Startup Stories, Quotes & Advice for Entrepreneurs
Similar ideas popular now
Keep meetings to a minimum.
“I don’t like to do a lot of meetings and phone calls because of the productivity hit. Only if you’re writing me a check, I’ll do a meeting. If there’s a problem and we need to solve it, I’ll do a call. Other than that, I keep communication limited to email. It’s more efficient.” -- Mark Cuban
Perceived weaknesses can be valuable strengths.
“You have to put it in your own mind that this is not an affliction that will negatively impact your future. It shouldn’t in any way diminish your self-esteem or be considered something that is going to hurt your chances to be successful at work or in life." -- Kevin O'Leary
“Is the business scalable?”
From the annals of business speak, this is the most-often used jargon trotted out by Sharks on the show. Essentially, they’re asking if contestants can handle more than their initial success and put systems in place for consistent growth. It’s an important concept, but an annoying cliche. Translation: Will you be able to meet increased demand and grow revenue quickly and easily?
“That’s a Slick Willie move.”
Daymond John nicknames any entrepreneur who isn’t forthright with their answers or changes valuations mid-pitch a Slick Willie. When Michael Tseng, creator of the food-storage invention PlateTopper, changed his company valuation from about $2 million to $15 million in the midst of talking to the Sharks, John deemed it “a Slick Willie move.” Translation: You’ve been deceptive and lost my trust.
“I need more skin in the game.”
Most of the Sharks have used this at one time or another, though Cuban probably the most, when they want a higher equity stake. Cuban said it to Mike Hartwick and Sarah Ponn of Surfset Fitness, a surf-focused exercise equipment and classes provider. They asked for $150,000 for a 10% stake, but Cuban wanted more “skin in the game” and offered $300,000 for 33%. Translation: I’m willing to put more of my money on the line to get a better deal.
“Follow the green, not the dream.”
Cuban used this gem most recently in season four with Erica Cohen and Lori Barbera of Baby's Badass Burgers, a bright pink food truck that sells gourmet burgers (motto: "Come for the burgers, stay for the buns"). Because the truck had steady sales, the pair wanted to open a traditional restaurant. Cuban advised that they stick to what they know. Translation: Focus on what’s working, rather than expanding into a new business venture just for the sake of expanding.
"I get this all the time, which is crazy: ‘I want to be rich. What kind of company should I start?’ You can’t do that. It doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to be good at something and not only be good at it, but you’ve got to love it, and then you’re willing to work and do whatever it takes." -- Mark Cuban