Shark Tank is an American business show based on the international version called the Dragons’ Den. It first aired on August 2009, and as of December 2022, it is still on-air and has now aired more than 14 seasons.
The show’s basic premise is that some business owners will present their business ideas to five investors, whom the show refers to as “sharks.” They will try their best to convince the sharks to invest in their venture. This act of persuading the sharks is often termed a “pitch.” Some pitches that appeared on the show even became successful companies after them being featured in the show.
With that said, let’s look at the worst pitches that ever appeared on the show. The business ideas you will find below sound stupid, delusional, or outright scams that the investors never bothered to pitch in.
Have you experienced a lost sock before? You were about to go on your day, only to find out that the sock you were about to wear was nowhere to be found. Well, fear not, as Edwin Heaven from Season 1, Episode 8 had the solution!
His brand Throx sells socks in triads (groups of three) instead of in pairs (groups of two) so that you still have a pair when you lose one of the three. That’s it.
However, the product did not seem helpful enough for more than a holiday gift. After all, buying a bulk of same-colored socks in stores was better, so you wouldn’t have to worry about pairing again.
4. Wake’n Bacon
Before sleeping at night, have you ever thought it would be nice if you were able to cook breakfast way before you wake up so that you wouldn’t spend time actively making it in the morning?
Well, Matty Sallin had a solution to that – the Wake’n Bacon. In a nutshell, his apparatus was a box designed to cook bacon while being an alarm clock simultaneously. With this, you can cook breakfast while still asleep, saving you some waking minutes.
However, his idea was rejected because of fire hazard concerns. Also, the idea of loading raw meat into that compartment at night, and letting it sit there for, let’s say, during your eight-hour sleep might pose some health risks.
3. Minus Cal
Once you’ve known of Minus Cal, it would feel like those pyramid scheme beauty and health products that random people in the park would try to pitch to you. While we couldn’t verify if the pitch was a pyramid scheme, it certainly had that vibe. In their talk, the businessmen said that if the buyers take (eat) their product, it will help them lose weight by blocking off fat from their body systems.
Minus Cal went so wrong when the owners argued with the investors about the definition of “losing weight”. It even came to the point where Robert stood up from his seat to point out in their poster that losing weight is their product’s very goal.
Okay, this one is just useless. Do you have a bad habit that you want to liberate yourself from? It could be like smoking, drinking, gambling, or cussing. Do you want to stop doing those?
Season 7 Episode 29 “blessed” us with a solution, the Pavlok. It is something like a wristwatch that you could use to electrocute yourself if you found yourself making that habit you wanted to break. The only downside was that you could even prevent yourself from being electrocuted just because you didn’t want to. It served no purpose at all!
1. Ionic Ear
What a great way to kickstart the show by having this invention in the first episode of the first season! Darrin Johnson’s Ionic Ear sought to solve the problem of Bluetooth devices being “dislodged” off their users’ ears.
His pitch went south when he revealed that his solution was to put a rod-like device into the user’s ear so that it wouldn’t fall off because it’s implanted into the user’s body now.
Nonetheless, surgically attaching something to your ear is not a good idea to think about. I’m even cringing about it while writing this. Don’t even get me started on how you will charge that device.
The dangerous device was turned down by the sharks, as expected.
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