Fans of Shark Tank don’t often see Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran on the panel at the same time — but that doesn’t mean the two entrepreneurs are not friendly in real life. In fact, there seems to be a fair bit of teasing going on, at least from John. Last month during a Reddit AMA, the FUBU founder didn’t miss a beat when asked to name his favorite kind of nut.
It is not the first time John has identified Corcoran as the one member of the Shark Tank panel who might have a different perspective on things — even if she is an admirable foe on the program. In an Inc. interview last year, John said fellow investors Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary have their quirks, but Corcoran takes the cake.
“Mark is as crazy as he looks. Kevin is crazy. But there’s nobody crazier than Barbara Corcoran. We all agree. She’s like a mad scientist — she’s a genius, but she is right off her rocker.”
Shark Tank fans who love Daymond and Barbara will take comfort in the word “genius” in John’s comment.
The “crazy” comments are likely good-natured. Corcoran recently took to social media to praise John’s new book, The Power of Broke.
I thought I knew everything.. but I have to admit I can’t put this book down. Congrats Daymond! https://t.co/743SlEN1je
— Barbara Corcoran (@BarbaraCorcoran) January 30, 2016
— Daymond John (@TheSharkDaymond) January 30, 2016
Proving that competition on Shark Tank does not override friendship, John went on social media to congratulate his and Corcoran’s colleague, Robert Herjavec, on his engagement to his Dancing With the Stars partner Kym Johnson.
— Daymond John (@TheSharkDaymond) February 29, 2016
Lately, John has been busy promoting Broke. According to The Chicago Tribune, the book rejects the idea that an influx of cash is always what’s best for a company. Often, not having cash means businesses are forced to be creative. It’s an interesting theory coming from a businessman best known for his venture capital exploits on reality television.
But John uses his own experience as an example that dumping money into a business isn’t necessarily the best route to success. With no money to market FUBU in the early years, he got a valuable ally — LL Cool J — to wear the brand and use its tagline in a commercial for a different company.
“That was the power of broke. I didn’t have money for advertising. I said, ‘Can you please put that in that Gap commercial?'”
He argues that a lot of cash isn’t just unnecessary; sometimes, it can hurt a business. Money is wasted when companies use the money to hire people who can’t advance the company or contribute to its growth.
“Often, one of the top reasons businesses fail is because of overfunding. Somebody goes out and takes a $100,000 loan on a house to open a new business and have never sold a thing out of that business, and turns around and spends $100,000 hiring a bunch of people who said they can do a great job for them; instead of being someone like me who fails and closed my business three times from 1989 to 1990 because I ran out of money.”
John learned from those failures. Most importantly, he learned how to grow his business at a reasonable pace. Those early losses happened when the enterprise was small and it was easier to recover. That education prevented John from making similar mistakes as his success grew. His advice is to not to spend a lot of money hiring people with the expectation they will solve the business’ problems.
Daymond John’s own route to success lead him to a plum spot, sitting on the same panel as “genius” Barbara Corcoran.
[Photo by Slavan Vlasic/Getty Images]