Appearance on ABCs Shark Tank - Friday Night

I wanted to confirm a rumor many of you may have already heard... I am indeed making an appearance on ABCs Shark Tank this Friday night (9/8 Central) to promote www.InkFlip.com. If you're not yet familiar with the show, check it out here: http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/

I was fortunate to be invited to the taping of the show last summer and after a long wait now get my moment in front of the Sharks revealed to America. Since ABC has already let it out of the can, let me go ahead and address part of what you'll see...

ABC has decided to peg me as "the guy who was unprepared". For those of you who know me I'm sure you're chuckling right now as I tend to be VERY hard to catch off guard. As a matter of fact I spent time in front of many highly successful local entrepreneurs and investors honing my "pitch" and getting prepared for the kinds of questions the Sharks would ultimately ask me. The Nashville business community is incredibly savvy when it comes to funding and launching start-up companies and, as a result of tapping into that knowledge base, I was ready for any reasonable question they threw my way. The problem was, the main question they wanted me to answer was one that anyone with any kind of business IQ would agree is impossible to answer without first raising money, which was why I was there in the first place. Indeed, this was a "chicken or egg" moment.

That's about all I can tell you before the show airs. Afterward, I've got plenty to say about my Shark Tank experience and will be posting follow up information to let you know what happens when an "unprepared" entrepreneur from Nashville gets his 15 minutes of fame!

Best - Andy

48 comments:

  1. Would like to talk with you about this for a story on VentureNashville.com
    Milt Capps
    (615) 945-8945
    milt@venturenashville.com

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  2. congratulations on making the appearance on the show. Looking forward to seeing the show. Best of luck.
    Tony Cassiol
    Bank of America

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  3. Hello from Canada- your segment just ended seconds ago. Yup ... I think they set you up with a question that is near impossible to answer. Nonetheless, you came off well, and your biz seems like a good one! Hopefully this national coverage will pay off. Good luck!

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  4. This is a great site. As a fellow entrepreneur I have a hard time watching them squash many ideas.

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  5. Great idea for a service. Looking forward to conducting business with you in the future.

    Bad Marketing (from the show) is not always bad as shown from the server timeout message I am currently seeing just moments after the segment aired because of the increase in traffic.

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  6. As a fellow small business owner I applaud your appearance on Shark Tank after all it got me to Google your website. :)

    Though I feel your poll is a little bias in selection. Wouldn't you receive more honest feedback on the sharks decision by having more than one favorable choice?? Just some food for thought. Good luck in your venture!

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  7. As someone in the advertising world, bad publicity is still publicity. And your's wasn't bad! Good luck, and hope things go well in the future.

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  8. We are rooting for you and thanks to the show we now know about your business.....a future customer. Good Luck.

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  9. Show just ended, what a great idea I've got plenty of 78 & 45 cartridges I'll send you for your endeavor in return for some filled cartridges (fair deal only). My heighbor in Dallas got booted from a loose partnership a few years ago and walked with millions from similar idea, your on the right track and ABC and the (so called sharks) only helped you promote it. Good on you for having your site up and running in advance, obviously your ducks are in a row. 150K would have been a steel for any one of them.
    PK in Dallas

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  10. Congrats, man. I think you did fine against the sharks. If you're looking for a Nashville company to help with your distribution, we'd be glad to talk with you about it. BookFool.com

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  11. I'm kinda suprised that Netflix wasn't discussed at all on Shark Tank unless I missed it. Maybe it got cut??

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  12. Don't give up! Sometimes a bad thing turns into a good thing. You may just get what you want without sharks swimming around you. I do agree with the other reader though, it's not good when your server keeps going down. Take Care & Good Luck.

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  13. How much it costs to acquire a customer is a question that is definitely a reasonable one. None-the-less it seems like you have a great product and service to offer.

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  14. Looks like "The Shark Tank" is helping you with the cost to aquire a customer just through their advertising your product on Nation TV. Good Luck!

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  15. there needs to be a link back to your e-site from here

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  16. I think it's a good idea - and your appearance on Shark Tank is obviously getting people to your site. I am checking prices and seriously considering ending my 36-mile roundtrip ink runs to Staples. You handled yourself well!

    Question - why are some cartirdges listed as having twice as much ink as the competition, but not all?

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  17. GREAT IDEA! You should just spend several hours placing ads on sites like Craigslist just to get your name out there even more... Car signs... all that stuff... GOOD LUCK!!

