I’ve been asking myself this question for a long time. I can sit for hours watching Shark Tank reruns, sometimes recognizing products I’ve seen online or in stores on the show. I watch new episodes eagerly. Sometimes, I even yell at the sharks to make a deal, or not.
Why is Shark Tank So Addictive?
Why is Shark Tank so addictive? There are actually many reasons why over 4 million viewers tune into the show regularly. Let’s take a look at what lays beneath the surface of the Shark Tank addiction.
Shark Tank is Emotionally Moving
It doesn’t matter if you are male, female, or somewhere in between. We are all emotional creatures. We need emotional stimuli in our lives. This can be drama, failure, or success. The best shows, including Shark Tank, include all three.
I’ve found myself crying right along with Phillip Lapuz, when he spoke about giving up a comfortable lifestyle to follow his dreams. Seeing Robert Herjavec invest in Lapuz’s company, Kronos, brought it full circle.
There’s also some drama and harsh words. In the first episode, Kevin O’Leary told Tod Wilson, owner of Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory, “Don’t cry about money, it never cries for you.”
I’ve seen the judges go after contestants, and after each other. I’ve seen entrepreneurs get the investment that allowed them to pursue their dreams.
All of these moments are moving in their own way. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, in the best way.
We Identify With the Entrepreneurs
Another factor that makes Shark Tank so addictive is that we identify with the entrepreneurs on the show. Perhaps you’ve never started your own business, but you’ve at least dreamed of doing so.
When you see someone putting it all on the line on the show, you can’t help but think, that could be me. This leads to the next reason it’s addictive.
It’s Inspiring to See Successful Businesses
Identifying with the entrepreneurs means that when we see them succeed, we feel that we can succeed as well. Perhaps you’ll never be seeking a business investment.
However, you will find yourself trying to accomplish something. Perhaps you’ll even find yourself coming to one defining moment, where it’s make or break. In that moment, you can think about your favorite Shark Tank entrepreneurs who accomplished their goal. It can give you faith and hope that you can do the same.
Perhaps it will even encourage you to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. You’ll see someone on the screen with a similar age or a similar story, and you’ll think, If they did it, I can too.
The Pitches and Deals are Real
We all know reality shows don’t always include a lot of reality. Shark Tank, however, is real. It is edited for TV, but when you see a person making a pitch, you are seeing the real deal. Speaking of that, the deals are real as well.
The pitches are edited for time, but the entrepreneurs are never coached. There are no retakes. When it comes to the deals, they often change after the show, and a few fall through. For the most part, though, the deals represent something close to, if not exactly the same as, the final result.
The Sharks (Judges)
It’s called Shark Tank for a reason. The sharks are a big part of the show. Each show has six judges. The core six judges will sometimes alternate, allowing a guest shark to make an appearance.
The sharks are one of the things that make the show great. They offer legitimate advice that you can often apply to your own life. They have great chemistry.
Best of all, they’ve all come from humble beginnings, and are now very rich business moguls. When you see a shark, there’s an “I made it” story behind them.
Perhaps this, in addition to their business savvy, is what allows them to offer such sage advice to entrepreneurs and viewers alike.
Discovering New Products & Inventions
One of the more exciting aspects of Shark Tank is that you never know what you’ll see on the show. You may find the next product you can’t live without.
It’s much more entertaining than QVC, sorry Lorrie Greiner. This probably isn’t a big motivation for watching the show, but it certainly adds to the addiction. After all, you don’t want to miss out on the next new thing.
The show can even give you the opportunity to impress your friends, assuming they don’t watch the show. You can introduce them to life changing products like the Scrub Daddy. This will undoubtedly improve your social standing in your circle.
Learning Business Principles
I love to learn, so this is a big one for me. Because Shark Tank is focused on business, you can actually learn a lot from the show. You’ll quickly learn what terms like valuation and equity mean.
Even if you don’t find this knowledge useful, you can learn from the pitching and deal process. Everyone needs to know how to sell a product, even if the product is simply yourself. Negotiation is also a desperately needed skill in society.
The next time you go for a job interview, you can use tidbits you learned from Shark Tank pitches to increase your odds of getting the job. You can negotiate a better offer as well.
It’s About the People on Shark Tank
My favorite thing about Shark Tank is that it’s about people. Sure, it’s based around entrepreneurs presenting products, and sharks looking to make a good investment deal.
It may seem like the show is about business, which it is. However, more than anything else, it’s about people. The way they interact. Their hopes and their struggles.
The products the entrepreneurs have created is actually a small part of their success. Their personality, confidence, and how they relate to the sharks is more significant.
Perhaps this is why Copa Di Vino didn’t get a deal, but Zipz wine did. They are both single-serve wine companies, so the products and their sales potential should be comparable. Zipz had Andrew McMurray, who was confident and likeable. That is what landed him the deal. This is one of many examples that show Shark Tank is really about people, not products.