Shark Tank is a actuality TV present constructed round entrepreneurs in search of investments of their corporations. A few of these corporations go on to realize success. The worst Shark Tank merchandise went completely nowhere and produced nothing however losses for his or her traders.
Let’s check out among the lemons that Shark Tank has produced: the worst Shark Tank merchandise.
Shark Tank: How It Works
Shark Tank is predicated on a easy premise. Entrepreneurs convey their enterprise concepts into the Shark Tank and ask for cash in return for half possession of their corporations. A panel of traders – the “sharks” – listens to the pitches, analyzes their potential, and decides whether or not to speculate.
Like all TV exhibits, Shark Tank was primarily developed for leisure: viewers get a vicarious thrill out of watching entrepreneurs lay their concepts on the road and seeing some shot down and others strolling away with tons of of hundreds in new capital.
Whereas Shark Tank is all about leisure, it has been a method for some entrepreneurs to achieve each cash and publicity, launching their corporations to success. It has additionally launched some spectacular flops. We’ll take a look at among the worst Shark Tank merchandise right here.
🦈 Study extra: Discover our roundup of one of the best Shark Tank merchandise that made it large, from progressive devices to groundbreaking providers.
The 12 Worst Shark Tank Merchandise
Turning into an entrepreneur isn’t as simple as it’d first seem. It’s not sufficient to have a cool concept and produce it straight to market. You’ll want to totally develop your marketing strategy, analysis the market, establish your target market, assess the competitors, develop an growth technique, check the viability of your product, and extra.
These entrepreneurs have failed on not less than one in every of these accounts.
1. The Breathometer (2013)
At first look, the Breathometer, developed by Charles Michael Yim, appeared like an ingenious concept. Offered in season 5 of the present (2013), the transportable breathalyzer may pair up with a smartphone to learn the person’s blood alcohol ranges.
All 5 of the sharks determined to put money into it, with Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, and Daymond John elevating 1 million in alternate for simply 30% of the enterprise’s fairness.
Issues arose after the funding, although. The enterprise couldn’t meet the heightened demand for the product. The product additionally failed to satisfy person expectations, delivering inaccurate outcomes and inflicting the Federal Commerce Fee (FDC) to step in.
It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the Breathometer needed to be taken off the market. The concept went down the drain, together with the cash invested by the sharks.
💵 Study extra: Discover 5 efficient methods to get cash to start out a enterprise, serving to you flip your entrepreneurial goals into actuality
2. CATEapp (2012)
In season 4 of the present (2012), the Shark Tank traders heard a presentation from Neal Desai, inventor of CATEapp. Generally known as the “cheater’s app”, CATEapp supplied the power to cover messages from choose contacts, enabling them to solely be seen by the cellphone’s main person.
Two of the sharks, Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John, have been intrigued sufficient to boost $70,000 in alternate for 35% fairness.
The app received hundreds of downloads after its Shark Tank look, however it shortly grew to become clear that the app was laden with bugs and leaked delicate data. Its options may be circumvented relatively simply. Furthermore, it couldn’t compete with related, extra dependable apps that got here to market.
CATEapp is not obtainable for downloads, and the cash invested in it’s gone, making it one of many worst Shark Tank merchandise.
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3. Candy Ballz (2013)
Though the traders in Shark Tank have, on a number of events, highlighted how dangerous investing in meals companies might be, Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran jumped on the alternative to put money into Candy Ballz.
In season 5 James McDonald and Cole Egger introduced their concept: promoting scrumptious little cake balls. The founders acquired $250,000 in alternate for 25% of their fairness, and all was good for some time.
Sadly, although, James and Cole had a falling out and even filed for restraining orders in opposition to each other.
Candy Ballz, now run by James, continues to be in enterprise immediately, although it’s not almost as profitable because it may’ve been had he and his enterprise accomplice stayed on the identical web page. Candy Ballz could not have been one of many worst Shark Tank merchandise, however it was actually one of many worst partnerships!
📈 Study extra: Discover the highest picks for one of the best meals shares & ETFs of 2024 to boost your funding portfolio.
4. Squirrel Boss (2013)
Michael Desanti introduced Squirrel Boss in season 4 (2013) of Shark Tank. At its core, it was a easy chicken feeder, however it had a characteristic that might ship an electrical shock to pests like squirrels to discourage them from stealing the chicken meals. Supposedly, the shock wouldn’t hurt the squirrels.
The primary drawback was that the product couldn’t differentiate between pests and birds and would shock any animal that got here into contact with it, a major design flaw that would hardly be neglected.
Squirrel Boss was additionally costly and unpatented, so not one of the sharks have been keen to put money into it.
Whereas it was obtainable on Amazon for some time, Squirrel Boss by no means took off as a result of its main design flaws and hefty worth.
5. Authentic Man Candle (2011)
The Authentic Man Candle was the brainchild of Johnson Bailey, who believed that conventional scented candles have been too female.
Presenting his concept in season 2 of the present, Johnson tried to distinguish his product by introducing extra “masculine” scents that might supposedly enchantment to the male target market.
Unsurprisingly, not one of the “sharks” have been eager about investing within the Authentic Man Candle. Which will have been because of the choice of scents supplied, which included “popcorn,” “golf course,” and “flatulence,” or because of the lack of a complete marketing strategy.
6. ToyGaroo (2011)
ToyGaroo is without doubt one of the better-known failures from Shark Tank. Initially introduced in season 2 (2011), ToyGaroo was based by Nikki Pope, Younger Chu, Hutch Postik, Phil Smy, and Rony Mirzaians.
