It’s now been ten years since Shark Tank‘s first episode, but the sharks continue to amuse and amaze us with their brutal put-downs and (if the guests on the show are lucky) their life-changing, career-making investments.
The series won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program for four consecutive years from 2014-2017, and continues to attract high viewer ratings and critical acclaim.
Shark Tank is the US’s answer to Dragon’s Den. It premiered its first episode four years after its British inspiration, in 2009, although Dragon’s Den itself was a copy of a Japanese TV show.
In the show, entrepreneurs appear in front of a panel of investors and business experts and give them a business presentation. If they impress the panel of ‘sharks’, they might leave with a large investment in their company in exchange for a percentage of the profits, which could enable them to expand their business to reach new heights.
However, although it’s a romantic story to think that ordinary people sign up to talk about their small business to the sharks, give an earth-shattering presentation and then suddenly all their dreams come true, there’s more going on behind the scenes than you’d think.
Take for instance the shocking fact that many of the deals agreed on the show are actually never followed through on, either because the sharks become skeptical about the business upon further inspection of the company’s finances, or most often because the contestants back out of the deals themselves. In what’s called the Shark Tank Effect, simply appearing on the show can create an increase in sales that far exceeds what an investment from the sharks would be likely to achieve in the same time frame.
Where is Shark Tank filmed?
Shark Tank is filmed in Los Angeles at Sony Pictures, in the exact same studio lot used for The Wizard of Oz. We’re still trying to decide who’s scarier: the business tycoons or the Wicked Witch of the West?
Who are the sharks on Shark Tank?
The six current judges are Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner. Past guest judges have included Richard Branson and Matt Higgins, whilst Kevin Harrington was a judge throughout seasons 1-2.
O’Leary is the founder of O’Leary Funds and SoftKey, whilst Corcoran is a real estate expert, columnist and author. John is the founder and CEO of FUBU, Herjavec runs his own technology company and Cuban owns AXS TV and the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks. Finally, Greiner is the founder and president of For Your Ease Only, Inc.