What if you could be like Mr. Wonderful?
Shark Tank and Bitcoin's Micropayments Economy
Have you ever finished watching a Shark Tank episode on Youtube and been a bit frustrated? How can this awesome idea get zero offers?!
Maybe Mark backed out because the entrepreneur passed on his time bomb. Maybe Robert and Kevin (aka Mr. Wonderful) declined because of the valuation. Maybe Daymond and Lori are out because of a lack of synergy, and Barbara because she’s Barbara.
You’re sitting on your couch and wishing that you were a Shark. You think that this company can be the next be the best thing, and that you can very likely make a ton of money on it. Unfortunately, you’re no Shark. In fact, in this particular phase of your life, you’re broke and living in your parents’ basement.
But being broke and living in your parents basement doesn’t mean you’re dull-witted — and so you get an idea.
See, the entrepreneur in the video valued her company at one million dollars — asking the Sharks for $100,000 in exchange for 10% of her company. So after doing some quick math, you type this into the comments section:
“Look, I’m not doing too well myself. But I really believe in your idea and I think this can be a trillion dollar company. Would you like to accept 0.01 cents from me in exchange for 0.0000001% equity in your company?”
People start replying to your comment asking whether that’s even possible. How’re you going to send that small an amount to the entrepreneur? Even their digital payment apps have caps of 50 cents or so!
Smiling, you begin typing and explaining:
“Using Bitcoin Lightning!”
You explain how on Lightning, insanely tiny amounts can be sent digitally and no cost. While you’re at it, you attach a couple of links where people can send those amounts digitally.
More people start noticing your comment, and soon, you decide to head to every other Shark Tank video where the entrepreneur behind an amazing idea (according to you) leaves without an offer. And you make the exact same proposition: an extremely small amount of money in exchange for an even smaller chunk of the company.
Later that night, your phone begins ringing with notifications. Many of those entrepreneurs, in typical Shark Tank fashion, have replied favourably. In fact, they’re advertising that they’re open to the exact same deal with anyone’s who’s willing.
You’re beaming. More people have replied to that comment, and most of them are expressing interest.
“Dude, I’m broke, but $0.01 cents is nothing!”
And that night, you go to sleep with a smile — glad that you played a role in helping a budding entrepreneur.
The next morning, as you’re scrolling through the replies to your very first comment, one stands out:
“Kevin… I ended up raising $100,000 overnight from over a million different folks — with each person sending me just a couple of cents or dollars! And all I had to part with was 8% equity!”
You sit silently on your couch, stunned.
And so while you might not be the Mr. Wonderful, you most definitely are feeling wonderful today.
Thanks for reading this piece! If you’re interested to find out more about the micropayments economy that Bitcoin creates, please check out my Bitcoin Magazine piece here. In it, among other things, I write about tipping bus drivers, greater charitable support, and changing learning in classrooms.
Shark Tank “shows entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of six investors or "sharks", who decide whether to invest in their companies”. You can watch its Season 8 trailer here.
You can also follow me on Twitter @ramwithouthorns!
This narrative needs to go out more! High time Lightning gained traction!!