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5 Ridiculous Products in Shark Tank That Actually Got A Deal

Updated on February 22, 2020
Jan Michael Ong profile image

I like writing about food, sports, personal finance, the stock market, reality TV, cartoons, comics, collectible card games and video games.

I Want to Draw a Cat for You

Steve Gadlin was a bit kooky and a bit "out there." This was evidenced by his funny song and dance routine.

The sharks were amused by this little form of entertainment.

"I Want to Draw a Cat for You" was basically a business of drawing cats. Steve charges $9.99 for him to draw cat pictures on a piece of paper using a Sharpie. He claimed that the $9.23 was pure profit.

Steve was prolific and could produce 1,000 cat drawings per week.

Kevin expressed concern that if something happened to Steve, the business would be over.

Though many of the sharks so no substance in Steve's business, Mark Cuban saw potential and struck a deal with the eccentric entrepreneur.

Talk about "bright" ideas. Lumio was founded by Max Gunawan, a former architect. He initially wanted to build a modular home that can be folded into a compact car. When the capital requirement was too much, he decided to scale back a little and produce a folding lamp instead.

Lumio was a stylish foldable lamp that was portable and could last up to 8 hours. It was charged via USB. Lumio had a mini version that could fit into one's pocket and could charge mobile devices.

Lumio was a successful product on its own on Kickstarter and raised more than half a million dollars.

Max made sure he had his manufacturing down pat. He wanted good quality control. This led to good reviews on the product and it selling $1 million without spending a lot of money on advertising.

Max was in the tank as he needed more money to expand his business.

All five sharks tried to get a piece of the action. In the end, Robert Herjavec sweetened the pot enough for him to be Lumio's new strategic partner.

Citikitty

It is not an unusual site for parents to potty train their toddlers but to potty train your cat? Really?

Rebecca Rescate did not think that potty training your cat was such a ludicrous idea and created CitiKitty.

While maintaining cat litter boxes has been a standard for most cat lovers out there, litter boxes are smell and cost a fair amount of money to maintain.

CitiKitty works like a potty trainer. It has 5 rings that you gradually remove in order to train your cat to eventually use the toilet instead of the litter box.

While Kevin O' Leary as usual tried to find fault in the concept such as not being able to potty train older cats and that sharing the toilet with your cat is a disgusting idea,
Rebecca kept her cool inside the tank and tried to address the sharks' concerns.

When Rebecca came to the tank, CitiKitty already sold $1.4 million worth. She came in to get help from the sharks to further expand her business.

In the end, it was Kevin Harrington and Barbara Corcoran in the running to get a stake in CitiKitty. Kevin edged out Barbara and it was most probably due to his reputation as the king of infomercials.

Potato Parcel

Shipping a potato with a message halfway through the country may sound like a silly concept but Alex Craig and Riad Bekhit are making a lot of money out of the seemingly ridiculous idea.

The idea was inspired by a viral Reddit post of a stamp covered potato that was sent to someone.

Alex Craig saw potential in the idea and wanted to monetize it.

He wanted his clients to have the ability to anonymously send potatoes with messages and graphics.

Alex built a site to be able to sell his service. The site was an immediate hit. In 2 days it sold $2000 worth of spuds.

Riad Bekhit saw the tremendous potential of the business and bought it from Alex Craig for $42,000.

The duo still remain good friends and despite Alex not owning the business anymore, the two were dressed as oversized potatoes in their appearance at Shark Tank.

The appearance of the two elicited laughter from the sharks but their $200,000 in sales before their appearance on the show was no laughing matter.

Though Kevin tried to put down the idea as an idea that was not proprietary, he nevertheless saw money and made an offer.

Robert also made an offer but the duo decided to go with "Mr. Wonderful."

Humans eating bugs is nothing new. Vietnam the coconut worm in fish sauce is a popular dish. In China they eat grilled silkworm chrysalis. In South Africa, they feast on stir-fried termites.

However, the idea of eating bugs is considered as repulsive in America.

Enter Chapul.

Chapul is a brand of protein bars that are made primarily from cricket flour.

Why use crickets you say? After all we do have a lot of sources of plant and animal protein such as beef, pork, chicken and soy. This is because crickets use far less resources than most commercially available sources of protein. For the same amount of land and water, you get more bang for your buck using it to farm crickets than using the same to farm traditional livestock or plant soy.

With 100 gallons of water you can create 6 grams of protein through beef, 13 grams of protein through corn, 19 grams of protein through chicken, 63 grams of protein through soy or 71 grams through crickets. As you could see, crickets are the most cost efficient in terms of resources.

Though there is a certain stigma in eating bugs, Chapul is in no way disgusting. You won't see any crickets heads or legs as the protein bars come from cricket flour and its is ground finely enough that the flour itself does not look that much different from things like wheat flour or cassava flour.

Robert Herjavec wanted the deal but was more focused on the potential of the cricket flour than the protein bars. However, Mark Cuban stole the deal from right under him. Mark then taunts Robert afterwards.

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© 2018 Jan Michael Ong

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