Daymond John: Investing in America
by Mike Green
January 30, 2012 | 10:35 am ET
As the founder, president and chief executive officer of FUBU apparel, Daymond John is no small fish when it comes to offering his expertise on ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank.” The multimillionaire mogul appears as one of five executives on the Mark Burnett-produced show who help aspiring entrepreneurs launch their companies.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, John discussed the Season 3 debut, his current status with FUBU, his plans for integrating his brands into television, and his thoughts on today’s urban apparel.
What was your reaction to the recent debut of “Shark Tank: Season 3″?
It was definitely exciting. The numbers came in great, and that means that people are actually starting to like to see smart TV instead of other things that they tend to watch.
Would you consider your approach to viewing business pitches this season to be different?
No, not really. I guess I learned over the seasons, after you see the deals going on TV, how to close on a deal the quickest, or move on and not close the deal because it may not be everything that it’s cracked up to be.
With you attaining a wealth of business knowledge throughout your career, what are some experiences that you bring to the show?
I’ve learned, like with anything else, business is only as good as your connections and your resources. And some of the resources that I have are the fact that I work with huge artists. So that’s a large equity play. A lot of times I can put a product together with a distributor when I go into my Rolodex for distributors. I can then put it together with a face, such as an artist. And then I can go into my databank of retailers and people that I’ve been working with through the years of retail, and then also manufacturing. So once I get that done, there’s usually a good chance that we’re going to have some success.
What inspired you to join the show in 2009? Did Mark Burnett reach out to you?
[Executive producer] Clay Newbill reached out to me, along with Mark Burnett. They saw me on shows such as Donny Deutsch. They understood when they saw me getting elevator pitched on these shows, they understood that I could pretty quickly break down a business and see all its holes or assets — and exploit either one.