I’m an educated man. I graduated with honours from the University of Life. The sponging student life was not for me, but now I’ve had my eyes opened to the land of opportunity that awaits in student land. And I’m not just talking about the number of times I mutter “would” when you wander about.
I’ve been putting in some time at the seats of learning, ready to check out what’s going on with start-ups with innovative “solutions” and stuff.
Since I went on Dragons’ Den (well, the screen test), I've been asked back to sit and judge these professor types with the "next best thing". I got collared to go on one with Scott “Fletch” Fletcher and Imran “Imran” Hakim, which frankly makes the whole thing feel like taking candy from a baby.
Most of these techie kids have no idea how to present the idea; there’s just no commercial nous whatsoever. You try going into some of the City boardrooms where I’ve walked the walk; start stuttering and muttering and your arse is history. That’s why they need someone who can talk the talk and command a room to be by their side. Do you see where I’m going with this?
On the face of it, it might seem a bit boring to be hanging around incubator buildings at universities, but I’ve always said, you reap what you sow, unless you’re talking about farming grants. And let’s face it, just how much of my and your hard-earned tax is going to
“knowledge economy” guff that no one understands? You may as well fill your boots and take what’s rightfully yours.
I’ve got to say I’ve forged a real bond with some of my students, or if it doesn’t sound too arrogant, followers. Their attention is grabbed from the moment they hear the Hummer crunching over the gravel.
The students are fine, especially the ones with big debts, they’ll do anything to get on my good side. And I mean anything.
No, it’s these boffins I worry about. They have half an idea and think some “product development” and “marketing channel research” will make them rich. No it won’t. What they need is a 50-seater sales floor with coke-crazed sales boys on commission-only trying to flog the thing as if their lives depended on it. It’s always worked for me.