Shark Tank is a actuality TV present constructed round entrepreneurs searching for 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 relies on a easy premise. Entrepreneurs carry 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 take a position.
Like all TV reveals, 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 1000’s in new capital.
Whereas Shark Tank is all about leisure, it has been a manner 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.
🦈 Be taught extra: Discover our roundup of the perfect Shark Tank merchandise that made it large, from modern devices to groundbreaking companies.
The 12 Worst Shark Tank Merchandise
Changing into an entrepreneur isn’t as simple as it’d first seem. It’s not sufficient to have a cool concept and convey it straight to market. It’s essential totally develop your marketing strategy, analysis the market, determine your target market, assess the competitors, develop an enlargement technique, take a look at the viability of your product, and extra.
These entrepreneurs have failed on at the least one among 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 consumer’s blood alcohol ranges.
All 5 of the sharks determined to spend money on it, with Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, and Daymond John elevating 1 million in trade 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 consumer 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 thought went down the drain, together with the cash invested by the sharks.
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2. CATEapp (2012)
In season 4 of the present (2012), the Shark Tank traders heard a presentation from Neal Desai, inventor of CATEapp. Referred to 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 consumer.
Two of the sharks, Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John, had been intrigued sufficient to lift $70,000 in trade for 35% fairness.
The app bought 1000’s of downloads after its Shark Tank look, however it shortly turned clear that the app was laden with bugs and leaked delicate info. Its options may be circumvented fairly 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 could be, Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran jumped on the alternative to spend money on Candy Ballz.
In season 5 James McDonald and Cole Egger offered their concept: promoting scrumptious little cake balls. The founders obtained $250,000 in trade 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, remains to be in enterprise right this moment, 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 definitely one of many worst partnerships!
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4. Squirrel Boss (2013)
Michael Desanti offered Squirrel Boss in season 4 (2013) of Shark Tank. At its core, it was a easy chook feeder, however it had a characteristic that may ship an electrical shock to pests like squirrels to discourage them from stealing the chook meals. Supposedly, the shock wouldn’t hurt the squirrels.
The primary downside 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 might hardly be missed.
Squirrel Boss was additionally costly and unpatented, so not one of the sharks had been prepared to spend money on it.
Whereas it was obtainable on Amazon for some time, Squirrel Boss by no means took off attributable to 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 had been too female.
Presenting his concept in season 2 of the present, Johnson tried to distinguish his product by introducing extra “masculine” scents that may supposedly attraction to the male target market.
Unsurprisingly, not one of the “sharks” had been fascinated by 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 among the better-known failures from Shark Tank. Initially offered 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 youngsters’s toys in a subscription-based service. Mother and father may join the service, lease 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 children lose curiosity.
Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary noticed the attraction, committing $250,000 to the enterprise.
Nevertheless, ToyGaroo wasn’t prepared for the heightened demand following the episode’s airing. Sourcing high-quality toys and transport 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 imagined to disrupt the journey trade. Based by Gaston Blanchet and Jesse Potash, it introduced a brand new degree of expertise to a really outdated product: baggage. The product was a wise 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 trade for 15% of the corporate.
The deal, nevertheless, fell via. 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 obtained their high-tech baggage and people who did obtained poor-quality merchandise that didn’t meet the expectations arrange by Trunkster’s advertising marketing campaign.
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8. Wired Waffles (2012)
Wired Waffles was a flop from the get-go. First offered in season 4 of Shark Tank, the enterprise was based by Roger Sullivan.
Wired Waffles are caffeine-infused waffles that may supposedly assist busy folks save time within the morning since they wouldn’t must make each espresso and breakfast.
Not one of the sharks had been fascinated by 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 could possibly be ingested by youngsters by chance.
Wired Waffles is an ideal instance of what occurs when entrepreneurs don’t suppose their concepts via, 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 offered throughout season 6 of the present (2014). Michael Woolley and Arthur Grayer created it as an modern new youngsters’s backpack that would scale back the wearer’s again and shoulder ache.
Formed to seem like a vest and boasting loads of cupboard space, it appeared like the right product. Sadly, although, no shark wished to spend money on it.
Regardless of Vestpakz being obtainable in Walmart shops, the gross sales had been abysmal. The ratio between its manufacturing prices and promoting worth was too low, and there was minimal client demand. In the end, Vestpakz went out of enterprise.
10. Cougar Power (2012)
Cougar Power was a product developed by Ryan Custar and offered 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 carry the patron’s power ranges up, however it could additionally positively have an effect on the hair and nails. Furthermore, it boasted “anti-aging” substances, although none of those claims had been scientifically supportable.
Cougar Power obtained 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 destructive feedback on Amazon and social media, it was obvious that the traders had been proper.
11. Wake N Bacon (2011)
Wake N Bacon was first offered by Matty Sallin in season 2 of Shark Tank. It was an alarm clock/oven that may begin cooking bacon 10 minutes earlier than wake-up time, thus waking the consumer as much as the candy scent of bacon.
The idea gained recognition on-line earlier than Matty got here on the present, with loads of folks asking to purchase it.
Nevertheless, the sharks noticed it as a gag reward that may have few professional customers. Furthermore, it shortly turned obvious that Matty hadn’t thought the entire idea via. There have been no security guards that may decrease hearth dangers, as an illustration.
Matty hadn’t give you a promoting worth. He hadn’t developed a plan that may assist him promote extra items 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 via 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 offered throughout season 5 of Shark Tank. Inventors Sylvie Shapiro and Nicole Brooks developed an app to assist mother and father measure their youngsters’s toes and purchase suitably sized sneakers for them, thus minimizing the dangers of frequent foot points.
Foot Fairy could be free to make use of, and the corporate would earn commissions from common shops like Zappos.
Nevertheless, regardless of the app having 1000’s 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 fascinating 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 supply 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 record, some would probably have confirmed to be profitable had the entrepreneurs developed their concepts higher. In spite of everything, having an excellent product concept is rarely sufficient to make sure the success of a enterprise. Entrepreneurs at all times must conduct thorough market, competitor, and viewers analysis. They should take a look at their merchandise’ viability, develop enlargement methods, and develop complete enterprise plans in the event that they hope to draw prospects and traders.