Radio DJ R Dub looked sharp, knew his numbers, and even had help from R&B star Brian McKnight when asking for an investment in his radio show on ABC’s reality pitch show “Shark Tank.”
But none of that could save what was seen as a bad investment in a very bad industry.
R Dub was looking for a $US75,000 investment in exchange for a 10% equity stake. His pitch? To expand “Sunday Night Slow Jams” by hiring a sales manager for the program.
“We feature the ultimate mix of love songs from today and the classics from back in the day, but most importantly, special coast-to-coast listener dedications that we call ‘oral expressions,'” R Dub explained, to chuckles from the Sharks. Those chuckles turned into oohs when, seconds later, McKnight walked onto the floor and began serenading his audience.
But it wasn’t enough.
“So, syndicated radio is a horrible business,” investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban began.
“Do 19- and 20-year-olds really listen to slow jams?” fashion entrepreneur Daymond John asked.
“I love romantic music, but when I sit here and think about you really expanding, I’m not sure it’s just this sales manager that you need,” inventor and entrepreneur Lori Greiner added.
Then venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary put the nail in the coffin.
“The radio market as an investment sucks,” O’Leary said. “I can tell you that as an institutional investor. This is radioactive waste out there. It’s terrible.”
R Dub walked away with no money, and it’s hard to imagine anyone doing any better.
It’s a lesson any aspiring entrepreneur can take to heart. Knowing your product is only half the battle. You’ve also got to pick a profitable industry.
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