Economic Feeding Frenzy!

Dave Killion — February 26, 2012

 

This clip features Kevin O’Leary from the ABC show Shark Tank. I first heard of the program from a post at the Mises blog┬áback in July, but never watched it until EconLog’s David Henderson discussed the show last week. I have since been watching one episode after another, and enjoying it very much. The premise is that entrepreneurs get to pitch their ideas to a panel of five wealthy investors, who then grill the candidate for relevant details. The results range from rejection and ridicule to bidding wars between the investors. The show is a gripping demonstration of capitalism in action, and to call the format a success would be an understatement – there is some version of Shark Tank in each of 22 different countries, including Canada.

Watching the show, it struck me that all the investors give much less weight to potential than I would expect. Several times I have seen what I think a brilliant idea, only to see the Sharks reject it based on what they perceive as inadequate performance to date. I suppose experience has taught them to calculate the risks they take very carefully. But I calculate the risk that you will not enjoy Shark Tank to be very small, so by all means, invest a little time.

Comments

David says

Thanks for posting this Dave. It’s a great show, however Kevin O’Leary is propagating the myth that you have to be a total asshole to be good at business. I don’t buy it. Certainly you need to be able to say no and be firm but O’Leary is taking it to comical proportions. Of course this is what brings in viewers to the show.

— February 27, 2012

Antony Zegers says

Also check out James Altucher’s post on Shark Tank from yesterday:

http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2012/02/ten-lessons-i-learned-from-shark-tank/

— February 27, 2012

David says

@Antony: great article – i like the analysis. the show is fantastic. as obnoxious as O’Leary is he sure makes it entertaining.

— February 27, 2012

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