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- 12/30/14--12:21: _Mark Cuban Reveals ...
- 12/31/14--06:35: _Robert Herjavec's B...
- 12/31/14--08:46: _Barbara Corcoran Ex...
- 12/31/14--14:14: _The 15 Best 'Shark ...
- 01/02/15--13:13: _'Shark Tank' Entrep...
- 01/05/15--08:25: _'Shark Tank' Invest...
- 01/06/15--07:50: _How The Greatest In...
- 01/06/15--13:03: _Why Barbara Corcora...
- 01/07/15--04:47: _Why Staying Connect...
- 01/12/15--07:57: _Why Lori Greiner Ca...
- 01/13/15--07:47: _Why This Trendy Sna...
- 01/14/15--08:54: _Barbara Corcoran's ...
- 01/14/15--10:01: _'Shark Tank' Invest...
- 01/15/15--08:36: _Mark Cuban Negotiat...
- 12/24/14--06:30: The 'Shark Tank' Investors Share Their New Year's Resolutions
- 12/30/14--05:01: 'Shark Tank' Investor Explains What Your Clothes Say About You
- 12/30/14--07:15: Why Barbara Corcoran Never Invests In Rich Kids
- 12/30/14--12:21: Mark Cuban Reveals Why He Was Inspired To Join 'Shark Tank'
- 12/31/14--08:46: Barbara Corcoran Explains Why She Likes Investing With Mark Cuban
- 12/31/14--14:14: The 15 Best 'Shark Tank' Pitches Of All Time
- 01/07/15--04:47: Why Staying Connected To The Office 24/7 Will Not Get You Ahead
Billionaire Mark Cuban was one of many people to have emails exposed during a massive cyberattack on Sony.
Sony produces"Shark Tank," the hit ABC show on which Cuban stars as one of the judges.
A leaked email shows that Sony wanted to pay Cuban $30,000 per episode to be on the show. Cuban was less than thrilled. He responded:
no chance... this is beyond an insult and it shows no one cares about the investments I have made or the entrepreneurs
now it's really business..
I will negotiate like any other deal I would do
you may want to start cutting me out of the promos
Cuban tells CNN's Brian Stelter that he wasn't embarrassed that his email about the salary fight leaked.
"It's nothing I wouldn't have said publicly," Cuban said. "If they want me to continue to do 'good television' and make investments that I like to do but that I otherwise would not have done or would not have been accessible to me, then it's a decision they have to make. And if we don't come to a resolution, I'll leave the show."
NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' Investor Reveals Mark Cuban's Strategy On The Show And The Real Drama Behind The Scenes
Looking back on his career, "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John realized that no amount of money could buy a company success.
When John founded his fashion company Fubu in 1992 out of the Queens home he grew up in, he had nothing. He and his mother mortgaged the house to supply Fubu with $100,000 to meet a growing demand for its clothes.
By 1998, Fubu was the brand of choice for many of America's top rappers, and it brought in $350 million in revenue. But just five years later, John writes in his book "The Brand Within," he and his team had gotten ahead of themselves and ended up with a surplus of out-of-trend clothes in bargain bins.
John says that, before it faded, Fubu became the massive success that it was because he started off broke. He needed to make maximum use of every dollar he spent, he told Business Insider at the 2014 Hennessy Privilege Awards in an interview about his coming book "The Power of Broke."
One of the hardest and most expensive lessons John learned in his career, he says, was managing the fashion label Heatherette into the ground several years after partnering with its founders Traver Rains and Richie Rich.
John considers Rains and Rich to be "two amazing designers" but lacking as managers. Heatherette specialized in women's clothing, an industry in which John was inexperienced. He figured that if he supplied Rains and Rich with enough resources and funding, they could take care of everything else.
"Six million dollars later, we didn't have a business," John says. The designers indulged in extravagant costume clothing for the runway but failed to develop a hot ready-to-wear retail line.
"We thought we could just throw people at it, throw money at advertising, [but it] didn't move the needle. It was just us lying to ourselves," John says. "Not that we were lazy. We tried to put in the work. But the money never made the difference."
Now, on ABC's hit show "Shark Tank" and through his company Shark Branding, John invests in entrepreneurs who aren't simply looking for a dose of capital.
