‘Shark Tank’s’ Daymond John ‘Quicker to Go for the Jugular’ These Days

Daymond John ABC photo

“Shark Tank” entrepreneur Daymond John and his fellow shark, $2.5 billionaire Mark Cuban, are working out the details for their planned “Twittch” — that is, Twitter pitch — event April 9 at the Reality Rocks Expo at the L.A. Convention Center.  Business wannabes will have the chance to pitch their products to the potential investors in 140 characters or less while the duo talks about the use of social media to build brands.

The FUBU founder and CEO admits that when he was starting out, he couldn’t have sold an investor in 140 characters.  “I got turned down by 27 banks, so it didn’t matter whether I had 140 words or 140,000.”

Still, he’s into social networking for fun and profit now.  He gets around 200 pitches via Facebook, Twitter and email per week, and “I do look at most of them.  Mark Cuban says he’s backed products by people he’s never met through Twitter and e-mail.  I’m not going to do that.  I want to meet people before I give them any money.”   As for whether any of those pitches have been effective, John says he’s consulting with a handful of people who began with an unsolicited pitch to help them develop their goods or services.  Products from another few “are in my portfolio in case I meet with a company that might work a good deal with them.”

MEANWHILE:  With Season 2 of “Shark Tank” underway, John has sharpened his game.  Now, when he sees a product that he wants that other sharks also want, “whether I have a good or bad feeling about the shark, I’ll go for the jugular quicker.” Now, he has attorneys at the ready “so I’m better equipped to structure these deals.”  John also has “strategic partners in place” to help him carry through deals faster.

He tells us he’s glad for the addition of recurring sharks Cuban and Jeff Foxworthy.  “It makes it more fun and brings more eyeballs.  When Jeff came in, we didn’t know what to expect, his having been in show business for more than 25 years.  But you can’t be an idiot and be as successful as he is.  We were like, ‘Wow.  He gets it.  He understands.  He’s a businessman.’  We were pleasantly surprised.

“And with Mark, we expected him to come in and start throwing chairs and screaming,” he says of the fiery founder of HDNet and owner of the Landmark Theater chain and the Dallas Mavericks.  “But he’s been great.   He also created a different challenge in that he is perceived as Mr. Moneybags.”  But that can be used against him, John believes.  “I’ll say to people, ‘When you have to pay for the gas in his jumbo jet for him to come in for a meeting, what’s that going to do to your budget?’  And when you need to reach him and can only get his secretary, what are you going to do then?’  It’s all about playing a smart game.”

And for the sharks, it really is about the fun of playing the game, for, as John notes, none of them “has to work another day of our lives.”

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

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