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ABC’S ‘SHARKTANK’ LESSONS FROM MY TIME ON SET!
Get to Know Lauren Robblee
HubSpot Is in the Human Business
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend a day on the set of ABC’s hit TV show “Shark Tank.” While on the set, I watched seven or eight pitches and hung out with all of the Sharks between the tear-down and setup of the next pitch. During those times, I listened to their thoughts about the deals and asked questions of a business nature. Here are the best lessons I learned from those conversations. These pitches really do go for 60–90 minutes. The entrepreneurs are grilled with questions — many times, the Sharks simply talk over each other in what must be an editing nightmare. Of course, the 60–90-minute pitches become the 10–12-minute segments you see on TV. Behind the scenes, sitting in a staff and guest viewing area, each Shark has a team member or two or three people who are there to take over the due diligence part of the investment after the deal is made. Shortly before lunch, Kevin, aka Mr. Wonderful, got a deal for a product. I went and had lunch with Kevin and his team, and one member quickly ate his lunch and then said he would go meet the entrepreneurs behind the deal and get the ball
rolling. Kevin continued to hang out and have lunch with us. Something else I noticed is that, between takes, the Sharks would have staff members come up to them and request to record a video or approve something. The lesson I took both from lunch and from watching the teams interact with the Sharks is that the Sharks have fully embraced
the mentality of “Work on your business, not in your business. They appeared to spend nearly all of their time doing work only a Shark can do. They made videos for social media, signed contracts, and made side deals, but they didn’t do work that others could do for them. I can’t say one way or another if this is how they operate in everyday life, but it appeared this was the norm for them. After seeing this, it got me thinking about how I spend my time and whether I’m using it as wisely as I can. I started evaluating what I’m doing and whether there are others who can/should be doing this work. It also got me thinking about what I should be doing. I’ve started making that list so I have tasks to fill the time freed up by transferring some of the work I shouldn’t be doing each day, week, or month. I spoke with Mark Cuban for a bit, and we talked about where he sees the economy going. I also asked about business valuations and where he sees them heading in the future. His response was interesting and thought-provoking for me. I’ll paraphrase, but he basically said he doesn’t worry about where the economy is going and which
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