Over the past few months I have appeared on Shark Tank four times and invested in four outstanding companies: HatchBaby, Rent-Like-A-Champion, BeeFree Honee, and Brightwheel. As you read here last year, a strange and winding path put me on the show in the first place. Filming was great and I had fantastic chemistry with the other Sharks. The producers loved the fit and thus my original agreement to tape one or two episodes was extended to tape four.
The ratings for my episodes were strong, especially considering that they kept scheduling me against the World Series and the NBA playoffs to make sure they didn’t lose audience share. But more important to me was the feedback on Twitter and other social media. I guess I expected a whole new universe of haters to emerge. Yet, I’ve been blown away by how many people wrote to say they appreciated my candor on the show and my willingness to have fun squaring off with Cuban and the others.
It’s strange knowing that on a particular day, when that first episode airs, the relative anonymity of your life is going to evaporate. Sure, for a few years there has been a subculture in San Francisco and New York that have recognized me on the street. But being on a show that is viewed by millions and millions of people and constantly re-runs has changed that dynamic. Pretty much everywhere I go now involves at least one selfie. Yet, what I adore is how every single one of those people has something nice to say to me. They are true fans of the show and they have embraced me as a part of it. That feels good.
The best are the kids who come up to say hi. I always wonder which of them are going to carry this passion for entrepreneurship and obsession with the show through to their future careers. The Shark Tank kids charge me up and always leave me optimistic.
I believe that Shark Tank’s success is not an accident. It is hands down the most authentic show on television. There are no scripts. No one tells us what to say or not say. There are no rules about how many deals we have to do. The Sharks are all betting our own money on the companies we back. The competition between us for deals is real and happens without any prompting.
The only thing that is different on the screen than from what you see when we tape the show is that the pitches tend to be an hour long. That gives us ample time to ask in depth questions about finances and supply chains, etc. That stuff can be a little boring, but it’s all vital information to put us in a great spot to make an informed decision about investing. (I have suggested to the team behind the show that they maybe post online one full, unedited pitch just so fans can see the process end-to-end.)
This is a long way of saying, I’m proud to be on Shark Tank. I get a fair number of TV show offers despite the shirts. One major network this year even approached me to be a “Donald Trump-like character.” (Not exactly the best angle to land me.) With Shark Tank, I get to be me, the pitches are the pitches, the action is the action, and the audience can feel the authenticity.
So, I’m writing to tell you all that I have agreed to be back on Shark Tank next season as a recurring special guest Shark. ABC, Sony, MGM, Mark Burnett, and I were all mutually excited about the chance to work together again. While I am not allowed to say exactly how many episodes yet, let’s just say it will be “a bunch more” than I did this current season.
We start taping in June. I can’t wait. Be sure to follow along with me on Twitter (@sacca), Periscope (@sacca), Facebook Live (coming soon), and Snapchat (@csacca) where I promise to make all the show executives nervous about my excessive use of social media on a closed set. I’ll be sure to highlight Robert’s dance moves between takes, Daymond’s fashion advice, Lori’s apologies for walking all over me in deals, Barbara’s heartfelt advice right before she outbids me, the smoke coming from Cuban’s ears after I call bullshit and drop the gloves, and, of course, the extensive, hours long process behind getting Mr. Wonderful’s hair just right.
Meantime, I am grateful for all the love from you. This was a big risk for me and the good vibes have meant everything. See you on a Friday night again soon!