Three thoughts and we catch-up on some personal finance links from the previous month (delayed due to the my DDoS attack).
- Favorite New Show: Shark Tank – It’s easy to miss a prime time show on Friday nights, but set your DVRs if necessary. I thought this show was related to actual sharks as in Shark Week, but it’s really about entrepreneurs trying to get funding from famous, and semi-famous investors (sharks). A typical entrepreneur will show up with a gadget and explain to the sharks of why they should invest in their money.
Last Friday’s episode has four entrepreneurs.
The best invention in my view was the lip balm from Kisstixx. The product consists of a paired flavors such as peaches and cream. You can put on the peaches and she can wear the cream and when you kiss you get a unique flavor. Mark Cuban ended buying 40% of this company. With a big deal with Walgreens on the table, I think he made a good choice. I would get in that.
The worst deal of the night was from a company called TEC (Technology Enabled Clothing). The owner was selling rights to the patents, but not the most lucrative clothing company itself, which he projected will make tens of millions within two years (and had already made a couple million). He wouldn’t give any details about the value of the patents or the income stream that they represent. They wasted everyone’s time and I was left thinking that he was just there to promote the business – he didn’t need the money for the patents and wasn’t attempting to sell a growing business.
Mixed in between was a very small line of cookware that would have ideally gone to shark Lori Greiner, a QVC selling queen, but she wasn’t a part of this week’s episode. Barbara Corcoran ended up investing in that. One of the smarter ideas was a system that takes dryer heat and recycles it into the house for heating. Unfortunately, the inventor wasn’t committed to the invention and it had almost sales in the last two years while he pursued other products. All the sharks passed. Lesson: If you don’t believe in your idea 100% no one else will.
Ask the Reader: What do you think of this kind of review of Shark Tank? Would it be a weekly feature that you’d like to read? It will be difficult to commit to something so time-sensitive, but I feel an entrepreneur could learn a lot and I figure that is a good portion of my audience.
- New Orleans Saints Putting a Bounty on Injuring Specific Players on the other Team – I’m heading to New Orleans soon and I plan to ask a few locals about how they feel about this Saints’ scandal. Early media reports show that the league will punish them a lot worse that they did the Patriots for taping other teams’ signals. I’m a Patriots’ fan, so maybe my vote doesn’t count, but influencing your team to hurt other players is a lot worse than pointing a camera that any fan could do from the stands quite legally. The Patriots were punished with the loss of a first round draft pick. If the Saints get away with anything less than two firsts it will make a mockery of the NFL’s discipline system.
- Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club’s Stripper Mobile Puts the Class in San Francisco – I usually stay a few miles south of San Francisco, but on Friday I had the need to head into the city with the wife. While there, we ran into Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club’s Stripper Mobile. The Baltimore Sun describes it as “a converted U-Haul truck advertising Flynt’s Hustler Club is outfitted with a Plexiglas box, sort of like the Popemobile. But this vehicle is outfitted with a stripper’s pole and a bunch of itsy-bitsy-bikini-clad dancers doing – what else? – pole dancing.” I think I’m beyond liberal, but I can’t see how it is appropriate. I’ve heard that billboards are taken down for their potential to cause accidents and I’m not sure how this is any different. I thought about not mentioning it in this space, because it’s not related to personal finance, but it was interesting enough that I figured it warranted the space.
Julie @ Freedom 48 says
That “Shark Tank” show sounds very intriguing. I love hearing about the crazy new inventions people come up with. However, I’m often left wondering “Why didn’t I think of that?!?!” =)
I love Shark Tank, it’s a great reasource for entrepreneurs! I’ve had a few business ideas myself but am never sure if they’re good enough to “make” it. I recently read a book titled “HOT or NOT: How to Know if Your Business Idea Will Fly or Fail”, and it helped me pin point the areas of weakness in my idea so I could work on them before trying to find investors. If any of you other aspiring entrepreneurs out there would like some help, I’d definitely recommend checking this book out! http://www.amazon.ca/Hot-Prof-Sean-Evan-Wise/dp/1468024493/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330874015&sr=8-1
I freaking love that show! I actually didn’t understand what was going on with the Tec Clothing. Why was he even on it? It didn’t seem like he really needed the contacts considering he called Steve W.
Simon Zhen says
I had to agree with Mark Cuban on the absurdity of the patent for TEC. So putting together two pieces of cloth that leaves a thin channel for cable wiring would lead to infringement?
Anyhow, Shark Tank is my favorite reality TV show, ever. (What happened to that inventors show by the way?)
Lazy Man says
I agreed with Cuban too. I thought he was particularly on target with the point about Bluetooth making the patent of little value.
Which inventors show are you referring to? I caught Everyday Edisons yesterday afternoon for the first time and that was pretty good.
I’m surprised by the comments on Shark Tank, and not the more well… alluring bullet point listed. I guess I can’t shift Lazy Man and Money into the realm of adult entertainment yet (which is probably a very good thing).
Simon Zhen says
American Inventor – the notorious Simon Cowell was among the show’s producers. Apparently canceled in 2008.
To me, Shark Tank is way better though – love the negotiations.
Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says
“The best invention in my view was the lip balm from Kisstixx. The product consists of a paired flavors such as peaches and cream. You can put on the peaches and she can wear the cream and when you kiss you get a unique flavor”
OK, tell me I’m not the only one who’s thinking of swapping out people’s balm in order to prank them by creating strange combos (peaches and cream and peanut butter and jelly becomes peaches and peanut butter and cream and jelly).
OK, I probably am the only who who immediately thought of that.
Lazy Man says
Yep, you are the only that thought that. At least I didn’t think about it. I bet the cream and jelly wouldn’t be half bad though.