My wife and I have been on a kick of watching ABC’s Shark Tank past episodes via Hulu for about three or four weeks now. Admittedly, when I suggested we start watching the show, I didn’t think she’d get into it that much, and it would be a one-and-done experiment for me.
Much to my surprise, she loved the show! And it suits two very different tastes in television shows. I’m drawn to the business and marketing side of the show: trying to figure out each entrepreneur’s value proposition, target audience, uniqueness of the product, etc. Not to mention the most important fact (at least to the sharks!), can this thing make any money?! However, my wife is drawn to another aspect. She loves the stories in this show. As in, how did each entrepreneur come up with this idea? What life problem is it solving? And, do they walk away with a good deal?
The best moments, in both of our opinions, is when the show’s drama gets ramped up. That tends to happen quite a bit between the sharks and the entrepreneurs, but it’s the most fun when multiple sharks start fighting with one another over a deal trying to woo the entrepreneur. It’s in these instances as well as the opposite – when an entrepreneur walks away without a deal – that I’ve seen a great lesson come out of this show.
No matter what the outcome – whether he wants a deal, doesn’t want a deal, loses out on a deal to another shark – Mark Cuban is an act of class and sincerity. He will congratulate an entrepreneur on their deal, even if he didn’t win out against another shark, or wish them the best of luck in the case that they walk away without a deal.
Now, this is a guy that, at last look, is worth in excess of $4 billion (with a “B”) dollars. $4 billion. Many of the people on Shark Tank have invested everything into their business and have very little to show for it.
But he still cares enough to congratulate and wish people well.
I love this quote from Mark:
“Leaders don’t look backwards to condemn what has already been done; they look forward to create a better future.”
I look at financial marketing through the same lens. Thankfully, my job as a digital strategist allows me to continue to build bridges with different audiences and individual people. Not to sugar coat it: we’re in an era where digital marketing and tracking is becoming ever more present and intrusive in our lives. It’s what we do with that information to build bridges instead of getting greedy and overzealous.
I consider one of the greatest assets of my career in financial marketing to be that I get to work with brands I believe in and will do right by the consumer. Instead of pushing product, we work to make real change in people’s financial lives. Digital is just the conduit to that.
Want to join us in building some bridges?