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I’m Lori Greiner, Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank. AMA!

Oct 3rd 2012 by SharkLoriGreine • 56 Questions • 457 Points

Greetings Reddit - I’m an inventor & entrepreneur, I’ve created over 400 products and have 112 US & International patents. On ABC’s Emmy nominated Shark Tank, I’m a full time Shark this season, after being a guest Shark several episodes last season. Season 4 is going to be amazing, the BIGGEST ever - a real ROLLER COASTER ride! My 1st episode is this Friday 10/5 on ABC at 8/7PM c. Hope you'll tune in. It’s an incredibly intense episode-not to be missed!! I look forward to talking and engaging with all of you.

I’d love for you to follow me on Facebook & Twitter. I am truly the one reading and writing. All you budding entrepreneurs, check out my website and download my free invention evaluator app if you’d like to learn more about me & my journey, see my products, or see if yours has what it takes.

If you're interested in being a contestant on Shark Tank's upcoming season 5, you can do so here, although the show is currently on break and will return to casting in a few weeks.

Ok...AMA!

EDIT Had to hop onto a plane. Be back in a few hours and will be answering more questions then. In the meantime, keep the questions coming!

EDIT2 I'm Back! You guys have been so great! Crackin' open a bottle of bubbly and answering away! Everyone grab a beer or a glass of wine, and let's toast to Reddit! This is fun!

EDIT3 Sorry guys gotta sign off. Getting up at crack of dawn in NY for big Shark Tank press tour. Hope you can tune into Shark Tank Friday night on ABC at 8/7PM c, and support my first episode of the season! It's gonna be an intense show. I hope my new Reddit family will join me! Thanks for all the love. It was truly so much fun and we'll do this again for sure. Thanks for welcoming me with open arms. Will answer more questions tomorrow throughout the day...I'm not leaving you yet! Sorry to those I didn't get to, will try to answer as many of you as I can tomorrow.

EDIT4 I'm back Reddit! Answering some more questions now at 7:07 pm EST.

EDIT5 Thanks again everyone for the amazing experience. And don't forget to watch my season debut Shark Tank episode Friday night (10/5) on ABC!

Q:

On last Fridays episode, Daymond used the term "YOLO." Please tell him to never say that again.

A:

I'll make sure to let him know all of Redditland will descend upon him should he ever utter YOLO again ;) Edit Just watched a sneak peak of Friday's show, and I can promise it's YOLO-free. So Reddit, you best be tunin' in!


Q:

Hi Lori! I’m a huge fan of Shark Tank.

1) Best/Worst Investments on ST?

2) How much do you know about the businesses before they pitch?

3) In your opinion, what is the best sector to get in to right now (for an entrepreneurial college student)?

I’m on the board for my university’s entrepreneurship club, would you be willing to speak (through skype) to our club about your experiences for 30 minutes or so? Send me a message or I can email you if you’d like!

A:

Hi bannanacup, sorry for my short answer here...I was having a mini emergency at the time and I'd like to elaborate a bit more.

1) My worst deal made on Shark Tank was wine balloon. Never came to fruition, product never really worked for me. My best deal was ReaderRest...hit 3 million in sales in less than a year...and still growing. And we're already launching new items.

2) They tell us absolutely nothing about the ideas before they pitch.

3) It really depends on what your own strengths and desires are. Find what you are truly passionate about, and follow that path.

I'm in my peak season and am very busy but if you give me more information about yourself, what university, how many students, the professor, etc. and PM this to me, I'll see what I can do!


Q:

What is the worst thing that has ever been presented?

A:

Worst thing I ever saw presented was the boob pillow


Q:

Love the show Lori! 1.) How much of the show is scripted? 2.) Can you tell from first glance at a product who might want to invest in it out of the group?

A:

It is not scripted at all, we have no clue what is coming before us until it does. I can instantly tell if an item is a hero or zero... just started an app called Hero or Zero (it is a product truth test), allows you to submit to me if you rank high enough.


Q:

Lori, I work at QVC, previously backstage, and just wanted to say I always enjoyed both your products, and your attitude. You were always very nice, and forthcoming with everyone backstage. Thanks.

A:

Thank YOU! So kind of you. I enjoy working with all of you as well!


Q:

I have a great idea for an invention, but lack the engineering and mechanical knowledge to put it together. What steps should I take to pursue it?

A:

There are product design houses all over - I would suggest talking with one of them - look for ones with awards and great reputations.


