Season 1 is Too Shark-y

So, I have to say, I’m not impressed with Shark Tank‘s origins.

Four episodes in and only eight deals had been made. Four episodes until, finally, a deal that didn’t include at least 50% of the company. But, even still it was for 40%.

I need to run some better numbers but none of the valuations coming into the tank seem much higher than any other season. And nor do the sales figures seem to be any worse. And, yet, it took until episode six to get to another sub-50% equity deal.

Running what numbers I do have, this far into the fourteen episode season, when 100% sales are excluded, season one is averaging 47.33% across all equity deals. Compare that against the chart I’ve created below and you can see just how much the sharks are trying to get from the few businesses that actually accept their deals.

I excluded sales because 100% sales of companies to the sharks at least leaves the owners with a payout that goes directly into their pockets and, in some cases, an ongoing royalty. Whereas in an equity deal, that money goes to the company to be spent on company business. So they’re giving up equity with the hope that the cash infusion will help generate larger sales over time and that those sales will make their share of the business worth more than the equity they surrendered.

But, in terms of sales, this season in six episodes has already had two full buyouts. That’s two in the entire history of the show that has only had seven in total!

Because we don’t track offers, only deals accepted, this also doesn’t represent some truly ridiculous offers for as much as 70% of the companies.

And it’s the sharks who accuse the entrepreneurs of been greedy in their valuations. Honestly… the sharks really don’t shine this season.

Beyond values and who is actually being greedy though, Season One seems to thrive more on novelty than any other. I mean, just to name a few there is Ionic Ear (a guy who wanted to surgically implant Bluetooth headsets with Matrix like charging wires that would plug into someone’s head), Sticky Note Holder (a shelf that glues onto the side of your laptop to keep your sticky notes organized), and Underease Underwear (seriously, a product that would contain and filter farts). That none of these got deals really matters. What matters is that the quality of the companies that have been appeared this season are even more of a joke than many of the ones that appeared in Season Two.

Honestly, I have eight more episodes to go before having the entire series documented. But this one has been the hardest. And I’m really looking forward to being done.