5 Reasons ABC's Shark Tank is Great Television

There are five reasons Shark Tank is great family TV.

I came home late on a Friday evening two summers ago, my then 12-year-old twins in tow, and found my wife riveted to ABC's Shark Tank, a show I knew nothing about.  I do, however, know that my actress wife cares as much about high finance as I care about the Lifetime network, so if she's hooked on Shark Tank it must be good.  

Shark Tank has a simple premise:  An entrepreneur enters a room of rich mahogany and leather chairs occupied with five "sharks" - billionaire investors ready to evaluate and invest in new ideas.  

One of my recent posts dealt with money lessons for kids.  There are five reasons Shark Tank is great family TV:

1) Shark Tank is great drama.  After entering the Shark Tank and making their pitch, entrepreneurs are subjected to grilling about their company by the "sharks."  It's fun to root for business owners or against a Shark like Kevin O'Leary, a smarmy, condescending type who refers to himself as "Mr. Wonderful" (though it turns out in business he's not so wonderful).  Contestants tell emotional stories about their life's work in the hopes of realizing their dreams.  Shark Tank captures the "art of the deal" in real time. 

2) Shark Tank offers lessons in presentation and negotiation skills.  Entrepreneurs aren't selling products as much as selling themselves.  Shark Tank offers lessons in salesmanship and the ability to think quickly.  Who could forget contestant Michael Tseng and his "plate popper" pitch?  Tseng had significant sales and a sky high valuation for his company (which he refused to give), leading to a bidding war among the Sharks before his arrogance nearly left him without a deal.  In the words of Kenny Rogers "The Gambler," you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.

3) Shark Tank is a great way to learn math skills.  Can your kids do math problems in their head?  For example:  When an entrepreneur enters the Shark Tank and says he wants $70,000 for a 10% stake in the company, how much is the company worth?  In our house we see who can come up with the answer first, then guess at an effective counter offer.  Shark Tank is a response to the teenage lament, "How does this matter to me?" 

4) Shark Tank is a celebration of the human spirit.  Our society relies on ideas and innovation from small business.  We need entrepreneurs to fuel the so-called frontier economy.  Everyone who walks into the Shark Tank believes in themselves. They aren't afraid of hard work and following their dreams.

