The hit show Shark Tank brings innovative ideas to the eyes of investors with the hopes of becoming the next big product to hit shelves. Presenters must pitch their idea to the investment sharks in the tank. If interested, they will propose a modest to reasonable offer to front their project and help it launch.
The amazing thing about Shark Tank is that few of the people who show up to pitch ideas are already success stories. Instead, they’re average, everyday people who just happened to have an incredible idea and the motivation to follow it through.
We hope these inspirational stories will help you find your own motivation to succeed…regardless of what your “perfect life” looks like.
Who’s Your Daddy?
Every home needs one: a good sponge or scrub brush to get those after-dinner jobs cleaned up fast. The Scrub Daddy offers an innovative scrubbing system that changes shape in either hot or cold water.
The sponge business wasn’t a get rich quick overnight sensation for founder Aaron Krause. Instead, his idea came on suddenly after abandoning the prototype years before. When he realized he figured out how to change the texture of the sponges with water temperature alone, he raced to get the product in front of investors.
Soon to be a household name, Scrub Daddy is (so far) one of the most popular selling items in Shark Tank history, selling to 3M with sales at $197 million.
The Deal: Shark Lori Greiner bought in, offering $200,000 and 20% equity.
A Crappy Business Model?
Not this time!
The invention of Squatty Potty, designed to help make going number two a little easier, is actually one of the top profitable inventions on Shark Tank.
Owner Bobby Edwards first had the idea for the anatomically-encouraging device after his mother Judy complained of lifelong constipation. Her doctor suggested using a simple footstool to reposition her stance and “go with the flow,” so to speak. This is where the idea for the Squatty Potty was born.
The Squatty Potty itself is pretty unique and entirely based on science. It brings the sitter’s knees up closer to their chest, which opens the colon and makes it easier to drop the Browns off at the Super “toilet” Bowl.
The Deal: Shark Lori Greiner backed it for a mere $350,000 investment and 10% equity.
Another Fitness Fad?
Starting off with a dream and a prototype, the inventor of the Simply Fit Board aimed to help people shed pounds and get moving. The device itself isn’t really even all that complicated; in fact, it’s just a simple molded plastic board that lets you swivel and “do the twist” in place. This, in turn, is a great workout for your core.
This catchy fitness gadget won over Shark Lori Greiner, who just happens to have significant pull over at QVC (the shopping channel). She can get products immediately in front of the customer which means instant advertising for the person trying to get noticed and get products sold.
But Lori didn’t only love the product – she loved the presenters, too, calling them both “camera ready” and perfect for infomercials. It’s all about how you present yourself to the world!
The Deal: Another score for Griener, who bought in at $125,000 and 20% equity.
Ugly Sweater Contest
The holidays bring about many traditions, including gathering around the tree on Christmas morning…and yes, wearing those hilarious matching ugly sweaters, too.
The inventive Tipsy Elves managed to sell the Sharks on the idea of a business entirely focused on those sweaters. And even though most people tried to avoid them, the way they structured it and marketed it made it convincing enough to help them score a deal.
The Tipsy Elves line is special for two main reasons:
- Their line manages to meld “ugly” and “adorable” in ingenious ways (for example, an ugly sweater dress for women).
- They found ways to do what they love and do it effectively, too…mostly by using skills they already had (building websites) to access a larger audience.
This is the definition of ingenuity and “using what you have.” You don’t have to start with a million-dollar idea to succeed…you just need to start from where you are.
The Deal: Shark Robert Herjavec offered $100,000 for 10% equity in the business.
Ding Dong Ditch?
Not all deals go through on Shark Tank, and sometimes, it’s the Sharks themselves who end up missing out. This was the case for the Doorbot Video Doorbell.
Sound familiar? It should – you’ll learn why shortly.
Entrepreneur Jamie Siminoff struggled to pool enough cash together to pitch his product to Shark Tank producers as his business was all but failing. For whatever reason, he just couldn’t manage to get it off the ground on his own.
Siminoff never managed to convince the Sharks to buy into the concept of a WiFi-enabled doorbell that allowed you to see and interact with whoever shows up to visit, but that wasn’t the end of his story. Amazon eventually picked it up for a whopping $1.1 billion! The rest is Ring history.
So, what’s the lesson? Even when it seems like all is lost and you’re out of options, don’t lose hope. Keep networking and stay positive because success can come from some of the most surprising places.
Have an idea that you think may be the next hot product to hit big box stores or infomercials? Maybe Shark Tank is the next step for you. Get your best pitch ready and prepare to amaze the sharks! You could be the next big success story.