from the world's big
What Shark Tank investor Daymond John looks for in a business pitch
It takes more than a good idea to land a shark as a business partner.
Daymond John is an original cast member on ABC's four-time Emmy Award winning show "Shark Tank" and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship under the Obama Administration. An accomplished two-time New York Times bestselling author, Daymond's latest book is titled Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome.
DAYMOND JOHN: I get asked all the time what do I look for in a great pitch. Influence is the first thing. And somebody may say what do you mean influence? Well, how do you create influence for this pitch. Do you think it becomes stage one and then stage two? No. Influence is if you happen to be in an elevator with me and you didn't know you were ever going to meet Daymond John. You have 90 seconds and you pitch me. You're going to have to be able to tell me something fairly quickly how it's of interest to me and how you have done well with it and leave a card for me to look into you later on.
I'm going to go immediately to one of your social media accounts and that's where I'm going to either see if influence was planted over the years or not. What do you believe in? Who are you around? What are your causes? And I either look there and say I don't want this type of person in my life and I'll never call you back or I'll look there and say I've been looking for this person my entire life. This is a problem solving person that believes in the things that I believe in. And whether I work with this person or not they're going to be a success no matter what so I've got to find that person.
And then in regards to pitching people, it's not transactional at the moment. You almost never get anywhere in the initial pitch. People believe that they're supposed to walk away like Shark Tank with $500,000 or a million dollars. We do our due diligence when those people way after. 80 percent of those deals close and it takes anywhere from six to nine months to close. But did you create influence and then how was the negotiation? When you were talking to me did you listen to what I wanted or did you sit there and tell me your problems. Remember the old saying don't tell people your problems. 20 percent of people don't care, the other 80 percent are really happy that you have them. So make sure that throughout the negotiation you're communicating like your face is, one mouth, two ears. That means you talk once and you listen twice. Because the things that I'm saying at the table if you keep cutting me off or assuming you're never going to hear it because the most important things through communication when people are negotiating are in the last couple of words that they're saying. Remember, they're coming down this rabbit hole all the way to land right here and a lot of people aren't letting them land.
Are you making sure that you're helping me solve the problem by saying how can I make this easier for you? What are your obstacles? Where do you see this going? And that's the importance of negotiation. It's not a one transaction thing and it's all about it, what's in it for the other person on the other side of the table.
Various other things I look for in a pitch. I look for first of all confidence. I look for the fact that the person has went down the road, they have failed a couple of times but they act, they learn and then they repeat it. They still have passion about this project and they know all the other things they don't need to do. I look at the person themselves. Will they be a problem solver or a problem creator. So whether you're pitching me to come work in my office or you're pitching me to have a business with you, can I stand sitting next to you for eight hours a day, five days a week for the next five years of my life. And the reality is we want people around us who are going to be problem solvers. Swiss Army Knives, they're a specialist here but they also jump on the team and they're going to add other value to your life. So that even if this business fails we're going to do another business together. And those are the type of people.
They're also listening and they know how to transfer power to other people on the team and they're very, very open. They've done their homework and they say to me listen Mr. John, I want to do this business with you but I realize that you don't want tee shirts anymore because you have ten brands of tee shirts. You want other things and I've done this research. And this is how it adds to your portfolio. Because when you go and sell to a department store you'll take up more real estate. Instead of just a tee shirt area I have these electronics. You're already a vendor of record. You can take up more real estate in there and add it to my portfolio because that person did their homework and they showed how they can make more value to me and in return because I'm a vendor of record and I have manufacturing capabilities and I know the buyers. I can add more value to them and guess what? We'll both add more value to each other because hopefully we'll have a god business and make a lot of money.
Let me tell you about a pitch in the Tank that blew my socks off. These guys come in. The company's name is Bombas Socks. They're doing only $800,000 a year in business but every pair of socks that they sell they give away another pair to the homeless because the homeless has a big challenge on getting socks for their feet. Normally I don't want to do any other apparel business because I already have ten clothing brands and eight of them are dead. So the last thing I want is apparel. But the guys sell me on various different things. Number one, Mr. John, are you aware that we are a social cause brand and we are also growing at the same time, but you're going to be helping people. Okay. Are you aware that we have a new way to design and manufacture socks, seamless. Are you aware that we sell directly to our consumer and we don't need retail. I'm sitting in here going wait a minute. I used to give at the end of the year. But now every single time somebody buys I can give and I'm going to hit more people. They're going to show me how to manufacture socks better. They're going to show me how to talk directly to my customer with my other brands because now I won't be dependent on retail.
They're the number one brand that was ever invested in on Shark Tank doing over about $250 million a year. They've given over 30 million pairs of socks away. They've trained me and shown me another way to do business and they are great guys and we made money. And that's a perfect example of a powershift.
