Why Is This On My TV: Shark Tank

Have you ever thought that one of those hair brained schemes of yours could ever turn into an actual business concern?

There are many inventive people, and anyone of them could have an idea and turn it into a business, but what happens when they reach a point where they either "Go Big," or they have to "Go Home" as far as taking their dream to the next step?

Well now there's a place that these inventive entrepreneurs can turn to to pitch their ideas and just maybe have another successful entrepreneur invest some of their own cold hard cash in their dream...for a price of course!

This is the premise of what I call ABC TV's Friday night sleeper hit "Shark Tank." Shark Tank is a weekly program where five successful business entrepreneurs listen to hopeful small business owners and entrepreneurs pitch their ideas with the hopes of securing a cash investment from one of these successful sharks.

Until I began watching Shark Tank I had no idea who most of these sharks were. The one name I was familiar with was Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. The other sharks include technology innovator Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, the owner of the clothing line Fubu, Kevin O'Leary, a very successful venture capitalist, New York real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, and Lori Greiner, referred to as the QVC Queen.

Honestly when I first began watching Shark Tank I really didn't find much value in the show, but after watching a few episodes (at least 12 episodes at this point) I have to say that you can learn an awful lot from watching a few episodes of the show.


A couple make their pitch
A couple make their pitch

I should mention that I'm a serial entrepreneur and over the past few years I've been involved in several online ventures, and I boot strapped every one of them so I learned the hard way how to make things work.

That said, I've learned an awful lot while watching this program. A few of the things I've learned from the show that I didn't know before such as company valuations, what business models actually attract the sharks, and what their views on what may or may not make them part with some of their investment dollars.

Part of the appeal of Shark Tank has an awful lot to do with the often times brutal realities of what the sharks think make a business worthy of investing in the first place. It's interesting to see how the sharks often times take a pitch apart, and leaving hopeful person or people making the pitch pretty disappointed.

The worst person to deal with of all the sharks is O'Leary. O'Leary sometimes can be outright cruel in his comments about a person's business venture and their pitch, but all in all most of the people who do not secure a loan from the sharks almost always comment that they did learn something from the experience and seem to be more dedicated to their venture

And most importantly, what their offer to invest in a venture may cost the owner(s) making the pitch. This can be anything from a partial ownership of the business to a royalty fee or whatever deal the shark is comfortable making with the hopeful making the pitch.

It's encouraging to see the followup stories of those lucky few who were able to secure a shark's cash investment and business guidance because every story has been one of success, and an advantageous partnership between business owner and the shark.

If you have an idea that you think could turn into a full time venture, or your business is at that point where your ready to take that next step then you could do worse than taking a dip in the shark tank...but be warned you're in that tank without the safety of a shark cage so dive in...just don't become more chum for the sharks!



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