Number 10…..David from Beard Head was a one man show that had sales of over $1 million per year of his sports oriented bearded face masks. His products were in 400 to 500 stores and were also sold online.
David gave a good but poorly timed presentation. Unfortunately, he had one “down-year” from a sales standpoint and that’s the kiss of death for most investors. This down-year happened last year when David was distracted by a lawsuit from a competitor who claimed he copied one of their designs. The case went nowhere, but it cost David $150K in legal fees. David has developed a good business, but he needs to wait a couple of years to seek outside investment when he can show two to three years of rising sales. That will show investors that the down-year was an anomaly and is ancient history.
Number 9……Marie and Alanna from Controlled Chaos should change their name to Uncontrolled Chaos based on their presentation. Their Curl Up & Shine hair product helps women with curly hair straighten their hair. These two were flaky, naïve, and generally out of control throughout their presentation. Somehow they got a deal with Lori who will probably make these two successful in spite of themselves.
Number 8….Allison from Teaspressa had limited sales history and it wasn’t clear to the Sharks what her product really was. Was it a machine? Was it the tea? Did she want to go retail? She didn’t have a Business Plan and it became obvious pretty quickly that she was “too early to The Tank”.
Lori summarized Allison’s situation very well when she said, ” First you have to crawl, then walk, and then run”.
Would-be entrepreneurs can’t learn about their target market, create their product(s), and learn all about business at the same time. That’s why investors love serial entrepreneurs (like Katherine from Betterback) and tend to stay away from newbies like Allison.
Number 7……Rob and Lara from Switch Witch have a Halloween product that allows kids to give up all or some of their candy in return for a plush doll. Although their product provides a healthier option for kids, the whole concept was not sweet enough for the Sharks. Almost seemed un-American to me.
At the very end of their pitch, Rob and Lara committed the cardinal sin of presenting (according to Mark Cuban). He always warns entrepreneurs never to say, “This is a huge market of X Billions of dollars and if we can get just 1%, our revenues will be huge”.
Number 6……Chris and Jeremy from Trobo sell a “story-telling plush toy”. It was basically a teddy bear with a speaker in it. The content was not compelling (it was crowd-sourced!) and it was over-priced at $60 each. They had sold 600 units but failed to draw any significant interest at Toy Fair (the single most important toy exhibition of the year). Despite all of these red flags, Shark Robert offered $166K for one-third of their company thinking he could get a large licensing deal for them. He sees this as a “content delivery vehicle” not just a talking plush toy.
Number 5……John and Anusha from Brellabox had one of the worst product ideas in Shark Tank history……renting umbrellas. People have to enter their credit card information in order to get an umbrella (from a machine that costs $1000 to make).The umbrella rents for $1.50 for 12 hours. If the umbrella isn’t returned, the customer gets charged $40. Mr. Wonderful repeatedly called this a terrible idea. I agree!
Number 4…..In the very same episode, Bob and Adam from My Fruity Faces laid an egg. They had sales of just $125K in three years despite raising $482K to fund their business. They only had $4K left in the bank and they were desperate. When they said they believe in their business, Mark Cuban responded, “Belief is not enough”. The problem was poor execution….mainly in not hustling to sell more of their edible fruit stickers..
(Note: These were both given on the same episode and were the two worst back-to-back presentations in seven seasons of Shark Tank).
Number 3……Maneesh from Pavlok has created a watch-like device that sends a shock to people trying to break bad habits. Although Maneesh gave a slick presentation, the Sharks weren’t buying it. Mark Cuban said, “He’s a con artist”. Barbara said his presentation was “exhausting and complicated”. The fact is, Maneesh had no proof that his product actually works. He cited studies done by others that talked about the benefits of aversion therapy, but he had no clinical trial data of his own.
Then, out of left field, Mr. Wonderful expressed interest! He made a generous offer, but was turned down by Maneesh who said he would accept an offer from any of the Sharks EXCEPT Mr. Wonderful! A series of expletives followed and Maneesh was told to leave the tank immediately.
Here’s where entrepreneurs need to learn the PC way to reject an offer. Maneesh could have just said that he didn’t feel Mr. W was a good fit for his company and leave it at that. Most successful entrepreneurs try not to burn bridges.
Number 2……Kristi from Float Baby showed a video of little babies with flotation devices around their necks bobbing in a pool. It was not supposed to be funny, but it had the Sharks in hysterics (Mr. W. laughed so hard he actually cried). Kristi tried to convince the Sharks that babies exposed to the water are healthier and smarter than their land lubber counterparts. She came up way short.
Kristi’s Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy was to sell “baby float time” in her studio. Clearly the big opportunity would be selling the flotation devices and tubs. Kristi also lacked Sales skills and the hustle required to launch a new product. No deal here.
AND THE WORST PRESENTATION OF SEASON 7 was delivered by Lindsey from ezpz.
This presentation was weak on so many levels. First, Lindsey came into the tank with the most ridiculous company valuation in Shark Tank history……..$20 million for a company that has sold a little over $1 million of their Happy Mats. It’s essentially a rubber placemat with attached rubber bowls.
At least Lindsey created some great made-for- TV moments with her bulging eyes and hilarious double takes. She would make a great Saturday Night Live character (she reminded me a little of Kristen Wiig playing Target Lady). Shark Robert described her as “all over the map”.
Despite her histrionics, she somehow ended up getting two offers and, shockingly, she turned them both down! Shark Barbara would have been THE perfect partner for her, but Lindsey turned down her offer. I would say Lindsey is the type of person who “doesn’t know what she doesn’t know”…..a serious liability for any entrepreneur.