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  18. Good job on the show. You don't need the sharks, more like guppies.

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  19. Another good way of Marketing without the unknown risk is through the online advertising companies. I have used Google Adwords and I am very impressed. It costs $5 to setup. My cost per click is around $2.25 and you also have the option of pre-paying so there are no over-runs on your budget.

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  20. It would have been easy to see what you cost to acquire a customer is...
    Just take the amount of customers you have acquired and divide that by the amount of money you spent on advertising.
    Example: $1000 in advertising / 1000 customers would be $1 to acquire a customer.
    Each method of advertising would produce a different result, but of course you would only keep the method that proved profitable.

    That was an answer that you could have had, even if it would have been different in the future.

    Your new cost to acquire a customer = $0!
    Thanks for the free publicity ABC!

    By the way, we want to move to Franklin from Orlando. Is it as nice as I've heard?

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  21. This is a great idea, and like all great ideas it is simple in concept and incredibly hard to execute well. I can't believe I MISSED this week's episode - If anyone can direct me to a recording please let me know! Andy, I know the B2B market for ink is smaller, but I run a Canon ip6100 (a 24" inkjet) and I can't find a discount on ink closer than HONG KONG! Please help. Also I have a great VC connection in Nashville. Contact me at gary@quotepalettes.com and see what we're printing at www.quotepalettes.com.

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  22. suggest you take a look at web site west point products...these guys have crushed the after-market for print toner/ink. best of luck

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  23. Enjoyed seeing a fellow Franklin entrepreneur! You did good on the show and good luck with inkflip!

    -Jase
    www.iQonnect.net

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  24. I am interested in talking to you about your company. I am a private investor. I raised money through VC before and would highly recommend raising the cash privately first, if possible. I am available over the weekend if you have the time to talk. Email provided below.
    Kevin Earnest
    kearnest@rpgusa.com

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  25. Jamie M. is right - you can figure out your CPA from your sales data. And while there is huge opportunity in Google AdWords, there is also a great risk.

    Contact me at your convenience, and I can show you how to advertise on a Cost Per Acquisition basis, where there is much lower risk involved...

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  26. Supporter
    Been in retail for 23 year, your product has caught my eye on Shark Tank and really see a possible growth and an increase of market share, with the right approach. Good luck and the printer companies have something to worry about , as the DVD industry with Redbox.....

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  27. Also just saw you on Shark Tank. Good idea man! I saw someone else mention, and what I would suggest, is use Google Adwords. Within a week or two you'd have your answer as to the cost to acquire a customer.

    My guess is the cost per acquisition would be around $5.

    Good luck and hope to see you succeed!

    Matt Trostle

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  28. Hi Andy,

    Just saw you on SharkTank... I immediately thought.... "Wow, this guy has such a fantastic idea! I would be a customer for that product." Obviously these people have secretaries and don't use printers, otherwise they would have understood the value and convenience of your product. They missed the boat. But you didn't my friend!!! You just televised your brilliant idea to all of America who were watching.. I wish you a huge amount of success... God bless you and your family!!!!

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  29. Just saw you on SharkTank....I agree with the other comments, you've got a great idea and a future customer here. So glad you made the appearance, let's prove the sharks wrong!!!

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  30. Well your appearance on Shark Tank caused me to Google your website. I'm sure that this will cause your sales to increase. The Sharks missed a great opportunity!

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  31. Hello Andy -

    You did a great job on Shark Tank!

    My prediction: Your exposure on ABC will yield a much better deal - from even wiser investors.

    All the best,

    Mark Newsom

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  32. Another business owner here. I literally just got done helping a SOHO customer with 12 printers and he needed ink in every single one of them - great idea! The fact that you're brand new to the business world means you don't have enough data to show what customers cost. I haven't even run that number yet since I know it's a huge amount compared to what I charge my own customers - a loss in any hard core investors eyes. Keep up the good work, stay strong and you'll make it.

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  33. Once that one "shark" nailed you on the cost
    to acquire a customer....the other sharks couldn't let their ego's get past it to ask any
    more questions. They don't impress me much but
    you do...stick with it.

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  34. First off I just have to say good job on getting all your friends to come on your website to tell everyone what a great job you did on Shark Tank. Not to mention the fact that I'm sure you created a few "alter egos" to post encouraging words to yourself.

