Whatever you do, do not nickel-and dime Chris Sacca under ANY circumstance. This was the lesson of this week’s “Shark Tank,” an interesting beast given that we had four pretty-good products, and yet only one entrepreneur ended up leaving the Tank with a deal. One departed of their own accord, and one negotiation in particular suffered a slow and in some ways painful death.
We’ll get to all of that; as you read, just click on some of the links below to be taken over to some official websites. That’s where you can procure some further information if you’re interested in some of these products.
Toymail – In reading about this product going into the show, the #1 concern on our mind was HOW in the world this was valued so high, beyond the fact that it is a tech company and they always tend to be astronomical. Now, it makes sense — deals with Verizon and Amazon, who both shelled out a pretty penny for this plush that doubles as a communication device. It’s like a pseudo-phone for young kids that can only send messages to select contacts. There is no denying to us that this is a smart, interesting idea. Could it get a little annoying if the kid gets completely mad with power and starts pestering his or her parent every second of the day? Totally.
Given that Chris has a young child, we’ve seen him express interest in many companies within this space. He did so yet again here, as well, opting to forge a deal with Lori Greiner that would allow the two of them to each provide a little bit of something the company needs. This is one of those few times when the Sharks actually responded to competition and went over and beyond the asking price!
Edn Garden – Is this one of the better ideas to not get a deal in the Tank? In some ways, we think so — Chris may have gotten it wrong with his assessment that this is a “soulless” brand that takes away a part of what makes gardening fun. We don’t see it so much as that as we do the process. People want to see their garden grow and become something beautiful, and this still does that without all of the dirt and the constant moving of things around for the right sunlight. It’s a really cool idea, and it does seem like there is some effort in getting the price down that’s been made since they were in the Tank.
Kudos to the entrepreneur here for not giving in to the 25% Kevin O’Leary was asking for as a form of punishment for not making a deal sooner. Sharks doing this to force an entrepreneurs’ hand is one of the stupidest things that we see this show do.
Hotels By Day – It’s an interesting idea that was executed terribly in the Tank. The vision wasn’t clear, the answers were confusing, and it does remain true that any big company can come and eat these guys alive down the road. It’s not something creative where someone can come in and do it and inject some sort of personality that can’t be replicated anywhere else.
If we were to offer some suggestion to the duo behind the product after they left with nothing, it’s this — stick to hotels near airports. This is the sort of market that would need this, since otherwise it’s hard to see it working in smaller towns.
Bitsbox – Another incredibly-high valuation, but this would felt slightly more slanted than the one with Toymail earlier. They didn’t have other people paying in at the $8 million value they entered the Tank with, which we ultimately feel was the difference between why the Sharks were more okay to accept the $10 million valuation earlier in the show. In particular, Chris was offended that they kept splitting hairs over little percentages in the negotiation with them — they weren’t willing to show the right amount of leeway and were really trying to push hard to get him to accept a better valuation than the $5 million he put on it. After he went out on TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS, the deal was done.
It’s a shame, since we do think helping kids learn to code is a great thing to teach at an early age in today’s generation. Given the pedigree that they have coming from Google, though, we think they’ll do just fine.
As always, we welcome your thoughts on this story below! Meanwhile, head over here if you want to check out some further updates from this season. (Photo: ABC.)