Two quick points about the final Dragons’ Den episode last night:
- The JobLoft guys got out of a so-so deal with the Dragons. It wasn’t a ton of money, they had to give up a big chunk of the company and more importantly it really wasn’t clear what involvement the Dragons would have. That was never really understood throughout the show; but considering they’re extremely busy people (with plenty of business operations to manage) and they invested in numerous new projects via Dragons’ Den, one had to assume their time would be extremely limited.
I’m sure the JobLoft guys were expecting the Dragons to open an insane number of doors and be extremely active partners in the company, but that was never going to happen. And the JobLoft guys definitely need more serious involvement from a higher level of experienced business person.
So, they got out of a so-so deal. BUT…
- They came across terribly with the stunt that Dr. James Norrie pulled. Sure, the show is edited for TV and maximum drama, but no matter what he said the things he said. He asked everyone if they had business degrees (who cares?!?) and he insulted one of the Dragons regarding his private jet. You can be sure if Norrie had the money for a jet, he’d probably buy one too. Regardless, that was so absolutely idiotic on Dr. Norrie’s part I was completely stunned when I saw it.
I felt bad for the JobLoft guys because it puts them in a poor light. They sat there and were handcuffed to do anything.
I suspect that the JobLoft guys wanted out of the deal and brought Dr. Norrie in to do that. OK, I can live with that, and it makes sense — have a more experienced person talk to the Dragons “eye to eye”, but Norrie went off his rocker. He got them out of the deal, but he damaged them at the same time.
Yes, they got huge exposure, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that other angels and VCs are knocking on their door. But, I can almost guarantee you that anyone who puts money in will do so with 1 condition: dump Norrie.
I wouldn’t want to work with Dr. Norrie after seeing that stunt. Or at minimum it would take a lot of convincing. Would I put my money and time into JobLoft with Norrie attached? Don’t think so.
If I could give the JobLoft guys any advice it would be to find a better angel/VC deal without Dr. Norrie’s involvement. That might mean bringing on additional advisors/mentors, or doing it on their own with the experience they’ve gained, but Dr. Norrie is going to be an Achilles heel.
Check out the buzz going around about the situation:
- JobLoft.com – The sun’s still shining outside the den (JobLoft’s official blog)
- Hot Times in the Dragons’ Den (a long post, but worth it)
- Dragons’ Den s1-e7 The deal that got away
- Inside the Dragons’ Den