Best known as Kelso from That ’70s Show and the guy once married to Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher is a surprisingly knowledgeable and quick-witted investor, as fans learned during this season’s Shark Tank premiere. What’s more is that he actually understands the power of a kind word.
Viewers were, at first, unsure as to how they would feel about Kutcher as an investor on Shark Tank. He doesn’t exactly look like the other sharks, but then again, looks aren’t everything. Kutcher actually has proven quite successful in his investing efforts thus far, having invested in such prominent ventures as Airbnb and Skype. He seems to have a good instinct for the type of products and services consumers want and need in this golden age of mobile connectivity and social media. This instinct could prove very useful as Kutcher joins the treacherous waters of Shark Tank.
Perhaps just as impressive as Kutcher’s investing acumen is his ability to deliver a message without including a nasty insult — even when he doesn’t exactly approve of the product in question. This was evident as the sharks were discussing McClary Bros. Drinking Vinegars, a very hipsterish line of artisanal vinegars that Jess Sanchez McClary believes could be a huge hit in the craft cocktail scene. Unfortunately, the sharks all found the concept of drinking vinegar a bit icky, although Kutcher conceded that, like kombucha, it could be an acquired taste.
While discussing the merits of vinegar, Kevin O’Leary was, as usual, needlessly nasty. He referred to McClary as a pioneer who was about to get arrows in her back, and from there, proceeded to yell, “Why are you doing this to yourself?” The poor entrepreneur was visibly shaken, but then Kutcher stepped in and told O’Leary to stop belittling people.
Kutcher had plenty of fans lending their support via social media before the episode even began, but after he defended McClary, his popularity skyrocketed. Twitter users commended the actor’s willingness to face off against O’Leary.
Of course, as O’Leary was quick to point out, Kutcher never bothered to actually invest in the product. But he did give McClary some solid feedback while proving that it’s possible to say no to an entrepreneur without being mean.