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Thread: Dragons Den

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    Dragons Den

    For the first time ever all of the "Dragons" were united in backing a proposal. It was for a device that switched off the television to save on standby power. The "inventor" had a patent application in for it. I would have laughed it out of the studio. Anybody want to point out the flaws in my reasoning?
    1) The device is basically a remote controlled switch. I have one of those for my garden lights.
    2) TV's come with an on/off switch already. How many people will pay for an extra gizmo rather than just use that?
    3) The big attraction was the prospect of milliions licensing the idea to TV manufacturers who could include it in their TV. That might have generated some income if the inventor had not gone onto the den, and got his patent granted. Now I suspect he is going to find that the TV manufacturers will point out to the patent office that this is old technology. Way back TV remotes switched the set on and off, using a rechargeable battery internally. I would be surprised if there were not patents covering this. "Standby" was invented to shorten the time to come on by keeping current flowing through the filimants of the valves to reduce warm-up time.
    Any rebuttals?

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    For the first time ever all of the "Dragons" were united in backing a proposal. It was for a device that switched off the television to save on standby power. The "inventor" had a patent application in for it. I would have laughed it out of the studio.
    Surely a patent is not required for an on/off button!! My TV has one already.

    It also has a plug which can be pulled out if the on/off button fails... stupid dragons wasting their money

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    Registered User Lynn's Avatar
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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    For the first time ever all of the "Dragons" were united in backing a proposal. It was for a device that switched off the television to save on standby power. The "inventor" had a patent application in for it. I would have laughed it out of the studio. Anybody want to point out the flaws in my reasoning?
    Wasn't it announced on the news recently that new TVs etc will be made without a standby button anyway?

    However I would think the Dragons know more about markets and what will sell than I do. People may be able to turn their appliances off at the main switch but the fact is that many don't bother, or simply aren't aware of the cost of leaving them on standby. So there could be a market for such a device. It wouldn't be the only product that replies on people's laziness to provide a market for it.

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    It wouldn't be the only product that replies on people's laziness to provide a market for it.
    Auntie Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings for example

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    Re: Dragons Den

    I know of more than a few people who would be interested in something like this - not out of laziness but due to that fact that they are elderly and very unsteady on their feet and spend most of the day in their chair.

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Well, the similar sounding device I bought a couple of years ago (and I used just a few times) is called TV B-Gone. It's a small device which you can point at any TV and it works through the codes eventually switching it off. The idea was you could use it as guerilla warfare against the plethora of TVs wherever you go these days. Not sure of the difference with the DDen device (did not see it).

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveLad View Post
    Well, the similar sounding device I bought a couple of years ago (and I used just a few times) is called TV B-Gone. It's a small device which you can point at any TV and it works through the codes eventually switching it off.
    Switching it off rather than putting it on standby? Not sure how that would work. Does it work on other devices that people leave on standby or just TVs?

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    Re: Dragons Den

    This was on BBC Breakfast TV this morning. It's simple but very clever, one of those "why didn't I think of that?" ideas. Basically it's a four gang socket with an infrared off switch that totally cuts the power . The neat idea is that it learns the standby code from your TV remote so that switching off the TV to standby as normal will actually switch off at the wall.

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    Re: Dragons Den

    This is the TV B-Gone web site

    TV-B-Gone from Cornfield Electronics :: TV-B-Gone Home

    I have only used mine at home - and I have not dared to use it at (say) and airport - or petrol station................yet.

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Neighbour from hell situation approaching!

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    Re: Dragons Den

    The wireless remote control device I own switches four mains sockets on/off. I think that would be more useful for the handicapped - lights, electric fire, tv, whatever.

    In the home situation a switched extension lead or longer cables and torpedo switches could do more functions cheaper. I do not doubt that the device will sell, but I do not see a real need for it, and I do not think that a patent with sufficient teeth should be granted.

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Anybody else who doesn't watch much TV and was disappointed that this thread wasn't about a few Dragons firing big flames at each other ?

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    Lovely Moderator ducasi's Avatar
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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveLad View Post
    Well, the similar sounding device I bought a couple of years ago (and I used just a few times) is called TV B-Gone. It's a small device which you can point at any TV and it works through the codes eventually switching it off. The idea was you could use it as guerilla warfare against the plethora of TVs wherever you go these days. Not sure of the difference with the DDen device (did not see it).
    This device is entirely different – it's about turning TVs OFF – not to standby, which is what normal TV remotes (and the TV B-Gone) does.

    I think it's a clever little device, and I wonder if it's so obvious and if there exists "prior art", then why haven't TV manufacturers already done it?
    Let your mind go and your body will follow. Steve Martin, LA Story

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by ducasi View Post
    This device is entirely different it's about turning TVs OFF not to standby, which is what normal TV remotes (and the TV B-Gone) does.

    I think it's a clever little device, and I wonder if it's so obvious and if there exists "prior art", then why haven't TV manufacturers already done it?
    They had already done it. One problem is that rechargeable batteries have a limited life and the cost, which is not just measured in money, of providing the facility for changing them is too high. Most customers do not want the prolonged warm-up times associated with starting the set from cold. It is a case of "the market speaks". Sets used to be built that way, but the more expensive and wasteful variant won. "Market forces" do not automatically provide optimum solutions.

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by ducasi View Post
    I think it's a clever little device, and I wonder if it's so obvious and if there exists "prior art", then why haven't TV manufacturers already done it?
    Come on Duci, you are old enough to remember TVs before they had standby and turned themselves off completely. They used to take ages to warm up too.

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    Come on Duci, you are old enough to remember TVs before they had standby and turned themselves off completely. They used to take ages to warm up too.
    I don't remember TVs that had remote controls but not "standby".

    And while TVs took ages to warm up back when we were boys, they now take next to no time.
    Let your mind go and your body will follow. Steve Martin, LA Story

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    Anybody want to point out the flaws in my reasoning?
    Most Dragon's Den successful pitches match the following criteria:
    - An innovation, not a new business built on an existing model
    - The innovation is protected: patent, rights etc...
    - Existing sales / orders it retail
    - The possibility to make a one-off massive contract if the model is B2B
    - A healthy balance sheet

    Frankly, go to these guys if your business fits the boxes above isn't the cleverest idea, as it should be possible to find loans (ie you keep the equity) or venture capitalism at better price than that of the Den. For the rest, people are just giving away their hardl worked-on ideas for nothing and a Peter Jones (800m) or a Duncan Bannatyne just need to snap their fingers the minute after pitchers are out to put a team together that will copy and benchmark a good concept, without having to pay for it...

    As fancy as the programme is, it encourages the idea that little people have to submit to wealthy ones. Real entrepreneurship -the people who refuses the deal they have offered to them in the programme - can do without that.

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    Commercial Operator StokeBloke's Avatar
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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by Caro View Post
    Anybody else who doesn't watch much TV and was disappointed that this thread wasn't about a few Dragons firing big flames at each other ?
    Yes... me! I hadn't even heard of Dragon's Den until now. I feel like a high court judge having to have The Beatles explained

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Quote Originally Posted by StokeBloke View Post
    Auntie Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings for example
    I can beat that...what was it I saw in Waitrose the other day?

    Oh yeah!! Cartons of ready whipped cream.

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    Re: Dragons Den

    Doug Richard's (one of the original Dragons) amazing story.

    http://www.entrepreneur2009.co.uk/dougrichard.html

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