Being a Student of Shark Tank

shark-tankI’m rarely an early adopter of TV shows. I like the word to get out that the show is incredibly good and then I’ll binge watch to catch up. Rarely is a network show on my list but after hearing from numerous people that Shark Tank is a quality program, I’ve begun binge watching. There have been 93 episodes and I have probably watched about 50 from all seasons in the past 2 months which I think gives me a good perspective on what was happening in season 1 compared to season 5. These are my observations.

 

The Sharks

Robert+HerjavecRobert Herjavec – Net Worth $125 Million – Nice guy who enjoys the outdoors, running, cars, and is a family man.  He is the tech guy who grew his own 3 person business to a hundred million dollar company.  He tends to have morals and stays away from unethical deals.  He can get upset with Mark how he bullies the entrepreneurs into making deals.  He seems like a nice guy.

Lori GreinerLori Greiner  – Net Worth $50 Million –  “Queen of QVC” – Lori is known as the warm blooded shark and I applaud her for not getting bullied by Mark.   Her main selling point is that she can get the product on QVC which gets tired.  She has a good head on her shoulders and connects well with the women.  My one pet peeve is when she says “and for that reason, I’m out”.

Barbara-corcoranBarbara Corcoran – Net Worth $140 Million – Marketing & design expert.  She is the #1 shark in terms of making your product look presentable and the best to sell on a store shelf.   She made her money in real estate and gets along with most people.  Extremely likable and I enjoy her personality even though I believe she is the easiest to replace.

kevin-olearyKevin O’Leary – Net Worth $300 Million- Mr Wonderful is the best shark.  He is never on the entrepreneur’s side and only thinks about his own wallet.  Most of his deals involve some perpetuity where he collects forever on the sales of the deal.  He will always low ball and isn’t afraid to tell people when their idea is stupid.  Especially likes the wedding and funeral industries.  My favorite move by Kevin is when he tells the pitcher that “anyone can come in and do it”.  I picture him sitting on a yacht in the Mediterranean, sipping a $10,000 bottle of wine, and counting his money.  His catch phrase is either “stop the madness” and “it all leads back to Mr. Wonderful.”

daymondDaymond John – Net Worth $250 Million – Fashion and manufacturing expert who is highly regarded for his opinions on clothing.  Daymond says the least so it’s difficult to know what he is thinking but he has a keen sense of an idea and how to scale it.  He is one of the sharks who has a night life which is a nice change of pace compared to everyone else.

Kevin-HarringtonKevin Harrington – Net Worth $450 Million – Infomercial guru.  Replaced by Mark Cuban after season 1.  He wasn’t bad by any means but he also wasn’t good.  Mark was a significant upgrade.  Kevin was somewhat boring and was a duplicate of Lori’s business prowess.  2 sharks with the same skillset had to be altered and dropping Kevin was right because his television presence was not as significant as Mark.

cubanMark Cuban – Net Worth $2.7 Billion –  Has the biggest reputation, the biggest attitude, and the biggest bank account.   He is brash, decisive, pushy, and rarely backs down from his opinions.  The Mavs shtick gets old though because it’s all the presenters ever gear their pitches to.  The entrepreneurs also have a fascination with dealing with him where they will take worse deals just to partner with him.  When you are 10x richer than the other sharks, I can see why,  He’s perfect for the show but I view him more as a heel than a hero.

 

My Observations

  • shark-tank-changing-angel-investingThe success stories are irrelevant when everyone succeeds because of the notoriety of Shark Tank.  The show has turned into an investors dream when after the show your idea gets exposed to millions of people.  I would much prefer to see company’s failing or overcoming obstacles.
  • Mark hates stories.  Whenever Lori or Kevin start with a story he has already heard, he starts rolling his eyes.
  • Mark and Robert have a personal feud.  Mark doesn’t respect Robert and Robert is constantly seeking Mark’s approval.  This does not happen all the time but Robert is always looking over his shoulder at what Mark is doing or thinking.
  • kevinKevin’s perpetuity deals.  Funniest character on the show.  Constantly working deals that pay him forever without him doing anything but setting it up.  I find him to be extremely savvy although his people skills are negligible.  He knows what he knows and does it to perfection.
  • People who get on Shark Tank only for the exposure is becoming more frequent.  This was not the case in the beginning when the deals were mostly 50k for 25%, instead of multi million dollar deals.  I saw one where a guy was asking for 3% for 250k and had little need for the money and was strictly there for the exposure.  Cuban freaks out when he believes this is the case and rightfully so.
  • After the pitch when the person is thanking the Sharks for their opinions is one of the funniest parts of the show.  When someone thanks a shark for turning them down Mr Wonderful would say, “what are you thanking me for, I just told you the idea stunk?”
  • Dopey music making an idea look dumb is so unbecoming of NBC.  I get annoyed when the camera zooms in on a face or essentially leads the audience into thinking a certain way.
  • Taking offers has gotten absurd.  The sharks will bully the entrepreneurs and tell them they have to make a decision right away when it’s unfair because they haven’t even heard any other offers.  Then they childishly say they’re out when they wait.  The best line I’ve heard was, “With respect to everyone else, I’d like to hear the other offers.”
  • The amount of deals the sharks are taking is becoming unmanageable.  With 93 episodes and about 4 deals per episode, that’s roughly 150+ deals assuming half of the people walk.  How can 7 people manage 20 deals each?  Something is fishy and I wouldn’t be surprised if many deals fall through after being accepted on the show.