The premise behind it was easy. ToyGaroo rented out kids’s toys in a subscription-based service. Mother and father may join the service, hire high-quality toys for a month, return them, and get a brand new batch, avoiding the issue of spending on toys solely to have the youngsters lose curiosity.
Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary noticed the enchantment, committing $250,000 to the enterprise.
Nonetheless, ToyGaroo wasn’t prepared for the heightened demand following the episode’s airing. Sourcing high-quality toys and delivery them proved to be costlier than anticipated, main the enterprise to go bankrupt in months.
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7. Trunkster (2015)
Trunkster was a promising new firm that was speculated to disrupt the journey trade. Based by Gaston Blanchet and Jesse Potash, it introduced a brand new stage of know-how to a really previous product: baggage. The product was a sensible suitcase with helpful options like a GPS monitoring system, USB ports, a digital scale within the deal with, and extra.
Offered on Shark Tank in season 7, Trunkster caught the eye of Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner, who invested $1.4 million in alternate for 15% of the corporate.
The deal, nonetheless, fell by means of. Trunkster’s obvious $28 million valuation solely got here from presales on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and aggressive income projections. A lot of the prospects who signed up for preorders by no means acquired their high-tech baggage and people who did acquired poor-quality merchandise that didn’t meet the expectations arrange by Trunkster’s advertising and marketing marketing campaign.
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8. Wired Waffles (2012)
Wired Waffles was a flop from the get-go. First introduced in season 4 of Shark Tank, the enterprise was based by Roger Sullivan.
Wired Waffles are caffeine-infused waffles that might supposedly assist busy individuals save time within the morning since they wouldn’t must make each espresso and breakfast.
Not one of the sharks have been eager about investing on this. In spite of everything, caffeine as a easy ingredient couldn’t be patented. The product didn’t have a pleasing style, and worst of all, it may very well be ingested by kids accidentally.
Wired Waffles is an ideal instance of what occurs when entrepreneurs don’t assume their concepts by means of, fail to check the viability of their merchandise and don’t conduct correct market analysis.
9. Vestpakz (2014)
Vestpakz appeared like a promising product when it was introduced throughout season 6 of the present (2014). Michael Woolley and Arthur Grayer created it as an progressive new kids’s backpack that would cut back the wearer’s again and shoulder ache.
Formed to appear like a vest and boasting loads of space for storing, it appeared like the right product. Sadly, although, no shark needed to put money into it.
Regardless of Vestpakz being obtainable in Walmart shops, the gross sales have been abysmal. The ratio between its manufacturing prices and promoting worth was too low, and there was minimal client demand. Finally, Vestpakz went out of enterprise.
10. Cougar Power (2012)
Cougar Power was a product developed by Ryan Custar and introduced to Shark Tank traders throughout season 3 (2012). As its title suggests, it was an power drink designed for “cougars”, aka middle-aged single ladies.
Supposedly, the drink wouldn’t solely convey the patron’s power ranges up, however it could additionally positively have an effect on the hair and nails. Furthermore, it boasted “anti-aging” elements, although none of those claims have been scientifically supportable.
Cougar Power acquired no investments in Shark Tank. Not one of the traders believed there was a marketplace for such a product, nor did they imagine it could stand as much as opponents. With low gross sales and loads of damaging feedback on Amazon and social media, it was obvious that the traders have been proper.
11. Wake N Bacon (2011)
Wake N Bacon was first introduced by Matty Sallin in season 2 of Shark Tank. It was an alarm clock/oven that might begin cooking bacon 10 minutes earlier than wake-up time, thus waking the person as much as the candy odor of bacon.
The idea gained reputation on-line earlier than Matty got here on the present, with loads of individuals asking to purchase it.
Nonetheless, the sharks noticed it as a gag present that might have few reputable customers. Furthermore, it shortly grew to become obvious that Matty hadn’t thought the entire idea by means of. There have been no security guards that might reduce fireplace dangers, as an example.
Matty hadn’t provide you with a promoting worth. He hadn’t developed a plan that might assist him promote extra models after making a prototype and had no gross sales projections.
All he had was an concept for a product and no plans to assist him market and promote it. Regardless of many on-line shoppers expressing a want for Wake N Bacon, the enterprise fell by means of as a result of there actually wasn’t a enterprise there within the first place, simply an concept.
12. Foot Fairy (2013)
Foot Fairy was introduced throughout season 5 of Shark Tank. Inventors Sylvie Shapiro and Nicole Brooks developed an app to assist dad and mom measure their kids’s ft and purchase suitably sized footwear for them, thus minimizing the dangers of widespread foot points.
Foot Fairy could be free to make use of, and the corporate would earn commissions from standard shops like Zappos.
Nonetheless, regardless of the app having hundreds of downloads previous to Sylvie and Nicole’s look on Shark Tank, the 2 had earned no commissions.
Whereas the idea, at its core, appeared attention-grabbing sufficient, there have been a few points that deterred the sharks from investing in it. The app was simple sufficient to repeat, which might deter any main retailers from providing commissions for it. Furthermore, it could have been a way more viable marketing strategy for Sylvie and Nicole to develop their very own model of footwear and use Foot Fairy to extend their gross sales.
Though one of many sharks did provide a deal, it by no means got here to fruition, and Foot Fairy is not obtainable.
Whereas there are a few outrageous Shark Tank pitches on this listing, some would seemingly have confirmed to be profitable had the entrepreneurs developed their concepts higher. In spite of everything, having an awesome product concept isn’t sufficient to make sure the success of a enterprise. Entrepreneurs all the time must conduct thorough market, competitor, and viewers analysis. They should check their merchandise’ viability, develop growth methods, and develop complete enterprise plans in the event that they hope to draw prospects and traders.
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