Another new ABC show–Shark Tank follows five self-made millionaires as they meet with people looking for investors. If they like the proposal, they will consider investing in the company, if not, they will dismiss it. for many of these people, this is their last chance. In all honesty, there just isn’t very much to this show. They spend the whole thing basically in one room, watching some people talk about money. Occasionally the sharks insult someone, other times we hear an emotional story about losing everything for the business. Once in a while they make an offer which more often than not is accepted because the people are desperate. I’m going to have to pass on this one.
Recap of episode 1:
The millionaires (called “the sharks”) sit at their desk with stacks of money in front of them in $10,000 packages. The people who propose enter the “shark tank” with whatever gimmicks and information they think will convince the sharks to invest in their company.
First we meet Tod Wilson of Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory (reminds me of Pushing Daisies). Tod has made some poor business decisions in the past and now he can’t get any more business loans. He enters the tank with a huge mascot named Mr. Pie Man (it makes the sharks smile but to be honest it kind of creeps me out). He wants to sell them a 10% stake in the company for $460,000. He provides them with a few samples and the judges seem to be impressed. Last year they sold $850,000 in pies. The problem is he can’t keep up with the demand. The sweet potato sale provides 50% of the total sales. They want to know why he doesn’t sell those exclusively rather than the 30+ flavors he has. He wants $300,000 for a facility and the rest for marketing. He tells them of his mistakes and how he fixed it. (Sharks give him a GREAT line: Don’t cry for the money, it won’t cry for you. Right.) The Pie Man is for the Pies for Good Grades program he does. Right off three say no. What will the other two say? Barbara wants to go in for $230,000 for 20%. David wants 50% of the company for the other $230,000. Will he accept? Yes. (What I want to know is what happens after. Is he happy with his decision in the long run?)
Darren Johnson is next. He has created something called Ionic Ear. He’s looking for $1 million for 15% stake. It is a surgery to implant the ear into someone’s head. It has bluetooth technology. David is disturbed immediately and he’s out. You charge it by sticking a needle in your ear. (He describes it as a small q-tip.) Upgrades would require operations. Two more pull out immediately. He compares it to breast implants. Another pulls out. The last one says he doesn’t know if where he is on the scale of insanity and genius and pulls out as well.
Kevin Flannery is next. His company is WiSpots and he’s given up everything (put his home up for sale, his old job, etc) for it. He attempts some shark humor…not so well received. He is looking for $1.2 million for a 10% stake in his company. WiSpots is a small unit that patients in a waiting room can use to check in, fill out paperwork, surf the web, fill out surveys, look up patient info etc while waiting to see their doctor. How the money works is somewhat unclear and the sharks seem confused as well. One of the sharks says he considers his money soldiers. He pulls out immediately. Another says he’s out because he’s not going to look at ads. Another pulls out thinking it’s time to end. Another pulls out. One is left. Robert tells him not to cross the line into being a fool, make sure to save for his family. He’s out too.
I didn’t notice until now how gimmicky the shark tank actually is. The room where they meet is actually a large fish tank with sharks swimming around.
Tiffany Crumens steps up next. Her humor is better received by the sharks. She’s looking for $50,000 for a 15% stake in her company. She has made Emmy the Elephant, something you attach to a medicine dropper to make kids enjoy taking their medicine. when asked if kids might associate the elephant with bad tasting medicine she says that the medicine doesn’t really taste bad anymore, it’s mostly the process that kids dislike (I’m doubtful here, but ok.) She wants to use the money for a patent and to create a prototype. They’re concerned about making money on it. She needs to make it bigger, a full business not just one product. They think she could just make a sales pitch rather than that. So far three pull out because it’s an item not a business. Another says he wants a track record for things he invests in so he pulls out. What about Barbara? She thinks it’s too much money for too little equity. She says she’d give that amount if she got 55% in the business (meaning Tiffany would no longer have the majority share). Will she accept? Tiffany asks if they can negotiate. She says their connections and experience means a lot and so she accepts.
(It seems Barbara loves investing but for larger stakes than people want.)
Nick Friedman and Omar Solomon would like to create a spin off of an already successful company (College Hunks Hauling Junk) called College Foxes Packing Boxes. Basically professionally trained women helping them move. They want $250,000 for 25% equity. They have a big name and successful track record. The sharks say they want a share in both companies not just one. An immediate offer for 51% for both companies for the $250,000. They tell them to go out and come back with an offer for both. They return with an offer of $10 million for 10%. The sharks laugh. They then insult one of the sharks and he pulls out. David says he’s concerned with what situations it would be putting young girls in. He pulls out as does another. Barbara pulls out too. Robert remains…he offers 50%-50% for college foxes and 10% from college hunks. They decide to pass. They don’t think it’s fair. The sharks say it was a mistake. Oh well. As they leave the two debate whether they should have accepted.
(I won’t be recapping any more episodes as I won’t be watching.)