Why Daymond John was convinced 'Shark Tank' would fail

The Sharks of season eight: Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner.
Photo by Patrick Ecclesine

FUBU founder Daymond John only agreed to film the first season of ABC's "Shark Tank" as a way to get a meeting with the legendary television producer Mark Burnett. He was convinced the show itself would flop.

"I never thought that 'Shark Tank' would exist. Ever. I thought it was going to be a failure," says John, who addressed the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit. "Nobody wants to listen to five business men and women talk! Who wants to watch that?"

"I said, 'Okay, I will go out there and shoot the show, but I need to be able to pitch Mark Burnett three of my ground-breaking television ideas if I do,'" says John.

The entrepreneur behind the $6 billion urban street-wear brand got his meeting with Burnett, the producer behind the hit shows "The Apprentice" and "Survivor."

I never thought that Shark Tank would exist. Ever. I thought it was going to be a failure.
Daymond John
entrepreneur, star of "Shark Tank"

"I pitch Mark Burnett my ideas. We had eggs and bacon. Before he finishes his eggs, he shot down all three of my ideas," says John. "Now that I think of it, they were crappy."

Still, he didn't have cause to regret becoming the People's Shark, because John had been mistaken: There was an audience for watching business-people talk. A huge one.

"But then the show starts to last. And it starts to grow. And it starts to grow because, honestly, because of the men and women and kids who are watching the show," says John.

"Shark Tank" inspired a fresh wave of enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. Viewers drew inspiration from the stories about successful innovators.

"It's all the American Dreams being made and people were going on to all these other channels and networks going, 'Yeah, I really got the money. And yes, I am really in business,' says John. "And it started to grow these tentacles. And now eight years in, it's still doing amazing."

On Feb 24th, Shark Tank will celebrate the hundred millionth dollar being invested on the show, says John.

"I am really proud to be part of it."

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."

For more on Daymond John, see also:

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