Episode 6: NewAddress.ie
Q: Explain your Dragon's Den experience?
A: My experience was both good and bad; the good was as a company I got to get the company brand out and explain what we do as a company.
In front of the Dragons I found the experience overwhelmingly negative; normally whenever I explain what NewAddress.ie does as a company, the majority of people find it to be a good and helpful idea, just one they didn't know about. However, not one of the Dragons found it to be so; they proved to me they were out of touch with this sector of the market, when all they wanted to discuss was the housing boom and not the fact that people are moving anyhow with a larger and larger proportion of them renting due to the problems associated with getting a mortgage.
Q: Who was the toughest Dragon?
A: None where that tough; Niall Farrell's overacting was funny; Bobby Kerr missed the point of the pitch and his first question showed that he had forgotten just how much time people spend changing their address and that even though not everyone can pay An Post for redirecting their mail, An Post's service is just redirection, not change of address.
Q: Were you nervous?
A: Yes I was, not because of the pitch but I was worried how I would come across, when defensive I can come across arrogant and Ireland is so small and in business first impressions and reputation matter.
Q: Were you surprised by some of the questions?
A: Yes I was, the questions were very generic and showed them to be lacking in understanding about what our company does as a service to the people of Ireland. The Dragons were so caught up what they knew in the past regarding change of address that a new way did not seem feasible to them. I also expected Sean with his knowledge of the internet to ask questions about the software but none came.
Q: Who was most interested in your idea?
A: Gavin and Nora but this was not their type of business.
Q: Would you have done anything differently?
A: Yes I would do it differently, I would ask for less money as I think that put the Dragons off in the current economic climate (and only Sean probably had the money to invest in any case). I would have controlled the room better and I would have moved around to keep their attention better; standing still let the Dragons' minds wander.
Q: Would you recommend applying for Dragon's Den to any other budding entrepreneurs?
A: Yes I would recommend Dragons' Den for the experience and possible exposure of a product or service but I would only recommend to entrepreneurs whose idea is in line with that of the Dragons' own business interests.
Q: What does this mean to you personally?
A: I am delighted for the exposure of NewAddress.ie services and hope that Dragons' Den has the desired effect of driving people to our site and starting word of mouth. I was personally surprised by the negativity and the lack of constructive criticism from the Dragons and that an insult was easier to say for them than a positive comment.
Q: In five year's time where do you see your product/company?
A: NewAddress.ie will be providing a free excellent change of address service and help people moving do so a little easier. We would also like to provide this service internationally to other countries.
Q: What is your lasting memory of the Den?
A: A hunger and a desire to prove the Dragons wrong, that with hard work, talent and a little bit of luck anything is possible and even in the toughest economy we can create the green shoots that bring us all back on the right track.
Also if I ever gain the business experience and success that the Dragons have, I will use my knowledge to help anyone trying to run a business who comes on Dragons' Den and even if I would not invest I would offer ideas in how they could improve their business plan.