Q:

Hi Lori,

1)Would you rather fight a horse sized Kevin O'Leary, or a hundred duck sized Kevin O'Learys?

2) How were you invited to do Shark Tank?

3) What was a defining moment in your life?

A:

I would rather fight a horse sized - I can take him down. Mark Burnett invited me When I got on HSN and sold out my first product in minutes - knew this was the start of something big.


Q:

How long are the people in the studio pitching their ideas and businesses to you? We only see 10 maybe 15 minutes of footage on tv but one can only assume its a longer negotiation process

A:

You assume correctly. I've seen a pitch/Q&A go as short as 28 minutes, and as long as 1:45 minutes of actual Tank time.


Q:

How do bits like Cuban's "24 second clock" and multiple sharks' "you have to decide now before you talk to anyone else" work out in that expanded time? Mostly as they seem to play out in the edit? Do you feel these kinds of games have any place in the real world, or just in making fun tv?

A:

When the clock is thrown out, they truly only have 24 seconds. The edit doesn't change that. I think in the real world, it may not be a 24 second clock, but someone may say, "I need to know today or I'm moving on." When something lingers on and on, even for myself, it can be trying. You want to hear an answer either way...and move forward.


Q:

Besides money and business, what motivates you?

A:

I truly love what I do and it generally helps make other people lives better and easier. It's a great thing and I beleive in Karma.


Q:

Hi Lori!

Here's a "Welcome to reddit" lase for you. Link

Little known fact: The very first lase I ever did for a celebrity was for your Shark Tank compadre Mark Cuban back in 2008.

PS. What did you do to your arm?

A:

Thank you for the lase photo, it's awesome! I hurt 2 bones golfing weeks ago and never took care of it, so it got worse.


Q:

Do you Watch golf much? If so who are some of your favorite players?

What is your handicap?

A:

Favorite player is Bubba Watson. My handicap is pooping out after hole 13 and aimlessly driving around in the golf cart.


Q:

A lot of entrepreneurs that go on the show over value their business.

What is the correct (or at least most widely accepted) way of business valuation? What is your preferred method?

Is what the business COULD make never taken into consideration?

A:

I think a fatal mistake is overvaluing a company especially with no sales or anything to back it up. It turns off all of us Sharks. Give us fair valuations. Look at your company realistically, put yourselves in our shoes, and ask how much money would I give to this company and what would be a fair percentage of what I should get back in return?


Q:

Mark Cuban made a lot of headlines for his stance on patent trolls. What's your belief about that issue?

A:

I don't like patent trolls. It's a very dirty business.


Q:

You are STILL here ?!?! This is one of the most epic AMA's ever. Thanks for being awesome!!

A:

No. YOU guys are awesome. Signing off now for the night. Gotta be up early. Will be back on tomorrow answering questions though. Thanks for all the love Reddit! This was so much fun!


Q:

So, Lori, do you like Gladiator movies?

A:

I'm more into Thrillers and Dramas, but I like a wide range. My husband wants to know, in answer to your Gladiator movies, "Joey? Ya ever seen a grown man naked?"


Q:

How many times a day you get this line:"Miss, you're so freaking beautiful, and hot!".????

A:

I like you....one can never hear that enough :)


Q:

Can you get some of the other Sharks to possibly do an AMA? Would love to see Mark or Robert do one.

A:

Yeah. I'll work on them for you.


Q:

How much time do you spend on Reddit?

A:

Just learning! And whoever posted that mouse-ball in a trap pic, you better let him go!


Q:

What is the process after a deal is made with a shark? What's the bullet point process of "after the deal"?

A:

We talk and then start to learn about them and their Co. Get the due diligence done, and start to plan and strategize what's the best direction.


Q:

Just to say it again you are gorgeous! Makes the show much more enjoyable to watch.

A:

I am honored and flattered beyond. Thank you.


Q:

What was your most successful product so far from Shark Tank? Have you kept in contact with most of the people you've worked with on that show?

A:

The Readerest-Yes, I keep in contact with all of them. I love my peeps!


Q:

I remember that. Didn't you buy the product directly from the guy? You knew exactly how to market that product.

A:

No, I didn't buy it, Rick and I are still working together and also teaming up on some NEW products.


Q:

Pizza's good. How do you like your pizza?

A:

Mushroom, Sausage & Pepperoni- Uno's & Lou Malnati's are 2 of my favs!


Q:

Just need to say I love the show.