- As a successful entrepreneur, investor, and one of the stars of 'Shark Tank,' Daymond John is used to being pitched business ideas. In this interview, he shares what separates bad pitches from great pitches.
- Beyond the idea, how well (or not) he and potential business partners will work together is a big factor.
- Proof that the person did their research and some of the legwork before hand also goes a long way.
- The Entrepreneur's Guide to Pitching Clients & Getting Sales with ... ›
- How to write a strong social venture pitch - Big Think ›
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.
A time for sleep<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="Mt29uUqI" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="931343dee3c02121445e51e94ba22446"> <div id="botr_Mt29uUqI_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/Mt29uUqI-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Previous studies had already suggested a link between persistent nightmares in childhood and psychosis and borderline personality disorder (BPD) by adolescence, but researchers at the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology wanted to see if a similar connection existed between these mental disorders and other childhood behavioral sleep problems.</p><p>To do this, they scoured data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a longitudinal cohort study that followed approximately 14,000 children born in Avon, England, in the early 1990s. The study followed the children for more than 13 years. During that time, mothers filled out questionnaires asking about the children's lives. Factors looked at included housing, parenting, nutrition, physical health, mental wellbeing, environmental exposures, and so on. </p><p>The cohort study inquired about sleep routines, sleep duration, and awakening frequency when the children were 6, 18, and 30 months old, and then again at 3.5, 4.8, and 5.8 years. It also assessed mental health in adolescence using semi-structured interviews, such as the Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview.</p><p>"We know that adolescence is a key developmental period to study the onset of many mental disorders, including psychosis or BPD. This is because of particular brain and hormonal changes which occur at this stage," <a href="https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/psychology/marwaha-steven.aspx" target="_blank">Steven Marwaha</a>, professor of psychiatry at Birmingham and senior author on the study, <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701125431.htm" target="_blank">said in a release</a>. "Sleep may be one of the most important underlying factors—and it's one that we can influence with effective, early interventions, so it's important that we understand these links."</p><p>After compiling the data, the researchers discovered an association between children with irregular sleeping patterns and teenagers with <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/psychosis/about-psychosis/" target="_blank">psychotic experiences</a>—that is, episodes when the person perceives reality differently than those around them. Even when depression at 10 years old was considered as a mediating factor, their findings still suggested "a specific pathway between these childhood sleep problems and adolescent psychotic experiences." </p><p>Toddlers with shorter nighttime sleep duration and late bedtimes were likewise associated with a <a href="https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml" target="_blank">borderline personality disorder</a>—a disorder marked by a pattern of varying moods, self-images, and behaviors—in their teenage years. Depression at age 10 did not mediate this particular association, suggesting a separate and more specific pathway. </p>
A more restful tomorrow<p>While the sample size was large and mental health was assessed with a validated interview, there nevertheless remain limitations to this data. For starters, sleep habits were based on mothers' reports. Because they came from memory, versus a more direct observation method such as actigraphy, these data may be prone to imperfect recollection and reporting error. There are also many confounders that could be secretly nudging the results, such as family conditions, prenatal medicines, and a host of environmental factors. Finally, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024884/#:~:text=Sleep%20difficulties%20in%20youth%20with,fear%20of%20dark%20%5B13%5D." target="_blank">the relationship between sleep problems and mental disorders</a> is both complex and two-way.</p><p>As such, the study shows an association between poor childhood sleep later mental disorders but does not prove a causal link. Parents need not worry that a string of nightmares or the eternal struggle settle into bed will be the first ingredients in a witches' brew of debilitating mental disorders. The goal of the study, the researchers point out, is not to create undue worry but improve our ability to recognize the signs of at-risk children and deliver necessary interventions earlier.</p><p>"The results of this study could have important implications for helping practitioners identify children who might be at higher risk for psychotic experiences or BPD symptoms in adolescence, and potentially lead to the design of more effectively targeted sleep or psychological interventions to prevent the onset or attenuate these mental disorders," Isabel Morales-Muñoz, the study's lead researcher, <a href="https://www.healio.com/news/psychiatry/20200702/childhood-sleep-problems-linked-to-adolescent-psychosis-borderline-personality-disorder#:~:text=Sleep%20problems%20during%20early%20childhood,study%20published%20in%20JAMA%20Psychiatry." target="_blank">told Healio Psychiatry</a><u>.</u></p><p>If a parent reading this is worried that their child's sleep patterns are deleterious, the take away should not be despair over an unyielding fate. It should be to seek professional help as soon as possible to begin improving sleep duration and quality. Even if you aren't worried, it's worth remembering that childhood experiences lay the foundation for a lifetime of salubrious sleeping habits. It's so much more than beauty rest.</p>
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.