    Nevertheless, I thought the idea was innovative when I first heard about it. I even said to my Husband "It's like Netflix for printer ink"! However, the sharks are right. The majority of your business relies on people knowing that your service even exist. Therefore the Shark's question about "how much will it cost to aquire a customer" is totally valid. You should take this to heart instead of discrediting it on your website by taking the word "reasonable question" and bolding/italicizing it in an attempt to make the question seem as if it was completely crazy. I would ask the same question if I was going to invest a large sum of money into your business that only has $10,000 in revenue in 6 MONTHS. (Just so you know I own a business that made over $400,000 in revenue using only $100,000 in funding in 6 months) If you are a new business, you could take your perliminairy numbers and make at least an estimate. You need to be prepared for everything. Especially if you are going to ask Venture Capitalists for money in this kind of economy.

    I realize that you are probablly going to delete this comment off of your "cheer team" of a comment box, but I hope that you at least take what I have to say to heart.

    By the way...I had to post as anonymous because your website is very limited in it's development and it would not accept my URL.

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  35. Kevin Earnest... Obviously a plant... Good Job. LOL

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  36. Wow... Seriously?? Head Shots and all on his website ready for viewing right after his TV debut?! This guy is definitely prepared for being on reality TV...ROFL

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  37. I think it's a fantastic idea. It's green and if it's a good product and the quality is good...you will be a sucess. I get 4 or more e-mails to my company per week I 'm an accountant. When your company comes across my e-mail you'll have my business. Get those mailing lists and send your story with it.That's how millionairs are made. Good luck. God Bless

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  38. Great job Andy. I felt you came across honest and genuine.

    Fantastic concept btw. I'm 110% sure that due to this airing on a national network you will experience a spike in sales. I would recommend taking a percentage and put it towards a solid SEO and online marketing strategy. Continue with the social media effort, done correctly you could ride the "shark tank" experience and gain awareness with little or no marketing cost. Please remember to keep it relevant.

    Good luck and I've already checked your site for my home printer... you do carry, and at nearly 45% less. So I'll be giving you a try.

    Bil O'Neill

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  39. You definately looked like an inexperienced business child on the Shark Tank. Your follow up response post just shows your ignorance on the subject of business management. Good idea, but it needs a real business man to make it happen.

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  40. Anyone else notice that you can't post with your URL on this website? Apparently the people who have real names have some kind of inside track...

    I have tried 3 different URL addresses.

    Posting as Anonymous because this website lacks a good web developer.

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  41. Haha! I noticed the same thing! In fact, all the posts with names either start with "Hi Andy" and/or end with a first and last name signature. Kinda suspicious...

    I too cannot post with my URL address, so I am posting as Anonymous. LOL

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  42. I tried to log on to Kevin Earnest's website link and I got this message:

    "This website does not require authentication. This might be an attempt to trick you. Do you want to continue"?

    Uh... no thank you. Fake website!

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  43. Your website does not work very well. Broken links and such. You realize that broken links hurt your rankings on search engines right?

    Maybe you should take some classes on SEO. Good luck getting your business launched with bad rankings in the major search engines.

    Signed,
    Web Developer/SEO Expert

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  44. National exposure and only 45 posts so far? Hmmmmm I don't think you are going to be proving the sharks wrong at this pace. The highest traffic that you are ever going to see just happened after you appeared on TV. What are you going to do now?

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  45. Andy,

    My guess is that 95% of the hateful comments are coming from one of two areas;

    1.) People who have never had their own business - and don't have a clue what it's like to bootstrap a company.

    2.) Self-described interactive experts who put down everything they encounter - but when you challenge them to show you what they've created - they come up with nothing or they talk about something they have in development.

    I see it every day. Most of these people are struggling freelancers who get up each morning at 10:30 am - and then stay up until 3:00 am - bitterly poking holes in the ideas of others. Take a look at when the caustic comments started coming in (11pm - 3am).

    Keep deleting the ill-informed and hateful comments - celebrate your accomplishment - and have a great day!

    Take care,

    Mark N. (Franklin)

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  46. Wow this is a good idea and Your cost is even lower than walmart i think.

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  47. Andy,

    Great idea, and a great appearance on ABC's Shark Tank. Please contact me for an investment opportunity @ Amir.lak1@gmail.com. I believe we can make InkFlip a success.

    Regards,

    Amir Lak

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