"The philosophy of 'The Power of Broke' is, whether you're running a Fortune 100 company or you are just starting out, you have to be creative and determined, and you have to make sure that — instead of other people's money — you use other people's marketing, mind power, manpower, [and] manufacturing," he says. "And if you can't prove your concept when you're broke, you won't be able to prove it with money either."
In the past decade or so, the ugly Christmas sweater, in all its gaudy charm, has gone from a bad gift from Grandma to a hip, self-referential focus of holiday parties everywhere.
A few years ago, Evan Mendelsohn, a lawyer at the time, felt there was a huge opportunity for owning the market. He decided to develop a company around the idea with his old college buddy Nick Morton, who was working as a specialized dental surgeon. It didn't take long for this side project, Tipsy Elves, to become a serious company that inspired both Mendelsohn and Morton to quit their jobs and dedicate themselves full-time to making tacky holiday sweaters.
The two made it onto ABC's hit show "Shark Tank" in 2013 and persuaded Robert Herjavec to invest $100,000 for 10% of the San Diego-based company. In an interview with Business Insider in October, Herjavec said that Tipsy Elves has definitely been his favorite investment over six seasons of "Shark Tank," not only because the business keeps growing — its owners expect it to bring in $7 million to $8 million in revenue this year — but also because he finds Mendelsohn and Morton to be competent and knowledgeable about their customer base.
"We've never once made it a 'What can you do for us?' kind of relationship. I think sometimes Sharks invest in companies, and they get needy very quickly," Mendelsohn tells us. "We've developed more of a friendship and mentorship with [Herjavec]."
Mendelsohn had become familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing from the time he spent developing simple websites that would answer people's searches for things like "When is Mother's Day?" back before Google did it automatically.
Because he and Morton had gone to plenty of ugly Christmas sweater parties but had always had trouble finding something they found funny, comfortable, and well-fitting — "we were buying our sweaters at Walmart and getting women's XXL — he decided to create a landing page for all shoppers searching for things like "ugly Christmas/tacky holiday sweaters" online.
Mendelsohn has an MBA and JD from the University of California, San Diego, but he says at the end of the day he was an SEO-sufficient lawyer who partnered with a dentist.
"We didn't know anything about manufacturing," Mendelsohn says. "Basically the only skill we had between us was my internet marketing background, and everything else we just filled in the blanks."
He sought expertise from fellow entrepreneurs he met at b-school, and Morton's family ties in China got them an affordable supplier for their products. They handled the designs themselves.
In their first year, Mendelsohn and Morton put $140,000 of their savings into Tipsy Elves.
Early on, they realized they had a choice: They could make cheesy '80s-inspired sweaters or focus on a more unique product, one that played on retro designs but incorporated irreverent humor.
Today, Tipsy Elves offers both but specializes in the latter. The best-selling sweaters this year have been "Happy Birthday Jesus," featuring a bearded Jesus rocking a party hat and "Birthday Boy" robe; "Yellow Snow," with a urinating Santa Claus spelling out "Merry Christmas;" and "Frosty the Nose Thief," in which one snowman "'enhances' his lower-half at the expense of the other snowman's nose," according to the product description.
Tipsy Elves caught on with 25- to 40-year-old professionals, and when its owners gave their pitch in the fifth season of "Shark Tank," it had brought in about $900,000 in sales the previous year. The successful appearance was a huge turning point for the company, which used the momentum from the holiday-themed episode to boost sales to over $3 million.
Herjavec quickly got to work accelerating the business. Mendelsohn tells us that they met with him and his team in his Toronto office within a month of closing the deal.
"His background is in cyber security, so it's not like he has a huge manufacturing team," Mendelsohn says. "We never expected a lot of retail-specific guidance from him, but what's been really helpful has been a lot of the mentorship and high-level strategy."
Herjavec and his marketing team convinced Mendelsohn and Morton that Tipsy Elves needed to transition from a specialized company that's active only about six weeks a year to one with a variety of offerings year-round, though of course with a unique Tipsy Elves touch. "It hit home in Toronto. It was like, 'Yeah, guys, it's great you're growing, but what if...?'" Mendelsohn says.
In the past year, Tipsy Elves rapidly expanded from around 10 men's sweaters marketed as unisex to a wide variety of sweater designs for men, women, and children, as well as officially licensed college sweaters, pants and leggings, jumpsuits, accessories like beanies and socks, and t-shirts for a variety of special occasions.
