[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unread


Post 0

Saturday, February 22 - 4:58pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Shark Tank is another in a long line of American Idol-style "panel" shows in which a team of judges decides whether to recruit a contestant or rain down cruel judgment upon them with cameras eagerly rolling. Only Shark Tank has a twist - the contestants are entrepreneurs, and the Sharks are venture capitalists who are being pitched for an initial investment and equity stake in their start-up companies.

 

It's easy to see why an Objectivist might fall head over heels for the show - at a glance, it's capitalism on steroids. Most of the contestants are stay-at-home-mom types who bake a fattier cupcake or sew a cuter baby bonnet and want to live out their dream of taking the market by storm. It's a compelling narrative, bolstered by cut-scene success stories of picked-up contestants bathing in caviar and lighting cigars with 100-dollar bills.

 

So why the cause for O-heartburn? It's more obvious in some cases than others, but the real value of being on Shark Tank doesn't appear to be the seed money at all, which some of the contestants even admit they don't actually need. Instead, it appears that the "free" publicity of appearing on television and the connections of the Sharks are the true commodities that rocket adopted products to success (you'll find "As Seen on Shark Tank!" plastered all over the company websites). Much of the discussion in the Tank centers around competition - specifically how the investor might shut competition off through design or utility patents on their products.

 

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't think Rand would have been a fan.



Post 1

Saturday, February 22 - 11:40pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

I don't watch Shark Tank often, but I have seen it multiple times in the past. 

 

I don't see what is wrong with "free" publicity from my perspective or from an Objectivist's perspective. I also don't see the problem with gaining connections. I know the names "publicity" and "connections" are sullied by politicians who use them to immoral ends, but I don't think there is anything wrong with them (in themselves). 

 

Patents are another issue. An issue I don't know nearly enough about, so I'll leave it be. 

 

 



Post 2

Sunday, February 23 - 5:29amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

In Atlas Shrugged, Rand warns about an aristocracy of "pull" replacing the price system. Instead of Shark Tank products succeeding or failing on their own merits, it is the legacy and power of the Sharks that gets the products on TV and into the Big Name stores.



Post 3

Sunday, February 23 - 5:08pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

I don't think Rand would be a fan of how contestants are chosen, no. However, I do think she'd admire the concept of the show.  



Post 4

Sunday, February 23 - 5:26pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

It is a pretty good marketing strat.



Post 5

Sunday, February 23 - 5:51pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

If you believe the Shark Tank message, anyone can invent a Whosis or a Whatsis in his garage, mass market it, and gain financial independence. On the whole, I'd characterize it as a pro-capitalism show, and for that we should all be grateful. But the show also highlights certain ugly truths about humanity, or at least about our current society. Fame, connections, and luck seem to have more to do with who is selected for the program and who succeeds in their business than having a truly revolutionary and useful product. In Rand's ideal world, having a billionaire television celebrity call Walmart on your behalf wouldn't be what makes or breaks the inventor.



Post 6

Sunday, February 23 - 6:12pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs started in their garage.  The guys that started Facebook created it in their dorm room, they didnt even have a cool mancave garage!  Oh ho HOh ho hoooh!



Post 7

Sunday, February 23 - 6:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

True, of course on the other hand, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, and Britney Spears all have product lines that are wildly successful.



Post to this thread
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


User ID Password or create a free account.