Tuesday, January 31, 2012


One of the best kept television secrets is a series called The Shark Tank.  When it first promo'd two years ago, I thought it was about sharks, as in Shark Week. Boy, was I wrong.  It's an incredibly interesting and educational form of entertainment.  Five unbelievably successful business people (Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, Mark Cuban, and Robert Herjavec) listen to business pitches from individual people that need money to take their start up companies to the next step.  It can be as little as $10,000 or millions of dollars.  The sales pitch is very important and for anyone who is interested in business, it's an incredible way to learn what to do or, more importantly, what not to do.  The "Sharks" listen to the pitches, negotiate money and percentages, and either make a deal or walk away. Their line is "I'm out."  Some of the items that have been pitched have become successful to the inventor/owners.  

This past Friday night's episode was different.  A man had invented a retractable rack for pick up trucks.  He was from North Carolina and he was determined to manufacture in his State. Keep the jobs local. Help his community grow the economy.
The Sharks all liked the invention, but felt strongly that they couldn't commit to manufacturing in America.  They are all about the money and the business model.  The young man wasn't giving in, it meant too much to him to make his product in America.  All the Sharks passed.  It was a very stark reality of the global economic conundrum.  I was disappointed that the Sharks didn't just give him the money, even out of charity.  I totally understood that they are investing their own money, not ABC's money, so value and wise investing is imperative, but....The message boards lit up over this segment.  Maybe he will get the money elsewhere.

Another man came out and pitched his company.  He began by professing that he is the best salesman in the world.  He proceeded to pitch his idea, that I didn't get at all.  The Sharks thought it was an interesting idea but didn't like the prospects. One by one, they were "out."  Down to two Sharks, Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran.  Mark accepted the exact terms of the salesman's proposal if he would close the deal right then and there.  He didn't. He wanted to hear what Barbara wanted.  She wanted out.  So, he went back to Mark and Mark taught him a very expensive and valuable lesson.  In so doing, hopefully, taught a lot of people watching the show.  You know the saying, a bird in the hand....Mark told him in no uncertain terms that he blew it and he was out.  Sad and stupid.  

It really is a fascinating show and great to watch as a family.  So give it a go sometime.  DVR it or just sit around together on a Friday night and watch.  Not only is it entertaining, it is eye-opening about the world of business.


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