Bitten by Shark Tank: What Really Happens to Entrepreneurs After The Tank

Bitten by Shark Tank: What Really Happens to Entrepreneurs After The Tank

The Shark Tank season finale airs (tonight) Friday, May 15th 2015 on ABC.  Check your local listings. It seems like everyone knows that I was on ABC’s Shark Tank for my companies TEC-Technology Enabled Clothing® and SCOTTeVEST… even people I meet in my travels.  There is this look of vague recognition, a squinting of the eyes, a slight turning of their head, and then one of several variations on the questions: “Where have I seen you?” or “Were you on Shark Tank?” If the person I’m speaking with doesn’t mention the show immediately, I usually ask, “Do you watch Shark Tank?” 9.5 times out of 10, it clicks for them instantly.  And then, they have an opinion about my appearance that they are not shy about sharing.  Sometimes loudly. Perhaps it had something to do with me telling the Sharks they were “out” – a Shark Tank first that led to my episode being considered the most controversial of all time. I’m sure this experience is largely the same for the hundreds of other people who have appeared on Shark Tank over the years, though their appearances on whole have been a lot less polarizing than mine was.  Chalk some of that up to me, and some of it up to creative editing, as I described in a previous article on LinkedIn. All things considered, my experience with Shark Tank has been life-changing in a positive way.  This is a common sentiment amongst Shark Tank entrepreneurs, whether they got a deal or not.  Shark Tank is a good experience, but not in any way that the audience at home might...
Shark Tank Part 3: What Really Happens In the Tank & After

Shark Tank Part 3: What Really Happens In the Tank & After

Please note: This is the third in a three-part article series recounting my experiences on ABC’s Shark Tank, adapted from my new book Pocket Man.  You can read part one – how I got on Shark Tank – here, and part two here. My episode – season 3, episode 7 – was the highest rated up to that point, and is still considered to be one of the most controversial episodes in Shark Tank history.  There is an unofficial version posted to YouTube here (while it lasts) and it is available on iTunes. The Sharks are Savvy The Sharks truly have no fore-knowledge of the people appearing on the show. They are very savvy individuals, though, and they have an intimate knowledge of how the rules work… both the on-screen rules, and the behind-the-scenes rules. At the time, there was a rule on Shark Tank that the production received a portion of your company just for appearing on the show. That rule has been changed in subsequent seasons, but it applied to my episode. I was pitching my smaller patent licensing company TEC-Technology Enabled Clothing® to the Sharks in an effort to grow that business, but the Sharks caught wind that I also had a much larger retail company.  The problem was that they wanted a piece of my retail company – SCOTTeVEST – and if I mentioned that name during filming, I’d owe the producers 5% of that company, too. This is why I believe that The Sharks were intentionally “baiting” me into discussing my retail business the entire time I was being filmed. The more I challenged them and tried to keep the...
Shark Tank Confessional 2: Producers’ Editing Painted Me as a Villain

Shark Tank Confessional 2: Producers’ Editing Painted Me as a Villain

Please note: This is the second in a three-part article series recounting my experiences on ABC’s Shark Tank, adapted from my new book Pocket Man.  You can read part one – how I got on Shark Tank – here.  My episode – season 3, episode 7 – was the highest rated up to that point, and is still considered to be one of the most controversial episodes in Shark Tank history.  There is an unofficial version posted to YouTube here (while it lasts) and it is available on iTunes.  Well worth the money.  Getting on Shark Tank was not nearly as hard as preparing to be on Shark Tank. Months of dieting.  Dozens of presentation drafts.  Hundreds of hours gaming out all the questions they could ask me, and how to redirect them in a way that would allow me to communicate the points I needed to get across. I’ve been creating videos as the face of my multi-pocket, gadget-friendly clothing company SCOTTeVEST for years, so I’m definitely comfortable in front of the camera… even for major interviews.  Being on Shark Tank is completely different, and while Shark Tank is in no way scripted (other than the entrepreneur’s initial pitch), there is A LOT that can be done in editing to tell the story they want to tell….  …which is why I am a hero to half the Shark Tank audience, and a villain to the other half.  This is how it happened.  As Seen On Shark Tank I would love to give you a blow-by-blow account of what happened on the screen in my episode (which is not...
Shark Tank Confessional 1: How I Got on ABC’s Shark Tank

Shark Tank Confessional 1: How I Got on ABC’s Shark Tank

This is the first in a three-part article series recounting my experiences on ABC’s Shark Tank, adapted from my new book Pocket Man.  My episode – season 3, episode 7 – was the highest rated up to that point, and is considered to be the most controversial episode in Shark Tank history.  There is an unofficial version posted to YouTube here (while it lasts) and it is available on iTunes.  Well worth the money.   I am currently planning a tell-all Shark Tank book which follows up on previous contestants and explains to fans of the show some of the hidden dynamics that make Shark Tank so compelling. How Did I Get On Shark Tank? As a passionate promoter, founder of a pocket-filled clothing company (SCOTTeVEST) and now an author, it makes perfect sense that I would want to go on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank.  After all, how many entrepreneurs are vying to get on the show and be seen in front of millions of viewers?  The answer: most of them. A lot of people imagine what it would be like to get on Shark Tank, and this is the most frequently asked question I hear (other than how someone else can get onShark Tank).  This is a brief account about what the months leading up to the airing entailed: It was the summer of 2011.  My hidden pocket clothing company SCOTTeVESTwas up and running, and the business was growing steadily, adding employees and products regularly.  I felt like we had an opportunity to pursue TEC-Technology Enabled Clothing® as a spin-off company on Shark Tank.  TEC was and is...
Move Over SkyMall… SKY2BUY Is the New Mall in the Sky

Move Over SkyMall… SKY2BUY Is the New Mall in the Sky

SUN VALLEY, Idaho, March 30, 2015 – After a difficult bankruptcy auction process, the purchase of SkyMall’s brand name was announced last Friday, March 27th. The new owners paid $1.9 million for the well-known brand. The purchase price, however, didn’t include any assurances from the airlines that the catalog will be put on their planes. In fact, all prior agreements with the airlines are void. One fact is clear: SkyMall no longer has a monopoly to sell in the skies. Scott Jordan, CEO and Founder of multi-pocket clothing company SCOTTeVESThas been both a supporter of getting SkyMall back onto planes and a critic of the mismanagement that landed SkyMall into bankruptcy in the first place. Jordan was the most vocal during the auction process and many assumed he would be the winning bidder for SkyMall. He explains why he let the SkyMall name go to another party: “At the most basic level, there are two things required to make SkyMall work: a catalog and placement of that catalog on airplanes. Producing a catalog is easy. The only way to get a catalog onto airplanes is with the cooperation of the airlines. SkyMall allowed every airline contract to lapse and, despite my best efforts, we were unable to come to terms with the airlines before the bankruptcy auction,” Jordan explains. “By losing the agreements with the airlines, SkyMall’s previous management team lost their monopoly on in-flight shopping. Since I didn’t like their business model, I chose not to submit a bid. I didn’t believe that the name alone was worth it.” About six weeks ago when SkyMall declared bankruptcy, Jordan...