Why it still pays if ‘Shark Tank’ tells you to keep swimming.
I was first introduced to Fit Deck a couple of years ago, while reviewing the items for a blog post. These “playing cards” make it super simple to accomplish little fitness goals, especially with intimidating yoga steps segmented into individual moments. I even lugged these cards with me (they are now also an easily portable app) to Florida this past summer (I had grand visions of doing sunrise yoga on the lanai. Turns out my visions forgot about the constant 90 degree temps and my inability to wake up that early.)
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You’d think being turned down would make you feel sad…. But President of FitDeck, Phil Black, went to his blog to cheerfully talk about his experience on ‘Shark Tank’ (NBC.) Turns out there were plenty of lessons to learn. And, beyond that (obvious silver lining stuff) there was even more.
In the first 48 hours after the show aired, a lot happened. Aside from getting tons of publicity, new orders and website traffic, there’s even more. Like:
Validation: with > 500K FitDecks sold and over $4.5 million dollars in revenue we didn’t need someone to tell us whether or not we had a viable product, but the fact that we were chosen out of tens of thousands of applicants lent even more credibility to our product and brand.
Post-Show Deals: Mark Cuban and I struck a deal after the show to produce thousands of custom branded FitDeck Basketball decks for his Dallas Mavericks. I’m also communicating with another Shark who may want to collaborate on a project. It’s not over until it’s over.
Feedback: Today, feedback is instantaneous. We learned what people thought of our products within seconds via Twitter and Facebook. This reinforced what we were doing well and brought our attention to things that needed improvement. A year’s worth of feedback in minutes.
New Opportunities: I have been inundated with requests to do keynotes and motivational talks – something I love and am passionate about.
And you may even see Phil Black back on the Tank.
Invitation to Return: Kevin O’Leary extended an open invitation for me to return to the Tank with another idea if I so chose. This is a valuable chit.
There was also plenty of annoyance that came with being so suddenly popular. Black explains what that “bad” was:
Solicitations: Not every one of these emails was bad, but nearly 1,000 of them in one day was overwhelming. I received emails regarding – investment, marriage proposals, prayers, job offers, advertising opportunities, donation requests, financial advice, spokesperson opportunities, new product ideas, claims that I’m a fraud with a made-up resume, questions about whether I was really a SEAL, equity in exchange for getting a product on Shark Tank, product questions, website designers, mobile advice, etc.
It’s pretty cool to learn all the stuff that happens with ‘Shark Tank,’ even if you don’t get picked. Don’t you think?
I’m just going to be waiting for a ballet FitDeck. I’d be an awesome (albeit delusional) ballerina.
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