Next year, the company will focus more on pushing the shirts for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving. The team started 2014 with one employee and ended with 13, including part-time employees.
Herjavec, who is based in Toronto, may be recognizable to millions of Americans who watch "Shark Tank," but he is a much bigger celebrity in Canada. His name recognition has helped Tipsy Elves take off in Canada, and he's also been generous with his business and legal connections up north.
He or a member of his team checks in over the phone with Mendelsohn and Morton weekly, and he's met in person with the duo three times over the past year.
He's heavily promoted their business as well as their charitable partnership with Save the Children called Sweaters 4 Sweaters, which has donated $155,000 from a portion of all Tipsy Elves sweater sales to provide hoodies for underprivileged American children.
A silly Christmas sweater company ended up becoming Herjavec's favorite "Shark Tank" deal because, of course, he made his $100,000 investment back in just a few months and is profiting from the brand's success, but more importantly because he identifies with Mendelsohn and Morton.
"I'm pretty busy, so I like to invest in people that I like to hang with," Herjavec says. "For me, I always want to invest in somebody who's incredibly, deeply passionate about the business, and these guys wanted to run a business. I mean they wanted to be there 24/7."
Herjavec says he never had to get too hands-on. "I didn't feel like I had to worry about them."
Next year is Tipsy Elves' first shot at fulfilling Herjavec's initiative of becoming a year-round business. So far, the partnership has been a success. "It's worked out really well for us," Mendelsohn says.
ABC's hit show "Shark Tank" has made its six investors some of the most recognizable businesspeople in North America.
As 2015 approaches, offering the chance to start fresh and tackle new projects, we asked the Sharks about their goals for the New Year.
Mark Cuban plans on playing more basketball.
The owner of the Dallas Mavericks says he wants to "get back on the court playing pickup three times a week."
Barbara Corcoran wants to make time for friends.
"I'm going to make sure I see one friend every week," she says. "See them — not text, not email. I've turned them into friendships of texting. My closest friends — and I only have like five close friends in my life — I don't see them nearly like I used to. So I'm going to pre-schedule one date with one friend every week."
Daymond John plans on hitting the slopes.
"New Year's Day is when I like to reset my 10 goals. Let me think of a fun one..." he says. "I'd like to start to snowboard more. I'd like to try to start to do the half pipe."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The saying goes: "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."
Then Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, with his jeans and hoodie, shook up the idea of how a CEO should dress.
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After Ben and Eric Kusin revealed on the reality pitch show "Shark Tank" that their father, the founder of GameStop, invested $2 million into their business, things got personal.
"I feel very badly saying this to you, but I, as a matter of principle, don't invest in rich kids' businesses," investor Barbara Corcoran told the brothers.
Despite the Kusins' shocked expressions, they ended up leaving with a $150,000 investment from investor Lori Greiner for a 15% stake in their fabric-freshener company Reviver.
On Reddit, Eric writes that the episode was edited in a way that made the brothers seem more insulted than they actually were: "Ben and I both had some really good conversation about it in the Tank that unfortunately just got left on the edit room floor. I honestly think Barbara heard us out, and felt bad about generalizing us."
Regardless of how that particular discussion played out, we spoke with Corcoran recently, and she told us that she stood by her words, with some additional context.
During the Reviver pitch, the other Sharks told Corcoran that her prejudice against privilege was silly, because even though she was self-made and the daughter of a blue-collar father and stay-at-home mom, she is now the mother of rich kids.
But, Corcoran tells Business Insider, "it's not that I look down on [privilege]. It's harder for a kid with privilege and successful parents ... to succeed if they're going to be in business for themselves. I'm not talking about in corporate America or investment banking — all those connections play to your advantage, I think, along with education."
To Corcoran, an entrepreneur from a wealthy family doesn't need to start a business to make a living, and that is a critical difference when things inevitably get difficult. She believes that if you have a safety net, you won't be willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.
"The best way to think of a solution in business when you're slammed up against a wall is to try to think of five different solutions to get around it and keep going," Corcoran says. "But when you know that you have a trust fund, you know that you can always fall back on your parents, and you know that you can get additional funds, you get cheated out of thinking of those spur-of-the-moment, very needy ideas that get you through."
Above all, Corcoran looks for an entrepreneur with street smarts and hunger.
"I like to work with people that I feel I can really align myself with, and I get them and they get me," she says. "There's a great magic that happens there that you can't fake."
