I had the opportunity to write an article for Brazen Careerist, a popular career and lifestyle site for young professionals. Below you’ll see an excerpt from my article, titled Lessons from the Shark Tank: How to Lose an Offer in 15 Minutes or Less. Hope you enjoy and find it useful!
Haven’t seen the show? Think a panel interview with five no-nonsense CEOs, except that you’re seeking investments for your company instead of a job. If you don’t know your stuff, they’ll tear you apart. If you do, the world—or at least some of their money—could be yours.
During this past Friday’s episode, we saw an emotional appeal lead to an investment, an ineffective (but humorous) endorsement by the creator of Family Guy and an inconceivable loss of two monstrous offers by a hubristic entrepreneur. While the first two segments taught valuable lessons, it was the last one that relates most to job seekers.
Michael Tseng, a medical doctor with an engineering degree from Princeton (yep), presented the wow-worthy PlateTopper, highlighted his track record of success and captivated the sharks with potential opportunity. One of them even went as far as calling him “the real deal” for his polished presentation. Michael asked for $90,000 for 5 percent of his company. Next thing you know, he was offered $900,000 for a bigger piece of the pie, then $1,000,000.
It was as if he could do no wrong—but from that point forward, that was all he did.
His segment showcased one of the biggest free-falls from grace in Shark Tank history. He ended up with a deal of $90,000 for 8 percent of his company, but that eventually fell through, according to a tweet from shark Lori Greiner.
Let’s take a look at four lessons we can learn from Michael’s Shark Tank mistakes: