6 ‘Shark Tank’ Failures That Could Have Changed the World

Oh, how close they came... sort of
6 ‘Shark Tank’ Failures That Could Have Changed the World

Launching a successful business takes more than a good idea. Most notably, it takes a whole lot of seed money. And so, for wannabe inventors, securing a big investment and cash infusion from respected (and very rich) moguls is a huge windfall. That opportunity, should it present itself, is obviously an extremely high-stakes moment for what is often times, a strange individual. 

So, youve got big-time weirdos, in a situation of extreme vulnerability, with their livelihood on the line. You dont need to do much more than set up a few cameras, and youve already got the makings of reality TV. Which is the story behind Shark Tank, or its original version, Dragons Den.

Of course, not every product secures a vote of confidence. It could be argued that plenty of them are chosen specifically for their capacity to fail horrendously on national TV. So, the road to Shark Tank success is paved with bodies and semi-functional prototypes. But that doesnt mean that, if they actually had succeeded, some of those failed inventions couldnt have had a huge effect on the world. 

Lets imagine a few here…

Man Candles

Capitalizing on the extent of male vulnerability is a proven path to success. Thanks to years of ingrained mental distress, there are plenty of products that men would probably enjoy, but the echoing voice of their angered father wont let them. You dont need to go much further than the deodorant aisle to see that. One man, though, tried to enter another aroma-based business: candles. He went whole hog, too, leaning into “manly” scents like bacon that are almost exclusively the sort of thing youd usually use a candle to improve. 

Look, all you had to do was rename a nice earthy leather scent “Evening Football” and you would have been good. How would it have changed the world? My god, can you imagine what every one of our uncles houses would have smelled like if this took off?

Go Cubes

Another failed product was an alternative caffeine delivery system known as “GO CUBES,” which are chewable coffee cubes. How gross that sounds was, indeed, their largest hurdle. They managed to hit a middle ground that was for no one. People who don’t like coffee and want quick caffeine can just go for NoDoz, and people who do like coffee… have… coffee. 

Part of me, though, does wish they would have become massively successful just so you could walk around watching people slam energy cubes all day like we’re in a cyberpunk property. Plus, they definitely would have killed at least one fraternity pledge.

Pet Paint

The idea was simple and goofy, and didn’t benefit from its outlandish presentation. Basically, it’s spray paint for your pet that won’t make them really, really sick. Now, even if it’s technically safe, explaining to everyone at the dog park that you spray-painted your dog with dog spray paint still doesn’t make you seem like pet owner of the year. There’s also pretty much no world in which the best reaction from the pet to this isn’t “I’m simply going to let this happen to me.” If it had become a huge thing, though? My god, we’d spend every day walking through a freaky little Lisa Frank world of pink poodles and electric blue bulldogs.

Squirrel Boss

I don’t have a birdfeeder, because I live in New York City and that would just make me the Pigeon King. If you do have one, though, you know that it’s hard to hang a seed-and-nut vault outside without squirrels throwing themselves at it like a desperate, vegetarian Danny Ocean. This man came up with the solution: a birdfeeder with a remote that, when pressed, will electrocute the squirrel. The perfect gift for the mysterious, evil orphan in your life. As for world-changing implications, if they ever figured out what we were doing, the long-standing truce of indifference between squirrels and men would be cleft in twain. I’m talking all out war. Human bones stored in crawlspaces. CIA working on mind-control acorns.

The Ionic Ear

Speaking of CIA mind control, here’s one way to make your product a nonstarter: have it require surgery. The business plan for this man seemed to be to eliminate the discomfort and inconvenience of bluetooth headsets. Unfortunately, his more comfortable, convenient alternative was a permanent, surgical implant in your ear. Which is, you know, one of the things on your body that’s closer than not to your brain. I’m sure some alien race in the cosmos is disappointed we didn’t all get these, allowing them to kill the entire species with a single EMP.

The Sullivan Generator

The conceit of this article is that the product does, in fact, work. So, following those rules, I have to admit that the “Sullivan Generator,” less a product and more the work of a mad scientist that only has access to crayons, would change the world. According to its creator, and only its creator, it would produce energy via harnessing the rotation of the earth, and would produce gold as waste. When successful alchemy is a simple side effect, it’s a good indication your shit isn’t going to work. But if it had? I mean, we’d be saluting busts of this weirdo every day of our lives.

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