Shark Tank Season 12 Episode 4 Recap

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Shark Tank Season 12 Episode 4 Recap with Ed Jaffe, demo and presentation coach

Shark Tank Season 12 Episode 4 Recap with demo and presentation coach and Demo Solutions Founder, Ed Jaffe, is part of our pop culture series and underscores the importance of the pitch. You get one shot to make a deal, or it tanks

Another week, another episode of Shark Tank. Let’s get into it. But first, a warning – this post contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know what happens, watch the episode, then come back here for my analysis.

Even though it didn’t air live (it got bumped with that whole “election” thing), the episode went up the next day on Hulu, so if it’s not on your DVR you can find it there.

The Sharks who appeared on this week’s Shark Tank – another “standard” pane: Barbara, Daymond, Mr. Wonderful, Lori and Cuban.

The products that appeared on this week’s Shark Tank: Jada Spices, Surprise Cake, The Mighty Carver and Flipstik.

Next (recap) into the Shark Tank: Jada Spices

What is it: Vegan chicken salt (made of turmeric)/vegan (plant-based chicken)

The ask: $250K for 20%

Who are the founders: Khasha Touloei & Maynard Okereke

How many offers: 1

The result: $250K for 33% with Barbara

How was it presented to the Sharks?

To make the point that “salt hasn’t changed since caveman times,” so they had a “caveman” trying to break up a piece of salt. The caveman then ate a bunch of food that had the salt on it (while in character – nice touch).

What worked during the demo?

Ended the pitch (before samples) with “don’t be a chicken” – nice dad joke!

Product samples are always key for a food product, and the Sharks liked the product.

They both had good personal stories about the obstacles they’ve had to overcome, which the Sharks always like. Certainly not a requirement for a good pitch, but in a TV forum, where making good TV is just as important as the deals themselves, it’s helpful.

What didn’t work during the demo?

When asked about the product, Khasha knocked the competition – my preference is to focus on what makes something great and not what the competitors lack. Going after competitors almost always comes off as petty.

They mentioned that their product is popular in Australia, but didn’t bring that out. Showing that a market exists is a great way to build credibility.

Additional thoughts about the demo

Kevin was mad that Jada Spices is a side hustle – I always find that reaction from the Sharks to be a bit frustrating. The Sharks invest in tons of products and are involved with all of them (supposedly – it’s their teams – but still). Why can’t the entrepreneurs also do more than 1 thing? Also, the Sharks often talk about their struggle when they were young, so you would think they’d have some empathy for those who are trying to grow their businesses but also have to feed their families.

The new chicken sounds a whole lot like Matzah Balls – I’d be curious to try it.

Unrelated to anything, one of the selling points of the product is that it’s MSG free. Fun fact, MSG is completely safe and has never been proven to cause any sort of adverse reaction #science #themoreyouknow.


Next (recap) into the Shark Tank: Surprise Cake

What is it: A cake stand that has a clear cylinder in the middle (sort of like those pneumatic tubes they use for drive-up tellers at the bank)

The ask: $200K for 8%

Who are the founders: Mother-and-son team Liz Charm and Jordan Long

How many offers: 0

The result: No deal

How was it presented to the Sharks?

Awesome open. Two people came out with cake masks that covered their faces, and stopped next to a giant cake. But it turns out that fake Daft Punk was just a decoy – they stood there as Liz and Jordan jumped out of the cake.

They then showed the Sharks what the product actually was, but it was hard to top the moment of the very beginning.

What worked during the demo?

They gave fancy gifts to each shark ($100 bill to Kevin with his face on it, a watch for Daymond which his face on it). Probably overkill, but the Sharks liked it.

The first 5 seconds of the intro was pretty much perfect. Doing something completely unexpected, especially with an environment that’s nothing but a parade of presentations, is a great way to capture the audience’s attention.

What didn’t work during the demo?

