Why I'm So Addicted to Shark Tank

Jul 11, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Still from 'Shark Tank'
Image: ABC.

ABC’s show Shark Tank is underappreciated by television viewers. That might sound like a bold statement, but it’s a show that draws you in with one simple hook: believing in a product, believing in a dream.

More: 12 Shark Tank Items You Can Buy on Amazon

Entrepreneurs are trying to pitch their bright ideas, but that’s the outward appearance of what is happening on the show. Shark Tank makes us believe that the American dream is still attainable in 2018, despite all of the negative headlines.

Not every product is a winner with the Sharks, but some products still resonate with viewers and become successes all on their own. People come to the show from all walks of life to fund their businesses, and it’s fascinating to see their creativity. Although we aren’t motivated to appear on Shark Tank anytime soon, we are inspired by the show and it's giving us some solid life advice.

Here’s why you should be watching Shark Tank too.

The easy sell

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There’s nothing better than eating a cupcake after a celebratory day or a sad day. Wicked Good Cupcakes came on the show in April 2013 and wowed the snarkiest Shark of them all, Kevin O'Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful. Anyone can make a decent cupcake and sell it, but Wicked Good Cupcakes sells them out of mason jars. You can eat them with a spoon, and they are easy to ship. 

Shark Tank took this easy-to-sell product and made it easy to buy. Mother-daughter owners Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie took their company from $150,000 in sales to $10 million in sales by 2016 with over 30 employees. One simple idea just needed a big boost from a Shark. It makes you wish you had come up with a wicked good anything. 

More: Kym Johnson Herjavec & Robert Herjavec Share Pic — & Names — of Newborn Twins

Getting a no

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It may seem like the end of the world when none of the Sharks are willing to invest in your company, but a no doesn't necessarily mean they hate your product. Shark Barbara Corcoran advised owners Becky App and Abby Jordan "to keep doing what you're doing" with their online ice cream sales company, eCreamery. She thought they were on the right track and could do it on their own.

It turns out Corcoran was right, and the duo wound up discovering that sometimes a win is disguised as a loss. Their appearance on Shark Tank created a huge demand for their ice cream. They hired new chefs, opened a customer service call center and funded a production facility.

"We are now swimming in orders instead of swimming with the sharks," App said.

It's proof that we don't always have to run to Oprah Winfrey for advice. Sometimes we just need a good dose of Shark Tank.

Sometimes you bomb

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Cheek'd, an online dating service — but in reverse — totally bombed on Shark Tank. The idea was to give a Cheek'd business card to a potential suitor you met in person. Instead of handing out your personal information, the suitor goes and views your Cheek'd profile. In theory, it sounds like a great idea, but Tinder, Match and Bumble are all doing just fine, thank you.

In fact, Mark Cuban eviscerated Cheek'd owner Lori Cheek on the air: “I have a rule. When people come in who are delusional, I have to say I’m out. I’m out.”

That didn't stop Cheek from persisting in her mission to make her business a success. She stuck by the old mantra that no press is bad press, and she took her criticism like a champ.

“If you’re resilient enough, can handle criticism and can spin failure, appearing on the Shark Tank can be life-altering in the most amazing way," she told CreditSesame.com in 2016.

Cheek made a lot of lemonade out of lemons from her experience. She managed to raise the money on her own and hired a chief technology officer, and the app is still going strong in 2018.

More: The 10 Best Shark Tank Products

Sometimes we just shake our heads

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The Switch Witch is designed to be the Elf on the Shelf, but for Halloween. The Switch Witch is a plush doll with a book about a witch who visits on Halloween and takes children's candy. In exchange for the candy, she leaves a non-edible gift behind. 

Well, the shamers came out in full force because they think parents should be able to monitor what their kids eat. The Sharks didn't love it because they felt the product only had a 24-hour window to be enjoyed. The inventors, Rob Bouley and his sister-in-law Lara Riley, originally created the idea because of a young family member with a food allergy. 

They didn't make a deal and the Switch Witch isn't a must-have toy for Halloween, but we definitely have to hand it to Bouley and Riley for persevering despite all of the negativity. Sometimes a passion project requires only a few passionate people to believe in you and your project — and that's the beauty of the American dream.

Shark Tank will be moving from Friday to Sunday at 9/8c in the fall. Are you going to watch?

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