Normally I focus my attention on the performances of the entrepreneurs and not the Sharks, but this episode had a pretty thin line-up of entrepreneurs and some fairly bizarre Shark activity.
For example, the normally stoic Kevin O’Leary (aka Mr. Wonderful) a) kissed Barbara on the lips after a mock wedding ceremony performed by one of the contestants, b) Cried like a baby after hearing another entrepreneur’s love story, and c) didn’t make one of his patented Royalty in Perpetuity (RIP) offers.
There was one bright spot …..Alice and Bettina from Roominate
These two Stanford Engineering grads. developed a toy that exposes young girls to the world of architecture, construction, and engineering. The intent is to help create more female professionals in these fields….an admirable objective. The toy reminded me of legos, erector sets, and tinker toys (for those over 50).
They ended up getting exactly what they asked for….$500K for 5% from Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban.
The toy business is a brutally tough business, and these guys will be challenged to hit their forecast of $5 million for the year. In the toy business, up to 90% of your annual sales can come in the August thru November, as the stores are preparing for the holidays, and you’re never really sure what the actual sell-thru is until the holidays are over.
That said, these two are very impressive and that’s why they got the deal. The Sharks were investing in them, not their business.
The Best of the Rest…..Eric and Phillip from Kronos made finely crafted putters and sold them for $500 a piece. Golf in the U.S. is very much of a “me too” sport. Until they can get a current (or former) PGA player to use and endorse the putter, I believe they will struggle. Phillip broke down when he was talking about his girl friend who lived in Japan who couldn’t come to the states because her parents didn’t approve of his new venture. I hope he uses this to motivate himself and it helps him succeed. He definitely should have a “chip” on his shoulder (golf pun intended).
Shark Chum…….James and Adrian from Wedding Wagon provided a mobile wedding venue and wedding service for $99. They were trying to franchise their business but had already sold their only successful region (Las Vegas, of course) leaving them no foundation for expansion. The highlight of their presentation was a marriage ceremony with Barbara and Mr. Wonderful as the bride and groom. Actually, this was a pretty funny segment.
Tiggs from The Floating Mug had an interesting product line (cups and glasses that don’t leak and leave stains on tables) but his products were too expensive, required a huge minimum order commitment, and his selling price was double what it should be. Mark Cuban dropped out when he heard Tiggs didn’t use the web to market his product. Lots of room for improvement here.