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Know what drives away consumers, Mr. Cuban? Awkwardly obvious product placement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEBtJqze0rE&t=8s



I'm so glad other people noticed this. They did it quite a few times in recent episodes with the T-Mobile phone. Another episode it was used was when Robert Herjavec visited a past invested project (where they show the "how they are doing now" segment) and they exchanged a document by holding the two T-Mobile phones back to back, and then proceeded to say some cheesy line. I typically love the show, Shark Tank, but the recent blatant product placement is starting to rub me the wrong way about the shows integrity, and the people coming on the shows.

Also, slightly more off-topic, but is anyone else annoyed with the recent emotional break-downs on the show that, in a few cases, led to getting investments over the person awkwardly crying and/or having a break-down? It was also more obvious it was only cause of the break-down (it seemed) because on one of the instances everyone was "Out", but then a "Shark" came back in after the break-down. It's starting to feel too much like a reality show to me, as of this season. Which disappoints me, because the show used to be one of my favorites.

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> It was also more obvious it was only cause of the break-down (it seemed) because on one of the instances everyone was "Out", but then a "Shark" came back in after the break-down.

I remember that situation only with the fitness-dancer dude, actually the only one I was really sorry for (the FuBu dude chaced him because he just didn't understand the concept of distribution and was missing a deal that could change his life). but most of those 'my story is so sad and life is so hard' people are pathetic, you're right.

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It _is_ a reality show. The decisions are made before the person ever gives their first on-camera pitch.

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That is actually not true, according to a past contestant: https://www.quora.com/Shark-Tank-TV-series/What-is-Shark-Tan...

Quotes from the first-hand account of a Shark Tank contestant:

> "I was strictly forbidden to have any contact with the Sharks before taping. I had never even seen any of them in the flesh until I walked out onto the soundstage and the cameras were rolling. "

> "The Sharks also have absolutely no idea what is going happen with each company that comes on, they haven't even seen the pre-roll that the audience sees (where the camera follows the contestant around their home town, etc)."

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I don't see how those statements invalidate my claim.

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You said:

> "The decisions are made before the person ever gives their first on-camera pitch."

The contestant with firsthand knowledge said:

> "The Sharks also have absolutely no idea what is going happen with each company that comes on, they haven't even seen the pre-roll that the audience sees (where the camera follows the contestant around their home town, etc)..."

He invalidates your statement because how could they make decisions before the camera pitch, if they have never seen anything before the camera pitch? Unless someone from the set of the show could say something to help your statements, he is a much more reliable source than your intuition. Unless you have more evidence to validate your statement that you have not yet posted.

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You'd make a terrible lawyer.

Let's deconstruct: > "The Sharks also have absolutely no idea what is going happen with each company that comes on"

Right. They don't know what's going to happen when they talk to the company. That doesn't mean they don't know anything about the company beforehand.

> "They haven't even seen the pre-roll that the audience sees"

Maybe so, but that doesn't mean they haven't looked over business plans, executive summaries, founder resumes, etc. first. Audience pre-roll would be useless to these judges. Pre-roll is probably created after the judge interview, anyway.

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Who says the Sharks decide who ultimately wins or loses?

There are a lot of Producers and EPs who have a narrative to fulfill.

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My wife now watches Shark Tank with me and is becoming rather shrewd in evaluating businesses. We both hate the product placements.

Speaking of business model that drives away customers. Did you know you give up 5% of your business to appear on shark tank because of the exposure? With or without the deal. That is why they do the follow-ups on companies that did or did not accept a deal. It's good for the shows owners.

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I've commented about the Shark Tank 5% before [1]; I believe it's quite reasonable, why don't you?

Have you seen Dragon's Den (UK)? I saw Shark Tank first and thought it was great but the more hardline Dragon's Den grew on me and I believe I learned much more from it.

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3948913

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Oh hell yeah. I'd give up 5% for the exposure (under the right circumstances and with the right business/product) the marketing alone is worth it.

I think this process skews the risk/reward relationship found in typical investments because the companies they invest in get 3-10 minutes of advertising. I'm sometimes surprised they don't do more deals at lower valuations on that alone.

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Wow. I've watched the show with my wife and had been assuming that no one should take a deal they weren't really happy with. Better to walk out with no deal because even then you've gotten free advice from some shrewd, experienced people. But free ain't free, it seems.

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Did you know that YC takes 7% of your business, whether or not you get funded a demo day? Shark Tank may be a better deal. Or not. But it is ridiculous to argue that based on the fee for a prime time infomercial.

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7%, seriously? I had no idea.

Why are people clamoring to get accepted by YC? I'd be doing everything I could to make it a last resort, not a means to succeed.

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Well, apart having personal advice on tap from a range of experts, the fact that on demo day your idea will be in front of the best VC groups in SV, access to YC alumni for help and advice, I can't imagine why people would give up 7% of their nascent startup either!

(this is sarcasm btw.)

More seriously: you're giving up 6-7% of your company in return for a whole swathe of things that are very likely to increase your chances of succeeding significantly. Most people don't have ready access to the kind of personal networks that YC offers: the combination of that access, plus the social proof of having the YC imprinteur massively increases the likelihood of success for many, many startups.

And I'm saying this as someone who's very unlikely to ever apply to YC, but even I can see the benefits in applying, as do many others who choose to go to YC even if they don't in fact need the money: the fringe benefits are worth far, far more than the cash.

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Because owning 93% of a company that's even 2x more successful than it'd otherwise be is still a good deal for you.

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His comment wasn't argumentative or anti-Shark Tank.

The owners are well aware of both situations, and it's their right to make the choice. For some businesses, that 5% is well worth the prime time informercial. And I imagine everyone who's received a YC offer has accepted as well.

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True - I didn't argue it wasn't worth it.

I just stated that they do it.

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I enjoyed reading your comment on my T-MobileĀ® device.

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I had no clue who he was before watching Shark Tank. But it greatly impressed me when he straight-up called the woowoo "ions" guy on his bullshit and outright called it a scam [1].

Watching the YouTube video you linked it doesn't look like he seems to enjoy the T-Mobile product placement. Have I been brainwashed into liking him because of my earlier experience?

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XfXt93s1YE

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yeah, that plugs in shark tank are ridiculous to the point of absurdity.

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