Shark Tank is a phenomenon. Viewers watch on the edge of their seat as entrepreneurs make their pitch. Some will make life changing deals, while others are sent home disappointed.
Recently, some reality shows have been shown to be scripted. This can make you wonder if Shark Tank is also scripted. The good news is, Shark Tank is not scripted. It’s all real.
Shark Tank Basics
Shark Tank allows entrepreneurs the opportunity of a lifetime. They present their pitch to five business tycoons with the riches and resources to make their dreams come true.
The judges are known as sharks. The entrepreneurs step into the “tank” to make their pitch.
Each shark has a chance to offer a business deal. In some cases, no deals are offered. In others, several sharks fight for the deal, each making their own offers.
The Truth of Shark Tank
Yes, Shark Tank is real. When you see someone step into the tank and make their pitch, there’s no script. The sharks are offering and making real deals, and the entrepreneurs have put it all on the line to be there.
According to shark Mark Cuban, “It’s our money, it’s all real.”
Shark Tank is now in many other countries, including India. Angad recently appeared on the Indian version of the show. He said, ” you enter the tank, it’s all real, no retakes, no direction nothing.”
He went on to explain that during the interview sessions with the host, you may be given instructions to repeat something or stand a different way. This means there are retakes during this portion. However, once you enter the tank, you are on your own.
Are The Deals Really Real?
The deals on Shark Tank are real, but there’s a caveat. Once the deal is made, the judge who struck the deal gets the chance to do “due diligence”.
This is a term that’s used in standard business dealings. In simple terms, this means they can check the entrepreneurs’ facts. A surprisingly large percentage of entrepreneurs don’t tell the truth when making their pitch.
The judge decides to do the deal based on what they were told during the pitch. If the facts don’t match the pitch, the deal is off.
For example, if an entrepreneur claims it costs them $1 to make the item and they can sell it for $20, and it turns out it costs $5 to make and they are currently selling for $10, this drastically changes the business’s outlook and profitability.
It’s understandable that the sharks will back away in these cases.
How Many Deals Fall Through?
Forbes magazine investigated the deals made on the first seven seasons of shark tank. They found and interviewed 237 of the 319 business owners offered deals during these seasons.
They discovered that the majority of deals either fell through, or that the terms changed after the cameras turned off.
According to Forbes, 27% of the deals stayed the same as the original offer. For 30%, the deal changed. 43% of the deals fell apart after the initial offer.
It’s likely that entrepreneurs embellishing is one reason for this. However, it’s not the only reason. Big business deals often undergo changes before being finalized.
Even in the normal business world, many deals fall through after an offer is on the table. In fact, half of all business sales fall apart, making Shark Tank’s numbers better than average.
It is Edited for TV
Even though Shark Tank is real, it’s still reality TV. This means viewers see an edited version of the real events. Many pitches actually last for an hour or more, but they are edited to fit into a 5 to 15 minute time frame for the show.
Also, only a portion of the pitches the sharks see make it onto the show. In fact, about 1 in 4 pitches don’t make it on the show. The show presents the most exciting, moving, or quirky products or entrepreneurs. The rest stay behind the scenes.
However, the deals are real, regardless of whether or not the product makes it to the small screen.
The shark judges are certainly real people, but like the show itself, there is some editing. Reality shows are famous, or infamous, for painting those on the show in certain lights.
They can take a nice girl and turn her into a mean girl. They can take a bully and make them a sympathetic character that you want to root for. It’s unlikely this happens on Shark Tank, but you still don’t see the entire picture.
Sure, each judge has their own personality. They are being genuine on the show. However, it’s important to remember that you are seeing aspects of these people, not the person as a whole.
The interactions are selected for entertainment value, or because they fit with the personality the show is portraying for that person.
Are the Sharks Paid?
It turns out that the shark tank judges, or sharks, are paid cast members. They get paid approximately $50,000 per episode. However, this varies from judge to judge and season to season.
The sharks are paid to appear on the show, but the money they are investing is their own. They are paid for the work they do on the show.
Why is it called shark tank?
The show is based on Dragon’s Den, which began in Japan in 2001. It’s likely that they took the concept of going into the dragon’s den, and came up with shark tank.
Of course, it can also be a play on words. In business, sharks are those who are dishonest or dangerous in some way. This can be seen on the show to a degree.
After all, business is business. The sharks will sometimes make a low offer, hoping to get a greater return on their investment.
Final Word on Shark Tank
If you enjoy watching Shark Tank, you can now enjoy it without any doubt the show is legitimate. As far as reality TV goes, it’s as real s it gets.