We got a chance to go on another set visit with the cast of “Shark Tank” this summer and it was just as much fun as the last time. If you’re already a fan, get ready for a great full 22-episode season and if you haven’t seen the show, we strongly urge you to take the plunge. It’s truly fascinating to watch these real life business deals happen in real time, with real money. This year QVC queen Lori Greiner joins the panel of sharks full-time. By her side will be Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Kevin Harrington and Mark Cuban. Each with their own strengths and investing personalities.
Every shark has a different approach to investing
What we found most interesting this time was the various approaches the sharks take to deciding which business to put their money into. Surprisingly the Dallas Maverick’s owner throws a little more caution to the wind than some of his fellow sharks. Maybe it’s simply because he has more cash to play with, but he takes into consideration the potential of a business and an entrepreneur when making his choices. It’s not just about the bottom line.
Unlike some of his fellow investors, Cuban does not just throw money at a company and send them on their merry way. He gets personally involved in each one and he uses the skills of one entrepreneur to help another in an area where they may not be as strong.
Mark Cuban chose one investor for his technical skills
One of our favorite businesses from last season was Steve Gadlin, who’s company, I Want to Draw a Cat for You, was considered a joke by most of the sharks. But Mark saw something in Steve, besides his nifty little cat dance, that the others didn’t. He explained, “The reason I invested in him, wasn’t so much because it was all about drawing cats, but because he was so creative and he was technical. So when you take creativity and a little bit of craziness and add some technical ability to it, not only has he been able to do the cat stuff and really built it up and pay me my money back, he’s actually been able to help me with other businesses in terms of the technology.”
So Cuban invested in Steve’s abilities, not just the pitch. And Steve has helped Mark with other “Shark Tank” business by creating websites and coming up with ideas. Cuban added, “I wasn’t really investing in him to draw cats, but that’s worked out. It was more to get access to him for everything else.”
The other sharks think Mark Cuban is nuts
It happens quite often that Mark sees the potential in a pitcher that no one else sees. He said, “That’s usually the best deals, when everybody thinks I’m nuts. Those are the ones that turns out the best.”
One such pitch was the Stephan Aarstol from Tower Paddle Boards. When this entrepreneur came into the tank no one was interested but Mark heard him out. In the end he realized, “He was great with Search Engine Optimization and he was in an incredibly hot area — stand up paddle boarding. And so I thought, ‘Worst case I’m getting a great SEO guy, best case I get a great SEO guy and we make money.’ And his business has gone from $18,000 a month to $200,000 a month. He’s crushing it, crushing it. We can’t even keep up with inventory. It’s worked out really well.”
Read more of our interview with Mark Cuban at Pop Cuture Passionistas.
Watch Mark and the other sharks when “Shark Tank” returns on Friday, September 14 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central on ABC.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.