Far be it for the women of The Morning Breath to pass up an opportunity to sit down with New York real estate royalty Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Entrepreneurs in their own right, the Oshry sisters quizzed Corcoran on all things Tank-related while diving into the mother of two’s last nine years on the hit ABC show.
Wearing a Gucci web-trimmed dress and her signature warm smile (a rarity for the sharks), the successful and savvy businesswoman left no secret untold about production, show dynamics, and even the therapist who’s called in to ease the painful loss experienced by hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs.
“They run anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half,” Corcoran says of the plethora of pitches. During a 12-hour shooting day, the real estate mogul reveals that the sharks see anywhere from 12 to 14 business pitches, of which only a few will get on the air.
And of those which end in a deal? “Fifty percent of the deals close, and 50 percent of them usually go by the wayside,” she admits.
Corcoran’s least favorite pitches are anything technology-related. While she admits that resisting strapping young men during a pitch can be a difficult undertaking, she’s quick to lose interest. “If it’s a technology pitch and all the guys have to compete and show how smart they are, it’s so boring and I know it’s probably never going to make air,” she laughs. “That’s when I sit down and make my shopping list, what I’m going to do with my kids. People think I’m taking notes, but I’m just organizing my whole life.”
Revealing that the sharks often feel tension on the set after one loses a deal to his or her competitor, Corcoran tells The Morning Breath that friendship precedes business relationships for the most part. “The minute we leave the set at the end of the day, all we need is a little bit of alcohol, [and] we’re best pals again.
Corcoran’s biggest reveal, however, is that Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, is the biggest culprit when it comes to sending entrepreneurs to therapy postshow, with his notoriously harsh and somehow charmingly critical manner. “We also have a shrink that meets with each entrepreneur, [and] it’s the guys that [Kevin O’Leary] works over that really run to the shrink and spend a whole hour with them. Most of the people are in and out in five minutes,” Corcoran says. “Sometimes that’s pretty painful.”
Despite regularly sending his prey into therapy sessions, O’Leary’s fellow shark exposes the softy he truly is. Corcoran divulges, “Once he gets off the set, he’ll give the guy more money, he won’t ask for a return, he’s the biggest pussycat on the whole show.”
Mr. Wonderful is just one of the mental hurdles that unsuspecting entrepreneurs have to overcome during their Tank experience. “You have to have thick skin to go into the Shark Tank,” concludes Jackie.