Secrets of a Dragon Slayer (Part 2) with John Kershaw

Secrets of a Dragon Slayer (Part 2) with John Kershaw

Show Notes

In this special episode, we welcome John Kershaw back to the studio to talk about his pitch on BBC's Dragons’ Den. This is a stand-alone bonus trilogy so you do not need to have listened to our previous episodes to enjoy this one.

04:20: Stability of a Den Deal

Half of the deals made in the Den fall through – why? John breaks down the reality of what a deal in the Den – televised to 3 million people – means as a business owner and reasons why a deal might fall apart, from differences to other investment routes, to complicated T&Cs, growth strategies, the company valuation, and more.

12:16: Investments, How Do They Work?

Naturally, John’s had a few investors interested in Bristlr and M14 industries. How does it all work? How do they get paid back? It must be more complicated than throwing around buzzwords like “share buyback”! John explains all, packaged nicely as business investment advice.

16:47: PR from the Den

Of course, pitching successfully on the Den can be a massive PR opportunity, and John describes the immediate knock-on effect on his business, for both Bristlr and M14 Industries – and shares his advice on how to prepare your website for a big increase in visitors. We also attempt a quick-fire round of questioning for John.

27:26: Side-effects

What are the best and worst elements to appearing on a huge show like Dragons’ Den? John celebrates how one of his best ever pitches is now documented forever – but what were the greater opportunities to come out of his appearance, a few years after the fact?  And are there any downsides to recognition and greater responsibility as a business owner?

37:04: John’s Day-to-Day

Now that John is a Dragon Slayer, how do things behind the scenes at M14 Industries look? As John delves into how he works on his businesses and his tips on working efficiently, we take time to discuss the UK working week, productivity, and engagement.

42:34: Dragon Relationships

Do the Dragons get along? Probably. But John lets us in on his interpretation of their on-and-off-set personas and gives us a little insight into what it’s like to be sweating right in front of them.

Fact Check:
Michael: (04:20): "In 2015, The Sunday Telegraph Newspaper published a report that revealed that half of Dragons' Den investments fall through after the show":

Michael: (16:35) “Maybe Peter Jones has got a sock company”:

Michael: (38:52): "I think it's Sweden or somewhere... they really promote shorter weeks":

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Episode Transcription

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Guest Speaker

John Kershaw

App Creator

John Kershaw is the founder of dating app Bristlr, which connects those with beards, to those that want to stroke beards. He’s also the founder of M14 Industries, a social app creation platform that allows anyone in the world to have their own branded app. He appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2017 and achieved bid offers from all five dragons.

Speaking about his experience on the podcast he said: “Chatting with the hosts about the ins and outs of online dating was great fun. It’s really enjoyable to talk frankly about an industry which is often shrouded in mystery, especially with a team looking to jump right in! I’m excited to see where they go from here".