SmallBizPod #79 – interview with Doug Richard, serial entrepreneur and former Dragon

A fascinating interview with Doug Richard on starting, growing and selling businesses, cutting costs, angel funding, success and failure – only hours before his business Library House went into administration.

By Alex Bellinger
16th January 2009 at 11:26 pm

This week SmallBizPod #79, the small business podcast, interviews former Dragon and serial entrepreneur Doug Richard about his own approach to starting and building businesses, success, failure, what business angels are investing in during a downturn and the issue of business support. All this just a few hours before one of his own businesses plunged into administration. There’s also a great review by a listener of Richard Branson’s latest book.

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Show Notes



• 00:00 Alex introduces what’s coming up in this episode and talks about the new look version of SmallBizPod and the launch of ‘Sevens


• 2.28 Interview with Doug Richard, former chairman of Library House and Dragon’s Den entrepreneur about what makes him tick, why he’s unemployable and how he approaches starting, growing and selling businesses.  Alex and Doug also talk about his School for Startups and how it’s possible to teach someone to become an entrepreneur.  There’s also a fascinating conversation about celebrity, handling high risk businesses, Web 2.0 and how different types of businesses suit different economic cycles. You’ll also learn what Doug will be hoping to invest in during a downturn and what he believes needs to be done to improve business support in the UK.

• 33:44 SmallBizPod listener Steve Winduss of reviews Richard Branson’s new book Business Stripped Bare.

• 44.20 MusicGoldfish
“The Four Forty Five Blues”
from “Caught In The Loop”
(Black Mango Music – Afrolution)

Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Puretracks

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  1. […] opposite Doug Richard who had graciously agreed to do an interview for the SmallBizPod podcast (now released).  He was generous with his time, but as we chatted in The Hospital Club in London, it transpires […]

  2. […] Adventures Of A Global Entrepreneur.’ If you would like to listen to the podcast, head over to SmallBizPod – Business Stripped Bare […]

  3. […] my too infrequent visits to Alex Bellinger’s excellent Smallbizpod, and had a listen to his interview with Doug Richards, serial entrepreneur and one of the […]

  4. Donn Edwards says:

    The Goldfish album can be purchased using paypal from the Black Mango Music web site

    The other stores in the links supplied go to US sites which won’t serve UK and South African customers. The music industry has still got a lot to learn.

  5. Thanks Donn for the heads up re the online store for the Goldfish track. Always really pleased to support independent artists and bands here on SmallBizPod. Although, obviously, we’re not focused on music, I’m very passionate about the tracks I select and reckon I’ve converted a few electronica doubters over time 😉

  6. Donn Edwards says:

    I really enjoy your podcast, and this track appealed to me. Now I know why: the muso’s come from Cape Town. I live in SA too.

    Keep up the excellent work! Your podcast is awesome and the web site is great!

  7. Enjoyed the podcast again Alex and I have you on subscribe on i-tunes. The only thing about this podcast with Doug Richard though is that I am still no wiser as to how he made his money and what he is currently doing! He always seems to be skirting around exactly what it is he does and I still know nothing about the guy.

  8. Hi Mark, maybe I didn’t elicit a black and white explanation. His main business (which went into administration) Library House, provided data, reports and analysis of tech and green startups in Europe for VCs and other investors. (I think!)

    His other business interests are investments in tech-oriented startups like TruTap.

    Hope that helps!

  9. Paul Grech says:

    Been listening to the podcasts for almost a year now. Unfortunately, there haven’t been that many of late, have there?

  10. You’re right Paul! But I’ve recorded some great shows recently and there’ll be a flurry of podcasting activity here over the next few months. Thanks for continuing to listening and apologies for testing your patience!

  11. Looking forward to what’s coming up. I am pretty new to SmallBizPod, so am backtacking.. bit by bit. All Good! 🙂

    Cheers Alex

  12. backtracking too, lol!

  13. Thanks Isabella, I’m glad you’re enjoying them.

    I’ve loved interviewing everyone, albeit I think some of the podcasts work better than others.

    I have my favourites. I wonder what yours and others who listen are?

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