Friday 11 April 2014

Shark Tank

One of my favourite TV shows is Shark Tank. Great entertainment, but at the same time, very good business stories and lessons.

The "sharks" (themselves seasoned businessmen, all build up their own wealth, some are millionaire, some even billionaire) can sometimes be rather cruel but such is life. A good dose of reality from time to time is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Some ideas are simply not good, when there is no product-market fit, and revenue is very disappointing, then may be there is no market for the product/service and thus no business.

Another good series is Dragons Den from the BBC (also featured in many other countries), but I like Shark Tank more. The "sharks" are more sharp than the "dragons", the founders can pitch better, and the US has a larger population and thus simply a larger pool of good entrepreneurs and ideas. Added to that, a pretty big market is of course also not wrong.

Two of the most outspoken sharks:
  • Mark Cuban is really great, he can appear to be pretty arrogant, but he is putting his money where his mouth is and doing lots of deals on pretty fair terms, in my opinion;
  • Kevin O'Leary, "Mr. Wonderful", can be nasty, on the other hand, he never gets angry himself, famous for his deals that include royalty, but not equity.
The last aired episode, with quite a few deals done. The fact that a deal is made on the show doesn't mean the deal will actually go through, founders can retract it, due diligence might show issues that will make the sharks back off.


  1. It is one of my favourite shows too. There is much to learn from the way they assessed a business proposition to the way they structured a deal. Shame the show is not easily accessible to audiences in Malaysia.

    I believe Mark Cuban just doesnt suffer fools well and that may come across as arrogant to some.

  2. Thanks Shadow, agree, putting this show up on Malaysian TV would be very educational. Some people would cringe how direct those US guys and girls can be, but that is business, welcome to the real world.

    I used to dislike Cuban, but started to like him more and more, and now he is my favourite.