ABC’s Shark Tank is clearly the best business show on television. Investors Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Kevin Harrington, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec are joined by two new investors in season two. Billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and comedian Jeff Foxworthy joins the cast and adds a different mix to the shark tank.
Five reasons why this is tv’s best business show:
- Real money is at stake. Investors show viewers a glimpse of real world investing. When actual cash is at stake (and lots of it), we observe authentic behaviors, questions and reactions from both sharks and entrepreneurs.
- We see the process of wealth creation when real investors and small business owners get together and think about resources needed (financial, operational experience, relationships, etc.) to take a small company to the next level. ABC typically re-visits the businesses after a few months to update viewers on how the companies are thriving in the marketplace.
- Viewers get to understand what it takes for small businesses to grow and succeed in a competitive marketplace. Many entrepreneurs have all sorts of ideas for bringing products and services to consumers. The sharks have a tough investment criteria because their hard-earned cash is on the line. Typically, they like proprietary products and services (including those businesses with patents) as well as unique ideas that fulfill a need for a mass market. Many of the investors want to hit homeruns, not low returns on their cash.
- Sharks see through the lies and bull often spewed by business owners. This show’s investors easily spot entrepreneurs desperate for cash and distinguishes between financing proposals versus ideas with strong upside potential. This trait teaches viewers to have a discerning eye given the many claims made in the marketplace. To the sharks, all this amounts to is mere noise.
- The sharks have an outstanding ability to ask the right questions and to read people. Their questions are direct, and often probe at value drivers and critical success factors for a business. The show’s investors take into account future cash needed to help the business grow, not just the immediate fund-raising initiative. This dynamic shows viewers that in business, it is critical to know your business model, drivers for growth, and to have a communication style that is direct and straight to the point.
The Shark Tank is not a place for theory or academia, but for successful practitioners. And that’s why we love it.