All of the investors who swim in the "Shark Tank" know business, but none wear success as well as Daymond John. In 1992 he and his neighbor created a batch of wool hats in their home, and John transformed the idea it into the lucrative fashion brand FUBU, which recorded $350 million in annual sales.
John used 'Shark Tank' to branch out into the tech spaceThe brilliant entrepreneur has since expanded his empire, and at a recent press event, he explained how he's using the "Tank" to broaden his areas of interest. John admitted that prior to the show, he was getting pitched mostly apparel ideas and hard goods, but he was interested in getting into the tech space.
Being on a panel with a media mogul and software entrepreneur have been a major boon to his success. John acknowledged that thanks to the show, "I'm actually negotiating a lot of deals where I can get a free ride on a genius like Mark Cuban or Robert Herjavec… And instead of becoming a shark, I become a buzzard. I take a free ride and make a whole lot of cash on their backs."
He introduced EzVIP's entrepreneur to a major hip hop starOne such situation came about on Season 3, when John and Cuban decided to invest in a company called EzVIP. The website allows people to book advanced VIP seating for a premium night on the town.
True, Cuban helped give John the confidence to invest in the lifestyle-enhancing tech company, but John brought something else to the table -- his high profile connections. As he explained, "We put [hip hop artist] Pitbull with the [owner Al Nelson]. Pitbull's going to be the new version of William Shatner for Priceline, basically. We're going to blow that out to be more than just clubs. If you just want to go anywhere around the world, why not let Mr. Worldwide tell you were to go."
Nelson was one of the savvy and lucky hopefuls who caught the attention of not one but two sharks. And while that's not an easy task, John had a key piece of advice for perspective participants: "Tell me what's in it for me immediately. Not trying to take away the niceties… but a lot of people, they pitch, and they don't tell you what's in it for the person that they're pitching to."
See who lures Daymond John to take their bait on "Shark Tank" every Friday night at 8 PM on ABC.
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