Edited by Devan Joseph. Special thanks to Justin Gmoser and Sam Rega.
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When Business Insider asked "Shark Tank" investor Robert Herjavec in October what his favorite investment from the show was, he said that without a doubt it was tacky Christmas sweater company Tipsy Elves.
About a month after investing $100,000 into the San Diego-based company for a 10% stake in 2013, Herjavec and his team met with the Tipsy Elves cofounders Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton in his Toronto offices.
"His background is in cyber security, so it's not like he has a huge manufacturing team," Mendelsohn says. "We never expected a lot of retail-specific guidance from him, but what's been really helpful has been a lot of the mentorship and high-level strategy." He says that Morton regularly quotes Herjavec now when discussing brand strategy.
Part of the reason that Herjavec enjoys working with Tipsy Elves is that he finds Mendelsohn and Morton sharp and self-sufficient. But the two business partners credit Herjavec with helping spark a massive uptick in annual sales. Tipsy Elves did $3 million in sales in 2013, and final 2014 sales are expected to be somewhere between $7 and $8 million.
The so-called "Shark Tank" Effect, the exposure gained from appearing before the show's 10 million viewers, undoubtedly helped, but we'll take a peek into what happened after the cameras stopped rolling and how Herjavec helped double sales in a year.
He made it a year-round company.
Herjavec and his marketing team convinced Mendelsohn and Morton that Tipsy Elves needed to transition from a specialized company that's active only about six weeks a year to one with a variety of offerings year-round, especially since a trend like wearing a tacky holiday sweater to a party probably won't last forever. "It hit home in Toronto. It was like, 'Yeah, guys, it's great you're growing, but what if...?'" Mendelsohn says.
Over the past year, Tipsy Elves expanded from 10 men's holiday sweaters sold as unisex to a wide variety of men's, women's, and children's clothing.
Other offerings include beanies, socks, jumpsuits, t-shirts, and officially licensed college sweaters — all with a lighthearted, irreverent Tipsy Elves touch.
In 2015, Tipsy Elves will be pushing t-shirts and accessories for events like Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving.
The idea is to make Tipsy Elves a brand with a unique, fun feel to it that will be centered around the December holiday season but active the rest of the year.
He improved its online sales tactics.
Over 90% of Tipsy Elves' sales are from its website. "Things like discounting strategies, up-sells, and calls to action that work in-person are also very relatable to our website and the customer experience we serve," Mendelsohn says.
One of these tactics is the use of a prominent tool in checkout that allows shoppers to round up their order to the nearest dollar, with the excess going to Save the Children. Tipsy Elves matches each donation.
He's promoted it relentlessly.
Herjavec, who is based in Toronto, has "a big brand here in the States, but he's probably known by 90% of the people in Canada," Mendelsohn says, laughing. He's used his celebrity up north to make the Canadian market a notable aspect of Tipsy Elves' success.
Herjavec went on a "Shark Tank" press tour in late 2014 and promoted Tipsy Elves more than any other investment, in time for the holiday season. He gave out sweaters to every audience member on Rachael Ray's show and personally sold them to New Yorkers in Union Square for a "20/20" segment.
And immediately following a "Shark Tank" update on Tipsy Elves' success in the current sixth season, the company sold as many units in one day as it did during its entire first year, 2011, Mendelsohn says.
Herjavec is also a LinkedIn Influencer blogger, and in a post about his New Year's resolution to give more time and resources to charity, he wrote about Tipsy Elves' partnership with Save the Children.
He's made valuable resources available.
Mendelsohn says that some entrepreneurs who go on "Shark Tank" don't realize that the investors often ask for unusually high percentages of their company because they are providing much more than capital. "They bring a wealth of experience and connections to your business," Mendelsohn says.
In Canada, Herjavec has helped secure Mendelsohn and Morton with a warehouse for Canadian orders, connected them with wholesale buyers, and provided his legal team to combat a knockoff company.
His financial and analytics team is also going to do a year-end review that will be used to develop specific strategies for 2015. It will include "things like where to cut costs, where to maximize profits, and [will] provide targeted introductions in areas where we could use the most improvement," Mendelsohn says. "This is high-level advice that would be difficult for us to afford independently."
Herjavec says that he knew immediately that he would serve as a mentor and guide to Mendelsohn and Morton, rather than have to run the company for them. "I didn't feel like I had to worry about them."
