Tonight, “Shark Tank” is saluting the troops; in particular, the ones who come up with unique ideas to make the world a better place. Sure, these are all for-profit, but many of them are also doing a good job of being philanthropic at the same time.
Below, take a look at how each of the four business fared in the Tank. We’ll be back all episode long with some further insight.
R Riveter – is this handbag company the tribute to Rosie the Riveter that we needed? Well, honestly we hadn’t thought of Rosie in some time, but she’s such an iconic figure in U.S. history that this name is so smart. It also represents the story of the brand well, since all of the bags are made by military spouses.
Let’s be honest: The fact that this was a handbag company alone was not what made this impressive; instead, what made us happy about this company was the production model. Mark Cuban laid it out brilliantly: By having military spouses working on these bags all over the country, they become de-facto salespeople, working to push the brand without that being technically their job. They, in turn, can tell other spouses. They travel so much that sometimes getting a steady job can be difficult. Some of the advice from Mark may have been what swayed them to pick him as a Shark … and also the fact that he offered a line of credit to go along with the money and percentage stake that they asked for.
BearTek – Is this innovation worth the massive valuation? We dig the gloves, and we also dig what they do. However, we’re not sure we would ever actually need them. We don’t like to mess around with stuff while wearing gloves, which is why he prefer to just load up our phone with music / podcasts / other good stuff before going outside. We’re not surprised that they left without a deal, and according to Mark in particular, it wasn’t all about the deal. The reality is that there are other voice-command activators out there, and maybe by the time this advances to the point where it is mass-market, someone will have come up with something even more clever.
Major Mom – Could this organization company be a major (ahem) success? Unfortunately, Major Mom suffered from the same problem we thought that they would: Going into a franchise model when ideally, it may have been the better move to build demand up on a local level that is so intense that people demand expansion outward. We love what she’s trying to do to help people who are extremely disorganized, but at the same time there’s so much of a risk in handing off what she does to other people and expecting it to go as well. Franchising a service like this is different than opening a new restaurant somewhere else. It’s about passion and mindset; she has it, but would anyone else? This may have scared the Sharks away from a deal.
Combat Flip Flops – Is this the right mix of generosity, profit, and concept? In theory, it’s great. The flip flops are also one of the few products on the show in the past four seasons that we’ve considered buying even before we heard the pitch; we like the look of them, and the fact that they come in fairly large sizes as a guy with big feet. The model is complicated, but unlike Major Mom in many ways, these guys were able to use certain keywords that the Sharks liked. Not only did they get Mark and Daymond John in, but they convinced them to also add Lori Greiner, paying her a compliment that wisely put the other Sharks in a position where they wouldn’t look so good to shun her. Smart all around.
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