Exclusive: Theo Paphitis reviews Dragons' Den: "Patents are important but personality wins the day"

Given the feedback from punters on the street, this series has been more lively and entertaining than they've expected.  Yes, Dragons' Den is about business but business should be fun too.

The frostiness between Duncan and James at the start of the series mellowed as time went on.  Our very own Mr Whippy, Duncan, or should I say 'Doucan' (thank you washing line inventor John Jackson) became highly animated.  This was amusing for us and for viewers.  Never have so many strident exclamations of incredulity been delivered by someone with such a smooth forehead.  Duncan really is made for HD TV.

I love sitting next to Deborah for the five weeks of filming.  She is brighter, funnier and more caring than all of the rest of us Dragons put together, yet she is edited very harshly.  The great thing is that she is confident and bold enough to take it in her stride.  She's some lady!

James continued to invest in those projects that were rejected by the rest of us and Pete the Pylon kept us entertained by being playful... from climbing into the world's smallest car to sharing a bed with Duncan.

In all seriousness, series eight was a cracker, with 17 different businesses raking in £1.5 million-worth of investment.

Tonight saw Adam Philips pitching his company My Baby Limited. The word 'fabulous' explained my first impression of the pitch, but that quickly gave way to 'confusion' because of the huge number of misunderstandings that came to the surface.

JP and Selina Edwards had a mobile text tracking device that looked interesting but had a business model that had no value of its own as Peter Jones explained that other networks would adopt the initiative as standard.  I'm with the tall fella on anything telephone techie.  What that man doesn't know about telecoms could fit on a mini sim card.

The funny thing about the Den is that we are all very competitive.  So in tonight's programme Duncan dismissed a hot gloves invention because he'd tried them in Canada, so they weren't new.  Peter couldn't let slip that he'd tried them in Switzerland.  We all suspected it was St Moritz but didn't ask.

The 20-year-old Jess Ratcliffe with her Gaboo on-line video exchange website gave a very strong pitch and didn't miss a beat when questioned by us.  Although none of us invested in her idea, we all thought she was very impressive and Peter invited her to email him if she wanted to work in an international online company.

Wisely, Duncan made the point that she should continue her studies and finish her degree.  I tend to agree with him and gave the same advice to a brilliant young inventor in the last series.  You've got to think for the long term.

Then there was Ian Taylor who rode into the Den with his mobile video advertising hording on a bike.  He wants his Wakefield based business to go national.  While I didn't see the business model work, James invested after a slight tussle in the end, where Ian said with a smile and great satisfaction, "I'm negotiating!"   People with a sense of humour make light of business, which is fine by me.

Two of my favourite investments this year have been the fashion footwear company WedgeWelly and the antiques valuation site, ValueMyStuffNow.  Both are superb business ideas, but it is the people with the brains behind the enterprises that make the propositions so exciting.

If Dragons' Den teaches us anything, it is that patents are important but it is the power of personality that always wins the day.

Find out more about Theo Paphitis

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