5) It's fun to witness the "Shark Tank effect." The "Shark Tank effect"  occurs when the Sharks look back on a prior investments.  The inevitable reaction is, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Are you a fan of Shark Tank?  I would enjoy hearing from you, and thanks so much for reading.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jim Court December 05, 2012 at 11:53 PM
No shack in Warsaw. I would what nothing to do with Warsaw. You act like a low class bully and thug. Your "boys". I am sure you have many. Why do you make implied threats? For what? I read your other former commentaries. You have issues for sure.
Bree Olson December 06, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Can you read? Obviously not.. I said little regulation. Unions were good in the past but they aren't necessary now. There are laws that protect workers. Once again I said little regulation. Next time you comment read the entire paragraph you idiot.
Stevie Janowski December 06, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Well Jim, I find it funny that you call me "low class" I mean look at yourself, when their are homes in your neihborhood selling for under 125k (Must be the bad housing market right? Bush's fault of course too) . You my friend are so high class, that there is a 10 foot fence in your backyard to keep you from seeing the expresway behind your house. How ritzy!! You want to insult my class, well when my boys roll up in black Cadilacs, ill be sure to have them to take a picture of the bags you are wearing for clothes. Your a peasant, please stop insulting my class. Thanks, Stevie
Jim Court December 06, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Bree, The term little regulation is vague and not measurable. How can I determine what you meant and to what degree? Unions are probably necessary. All systems of power need a system of checks and balances. The pendulum needs to swing back a little. What is with people who cannot disagree and do it in a respectful way? I never called anyone a name. If you support free markets you sure should support the free exchange of ideas. While you might not support socialism, your "idiot" statement sounds like fascism. I never said "spread the wealth" Is there not an excess of corporate welfare included in those entitlements you detest ? Is not the military and the government hugely wasteful? If you take the train to work you are being subsidized. Is the North Shore this angry? I thought this was the area of educated and intelligent people. Stop the name calling please.
Bree Olson December 06, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Well i can tell you one thing genius, and little sure is more than ZERO! You should no that. I support free markets and the freedom to say what ever i want. I called you an idiot for not knowing a litle is more than ZERO. With out the military we wouldn't be able to have free markets. They protect them, so in that case they aren't. Government is hugely wasteful and thats why there should be little (NOT ZERO)<<---for the challenged. I am highly educated, and toughen up you baby, whoopdiedo i called you a name. Thats the problem with society and America. Everyone is turning into weak sissies and expect a helping hand.
Jim Court December 06, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Steve, Class is not about money nor is it always about education. Hollywood and the sports world are filled with low class people.Lindsey Lohan must be awesome. Bernie Madoff was very intelligent. It is about behaviors that lower class people ascribe to. Fighting and feuding are an example. Intolerance is another. Name calling, etc. We were talking about a reality program. I have a right to disagree with aspects of the program. The author of the article, with much class, supported my right to disagree. So did Brian. Elmhurst is a pretty good community. Foreclosures are everywhere. Elmhurst is building a huge amount of million dollar homes. By the way, that is a rental property with the ability to be subdivided. I would agree I wish I had known about the expressway a little more but I will subdivide it and make good money at some point.The whole world is in an economic free fall. Real estate has been significantly impacted. I did not manipulate the markets or receive money from the Government like the banks did. Why do you care about what I wear or how I look. Men do not worry about these things. You seem to have extraordinary concern about mens fashion. What type of work do you do?
Jim Court December 06, 2012 at 01:17 AM
I am far from thin-skinned or I would be fearful to offer an opinion. I would worry about what everybody thought. It is about civility that is largely lacking. Those who must immediately resort to name calling are acting as bullies who wish to impose their worldview. I do not want a helping hand by any measure. How would you conclude that I do? A 'little" is more than zero. Why do you explain the obvious? Explain to me about free markets that you support. I am not against competition but a race to the bottom is not beneficial. Henry Ford realized that if he didn't pay his workers fairly they could not afford to buy his cars. WalMart pays so poorly that most of their workers collect food stamps and use emergency rooms for health care. Thus we indirectly give huge corporate welfare to Walmart, supported by taxpayer dollars. Please explain your philosophy. I am always willing to learn.
Stevie Janowski December 06, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Class is all about money Jim. You can be low class and have class, but at the end of the day your still low class. Ever heard of a high class trailer park? Me either. And sure elmhurst is a good community, but not the part of town you live in guy. And Jim I work for Reinsdorf family. You have an issue with the bulls or sox, i will gladly discuss that as well
Stevie Janowski December 06, 2012 at 01:21 AM
And what work are you in exactly?
Bree Olson December 06, 2012 at 01:34 AM
I only explain the obvious because in your response you didn't get that... I support in free markets letting the invisible hand create a pay for which the market and economy determines.
Cari Barcas December 06, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Hey guys, We love the lively conversation on this post, but please keep your comments on topic and refrain from name-calling and personal attacks. Thanks! Cari Barcas Regional Editor
Jim Court December 06, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Cari, Always do. I do not name call.
Jim Court December 06, 2012 at 01:49 AM
I do not live in "that" part of town. It is a rental. Class and money are not correlated. Mike Tyson has money. So do many gangster rappers. So do drug dealers. Obviously you worship the concept of celebrity. Reinsdorf received huge state subsidies for his stadium. Although I have always been very athletic, I could care less about hollywood people, many athletes, and sports in general. The stadium has become the new religion and idolatry of these people rings empty with me. I guess Dennis Rodman is classier than the nurse that helps you or the teachers you had in school. More than a policeman that protects you or a crossing guard that protects children. I have done many things. Buying and selling real estate was one of them. Lets see. Donald Trump went bankrupt, Banks were bailed out. So was General Motors. The Chicago Tribune went bankrupt. The State and cities are broke. The US Government is broke. The Sox cannot attract fans. No team brings us a championship. Well else would you like to know.
Jim Court December 06, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Bree, Under free markets employers hire illegal workers, do not report taxes, offer no health benefits, and displace American Workers. Ah, for the "free" market.
Stevie Janowski December 06, 2012 at 02:14 AM
guess your forgeting about the blackhawks, da bears, bulls and white sox. And buying selling real estate must be booming now
Bree Olson December 06, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Mr. Barcas, Could you please give me the contact information of your supervisor or manager. I need someone with a little more authority (no offense) to tell me what I can and can not say on the internet. Last time I checked I am covered under the first amendment which gives me the freedom of speech. I could talk about hippos if I really wanted to. Thanks, Bree Olson
Stevie Janowski December 06, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Nooo!!! Where did that great picture go Jim?
Bree Olson December 06, 2012 at 02:28 AM
It's all in the invisible hand Jimbo.
Cari Barcas December 06, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Hi Bree, We here at Patch are big fans of freedom of speech, and hippos for that matter. That said, by using our site, you are agreeing to abide by our terms of use, outlined at the link below. http://elmhurst.patch.com/terms Those terms specify that, among other things, users can't post anything defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane, offensive, threatening, harassing, inaccurate, false or misleading. We have sole discretion to moderate comments and remove any that we deem in violation of our terms of use. Hope this clarifies!
Stevie Janowski December 06, 2012 at 03:13 AM
http://lakeforest.patch.com/users/bree-olson/photos#photo-12465092 found it.?
Bree Olson December 06, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Ok Cari, I don't see where I violated any of those things...
Brian L. December 06, 2012 at 03:25 AM
I think it's time to shut this down...no? Bree and Stevie and their clever pseudonyms have successfully hijacked yet another thread, with the help of their enabler Jim....can't give you two all the credit. All in a good days work.
Bree Olson December 06, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Cari, I feel as if I am being harassed. I would like some names of people that are above you now.
Cari Barcas December 06, 2012 at 03:27 AM
I didn't say that you did, Bree. I didn't remove any of your comments. You asked what you can and cannot say, so I pointed you to our terms of use. My original request was simply that everyone play nice and keep the conversation productive. Thanks!
Jim Court December 06, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Brian, Did not mean to enable although I inadvertently did by responding. I am done. Take care.
Stevie Janowski December 06, 2012 at 03:46 AM
I am also done, I felt we had a good conversation, and look forward to seeing you down the line. Best, Stevie
Bree Olson December 06, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Well I'm not done so i guess that mean i win!
Abigail December 06, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Jim, you say that Walmart pays so poorly, can I point out that most retail jobs pay the same as Walmart. Go on the Internet and look at the salaries on glassdoor.com. You will find that Walmart isn't the only store paying low salaries. If you are going to complain about Walmart, you should complain about all retailers.
Stevie Janowski December 06, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Also Jim look at the skill level of Wal-Mart workers. Funny thing is I think a union would be worse for them. They wouldnt get it and the high rate of employees leaving the company would not make sense.
William L. Gaul, CFA, CTFA December 06, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Brian - thanks for reading and taking time to comment. I do think there is a distinction between shows like American Idol or Shark Tank and ones like Jersey Shore, where so much is contrived.


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