A:

Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. The show is amazing and this is the best season yet!


Q:

Hi Lori - sorry to hear about your arm. You're a TROOPER for going through with this AMA.

Q: As a struggling inventor myself and knowing that most success stories were funded by outside investors - why do you believe seed funding is so hard to come by for new products? Any insight on where new companies can go to acquire seed funding? Everyone tells me I have an awesome idea - but I'm having trouble covering those pesky manufacturing costs :)

A:

I would check out Kickstarter.com. That may be a good avenue for you. And make sure to have a working prototype - something to show someone to see not only if they like it but would they buy it from you right then and there. The difference between someone saying "that's a cool idea!" to actually opening up their wallets to hand you money is the Grand Canyon. Prototypes don't have to be in final form - just something to basically show people what the functionality of your product is and how it works.


Q:

What's the best concert you've ever been to?

A:

Bruce Springsteen! The Boss is Boss!!!


Q:

first of all big fan of you, and the show- thanks for doing a AMA (even if it is to put in Bold when the new shows :)

Do you get pissed because any really decent idea gets scooped up by "the cubes" as i like to call him.... I have to say i love it and you can see the levels of wealth when he starts throwing out bids-- he seems to always get what he wants- does that piss you off??? or is it just Good tv?

A:

Well - he DOES NOT always get what he wants - in the upcoming epsiodes I beat him out I do beleive.......Did last year too ;)


Q:

What product did you get that you regret? Is there a product you know another shark took that was a bust?

A:

Yes - frankly know there are some shark deals made this season that will be busts - can't say now but you can maybe tell when you watch.


Q:

Huge fan. - Has there ever been a product on the show that you just thought was the absolute most ridiculous product ever invented?

A:

Thank you. The Wakin' Bacon. It was an alarm clock that cooked bacon next to your head. Product liability nightmare. Although I thought of a better way to do it. What does Reddit think, would you shutupandgivemeyourmoney ;)


Q:

Have u considered posting on gonewild?

A:

How do you know I don't?


Q:

holy smokes, and still posting, awesome

A:

You guys are keeping me going!


Q:

Mark Cuban was my favorite shark, but I think that this AMA has changed my mind.

A:

Lol!


Q:

Is Kevin O'Leary aka Mr. Wonderful really like his tv persona in real life?

A:

No, he's all business...but like I said earlier, there's some mush in there.


Q:

Hey Lori! I've been watching Shark Tank mainly to get a laugh out of Mr. Wonderful's strange antics, but here goes

1.What will push you to invest in a business?

2.. Do you crunch numbers as much as Mark, Robert, or Kevin?

3... Who would you say is your biggest threat if you're going for a bid?

A:
  1. If I love the product or the business idea and I like the person. That combination hooks me immediately.

  2. No, I don't because if I see something and I know it's a Hero, I know I'll make the numbers happen, along with the entrepreneur.

  3. Threat? What threat? ;)


Q:

What are your priorities in life and business? Mr. Wonderful said on a recent ST episode that (not an exact quote), 'nothing is more important than money'. I adamantly disagree. What priorities or personality traits have been the key to your success?

A:

First and foremost to be a good person on this earth, I try hard but of course am not perfect. My family, friends and business associates. I think people come first in life over all, money was not what drove me. I like spreading good, sounds hokey but it's true. Key's to my success, I am driven and hardworking, honest and ethical - also genuine. I think these are the keys.


Q:

Best advice for a recent college graduate trying to make a decent living?

A:

I've read recently on Huff Post and Entrep. that dressing right for the interview is a huge thing. Many millenials lose the job to 50+ because they are dressed wrong - ck that article out.


Q:

I'm Canadian, so I really watch Dragon's Den more than Shark Tank, but occasionally I tune in and I quite enjoy it.

My question for you though is, How is Kevin in person? On Dragon's Den(and Shark Tank too), to me he's the one that's all about business and cares more about the financial position of the entrepreneur's company.

oh and thanks for doing this AMA!

A:

Kev and I get along well - he's my big shark daddy - there's some mush in there - .....


Q:

How much time goes into the presentations on QVC?

A:

LONG TIME!! We set up the day ahead and then takes us about 4 hr's in the studio that day to set up before each show.


Q:

What do you think of the US patent system?

A:

I like it - I think it's getting better and better - they need help and of course all gov. institutions need $$. I've been there speaking and know the people and they are hardworking and great.


Q:

Do all of the pitches make it on TV?

