ABC’s reality show Shark Tank offers a rare showcase of the character and abilities that entrepreneurs and investors cultivate to create and build businesses.
The show features entrepreneurs who pitch their ideas to five investor “sharks” and seek to negotiate financing. On past shows, entrepreneurs have sought to develop products such as a smartphone breathalyzer, gourmet pickles, and couture for canines.
Shark Tank highlights the kinds of risks entrepreneurs take and the commitments they make in order to pursue their goals. One married couple wanted to sell vegetable popsicles. The husband said, “I dropped out of law school; we moved in with my parents.” His wife added, “We spent every dime of our savings. We borrowed money from family and friends, and we even sold the diamond out of my wedding ring.”
The show also highlights the deep and broad knowledge of markets and of the entrepreneurial mindset that investors must acquire and tap in order to carefully evaluate potential investments. In an episode in which a woman is seeking investment funds for an aromatherapy spray for children, investor Robert Herjavec, a technology mogul, doubts her commitment to follow through on her ideas, noting her failure to contact Disney about the company’s potential use of her products. Herjavec tells her, “A goal is great to have but you’ve got to have a timeline. A goal without a timeline is simply a dream.”
Shark Tank shows how entrepreneurs and investors trade for mutual advantage. Kevin O’Leary, who built a software business into a multi-billion dollar company, advises those seeking investment funds: “Show me clear[ly] how I can make money!”
In diametric opposition to the leftist slogan “You didn’t build that,” Shark Tank celebrates individual achievement, the entrepreneurial spirit, the profit motive, capitalism. May the entrepreneurs and investors on the show continue building great things and profiting enormously in doing so—and may the producers of Shark Tank continue profiting handsomely from their outstanding show.