Entering into its seventh season on ABC, Shark Tank has captured the mind, the heart, and the essence of the every-day entrepreneurs. With its gimmicky and visually tedious conference room setting, it is no wonder why this show has captured the hearts of the American public.
But what is so special about this show? Why is it so popular?
For those of you who have never seen the show, Shark Tank is a reality television series that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to bring their dreams to fruition. In the tank, individuals are asked to present a quick five-minute pitch about their idea and their company in order to convince a panel of five successful business titans. After a series of questions on the background, finances, and future planning of the company, the sharks give their decision of whether or not they will invest their money into the entrepreneur’s idea. When more than one shark wants to invest in their idea, a bidding war can erupt, driving the price of the overall investment. On the show, the most notable and recurring sharks have been Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner.
When people first watch they show, they are expecting to see something similar to a “talent searching” scene such as those found in the Apprentice or American Idol because of its stylistic judge-like setting. However, once they continue watching, they see that the overall show is much more than that. It is both informative as it is educational. The dynamics of corporate business found in each and every pitch is something that is interesting and new to television. Beyond, the pitches and products themselves, the knowledge and attitude each judge or shark brings to every episode makes the show that more worthwhile. With over six million, this once pronounced bland financial cable show is and will continue to be a reality hit.
So why do we love this show?
There are three simple reasons why we cannot stop watching Shark Tank: the sharks, the pitches, and the negotiations.
While the concept of the show is intriguing overall, the variety of judges that are picked for each episode gives the show an overall edge for the viewers and the public. For these individuals, they are not picked solely on their looks or style. Rather they were assembled based on their resumes and successes. Having individuals like Mark Cuban or Kevin O’Leary giving both the presenter and the audience advice is something you will never see on any other television show. In addition, beyond the drama and banter, the Sharks themselves look to educate and advise the person rather than tear them down.
Beyond the outrageous ideas people have made on the show, the overall pitches shows ingenious well-thought out solutions that everyday people may need throughout their lives. For these pitches, the presenter aims not simply to sell the sharks, but also to sell the mass viewers. Because of this, the overall pitches become an entertaining concept for the viewers. It allows the viewers to agree or disagree with the sharks and channel whether or not the product is viable in its market.
Probably the most exciting part of the show, the negotiations are the most memorable acts we can see between presenter and shark. Keep in mind, it is not the act of the individual getting the investment, rather how they are able to negotiate and whom they are able to negotiate with. In addition, this is where the business jargon comes to play where quick mental math of ‘valuations’ and ‘equity’ are clearly seen by each and every shark.