@ Kitchen Safe - Controlling Bad Habits

Ryan and David, owners of Kitchen Safe, approached the Sharks requesting $100,000 for a 5% stake in their company. David came across like a used car salesman yelling the words KITCHEN SAFE over and over. One would have expected the Sharks to be annoyed, but interestingly enough they found it humorous. We couldn't be sure if they were laughing at or with David and Ryan but based on the offers made it certainly appears like the Sharks enjoyed the commercial approach to selling this bizarre product.

The Kitchen Safe is a plastic container with a lid that locks on to the container with a timed mechanism that does not allow the lid to be opened until the countdown timer reaches zero. Its intended use is for people to lock away their junk food so that they are not able to yield to their temptation to snack on the junk food at will. Instead, they will be frustrated by not being able to open the container where they themselves stored the junk food and set the timer at a point during the day when their temptations were not as strong.

David tells us that the Kitchen Safe functions as what psychologists term a commitment device. His claim is that this is a scientifically proven method to fight temptation. The idea is that you create a larger obstacle to the temptation in order to increase the cost of yielding to the temptation. As there are no overrides that would allow the device to be opened the only way to bypass the commitment device is to break it. And the cost for doing so is a whopping $49.00 which is the retail price for the container.

But, therein lies the dilemma. On the one hand, all of the sharks agreed that the device (which according to Kevin O’Leary is a piece of crap) is way overpriced at $49.00. Of course it is when you are looking at it as a kitchen container. However, if the price were significantly reduced, then the question would be whether it would still function well as a commitment device.

[TV Note: After calling the item a piece of crap, David is brought to tears and tells of his own prior challenges of trying to resist junk food and being overweight. A chord is struck and David is brought to tears soliciting Kevin to profer: “Don’t start crying, be a man”. David is on a roll and tells Kevin off after which Lori chimes in and tells Kevin to shut up. Great TV!]

So, what about the financials? In the 11 months since the product has been available on line, they have sold 300,000 units. The cost to manufacture these containers is $14.50 and as mentioned the retail cost is $49.00. If those numbers are accurate that would mean that Kitchen Safe has had a gross profit of over $10 million. One has to assume that these entrepreneurs were not on the show to ask for money. They wanted a Shark (or Sharks) to join their team and propel them to the next level.

Several offers were placed on the table, and Mark Cuban was never even able to make his own offer before Daymond John forced everyone's hand and asked for a decision to be made. At that point two offers were available: The first was from Daymond who offered $100,000 for a 20% stake in the company. The second was a joint offer from Lori and Nick Woodman (the Guest-Shark) for the same $1000,000 for a 20% stake. There were two differences though in the offers being made. David and Ryan already had a deal with HSN to sell their products. But Lori and Nick's offer came with the contingency that the deal with HSN needed to be dropped and that a deal with QVC would be put in its place. This did not sit well with David and Ryan as they appear to be men of integrity.

But, business is business, and what the men really wanted was to partner with a Shark. And given the choice of partnering with one Shark (Daymond) vs two Sharks (Lori and Nick), the choice was easy. Goodbye HSN and hello QVC!

Congratulations to Ryan and David on a job well done. There is no doubt that thousands of people in middle America will be purchasing this 'piece of crap', and even Mr. Wonderful would be willing to sell this 'piece of crap' to make money.