And ultimately, the Tipsy Elves partners have developed a friendship with the Shark, which has made the post-"Shark Tank" transition even smoother.
"I'm pretty busy, so I like to invest in people that I like to hang with," Herjavec says.
Correction: Tipsy Elves was founded in 2011, not 2009.
Some of the most entertaining moments on ABC's "Shark Tank" are when the investors compete with each other to nab a deal with a promising entrepreneur. But sometimes, the Sharks will team up and split an investment.
In a recent podcast interview with Bloomberg View, Mark Cuban says that he usually tries to avoid joint deals, but if he's going to go for it, he most enjoys working with Barbara Corcoran because "she's always got a unique spin on things."
When we told Corcoran this, she replied, "It's mutual," saying that she most identifies with Cuban's approach to business.
[It's] because he's buttoned-up, he does the due diligence fast, he closes the deals, he's smart — not to take anything away from the other Sharks, who are smart in different ways — but he's particularly smart in more ways, I think.
I'm smart in certain ways, but I know all the stuff I'm not good at. He seems to be smart across the board. And so, my odds of winning with Mark are better.
More importantly, I like efficiency. So if a deal's gonna happen, it's gonna happen. Boom. Done. And he's cut from the same cloth. Whereas the other Sharks, I think they take a lot more time and are more thoughtful, more cautious in their deal making.
Looks like the show's producers made a good choice sitting the two of them next to each other on set.
The trajectory of Ben and Eric Kusin's pitch in the sixth season of "Shark Tank" changed significantly after they told the investors that their father was the successful co-founder of GameStop and had invested $2 million in their business.
"I feel very badly saying this to you, but I, as a matter of principle, don't invest in rich kids' businesses,"Barbara Corcoran told the brothers.
Lori Greiner and some of the other Sharks disagreed with Corcoran, and the Kusins walked away with a $150,000 deal with Greiner for a 15% stake in their fabric freshener company Reviver.
In a recent interview with Corcoran, she told Business Insider that she thinks entrepreneurs from a privileged background don't have the need to have their business succeed, and that can make all the difference when their back is against the wall.
Eric Kusin saw her explanation and explained to us that he respectfully disagrees. "I think there's a huge difference between being rich and being spoiled," he says. He says he can't emphasize enough that he finds people who feel entitled to success to be "just gross."
Shark Greiner tells us that on an individual basis, children of wealthy parents "may need to prove themselves even more" than those who weren't.
Eric agrees. "I think to get out of a shadow is a huge motivator for me and Ben. And we say that with incredible respect for our dad," he says.
To Greiner, what matters more than anything to someone's upbringing is the values they're taught, whether their parents were blue-collar workers or powerful executives.
Ben left a career in the video game industry to begin developing Reviver, and Eric left a job as a buyer for Neiman Marcus to join his brother in 2011. They both grew up with their father, who is self-made, instilling in them a strong work ethic, Eric said. "We constantly heard, 'Money skips a generation," he says, referring to their father's determination to not let his children spend all of his money without trying to make their own.
The way Eric explains it, that $2 million investment from their father paid for research and development necessary to make Reviver a competitive premium product, but even though it was the result of privilege, it doesn't define their business or who they are.
Corcoran tells us that even though not every entrepreneur from a wealthy family is spoiled and that her bias could keep her from investing in a profitable business, she's going to stick by it. Ultimately, she says, "the poor kid still has the advantage over the privileged kid" because when you don't need your business to succeed to keep you from going hungry or homeless, "you get cheated out of thinking of those spur-of-the-moment, very needy ideas that get you through."
Even if Corcoran personally cannot identify with an entrepreneur with a safety net enough to invest in them, Eric says that it's a dangerous bias. "I think it's very important that we as a country don't forget that we're founded on this idea of being a marketplace of ideas," he says. "We want Reviver to sink or swim based on its functionality as a product and to not be representative of a life of privilege."
Whether you're a journalist looking for an interview or an entrepreneur seeking investors for your company, getting someone's attention is difficult. For the most part, people agree that persistence is key. However, it's also important not to go too far.
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Barbara Corcoran never dreamed of being an entrepreneur as a kid.
