Skip to Content

Make deal on Shark Tank, back out, profit

ABC's Shark TankThat some entrepreneurs go on Shark Tank for the publicity, not a deal, is not a surprise. The sharks even call some people out on that, like those who insanely overvalue their companies or ask for way too much money, ensuring they don’t get a deal.

But while as many as half of all deals fall apart during due diligence, some entrepreneurs make deals and then back out, and still profit. This allows them to reap the benefits of publicity and the perceived association with a shark without being embarrassed on television.

The AP reports on this and uses just one example, The Smart Baker, whose annual revenues have increased almost 10 times what they were before their appearance on the show. (They offered a cheat sheet apron, and also have a range of other products.) Its CEO, Daniel Rensing, admitted, “Not doing the deal and having that exposure was probably the best scenario for us.”

What’s remarkable here is the entrepreneur’s honesty about what happened. Barbara Corcoran seemed resigned to this as part of the reality of the show, “When we shake hands on a potential deal on Shark Tank, the romance runs high and everyone’s excited about what could be. In the end, the entrepreneur is in charge.”

And executive producer Clay Newbill told the AP that producers “understand, just as in the real world, the reality is that not all deals will close.”

Also read: Shark Tank successes and failures: the raw data

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to them.

Happy discussing!