Do you get tired of the pomp and circumstance that some of the pitchers use? Wouldn't you rather just have them walk up and start in right away with the pitch?

Why would Kevin or Mark do this? Is this a hobby for them?

A:

No. There were 54,000 applicants for Shark Tank season 4. Only 80 or so will make it on TV.

The more fun and interesting the pitch, the more enjoyable it is for us. Dry and boring isn't fun for anyone. I love creativity in a pitch and people that are there to have a good time too.

I think Kevin and Mark enjoy doing this, and that's why they do it.


Q:

Is there any genuine bad blood between the sharks? Sometimes when you guys fight over a deal, or cut one another out of a deal you can sense some resentment.

At the end of the day is it all business and all is forgiven?

A:

Yes at the end of the day it appears all is forgiven - but maybe a little hangover happens :)


Q:

Hi Lori,

Thanks for doing an AMA for us. You are an inspiration to the little guy and we appreciate you taking time out to talk to us.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing to consider when coming up with the "next big thing"?

A:

Thanks so much, so happy to be here talking with you guys! Important to find out "Do other people agree with you- that it's the next big thing." Very important to do market research not just with your friends & fam but people who don't know you and will give honest oppinion.


Q:

are you upset that your AMA is being overshadowed by Tony Hawk's AMA?

A:

Not at all! That guy shreds and I own the patent on his skateboards ;)


Q:

Tell the truth, did you put him up to doing an AMA so you could sell more skateboards?

A:

Yes, I'm the smart shark ;)


Q:

What has been your biggest challenge you have encountered on your way to being as successful as you are?

A:

Jerks that come out of the woodwork and try to bring you down.


Q:

Most Honest opinion of Donald Trump??

A:

Gotta respect him, he's done a lot! Don't pay attention to his personal feelings on things.


Q:
  1. What kind of car do you drive?
  2. Favorite city?
  3. Least favorite food?
A:

SUV - Haul around a lot of stuff Chicago!!!!Of course Hate malted milk balls and cilantro!


Q:

If an item is submitted to you through Hero or Zero invite, is there an NC/ND available? Is the inventor protected if the product isn't yet to patent stage?

A:

I don't ever steal anyones idea - but there is no NC/ND - couldn't possibly get into that with 1000's of submittals - I cannot ever know what is already out there on the market or be responsible if it is. Often people have an idea and so do 10 others at the same time. It's tough, but I am ethical that's all I can say.


Q:

Lori, you SO ROCK with 112 patents! I told my hubby the other day that my goal was to have 100, and seeing that you have exceeded that lets a small town girl from Cornfield Ohio, see that it IS possible!

What is the most fulfilling part of inventing for you?

Love and best wishes, Vida

A:

Thanks so much, you go girl! It IS possible and you CAN do it!! Don't give up! The most fulfilling part is making people's lives easier and better with my products!


Q:

Lori,

If you had to fight a dinosaur to the death in a Dinosaur Death Match using only primitive weapons and not allowed to set traps, what's the biggest dinosaur you think you win against? You don't have to name a specific dinosaur, just give us a size reference.

A:

no clue - name me some dinosaurs....


Q:

What was your worst VC investment decision? What did you learn from it?

A:

Ask me that in a few months!


Q:

Hi Lori!

A:

Hi!


Q:

Hi Lori,

I love Shark Tank! You say this season you're a "full-time" shark. Yet, the 1st 2 episodes you weren't featured. What makes a "full-time" shark? What would be the deal that comes to mind you wish you'd landed but another shark (or sharks) got instead?

A:

I am a full time shark this season equal to the others - My FIRST episode is this friday 10/5 at 8pm EST on ABC - I am also on on the 12th and the 26th - lots more too. I think you will truly love the episoides. The guys try to beat me up but they can't!!!!!


Q:

How do you balance your time between all your business ventures? Seems almost impossible!

A:

Is hard - just try to give the love to each and usually what needs the most attention fastest for many reasons is what gets the attention first.


Q:

Good questions...

I'll try to find a link. But I read somewhere that Cuban never bought that quick connect hose thing.

It amazes me some of the things these guys buy. A garden hose quick connect is a great idea, but it's been around for YEARS ALREADY. The problem is Cuban probably hasn't been to a hardware store in years either.

EDIT: found the Link

A:

True it was around for years already - I thought he had a good idea, but knew it was out there, not always do the sharks know what's been out there already as they are not in the retail world