She graduated college in 1971 with a degree in education, but a couple of years later her then-boyfriend Ramone Simone, who worked in real estate, suggested they start a real-estate business together. The Corcoran Group began in 1973, and though she and Simone went their separate ways and split the business, she sold her half for $66 million to NRT Incorporated in 2001.
In 2009 Corcoran joined the cast of ABC's "Shark Tank," a show that became not only a surprise hit, but her full-time job. As she looks back at her life, she finds she has had "two great role models."
Simone was the person who inspired Corcoran to be her own boss, a concept that was foreign to her, a New Jersey native who grew up in a neighborhood in which nearly all the men took factory jobs.
"And so I never saw anyone who worked for themselves," she tells Business Insider. "But Ramone Simone did, and he had a big fancy car, and he had nice suits on, and he laughed, and it seemed like he had endless money. It was like, 'Whoa, this is easy!' So when he said, 'You'd be great in real estate. Why don't you start a real estate firm?' [I was like] 'Yeah, OK!'"
Corcoran borrowed $1,000 and took to the real-estate business, eventually becoming a high-profile member of the industry in New York City.
And while Simone began as an inspiring model of success for Corcoran, his negativity would become an equally powerful influence when their relationship turned sour.
In the early 1980s, Simone left Corcoran to marry her secretary. After they reluctantly split the company, Corcoran says, Simone told her as he walked out the door, "You'll never succeed without me."
"He'd never said anything mean to me, but he was so angry we chopped up the business,"she says. "But that was the 'advice' that got me through the thick and thin, mostly because it slammed me in my gut, and I didn't want to let him have the satisfaction of seeing me go down. That's what I always leaned on when things were bad. I'd be like, 'Damn, I'm not gonna let him see me [like this].'"
Corcoran's other role model came from a purely positive place: her mother, a longtime housewife.
"[I]n my household — which had two bedrooms, 10 kids, and one bath — you would have recognized her as a phenomenal businesswoman," Corcoran says. "She was just super organized, definitely in charge, had everybody doing what she wanted, motivated everybody. She was just in charge. And so her house was her business."
Corcoran says that even though her mom never actually made a corporate deal or managed employees, her resolve and success in raising a huge family left a lasting impression.
As Corcoran got older, she says, she may have looked to her Simone as an example of what a successful businessperson looked like, but her mom "kept proving to be the best role model for business."
NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' Investor Reveals The Worst Mistake People Make When Trying To Get Someone's Attention
"Shark Tank" investor Barbara Corcoran has a wall in her office that is filled with almost 30 picture frames, most of them turned backwards.
The photos facing her are portraits of her favorite entrepreneurs that she's invested in, their smiling faces constant reminders that they're deserving of her time and energy. The other ones... well, she's not so excited about them.
"[T]he minute I realize they're not a great entrepreneur, I flip the frame over,"Corcoran tells Business Insider. "I keep the frame on the wall, but this way every time I look up, it's my symbol: Don't spend any time on this. I put all my focus on my good ones."
She came up with this unique management system when she realized that "Shark Tank," which she joined in its first season in 2009, had become her full-time job. Although she made her fortune in the New York real estate business, Corcoran now spends her time working out deals with entrepreneurs on the set and helping manage the companies she invests in.
Over six seasons, she estimates she's made deals with about 26 entrepreneurs. As soon as she closes a deal, she has them send a photo of themselves, which she then sticks into a frame.
Corcoran gives each entrepreneur four months to hit goals they agree on, and if they don't meet them, she flips their picture around. She says that when she first started this system a few seasons ago, she gave each entrepreneur six months to make an impression, but she's now thinking four months is too lenient.
As we spoke with her, she was looking at the wall.
"Let me see. Yeah, there are exactly nine,"Corcoran says, referring to those face-up. "Nine are up right now, and I'm sure I'll flip a couple over in the next couple months and be back to seven," she adds, laughing.
Working long hours to get ahead or impress your boss? "Shark Tank's"Barbara Corcoran explains that this is no way to maintain productivity at your job. She tells us how both employees and employers can create the ideal work life balance.
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As the "Queen of QVC" and someone with connections to some of America's biggest retailers, Lori Greiner has a knack for turning her "Shark Tank" investments into sensations.
Judging from the immediate reaction to the latest deal she made in season six, she's got another hit with stuffed, bite-sized bagel company Bantam Bagels.
