Big stakes. Huge profit potentials. High wheelin n' deelin in the heart of American Capitalism. The land of the free, home of the PAID. Where your economic growth is limited only to the boundaries of your imagination. Enter The Shark Tank. Where the imagination of Reality Television meets the American Dream. This reality series which premiered Aug 9, 2009, is based on 5 Sharks consisting of a pool of multi-millionaire business tycoons who are pitched investment proposals by freshwater guppy entrepreneurs who tread this stream of finance in hopes of securing a commitment to invest in their businesses without being eaten alive! The adrenaline is high, and the negotiations are intense as the sharks duke it out over some very clever and imaginative business propositions, as this show ultimately captures the essence of a modern day Price Is Right, with the twist being that financier's, and producers of products and services are doing the bidding this time instead of consumers. This is the juicy soap opera of the modern american businessman. It's The American Way.
The show is based primarily on Dragon's Den, which was derived from the Japanese show Mane No Tora (Money Tigers). On Dragon's Den, entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalist's in an attempt to secure investment finance. The series was so successful it was produced in 20 different countries under various names, ranging from Afghanistan to the United States, where it was picked up in 2008 by television producer Mark Burnett, who signed a deal with Sony to produce an American version of the show, but unlike the other versions, Burnett chose to rename the U.S. version Shark Tank, a very clever marketing twist on the name, which fits well with the American heritage of carnivorous financiers, prowling the waters of commerce, hungry and bloodthirsty for the flesh of dead presidents, in an effort to expand their empires, and stimulate the American Economy by breathing life into IDEAS that may have never made it without them. The SHARKS, American Business Tycoon's and Entrepreneurs who swim these bloody waters of the American Dollar include:
- Mark Cuban - Billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks
- Robert Herjavec - A 'Dot-Commer' who sold his IT company for over $100 Million
- Kevin O'Leary - The former president of The Learning Company, which was sold for $3.7 Billion
- Barbara Corcoran - A self made multi millionaire who sold her company for $70 Million in 2001
- Daymond John - Urban fashion industry mogul who founded FUBU reaching up to $6 Billion sales
- Kevin Harrington - Infomercial kingpin who financed products with over $4 Billion in sales
- Jeff Foxworthy - America's most successful comedian diversified his investments into multi-millions
Both Robert Herjavec and Kevin O'Leary had also appeared as "Dragons" on the Canadian version of the show called Dragon's Den. There is also an online Dragon's Den hosted by BBC Radio 1 newsreader and presenter Dominic Byrne which features two new Dragons. Shaf Rasul, one of the richest men in Scotland who built his empire through IT and property, and Julie Meyer, an American born entrepreneur who among many other things, founded Entrepreneur Country, and was the co-founder of First Tuesday which was sold in July 2000 for $50 Million. On the online version of the show, the entrepreneurs are allowed to pitch for a maximum of 50,000 British Pounds, and just like the television version, must be offered ALL the money or they walk away with no investment. But unlike the television version, the entrepreneurs apply by submitting a three- minute RAW-PITCH.
On Friday, January 8, 2010 at 9/8 central, four new episodes began airing using un-aired footage from prior tapings. ABC renewed Shark Tank for an eight episode second season on August 9, 2010. On August 10th ABC announced Jeff Foxworthy would be joining the Shark-pool alongside the other 5 Sharks for three out of eight episodes for the second season. On September 20, 2011 ABC announced that Mark Cuban would also join for three episodes. Season two's premier aired on Sunday March 20, 2011 at 9pm ET/PT on ABC and is scheduled to air over nine weeks every Friday starting on Friday, March 25, 20011 at 8pm ET/PT.
"The financier gets much, because he gives much; HE THINKS; he is seldom a man that let's anyone else do his thinking for him. He wants to know how results are to be secured. You must show him. When you can do this he will furnish the means by which hundreds or thousands may profit, and in proportion as they are successful will he be successful. Morgan, Rockefeller, Carnegie and others did not get rich because they lost money for other people; On the conrary, it is because they MADE money for other people that they became the wealthiest men in the wealthiest country on the globe." - Charles F. Haanel