A Game Of Dragons

February 23rd, 2015 by

Some valuable advice for those entering the Dragon’s Den…

Over the past few years my social life has diminished to the point where I end up sitting in front of the TV with 900 channels of mind anaesthetic to peruse. On Sunday nights, however, I know exactly what channel I’m in need of. I get to play a fun game which entertains me immensely, whilst arguably putting me in the bracket of ‘internet geek’.

On Sunday nights, on BBC2, there is a wonderful show called Dragon’s Den. You probably know the format: people come on with ideas or products and pitch to five rich folk who, between a sackload of “I’m out”-ing, invest in a handful of businesses that make the grade.

How does my game work, you ask? Well, it’s in two parts:

  1.       Can I find the website of the product/business being pitched?
  2.       If I can find it, is it up?!

50% of the time, I can’t find a website as it is a new idea that hasn’t actually been launched yet. In my opinion, startup ideas should at least have a landing page, especially when they’re likely to get some high traffic from viewers (like myself) who want to find out more.

However, the other 50% do have websites. They can be found. But without fail, every time I find their site, during and after the airing of Dragon’s Den, their site is either unavailable or so slow it’s unusable.

This led me to wonder – is the hosting platform the one thing these young entrepreneurs are overlooking? They make a really nice glossy site (most are very snazzy!), and they host it on a nice cheap platform somewhere (shows their frugal business side), but they all appear to miss the one important point: the site has to be up to be of use. When Dragon’s Den airs, it pulls in about 2.8 million viewers per episode. If even 5% of the viewing population were to look up that site it would put a great strain on most dedicated servers, let alone shared resource platforms.

So, my advice to those heading into the Dragon’s Den? Well, I implore those who are going to have their idea aired on national television, or any other format where millions could end up looking at their site: please review your hosting provision, call your host, speak to “people in the know” and see if your chosen service could deal with the heavy influx of visits that it will inevitably get after such promotion!

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