Husband-and-wife team Nick and Elyse Oleksak come into the tank looking for a $275,000 investment for an 11% stake in their company, which they developed in 2012 and launched the next year.
Elyse quit a job at Morgan Stanley to dedicate herself full time to Bantam, and Nick says he plans on leaving his job as a credit broker at GFI Group when his baby is born. While their careers have allowed them to build up a comfortable level of savings, they've had enough of Wall Street and want to make a deal so that they can commercialize Bantam on a much larger scale and commit fully to it.
Since 2013, the couple says, the company has made $200,000 in sales from its Manhattan retail location and its appearances on QVC. The latter has been great for building their brand, but because they lack a commercial bakery, they have been unable to crank out enough to make the home shopping network a very profitable outlet.
Investors Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec think the Oleksaks are sitting on a company with huge potential but one that requires too much effort. They don't make an offer.
Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O'Leary are both interested in helping steer the ship, at a high price — they'll give the Oleksaks the $275,000 they're looking for but for 51% and 50%, respectively. Either deal would be especially heavy blows to the couple, since they have already given 23% of Bantam equity to other investors.
Greiner jumps in and says she's a much better bet and only wants 30% in exchange for the same dollar amount.
The cofounders first tell Corcoran her deal is too big an ask and see if she'd be willing to go in for 25%; she says she'll settle for 30%. Greiner then says she'll go down to 25% but only if the Oleksaks immediately agree, no questions asked — which they happily do.
Following the Jan. 9 television premiere of the show, thousands of "Shark Tank" fans rushed to order the cream cheese-stuffed mini bagels from Bantam's website. Greiner took to Twitter to announce that even though the site's servers couldn't handle the rush of traffic, the Bantam team would be checking its email inbox to make sure everyone's orders went through. The next morning, she tweeted a photo of Bantam's retail location and how happy she was to see it so busy.
She left her followers with a note that suggests she made the right move by aggressively moving in on and closing the deal:
She said the best thing about the deal is that she got two "phenomenal" entrepreneurs, siblings Jeff and Jen Martin.
"Do you know how exciting it is to get two for the price of one?" Corcoran asked. "Usually you have a winning entrepreneur and a sidekick who's a quanter [numbers person]. Or you get the quanter running the show and the sidekick has to be pushed up above them, and that's tricky business. I've had to do that."
Not only has she not had to manipulate the siblings' dynamic, but the company expects to grow its 2014 revenue of about $800,000 by 800% to 900% in 2015, with an additional 30 to 40 employees recruited, according to Jeff.
The Martins founded Pipsnacks in 2012 after they got the idea for mass-producing an unusual kind of popcorn that Jen had come across in her job at a Chicago health-food store. The company's premiere product is Pipcorn, a type of popcorn with a small kernel that doesn't get stuck in your teeth, which comes in a variety of all-natural flavors.
They made a deal with Corcoran that was finalized this past November for a $200,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake of the company and a 10% draw from the Martins' salaries — they're currently not taking traditional salaries, so the latter part of the deal is still small.
At the end of 2013, Pipsnacks had three employees and about $200,000 in sales. After its appearance on "Shark Tank," business exploded.
Jeff said he was happy to hear that Corcoran recognized how he and his sister have complementary skill sets. They share a drive and vision, he said, but he is more detail-oriented and she is task-oriented. "Without her, I tell people, I would still be trying to perfect the logo or the packaging. With her, everything gets done in the right amount of time, and it gets done properly."
He also said that it's been incredibly important to both of them that they get along well, especially when things get tough. Sometimes "I'll lose my mind laughing" with her, he said. "That makes all the difference in terms of stress over all the work that needs to be done."
This year, the Martins will work with Corcoran — whose offices are a five-minute cab ride downtown from them in Manhattan — to expand to many more stores around the US. Pipcorn is now available in 75 stores.
Corcoran's investment in the company is more like a mentorship and has already been paying off, Jeff said. Not only did she introduce the Martins to a connection who could hook them up with some big-box stores, but her influence has made them sharper businesspeople.
Jeff and Jen have paid close attention to the way Corcoran carries herself. When she enters a room to discuss a business deal, "you know that she can do it and has done it and will do it," he said, referring to a palpable and reassuring self-confidence in her abilities and company.
Before they developed a relationship with Corcoran, Jeff said they would have a hard time negotiating with influential distributors who work with major snack companies, in part because they were intimidated.
