One of my favorite shows to put in the background while working at my computer is ABC’s Shark Tank. The ABC reality show is produced by Mark Burnett and based on the Japanese program, Dragon’s Den. The original series has spawned many international versions including ones on BBC (UK) and CBC (Canada).
The show features five “Sharks” who hear investment proposals from entrepreneurs- some are relatively new while others have businesses that have been around for years but need additional capital to expand to the next level. These “Sharks” are mulit-millionaire business tycoons who have background expertise ranging from software companies to fashion to real estate and even infomercials. Upon hearing the business pitch, the “Sharks” determine whether they want to invest money and for what percentage of the company they want. Usually the negotiations for the great ideas are entertaining to watch. It even gets better when more than one of the “Sharks” wants to invest. Sometimes they work together while other times they try to squeeze the others out- it’s all riveting TV.
While some of the business ideas are brilliant, others have stink bombs written all over them. In this particular episode I saw a few weeks ago, Edwin Heaven approached the panel for some seed money to expand his business. Get this, his idea was to sell socks not in pairs BUT in threes. His product, Throx, claimed was the cure for the missing sock.
How preposterous is this idea? I can admit his product has a great novelty concept and a great gag gift appeal to it, but in terms of a viable long-lasting business, I think not. So what if you never lose your sock, what happens to the unused third sock? Or worse, you wear the socks all the time then all of a sudden you lose one, and you grab the fresh unused third sock. How ridiculous would you look with one sock looking fresh and brand new while the other one looks old and ragged from being washed 100 times.
Even though I’m giving Edwin Heaven a lot of flack, I have to give the guy a bit of credit. I think it’s awesome whenever anyone sticks their neck out to test their entrepreneurial skills. You gotta love some of his marketing verbage. Here’s a few snippets:
“If tires come with a spare, why not socks? After all, three beats a pair every time.”
“Introducing THROX. It beats the competition by at least three feet.”
So what do you think of THROX? Would you buy a pair? Would you rather get a bar of soap from your Secret Santa at work? Exactly how many pairs of socks do you lose per year?
Here’s Edwin Heaven’s Throx pitch to the Sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank