Happy New Year to all the loyal Shark Tank viewers and Odyssey Solutions followers!
Before I go into this weeks episode, I wanted to first start out with a brief word of advice for anyone looking to develop a product. While sales history is certainly good, market analysis is far better. What I mean is that to understand how big the potential is for a product you must first know the ins and outs of the market you are trying to attack (including the competition). Now this may seem like a no-brainer but, in addition to knowing the sales of the cumulative competition you really should look at that the intended target market. Sometimes this is not always clear, as you are hopefully creating a new market through gaps in the competitions offerings. Whether you are pitching the Sharks in the Tank or meeting with some potential Investors, knowledge is key. This episode showed us that a good product will attract the right Investors.
Now on to the review…
Inventor: Doug Marshall
Product: Gameface (http://www.thegamefacecompany.com/)
Requesting: $400k for 25% stake
Have you ever gone to a sporting event and wanted to express yourself with your favorite team logo? Wouldn’t you want to celebrate Halloween with a mess-free costume? Well Doug Marshall has come up with a very novel idea to address both. The GameFace non-toxic face masks are a simple, clean and easy way to show your pride. Doug started the business a number of years ago and is now expecting to gross revenues of $100k+ this year alone on his company. The company is fully independent and operates as a side job with his wife. Margins appear to be pretty solid even in the wholesale realm. Daymond is out. Robert is also out and expresses his disinterest in doing business with Doug on such poor sales. Kevin offers a mixed offer of cash, loan and royalties. Finally Mark and Lori jump in with an offer of $1 MILLION for the entire company and an $80k/year salary for 5 years. After some talking with his wife, Doug then settles on a $450k for 35% with 80K/year salary and he still retains ownership.
Feedback: It is so easy to be wowed by a $1 MILLION buy-out offer for your product. However, getting paid is not always the best solution. I especially loved to hear Roberts’ story about how it took him so long as an Entrepreneur to earn a $100k salary and that he always held out for to see the project through. I admire Doug here. He didn’t succumb to the temptation of a big upfront check instead he stuck it out to see his project on to success. Mark and Lori once again showed they are the choice partners for consumer products (especially sports-related ones).
Inventors: Dan Grimm and Brant Myers
Product: Arkeg (http://www.drinkngame.com)
Requesting: $100k for 33% stake
Ok so this is a new one for me. I like beer and gaming so why not combine the two? That is what these two guys decided to do with the Arkeg. Dan and Brant both spoke so highly about the ability to sell one to any man cave or game room but the price point may be the limiting factor. The price tag of $4k with 20 units sold to date. The Sharks don’t buy into the deal and they guys leave empty-handed.
Feedback: I just don’t think the product attracts a wide enough audience to begin with to be on Shark Tank. Sure I would love to have one but at $4k! No thanks. My entire home brewing setup along with my XBOX 360 was far less.
Inventor: Dan Rothwell
Product: Dura-tent (http://www.duratent.com)
Requesting: $50k for 30% stake
Tired of pesky flies getting into your picnic or barbecue? The Dura Tent is an innovative approach to keeping the flies and their harmful germs off of your food. The combination tent and mosquito netting works to protect the food you spent so much time preparing. He sold 50k units at the time and has 3 patents total on the product. As he kept going on about the sales figures and costs the numbers weren’t adding up to what he said. Robert and Mark were out. The rest of the Sharks followed. No deal.
Feedback: The product is fairly good but as Lori said, the name just doesn’t translate to function. First rule of naming “phonetically communicate what the product does or what problem it solves”. So many people purchase on impulse and marketing is what drives this. He said that a Marketing consultant recommended he not focus on the act of what the product does. I find that odd. Anyway, the best way to name your product is to get out a white board and write all words associated with the problem on one side then on the other side the words associated with the solution and see if you can combine any two. At least it is a start.
Inventor: Megan Gage
Product: Hot Tot (www.hottot.com)
Requesting: $50k for 15% stake
If you have a child then you can see where Megan is coming from. To put just anything in the hair of your young child is so dangerous considering you don’t know what is in the haircare products. She sought out a solution to this problem with Hot Tot. While initially focusing on the kids boutiques shops she now is working towards the high end salons as most of the buyers are women. Her sales are $20k so far but she has $7k in purchase orders waiting to be filled. The margins are very good. All of the Sharks are out except Mark. He offers $75k for 40% stake and she takes it.
Feedback: I really liked seeing Megan speak about her passion in child haircare. I thought of myself when I started working on products. Define-Solve-Sell. While she is still very new and maybe the biggest need is Marketing, Mark will surely help her.
If you are an Entreprenuer with a great product idea but, have not made any progress with the development, my company Odyssey Solutions can help. We offer a full turnkey suite of services to help turn that great idea of yours into a product. All while you retain all intellectual property. To see our full list of services click the link below.