantages, allowing people to work away from their desk and multitask. Meanwhile it can be used for data entry companies – imagine how much more pleasant this could make the job for your staff and how much more work they could get done in the same time and for the same wage with Dragon Naturally Speaking and a quality USB headset. This would hugely increase not only job satisfaction but also profits. For other individuals this can be a great way to surf the web, for students a perfect way to write articles without having to get out of bed, or for writers a perfect way to write a novel – dictating the way that many of the classic novelists would have done. It’s of course also an invaluable tool for those who are disabled and who might otherwise struggle to use a keyboard.

Of course all this is dependent on having a good quality microphone and without a good microphone you won’t be able to make the most of this software. By buying a USB microphone then, you can make Dragon Naturally Speaking run perfectly or any other piece of recognition software giving you around 99% accuracy and serving to be a great investment. The included analogue microphone with Dragon naturally speaking 11 just doesn’t deliver the accuracy business users demand – a quality USB microphone headset like the Andrea NC181VM USB guarantees accurate and fast voice recognition input into Dragon 11 or Dragon Dictate Mac.