On Friday night’s “Shark Tank,” we had a number of products that we genuinely liked! While we are not sure that there are many that we would personally be a consumer for, we appreciated that in this episode there were people with genuinely good ideas. While not all of them filled any specific need on the market, they at least were mixing things up and doing something interesting.
Before we get into the products, kudos to Troy Carter. From the moment that we first heard him speak in the Tank, we knew he was a guy we’d love to see more of. He’s articulate, smart, and savvy about what works in modern business.
Foot Cardigan – Do these guys sock it to the competition? A sock-of-the-month club is silly, but we like the branding and this is a cool gift idea for someone who loves crazy fashions and the hippest trends in footwear. Even the name is great! They even got a killer investment from Mark Cuban and Carter. These guys are in Dallas already so they’ve got that connection, and Troy had an excellent idea about establishing a better narrative to get people enthused about getting these on a monthly basis. We’re not sure that this will rival Loot Crate or Dollar Shave Club anytime soon, but they’re doing some great stuff so far.
ValPark Mobile – We have another app innovation this week. We do think that there is something to an app that is going to allow for better innovation in the antiquated world of parking valets / garages / car washes / the like. The issue is that so many of these places are either owned independently, or have some sort of looming corporation watching over them. How do you convince them to come in with you? This company’s done a great job in a small region, but there’s just not enough of a footprint yet to show the Sharks that this was worthy of an investment. Also, hearing Mark Cuban say he turned away Uber years ago was interesting. No deal.
Two Guys Bow Tie – Apparently, there are bow ties out there made of wood! We’ve never heard of such a thing, but these things look surprisingly slick and stylish. We liked them so much more than we imagined that we would going into this, and they did have many Sharks interested. The big fish here was Daymond John, and they were able to eventually land him … though it wasn’t until Troy bailed on the idea of the two of them working together. He was only interested for a hefty take in the business.
Nerdwax – Do these solve a problem with glasses? We would say that they do, but Mark Cuban and Daymond John were nice: This is a nice little business, but it’s going to be fairly tough to scale. Given that the only deals offered to them from Kevin and Troy had a heavy royalty component, they were smart not to jump on them. They’re better off just using the publicity from the show to grow and get their earnings to a couple of million a year. No deal.
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