The company strategy. They are trying to expand and go from being a cake stand company to selling baked cakes with their product in it. Then they also said they wanted to sell “curated gift pods,” which not only does no one really want, but it also is just distracting them from the main purpose of the business. This company doesn’t seem like they have a real strategy – as Cuban said, “they’re chasing revenue and not profits.”

Lori almost made an offer, and gave them a chance to adjust the valuation. But they only went from 8% to 12%, so Lori was out.

Additional thoughts about the demo?

“Listening to your customers is overrated” – Mark Cuban

There are a lot of ways that the person jumping out of a cake joke could go, but I appreciate that they ignored all of the potential connotations there (especially as a monther-and-son team).

Lori seemed excited about her gift, but they didn’t show what it actually was. Come on Lori – what did they give you?


Next (recap) into the Shark Tank: The Mighty Carver

What is it: A carving knife that looks like a chainsaw. Yes, you read that correctly.

The ask: $100K for 20%

The founders: Husband-and-wife team Lance and Kim Burney

How many offers: 2

The deal: Daymond – $100K for 25%. Daymond clearly wanted this one, and got it with an “exploding” offer (accept now or I’m out).

How was it presented to the Sharks?

Lance and Kim did a “QVC” pitch – after cutting a piece of turkey with it, they had a video showing them cut lots of other stuff (pineapple, bagel, etc). All it was missing was “but wait, there’s more!”

What worked during the demo?

Giving Cuban a Jason Voorhees mask and having him cut up a turkey. The mask was a nice touch, and Cuban clearly had fun with it.

Their “look at all that it does” video wasn’t bad, though I am curious why they didn’t cut more things live (they had a cut up pineapple and cantaloupe right there. Seems strange to pre-cut for this purpose).

What didn’t work during the demo?

When Cuban asked about a child lock, the answer was “well, you can hide it.” Seriously!? That’s your answer?! I’m surprised none of the Sharks had any liability concerns as I think most kids would love this.

The demo was a bit tacky, but with a product like this, that was probably the right approach.

Additional thoughts about the demo

This demo contained the word “leverage,” but in the context of leverage while holding the product (to cut better). There was no leveraging buzzwords. I’ll allow it.

I’m still shocked that the Sharks fought over this, but it’s just one of those ideas that is silly enough to be fun on TV, but serious enough that there’s money to be made.


Next (recap) into the Shark Tank: Flipstik

What is it: An adhesive to stick phones to just about any surface

The ask: $100K for 20%

The founder: Akeem Shannon

How many offers: 2

The result: $100K for 25% with Lori.

How was it presented to the Sharks?

Awesome intro – the founder walked out in a space suit, but threw it off and did a rap about his product. It. Was. Awesome. He told his whole story in a rap. The Sharks said it was the best rap ever on that show, and that’s probably true.

What worked during the demo?

The intro was great – the space suit decoy (which wasn’t addressed, but still fun), the rap, and the “QVC” demo of sticking a phone onto stuff. It was exactly what you’d expect when you hear “QVC demo.” He stuck the phone to a bunch of surfaces, then put the phone in spaghetti sauce, wiped it off, and it stuck again.

Akeem is a hell of a presenter – and I don’t say that lightly. Akeem, if you’re reading this, we should talk.

He sells a 58 cent product for $15. That’s some crazy good margins.

What didn’t work during the demo?

Everything was going great until he said what his sales were ($1,500 last month).

Kevin gave him exactly what he offered, and he ignored it to answer Lori’s question about competition. He then talked to all of the other Sharks, and Kevin did not appreciate that – leading him to drop out. He wasn’t the right partner, but Akeem could have said something to him before moving on to Lori.

Additional thoughts about the demo

Akeem said he lost his college scholarship due to partying and depression – I respect that he shared that story. It takes a lot of courage to admit something like that in a small room, let alone on national television.


Recap of the Shark Tank Season 12 Episode 4 Recap

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