Season Four Key Takeaways

As Season 4 of Shark Tank has come to an end, many of us are left anxiously waiting for the next season to begin. And while we are often left waiting for what the future will bring us, we don't always seize the moment to take a look back at the past and learn lessons for our previous endeavors and efforts. In each and every Shark Tank pitch there are lessons that can be learned and taken to heart to make each of us better people, and our businesses more successful. Mr. Brian Dodd, who writes thoughts on Leadership and Entrepreneurship at Brian Dodd on Leadership, has graciously shared some of his key takeaways from some of the entrepreneurs that entered the Shark Tank. These are short and sweet lessons that can go a long way to helping entrepreneurs who are starting and growing their businesses.

Drew Beaumier, Drive Suits
  1. Uniqueness – “What is unique?  What can’t be copied?” – Herjavec
  2. Focus – “Do you want to be a circus performer or do you want to sell 500,000 units? – O’Leary
  3. Personal Motivation – “I’m not trying  to make friends.  I’m trying to make money.  Be one with the dollar.” – O’Leary
David A. Cox, PC Classes Online
  1. Clarity – “You don’t know what you want.  A bundle or an add-on.” – Cuban
  2. Capacity – “You don’t have capacity to service one million add-ons.” – O’Leary
  3. Passion – “Oh you’re the first person who ever came in here with passion.” – Herjavec
  4. Relevance – “I love the idea of classes done online in 1985.  It’s been done again, again, and again. You haven’t said what you’re going to do to identify 50+ year olds.” – Cuban
  5. Innovative - “As an investment you’re 30 years too late.” - Herjavec
  6. Excellence – “Horrible pitch.  Horrible idea.  Horrible evaluation.  I’m out.” – John
Bill Lyons, Revestor
  1. Solutions – “The world has a huge problem.” – O’Leary
  2. Wisdom - “How can you make a prediction on value?” – Corcoran
  3. Production – “Do you have any sales?” – John.  Response – “My revenue projections have not rolled out yet?” – Lyons
  4. Genuineness – “You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth.” – Hervajec
  5. Communication – “If it was that hard to explain it to me then it will be harder to explain it to customers.  I’m out.” – John
  6. Authenticity – “Your presentation today made you appear like a con artist.  I’m out.” - Herjavec
  7. Character - “He wasn’t a dishonest guy.  He just didn’t present well.” – Corcoran
Beverly Vines-Haines and Charlotte Clay, Ice Chips Candy
  1. Value – “Why do you think it’s worth that much money?” – O’Leary
  2. Profit – “Those are some sweet numbers.” – John
  3. Knowledge – “You know your market.  You know your numbers.  You’re making money.  Why are you  here?” – John
  4. Options – “I love you have chips.  You can pick how big or small a piece of candy you want.” – Corcoran
  5. Joy – “He is no fun to work with .  He is totally focused on money.” – Corcoran on O’Leary
  6. Patience – “Patience is a virtue.” – Cuban
  7. Competence – “I’m interested in working with Barbara because I think she works well with consumer products.” – Cuban
  8. Negotiating Skills - “I feel this Barbara crap growing on them and I don’t want them to make them to make the wrong decision.” – John on sweetening his deal.
  9. Chemistry – “The Barbara and Mark personality was the best decision for us.”
Doug Marshall, The Gameface Company
  1. Priorities – “You got big margins.  It’s working for you.  Why not do this full-time?” – Cuban
  2. Sacrifice – “I didn’t make any money from my business.  I’m out. – John
  3. Investment – “When I started my business do you know how many years it took me to make $100,000.” - Herjavec
  4. Partnerships – “I would like Mark to work with me.” – Greiner
  5. Goals - “I don’t believe you started this business to work for someone else.” - Herjavec
Dan Grimm and Brant Myers, Arkeg
  1. Viability – “You need a drink to sell these things.  I’m out.” – Cuban
  2. Sustainability – “I send this as more of a gimmick.  I’m not in the gimmick business.  I’m out.” – Greiner
  3. Results – “You’ve sold 20 units in 2 years.  That’s low.  I’m out.” - Herjavec
  4. Multi-Generational - “This is a dinosaur.  I’m out.” – John
Dan Rothwell Dura-Tent
  1. Modeling – “This product screams demonstration.” – O’Leary
  2. Preparation – “An engineer that comes on national TV and can’t do the math.  That’s not good.” – Cuban
  3. Vision - “Tell us how you would use the $50,000 and how that would accelerate your sales?” – Cuban
  4. Simple – “I’m just a simple Croatian guy.” - Herjavec
  5. Right Fit – “I think it’s an ingenious product.  You’ve done a lot work on it.  I just can’t add any value to it.  I’m out.” – Cuban
  6. In Demand – “There’s not a huge demand for it and for that reason, I’m out.” – Greiner
  7. Teachability – “I learned more from the sharks up here who are experts in their field.  I’m out.” – John
  8. Intelligence – “There’s smart money and there’s dumb money.” – Cuban
  9. The Ability To Say “No” – No deal is better than a bad deal.” – Cuban
Megan Gage, Hot Tot Hair Care
  1. Financial Viability – “What were your sales in the last 15 months?” - Herjavec
  2. Expertise - “You’re not a hair stylist?” - Herjavec
  3. Distinctiveness – “There is a distinct difference between your’s and their’s?” – Greiner
  4. Learned - “What allergy testing have you done?” – Cuban
  5. Opportunistic - “How big a market is this?” – O’Leary
  6. Faithful - “Have those customers re-ordered?” – Cuban
  7. Perspective – “I think Cuban is ready to take the ride with you all the way.  I wouldn’t be of any help to you if that one person I know said no. – John
Please feel free to send in your own key lessons from any of this season's pitches to be featured on Blog Shark Tank!
Jeff HopkinsComment