"After meeting Barbara, we go into these meetings and now we can negotiate with the best of 'em. We get what we want," he said.
A fundamental aspect of growing a profitable business is carrying yourself in a way that convinces others you are worth their time and money.
The brother-and-sister duo, Jeff and Jen Martin, finalized a deal with Corcoran last November for a $200,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity and a 10% draw from their salaries.
Last year, Pipsnacks pulled in just under $800,000 in revenue, and Jeff tells Business Insider that in 2015 the company's sales could increase as much as eight- or nine-fold.
In a short time since closing the deal, Corcoran has become a mentor to the Martins and has connected them with a contact who could bring Pipsnacks' gourmet popcorn into big-box stores across the US. The biggest thing they've learned from Corcoran, however, is that before you can make it big, you need to believe you're worthy of doing so.
Pipsnacks is the first business that Jeff, 29, and Jen, 26, have started, and they initially felt like "it was hard to be taken seriously in an industry that is run by a couple giants," Jeff says.
Corcoran realized early in her career that her belief in herself was paramount, especially as a woman.
Jeff says that when Corcoran enters a room to discuss a business deal, "you know that she can do it and has done it and will do it," referring to the tangible and reassuring self-confidence she has in her abilities and company.
Corcoran also gains the respect and attention of her audience by focusing intensely on whoever she's speaking with, giving the impression that they are the most important thing to her that day no matter how busy her schedule is. "She can just switch gears into a meeting with you and within five minutes have six better ideas than any you've ever thought of," Jeff says.
The Martins used to be intimidated walking into a negotiation with a major distributor. "After meeting Barbara, we go into these meetings now, and we can negotiate with the best of 'em. We get what we want," Jeff says.
"And we can kind of flip the script around," he continues. "Where before we'd go in to see what we could do for them, now we're able to demand what could you do for us."
The founder of Moguls Mobile and FUBU, Daymond John, explains the only regret each and every entrepreneur will ever have.
Produced by Will Wei and Jason Gaines.
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Amid the long list of leaked emails from December's massive Sony hack was an exchange involving billionaire investor Mark Cuban, Mark Cuban Companies general counsel Robert Hart, and Sony Pictures Television president Steve Mosko regarding a "Shark Tank" contract Cuban deemed "beyond an insult" and had him threaten to leave the show.
After the leak, Cuban told Business Insider, the billionaire investor decided to handle negotiations of a new deal over his free texting app Cyber Dust, which features texts that disappear after 20-100 seconds, depending on length.
Following the leak, Cuban told Business Insider his future online interactions with Mosko would be done over Cyber Dust.
Last week Cuban sent a message to all of his Cyber Dust contacts, including BI, that he handled the negotiation of a new contract with Mosko exclusively over Cyber Dust.
We followed up with Cuban over email about the specifics of the deal and his decision to use the app. Here's our full back-and-forth, edited for format:
Business Insider: Was there any reluctance from Sony to negotiate over CyberDust?
Mark Cuban: No, they were wide open to it. My lawyer and I communicate almost exclusively in CD so she was able to communicate the benefits to Sony. It was simple to get them using.
BI: Are there any details surrounding the deal that you can share?
MC: Once Sony was back to business, it went pretty quickly. Despite what was reported about the one email the primary negotiating issues were about how closed deals could use Shark Tank IP in their marketing.
ABC and Sony have really come a long way in their understanding of the needs of the entrepreneurs. We were able to get through a checklist pretty quickly and get the deal closed.
BI: Is this a practice you will repeat in the future?
MC: I've been using it since we started Cyber Dust.
Interestingly, the leaked emails didn't tell the full story behind his anger.
The older proposed deal called for a salary of around $30,000 per episode from seasons 5-7, required he promote the show on any channel it was syndicated on, and even suggested that Sony could copyright Cuban's "catchphrases" and gestures. Much more importantly, according to our interview with Cuban, was the way that Sony wanted to restrict entrepreneurs' use of the "Shark Tank" brand in their marketing.
It's not the first time Cuban threatened to leave "Shark Tank" due in part to how entrepreneurs were treated. In late 2013, his threat forced the show's production company Finnmax to remove retroactively a clause that required every "Shark Tank" contestant to give it either 2% of their profits or 5% equity of their company.
From what he told us, however, it looks like he's happy with where all the forces behind "Shark Tank" are right now.