6 October 2015 | lnvicta
Fascinating, hilarious, and engrossing show about entrepreneurship.
Shark Tank isn't your average reality show. It isn't your average show period, because Shark Tank offers a lot more than contestants asking the Sharks for money and making deals. That is the plot essentially, basically the American Idol for struggling entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs make a pitch for an investment, the Sharks decide whether or not to invest, and if they do, they may have a Shark fight and try to outbid each other, sometimes aggressively so. But the beautiful thing is the wide variety of entrepreneurs there are on the show. There have been things pitched from action movies to fart-resistant underwear to surgically implantable bluetooth into your ear, and everything in between.
Many people's stories are touching, some even evoking an emotional response from me which is quite difficult. On the flip side, some are horrifically bad and hilarity ensues watching the Sharks rip them to shreds. The greatest thing about the show is how real it is. You can tell that the Sharks have genuine personalities and as you get to know them, their interactions become a lot funnier and a lot more personal. The show didn't have a consistent group of Sharks until season 3-4, but it's been fairly consistent since then, and their chemistry is absolutely perfect. Especially when a brilliant entrepreneur comes along with an amazing product and every Shark wants in. That's when things get explosive and at one point so intense that 3 of them walked off set.
It's also a phenomenal learning experience. Now, I know nothing about business. At least I didn't prior to watching Shark Tank, and the learning curve is quite simple. Once you understand the concept of valuation and risk assessment it's pretty easy to follow the mathematics of it. So for example, if someone came in asking for $100k for 10% equity in the company, they're valuing the company at $1 million because it would take 10 times the growth in order to pay back the investor. That's how the Sharks think, so understandably when people come in asking for $500k for 5% equity in their company ($10 million valuation), the Sharks expect some damn good sales to back that up. Since the show is entirely based around the Sharks, I figured I'd go down the list and express how I feel about them individually.
Robert Herjavec - A cyber security genius, Robert is the most likable guy on planet Earth. He's unmatched in his kindness, fondness for animals and his blind willingness to try out any entrepreneur's idea. He's a father with the heart of a child, and most importantly he's an excellent businessman. Being the nicest Shark, it's really fun watching Robert get down and dirty which does happen occasionally between fellow Sharks and entrepreneurs alike, and he can definitely hold his own against some of the other, bigger Sharks.
Lori Greiner - Queen of QVC bombshell Lori Greiner proves to be one of the more passive-aggressive and manipulative Sharks. Her charming persona is easy bait for entrepreneurs, especially paired with her humble smile, welcoming voice, and undeniable good looks. She's also an intelligent investor, using her TV leverage to score a lot of deals. She appears to be warm and fuzzy on the outside, but she definitely has a mischievous underbelly to her that sparks many unforgettable arguments amongst the Sharks.
Barbara Corcoran - Real estate mogul and a cunning snake when it comes to business. It's lovely watching the enjoyment she gets out of screwing over the other Sharks, and it's a testament to her marketing skills because she is a phenomenal salesperson. You can tell that she's actually a great person at heart, constantly looking after her entrepreneurs and taking them under her wing. Also, her altercations with Mr. O'Leary are unmatched. Speaking of...
Kevin O'Leary a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful - The Sharkiest of Sharks, this man lives and breathes money. He's a wine connoisseur and knows everything about everything. He's the epitome of both a venture capitalist and a wine snob. He's blunt, he's rude, unforgiving, ruthless, but most of all, he's hilarious. I can't count the times I got stomach pains from laughing at the things Kevin says. Whether it's about complaining about his tastevin (which is a story in itself) or blatant dry sarcasm, everything this man says is pure gold. He's also a brilliant salesman and an aggressive investor, known for his infamous royalty deals.
Daymond John - This laid-back fashion guru can be quiet and unassuming one minute but eloquent and aggressive the next. He's very smart and chooses his investments wisely. He's truly an interesting character because he's insightful and understanding of entrepreneurs, going so far as to follow one out of the Tank to convince he and his wife that he wants the best for their family.
Mark Cuban - The Big Kahuna, Mavericks owner, tech king, down-to-earth billionaire. This man is one of the hardest workers and smartest people on the planet. He's a listener first and foremost, speaking only when he needs information or when something needs to be said. He also causes the most controversy between the Sharks because his net worth ($3 billion) is far higher than anyone else's so he has the freedom to jump into someone's deal last minute and steal it right from under their nose. He has the money to spare, and while some of his investments are crapshoots, his thought process on getting to his conclusions are truly fascinating. He gives the show character, as every Shark does, and the chemistry between them all is incredible.
There's not much else to say. I've learned so much by watching this show, and as is said many times in the show, Shark Tank is proof that the American dream is still alive and well.