Screenshot from ABC's "Shark Tank"
Mark Cuban has had to sit through a lot of terrible pitches on reality business show "Shark Tank." But the one thing he can't stand is when aspiring entrepreneurs waste his time rattling off insignificant details about how their businesses got started.
"The worst thing you can do is give a long backstory," the billionaire investor recently told Business Insider. "It's not the time to talk about your struggles and hard work. Every entrepreneur has a similar story. You have to get right into the meat of the business."
Meanwhile, the best way to get Cuban's attention is to "h ave a real, operating company that has started to get real traction in a new industry that has a ton of upside," he said.
Take for example the Amini brothers' pitch this season on their mobile health app Rolodoc, which Cuban called the worst pitch in the history of the show . The two doctors spent a lot of time winding up about the medical profession and why they wanted to bring health practitioners a social network. But when it got down to it, they couldn't explain the business model, how they would market the product, or even how the customer would use it.
According to Cuban, " They had no company. No business. No clue."
Compare that to Michael Tseng's Plate Topper presentation in season four, Cuban's all-time favorite pitch. Tseng immediately launched into the QVC and Walmart.com sales of his food-savor invention, sparking the investors' attention. Then he was able to answer questions confidently and eventually to negotiate a deal.
The moral of the story? When pitching your business to investors, particularly to Cuban, stick to what they really care about: why your business is a smart investment.
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