Shark Tank is the Best Show on TV Today
I don’t love Shank Tank — I’m Completely Obsessed with Shark Tank
My obsession with Shark Tank is so intense that as the opening shots of any episode begins, my heart flutters and my blood pumps a million miles an hour.
I can barely wait for new episodes of this unusual reality show to drop, and after 10 seasons, I’m not even close to feeling bored of it.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, here is my breakdown of the show.
Shark Tank is a reality investment show that stars a panel of ‘Sharks’ who hear pitches from small business owners.
The business owners can ask the Sharks for any amount of money they want and in return will offer up a portion of their business to the Sharks as equity. Using this cash/equity swap the Sharks are able to work out how much the business owner thinks their business is worth and using this figure will ask several questions to try to get to their valuation. They’ll ask questions about their sales numbers, years in the business etc. Eventually if a Shark likes what he/she is hearing and is interested they will make an offer. The business owner must be offered all the money they’re seeking or they’ll leave the tank with nothing. We’ll see usually four of these pitches in an episode and thats it.
An example would be, Mike and Ozzy enter the tank and ask the Sharks for $100,000 in exchange for 20% of their company ‘Beer Blizzard.’
This implies that the business is worth $500,000
The business owning ‘entrepreneurs’ go on to describe the business and explain it’s value to the sharks.
The ‘Beer Blizzard’ is a freezable disk that when inserted into the concave bottom of a beer can will keep the beer inside the can colder longer.
They’ve had tests done and during the tests they found that with a Beer Blizzard attached to a beer can (along with an insulating sleeve added to the outside of the can) the can’s optimal temperature was lengthened from 6 minutes to 20 minutes under ‘warm day’ conditions.
Next comes the best part. The sharks ask lots of questions and the entrepreneurs are given the chance to let their charisma and personalities shine. They answer all the questions the best they can before listening to the Sharks offers. Or be told there are none.
So what happens to the Beer Blizzard boys? Take a watch for yourself -
So what’s so great about this show?
I’ve watched every season, I’ve gone out of my way to buy the products pitched on the show, the books written by the Sharks, anything I can get my hands on.
I think all reality TV is infectious, but the positive and upbeat nature makes this the best one.
I think in a similar way as Judge Judy, this show has an honesty factor and a “tell it like it is” factor that’s extremely appealing.
The Judge Judy effect
Judge Judy can be mean. She’s got a dozen classic one-liners and she’s quick to anger. But what makes her so bankable is the fact that she “tells it like it is” to people who badly need to learn how it indeed is.
Judge Judy yells at the idiots we can’t yell at.
Too often we have to deal with morons in our jobs and in our everyday lives. We can’t yell at our idiot co-workers, so we let Judge Judy do the yelling for us.
She treats good people well, and stupid people badly. This is wish fulfilment at its best.
Judy brings order to our chaotic lives, and because of that she is the highest paid person on television.
Her annual salary is $47 million.That’s roughly $130,000 a day.
Choke on that for a second
Shark Tank feels like real people getting real justice
Some guy comes in with his snake oil weight loss pill, Mark Cuban immediately rails on him for being a con artist. That feels good.
Johnny Georges comes in with his plant teepee business thats going to save water and help the American farmer — He gets an investment. That feels even better.
Watching good, hardworking people get rewarded while shifty idiots get punished is a great way to spend half an hour.
That stock music is just so damn exciting
The brass section that plays as an entrepreneur is walking down that aquarium hallway is unique to the show, but the soundtrack they use to play during entrepreneur pitches and cutaway scenes was damn fine stock music.
I say was because it’s changed now and the new music is probably unique to the show.
More money = higher budget. Cha-ching
The old music you can also hear in old episodes of Gordon Ramsey’s Hotel Hell. (Another show that often starts with idiots taking a beating and ends with feel good cuddles and tears of joy).
That old stock music lifted your spirits and made you feel like anything was possible, plus it went perfectly with Lori’s winning smile. Which brings me to —
The Sharks are just so gosh darn loveable
Each of the sharks has a unique personality that shines through in the show.
On Barbara Corcoran’s Podcast ‘Business Unusual’ she talks about faking it for the camera’s in season 1, but then just letting go and being herself after finding that being stiff and fake did her no favours.
Seasons 1–3 were rocky, and the cast didn’t know if the show was going to get cancelled. But then season 4 rolled around and ratings sky rocketed and haven’t taken a dive since.
Download ‘Business Unusual’ by Barbara Corcoran on your podcasting app and listen to her interview with Kevin O’Leary for their take on early Shark Tank days.
Each of the cast
brings something unique to the table. They each have insights into different sectors of business and just by listening to them speak and query the entrepreneurs I feel like I’m in the worlds most interesting business class.
On the Shark Tank set the entrepreneurs film for about an hour, but that hour is edited down to the best and most dramatic 8–11 minutes. This selective editing ensures that only the gems are kept in, and those gems keep us coming back for more.
The variety of entrepreneurs
Is staggering! According to USA Today up to 40,000 entrepreneurs try out for each season.
Of that pool of 40,000 only 1,000 move on to the next round.
Of that 1,000 that make the second round, 158 are selected and are filmed. Of the 158 pitches that are filmed, 88 actually make it to television.
With options like that, the producers are always able to make sure that we’re getting the absolute most thrilling viewing experience every time.
It’s got to be profitable
When you really think about it, it’s one TV set that never changes and 6 cast members. The entrepreneurs appear on air for free. Beside the update videos and occasional entrepreneur “look into my life” videos, they don’t shoot anything ‘on location’.
This show has got to be turning an enormous profit. And 10 seasons?! What the What??
I apologise on behalf of the nation of Australia and Shine Television
For the Australian version of Shark Tank.
I guess on the plus side it did make us all value the real one a little bit more right?
Between unlikeable hosts with no charisma and the embarrassingly low investments, it had absolutely nothing going for it.
Did the Australian “Sharks” guppies even know anything about business or investment? It was always impossible to tell because they never gave inspiring advice, asked great questions or structured incredible deals. They either railed on the idiots or complimented the good ones.
They did what the real version does and what we all want – but without something critical.
The Secret Sauce
This is what it all comes down to, the secret sauce.
It’s not enough to rail on idiots or compliment the heroes. You need the edge that makes the show enjoyable to watch. I need something to pull me in and make me feel like I’m a part of it.
For Judge Judy it’s her one-liners and her wisdom. Nothing gets by her and nothing she says feels like bull-crap. She see’s every lie a mile off and nothing gets past her.
“Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining”
Back to Shark Tank..
For the real Sharks, the American ones, it feels like they know what they’re talking about. I’m inspired by their lives and impressed with how they carry themselves.
I want to hear more from them and I take what they say seriously. It’s only after I respect someone that I want to hear them praise someone great, or give someone else a kick in the pants.
So keep Sharking on real Sharks, and good job ABC. Don’t drown in all that money.