After every episode, the social team from Channel Ten have been diligently updating the leaderboard outlining which shark is making which offer and the amount that each of us has invested in the start-ups. There is much more to what this leader board says – it is not about what we spend but what we think is our potential for return.
Each shark has different skills, talents, networks and experiences – whenever someone walks into the tank (remember we know absolutely nothing about them prior to the doors opening) we have to assess what value we can bring to them and the likelihood of a good return.
We have two resources: time and money. And when we add the right mix of both then the outcome for the business we make an offer to should be amplified.But the game between the sharks is real – it is not acting. (I couldn’t act to save myself). Steve and I do see the world differently – but not withstanding that we do have a deep respect for what each of us has achieved and what we do now.
Even if the sharks really like a pitch, we play cat and mouse between the us as was so evident in the One World Collection pitch last night – where Steve started playing on the entrepreneurs team. Helping him drive a better deal.
When I see a business I like – I often have to bring up all its shortcomings to try and put the other sharks off… so that I have a clearer opportunity. Of course, this does not work when all five sharks just offer what the entrepreneur asks for as in the case of Lil’ Fairy Door.
Here are the five things that I look at before I am ever likely to make an offer:
1. What problem is the product/service solving
2. How many people have that problem
3. Where are those people with the problem and how are they accessed
4. What will it cost me (time and money)
5. What return will it deliver over what time frame?
Investing is a competitive business… there are plenty of amazing businesses, but I always say is this the best use of my time and money or is it better spent elsewhere and can I count on the founder to do what they say they are going to do. Business is a game of trust.