Shark Tank

Mercy Killing: when the harsh truth is a kindness

Four out of fives businesses fail in the first five years. This is a fact and it’s something that most business people think that is not going to happen to them. Growing a business may in fact be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life bar none. To be successful, you have to have thick skin, tenacity, courage and the ability to dust yourself off when you get knocked down. These people are the one in five. The other four are sitting in the dirt blaming the world for their business woes.

You get the best spikes in business but it also can beat you down. You will have seen it on this week’s show when some of the pitchers were told things they may not have wanted to hear. And you may think that we were mean and uncompassionate in our comments but sometimes you are not doing anyone any favours by telling them to continue with what they are doing if what they are doing is the problem. No one likes the truth when it is negative but you are doing them a huge favour by letting them know. So before we get smashed for not being nice; remember that maybe we are being the kindest of all…


Peter and Kristina

Good innovation for a promotional item but it is a very competitive space. There are dozens of products that are similar in the market. What I did like was that they had considered things like patents and trademarks and they knew their numbers. The other positive was the growth in sales, which is the key indicator in business. They may do well in the corporate space but Naomi made a great point on return, so I just couldn’t see how I could get my money back. They presented well. Great job.



These guys were at the end of the tether, as business can do to you sometimes. Sometimes life’s and business’s challenges beat us down. And this lovely man felt like this for me. The product was really good and I have given the product to our teams to see if we can use it. I did feel very sorry for this guy as he was beaten by the journey and he was in that place where there is only one way to go, which is the VERB place (Victim, Entitled, Rescue and Blame). Most of what came out of their mouths was that it was everyone else’s fault the business was not doing well, and as soon as you have this mentality it is all over. The moment you blame someone else you lose the ability to fix the problems, because how can you fix a problem when you think you are not the issue? The business was in a spiral downwards but the thing they have to fix first is the way they look at the business and act toward the decline. Until they do this, there is only one way the business can go. I felt terrible for Albert as he was a beaten man. He needs to pick himself up, dust himself off and go again. The product is good and it did sell really well in the past, so he has a shot.


Tracy and Lorne

There are two things you talk about with babies; sleeping and pooing. Every parent reading this, will remember the first time their child FINALLY pooed in the toilet. There Poo dance was interesting. Not sure if it would get a child to poo in a pot – but entertaining.

The business model was not really something I liked, but you cannot deny their commitment to their business and their purpose. I joked on the show that my mother potty trained my children and it was 80% true (for the record she found it a challenge and who was I to stand in my mother’s way?) The 20% of time that I contributed to my children finally pooing in a pot was filled with lots of patience (of which I have zero) and lots of tricks like ping pong balls in the bottom of the toilet. With some children, it’s easy and with some, you think they will never do it, so there is a need for this business.

I didn’t think it was scalable in a way that I could get a return. I wish them luck as there is a need.

Rachel and Maree


These girls were dynamos. I love that they saw a problem and came up with a solution. The product looked great and they did a very good presentation. They are very early but Andrew was backing the people, not the product. Andrew is very connected and will be a great partner. Steve’s offer was actually quite good. They have a great partner. I am very excited for this product. I may have missed a great opportunity here!


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