Why ‘Shark Tank’s’ Daymond John Doesn’t Like to Partner With Other Sharks On A Deal

ABC’s reality show Shark Tank recently concluded its 11th season. The main panel of Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary has helped catapult the program to must-see TV status and formed lasting friendships between the investors. 

While the Sharks clearly have the utmost respect for each other, John has previously admitted he isn’t a fan of going in on an investment with a fellow panelist. 

'Shark Tank's' Daymond John visits Build to discuss his book 'Powershift'
Daymond John of ‘Shark Tank’ | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

‘Shark Tank’s’ launches in 2009

When John received the call to be a part of Shark Tank, he was drawn by the reputable names behind the project. “First of all, it was Mark Burnett,” he told Innovation & Tech Today. “Second, it was shot by Sony and ABC. The brands don’t get any bigger than that.”

Surprisingly, Shark Tank did not start off too swimmingly when it premiered in 2009, in part due to its name that was similar to a popular adventure show. The FUBU founder revealed that the ratings for the show were in the tank (pardon the pun) at first.

“The show was on life support for the first two seasons because people didn’t get it,” John explained. “If you ask somebody, ‘Hey, do you watch Shark Tank?’ If they didn’t think it was Shark Week from Discovery Channel, then they would say, ‘Well, who wins?’ Nobody wins. ‘When do they get the money? And who comes in second?’ They just couldn’t grasp it. So, it was crawling for a while.”

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Now that Shark Tank has propelled countless business owners toward success, the show is at the top of the ratings regardless of what night it airs. 

“I think the attraction is that everybody has an idea. Not everybody can necessarily sing, but people can put themselves in the position or place of the entrepreneur,” John said.

Daymond John prefers to fly solo

Aspiring entrepreneurs entering the Tank often hope for the opportunity to land a deal with more than one Shark. Yet John likes to take on investment challenges by himself. 

“First of all, those other Sharks, they all have egos, they all think that they know everything, and I’m the only Shark that knows everything,” he jokingly told LinkedIn in 2015. “So teaming up with them, you have, ‘Who’s the chef? Who’s the cook?’ Also, it’s a little confusing for the entrepreneur.”

Regardless of going it alone or partnering up with a fellow Shark, John knows what he wants when considering an investment. 

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“There are many factors I look at when deciding whether or not to invest in a company,” he shared. “For one, I am looking to invest in people who not only know their business, but also are taking affordable next steps and are valuing their company correctly. I am also, perhaps even most importantly, looking for entrepreneurs who are willing to fight tooth and nail to make their brand succeed. Those are the entrepreneurs I want.”

Times when Daymond John will team up with a fellow Shark

While the fashion mogul prefers to venture into deals on his own, there are times when he will partner with a co-Shark especially if they have more expertise in a certain area. 

“I often have to deal and team up with other Sharks, because all joking aside, they may have way more knowledge in the space,” John said. “It’s better for me to then become, instead of a Shark, I can become a leech and get a free ride.”

John gave an example of joining forces with tech guru Cuban. “I’ve got Mark Cuban and the guy is the tech genius here,” the Shark Tank star explained. “I can say, ‘Mark Cuban, come on, I want you to let me in, and let me get a free ride on that tech mind of yours.’ Those are the sharks that I like to partner with per deal if I can either utilize their access and information, and get a free ride.” 

The FUBU founder revealed that when he doesn’t have enough knowledge in a certain industry, he looks to his fellow Sharks for guidance. “Even when I am in the deals with them, I learn so much from them in their area of expertise,” he said. 

Fans can’t wait to see Season 12 of Shark Tank!

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