Chris Sacca is back on ABC’s “Shark Tank” on Friday for the first time this season. And if you’ve seen the previews, you know that he and fellow billionaire Mark Cuban will be going toe-to-toe again.
“I see my role on the show as keeping Mark honest,” Sacca, 41, recently told Business Insider. “I’ve known him for years. The nature of our friendship is ball-busting. And I feel almost like that’s what I’m there to do, is bust Cuban’s balls for all those who are at home watching who can’t do it from home, but really want to.”
That’s just part of the reason Sacca signed on to guest for several more episodes this season. After all, he has plenty of entrepreneurs to pitch him — “Shark Tank” or not. He’s one of the most sought-after investors in Silicon Valley. Through his venture capital fund Lowercase Capital, Sacca was an early investor in companies such as Twitter, Uber, Instagram, and Kickstarter.
So what is it about “Shark Tank” that makes him want to return?
“‘Shark Tank’ actually brought me back to my very first days where it was just a couple of guys or gals working on a fun idea, written a few lines of code, maybe had a few users,” Sacca said. “The conversation wasn’t about the big bucks. It was just about, how do we make this thing better? Can we help each other do that? I really miss that. I realise that despite the success of our business, the passion had sort of fallen out of it for me. And ‘Shark Tank’ brought me back to why I care about this.”
And while Sacca and Cuban may have held an advantage over the other sharks when it came to tech companies on “Shark Tank,” Sacca admits the other sharks are nipping at their tails.
“There are some tech companies this season with a very high likelihood of success and you can see the thirst on the panel to own pieces of these companies,” he said. “I really do see the sharks evolving their perspective. In the early days of the show, if you brough them an app, they would have turned their noses up. But now they know how indispensable those apps are, even to their own traditional businesses.”
Sacca admitted that he has gleaned some lessons from the other sharks as well.
“When someone comes in with a product they want in Bed Bath & Beyond, that’s way out of my comfort zone,” Sacca told us. “I may be the only shark who hasn’t been on QVC, but I have learned a lot from those folks about what it takes to get a product on store shelves.”
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