Shark Tank has become the “little engine that could” of Friday nights on ABC; over the past five seasons, the TV show has become a runaway hit (it took a while, though; when Tank debuted in August 2009, there were only 4 million viewers. I was one of them, becoming instantly hooked from day one. I was also a fan of a previous show, also on ABC, American Inventor; it ran for two seasons in the summer and was co-produced by Simon Cowell). For those who haven’t seen it, the basic premise is: Entrepreneurs enter the “tank” (a TV studio) and try to convince the Sharks to invest in their new business (concept, service or product).
The six Sharks are:
Kevin O’ Leary, who is the founder of Soft Key Software Products-later and better known as The Learning Company. He’s also chairman of O’Leary Funds mutual fund company.
His tip for potential Tankers: “For a successful pitch, you’ve got to know the numbers-or I will eviscerate (disembowel or remove the guts from) you.”
Mark Cuban is the founder of Micro Solutions and Broadcast.com (an Internet radio company). And he owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA team.
His tip: “People think I’m negotiating when I hold back. I’m actually listening.”
Daymond John became successful founding FUBU (the hit clothing line, For Us, By Us). FUBU is not only an American hit, it’s also an international sensation!
His tip is: “Pitch us on what’s valuable to us. Why do we want to be a part of it?”
Barbara Corcoran turned a $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate company, The Corcoran Group.
Her Tankers tip: “Use clear language so we know what your business is about.”
Robert Herjavec sold his computer security business to AT & T and runs the Herjavec Group (a cyber-security technology company).
His tip: “Realize it’s our own money. It’s not a game show.”
Lori Greiner is known as the “Queen of QVC” (QVC is a top home shopping channel).
She turned one idea-a jewelry organizer for earrings-into a multimillion-dollar brand, going on to create over 400 products!
Her Tankers tip: “I don’t pick people who are just using the show for publicity, no matter how much I love the product.”
Did You Know That…..
Even Shark Tank reruns do well in the ratings (for CNBC)!
Mark Burnett is the executive producer; he’s also responsible for “Survivor” and “The Voice.”
Shark Tank was adapted from a Japanese-based reality program known in most countries as “Dragons’ Den.”
Many of the products featured on the show have become overnight sensations.
In season one, just 1,000 applicants applied; this past season (via both online and nationwide casting calls) 35,000 applied! Of those, only 157 selected for pitches, and only 112 of those pitches aired.
The Sharks are super busy; therefore, producers cram an entire season’s worth of filming into 17 shooting days in July and September.
10 pitches are heard per day (most last about an hour, but they can take anywhere from just 20 minutes to two hours. These sessions are than roughly edited down to about 10 minutes of airtime.
When a deal’s made on air, that’s not the end of it. It’s still a long way from becoming real. For one thing, all agreements have to undergo a rigorous inspection by the particular Shark’s legal team.
Source: “Swimming With Sharks” by Jason Lynch-Parade magazine, March 16, 2014