Author: Lisa Camp
“I would like $250,000 for a 15% stake in a children’s entertainment marketing business, born from a mother’s heart, who raised her kids by clowning her way through motherhood.” Or, some sort of dollars paired with some sort of high or low percentages. And, some type of gig polished up to wow the Sharks in order to further an idea, a business, a patent, a “whatever.” It’s about making money. It’s about making it big. It’s “the rest is history” in the making.
The stakes are high, or sometimes too low, depending on the business savvy of the Fish, as they nervously pitch their shtick in front of the Sharks in ABC’s break-out-of-the-recession series, and my new favorite reality TV obsession, “Shark Tank.”
Five ginormously successful Sharks lead creator Mark Burnett’s (“Survivor”) newly acclaimed show: Barbara Corcoran, self-made real estate giant, Daymond John, can you say: FUBU?, Kevin Harrington, the king of highly addictive infomercials, Kevin O’Leary, the smartly Simon Cowell-type of the show and Robert Herjavec, a security software guru. Each has the power to make a competitor’s dreams come true, and they are doing just that. In the past three weeks, the Sharks have already invested over $1.5 million in the original business ideas presented to them by the Fish. Not too shabby.
It wasn’t Mark Burnett’s excellent track record that drew me to the show, nor was it the lurid appeal of another TV reality show. It was the idea that a struggling entrepreneur has a once in a lifetime chance to sell themselves and their goods to people with *gasp* MONEY. In today’s market, money isn’t easy to come by, or hold onto for that matter, so why not?
I love the win-win approach to this reality show. The Fish’s ideas, when pitched successfully, win over the actual dollars from one or more of the Sharks. It’s quite simple really: real cash, given to the right people, to make more money, for more people. Yeah, it’s that easy. Gotta love the K.I.S.S. philosophy on the boob tube.
If the Sharks like the idea, they might even fight amongst themselves in order to buy the concept being sold. Super-de-duper fun to watch, especially seeing the trembling wannabe listening to the dollars tossed out, the percentages climbing higher and higher and with the decision of whether they’ll walk out of the room rich with some pure dough, or leave with nothing more, looming imminently overhead.
Stay in your seat. Decisions are made on the spot. Only twice have the Sharks allowed someone to leave the room to think, call a loved one, or use a lifeline and to then hurry their butts back to the hotspot and spill their “yes” or “no” response to the Shark’s offer(s). And there I am sitting in my chair at home, with edge of seat in position, eyes-wide and waiting. Will the idea make beaucoup bucks? Would I buy or use, or even want the whatever it is they’re pitching? Is their idea the next big thing?
So every Sunday night you’ll know where I am, with heartbeat quickened, possibly with notepad in hand, waiting for my, yes my, show.
And hey, one day some random mom, who has been a professional clown, should pitch that amazing, wonderful, fantastic children’s entertainment marketing business idea. Maybe it should be me? *Insert innocent grin here.* Who knows?
“Shark Tank,” airs Sundays (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.