Are you a “Shark?”

This might sound like a weird question when I ask if you are a “Shark.” No, I do not mean the fish that goes swimming around looking for prey to feast on, and I do not mean the documentary that happens every summer for “Shark Week.” When I ask the question, I’m referring to the hit ABC show, “Shark Tank?” For those unfamiliar, it is a business reality show airing on Friday nights during the Fall/Spring season. They have successful business investors who listen to presentations from entrepreneurs looking to expand their business. These entrepreneurs seek investments (loans) from the “Sharks” in exchange for selling a percentage of their business for advice on business practices to increase ROI.  The Sharks decide if they want to invest their own hard earned money into these individual business presentations; some do and others don’t. “Shark Tank” often airs updates during the show to demonstrate how much more successful these entrepreneurs have expanded their sales after the shark has given their time and expertise.

My entire reason for reflecting on this show is because I have spoken with various colleagues about the idea of “Shark Tank.” Some say it’s an interesting idea but wouldn’t be interested in selling a portion of their hypothetical business because that is a loss on income for the original owners. However, other like minded people to myself have similar viewpoints to my thinking of how “Shark Tank” really does help each presenter on the show. Even if they don’t strike a deal with the sharks, they still have had an enormous opportunity to advertise their business and to expand their audience, simply by a five minute or less air pitch. If they do strike a deal even better! Yes, they do lose a percentage of their ownership by making the deal in the first place, but if the Sharks advice and expertise is solid, then they increase their revenue by a large margin.

What do you think? Should all of these different business owners come on to the set of “Shark Tank”, present their business model, it’s flaws, and its target goal, and aim to have lessons from pros, or it is this just another show that will run it course over time?


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