Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The UNreal world of the BBC

Watching the "where are they now" show confirms that Dragon's Den provides some pretty outrageous promotion for those who appear on the show. TMP remembers the good old days of BBC propriety, when Blue Peter religiously used to cover the name of "Ever Ready" on its distinct blue batteries, using black tape.

It's not as if Peter "as seen on TV" Jones, Theo Profiterole & Co need any freebies - especially as their victims get quite thoroughly mugged for equity in a manner that borders on disgraceful, where they are blatantly using their benefits of celebrity – provided by the BBC licence payer – to leverage the poor mugs off their own businesses. With gullible souls like this eagerly turning up to be brutally insulted and financially raped on TV, it's a mystery how any of these ideas ever make any money.

The BBC has a long history of interfering with and distorting commercial markets since the BBC Acorn micro started out doing some good, but quickly became a terrible distraction that arguably set UK education back a generation, when the rest of the world was getting on with the more versatile and vastly more relevant IBM PC.

TMP respectfully suggests that part of the work of reforming the BBC might include asking the Dragons to hand back half the equity they have stolen, by exploiting the BBC and our licence fees? Better still, let's adopt an interactive format and more liquid market where the entire audience can choose to participate and "buy shares" in the ideas being paraded.

However "good" the TV, the idea that an entrepreneur is required to spill the beans on their business idea in a way that alerts competition must be fundamentally wrong.

And then however attractive the proposition, the Dragons nearly always end up saying they'll invest only if it's a guaranteed monopoly with patents to squash any of the competition (that has just been woken up) - and if the owner hands over half the business in return for a ride with the licence-payer funded publicity machine.

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