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How Shark Tank is Destroying the Potential for Social Enterprise

Matthew Manos

Kevin O’Leary, one of the show’s “sharks,” defines business success in a very black and white manner: “Either you make money or you lose money.” While it is true a business requires money to survive, there are clearly many other potential measures for defining whether an entrepreneur has a “successful” idea. For this reason, the narrow measures of success that Shark Tank offers its naive and gullible (no disrespect to the general public) audience is poison to the potential for social enterprise.

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  • OnwardPacks

    Interesting also: The show is able to exercise the right to take either a royalty from your business or a 5% share. On TOP of what the sharks get. We applied. Did our video. Soul searched and turned down the offer.

    • Matthew Manos

      Thanks for sharing your experience. That is really interesting, I had no idea that the show itself profits from the contenders as well. Yikes.

  • Crystal Goh

    Same goes for Dragon's Den. Naive and gullible is true. It would be useful to publish an article on 'Qualities of potential investors predictive of good, long lasting business partnership and communication'. I guess for todays businesses, recognising social capital would be a strong contender on the list? Startups sometimes dont know the telltale signs of sharks and dragons, when you're desperate for money!

    • Matthew Manos

      Well put. There is this sense of desperation that can take over a new entrepreneur - I like the idea of creating a how-to guide so that people avoid major pitfalls and realize they are just another investment / gamble to many investors, and will be dropped if they aren't delivering.