Shark Tank’s Cheesy Indulgence

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Mark Cuban

When someone with deep pockets makes a mistake, it is called “an experiment.” When someone starting out or just an average Joe makes a mistake, it is considered a major blunder. Hence, the reason for my post.

Mark Cuban, one of the six rotating investors on ABC TV’s Shark Tank, admitted in an interview on Reddit that allowing a T-Mobile product placement followed by a T-Mobile commercial, right in the middle of the show last season, was in poor taste. He actually used the word “cheesy.”

We are loyal fans of the show so we will give it another shot this season, but if we start to see blatant product endorsements on the show, we are going to immediately tune out. Watching real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran talk about her ability to use her T-Mobile phone to access information about one of the on-air startups was insulting to the viewers. We all knew Shark Tank was getting paid to have Barbara say that.

Cuban’s actual excuse on Reddit was, “It was beyond cheesy. None of the sharks liked it, but we learned from it and it will be different in the future.” So what does that mean? They won’t endorse products on the air as a form of advertising, or they will do a better job camouflaging it?

Reddit is a collection of entries on a website submitted by registered users. It looks like a bulletin board system. The entries are organized into areas of interest called “reddits.” The word Reddit comes from “I read it.” Users vote on stories, thumbs up or down. The result determines the positioning of the content on the site.

Cuban was featured on Reddit’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread. Users posed questions and he answered them quickly and candidly.

Reddit also asked Cuban how many of the deals on Shark Tank get modified or cancelled after the cameras stop rolling? Also, had any of the Sharks ever decided to make a deal with someone after the cameras stopped?

I think you are going to find Cuban’s answer very interesting. “We get the chance to do due diligence after the show. As a result, you uncover things that were not brought up in the show, so it’s not unusual for a deal to fall through in the DD phase. I have had things like people who never paid their taxes, people who lied on the show, people who thought that spending money on their personal credit cards should be considered a business expense, you name it.”

Cuban continued, “There is so much pressure on the entrepreneur during the show that sometimes they say what they think we want to hear rather than the truth. The DD helps us separate the two.”

“How many of the deals have you had to break off in the DD phase?”

“Probably about 25 per cent of them!”

TO TWEET OR NOT TO TWEET, THAT IS THE QUESTION

 While many folks around my age bracket and older like Facebook, most have not joined Twitter. I am not sure why, other than they don’t understand the benefits. I am going to tell you in plain and simple terms why you should join. It is great for researching people and topics. Most of the younger generation is on Twitter because they use it as a vanity stage or they actually discuss important topics, both personal and business with each other. It has become their main news source and there are good reasons why. The digital community is all about participating in the making of the news, not necessarily sitting back reading about it. 

For example, one Twitter user sees an airplane actually land on the Hudson River. Instead of dialing 911, he or she posts it on Twitter and the word spreads faster than anyone can imagine. A 911 operator can even be one of the people on that person’s Twitter list. The next thing you know everyone springs into action. Everyone does their part to report the news or do something about it. You are no longer idly sitting by, picking your nose, wondering what is going on. You are now getting a blow by blow account of the developments just as if you were on a news team. Unless you have experienced this, you just can’t imagine the excitement and euphoria you get, especially if you have helped save lives. 

 

The other benefit that I think is so important, yet rarely gets talked about in my generation, is that you can search the tweets (opinions) of people you most respect and actually post your thoughts for them to see as well. All you have to do is post their their Twitter name preceded by the @ sign (e.g., @digidame for my Twitter account) on your post and when they search he or she will see your comments. Do that long enough and there is a good likelihood that those people will start following you. I almost fell over when Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and big time investor in startups, actually answered one of my tweets. I walked around for the rest of the day feeling like I was actually somebody. The important thing to remember is that @TwitterName signs are for people and #hashtag signs are for topics.

I would strongly suggest that you start using the search area on Twitter before you start discussing or ranting a topic. The search area is called Discover and it is wonderful because it features the important stories of the day, activities, trends, who to follow, categories to browse, and the place to find friends.  Just this morning I read a story that the Discover tab on Twitter is getting an update. I love learning that because that always means good things. In this case the Discover tab is going to present content that Twitter says is even more personalized and meaningful to the user. “To do this, Twitter has incorporated additional personalization ‘signals,’ including tweets that are popular among the people that a user follows. The new design shows who tweeted about particular stories/content after which the user can view, reply to, retweet and favorite said tweet. The update will be rolled out over the coming weeks.” See more information on Cynopsis.  

If you have any questions about getting started on Twitter, leave a comment on DigiDame or email me. If I don’t know the answer, I will get someone quickly who will answer you. Remember, we are all a part of the digital revolution. Getting info should be instantaneous. 

To ease you into the Twitter process, here is a story Time magazine wrote about the most important people to follow. Somehow I trust you to find your own. It won’t take you too long to get your own online circle of friends. And when you do, you will be socializing with Tweet meetups in your neighborhood, but that is just an option. I do promise you that your life reading the news is going to change forever. You will never pick up a print publication again.