Ranking the Sharks

My reasons for loving Shark Tank have evolved over the years.

I think when the show began I really loved seeing the different aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs wade into the tank. I recall thinking how mean I thought the Sharks were. How they couldn't possibly know what it was like for these frighten guests to pitch their treasured ideas to a bunch of money hungry billionaires. 

Over time that feeling started to shift. I started to feel sympathy for the Sharks. Often they were forced to listen to some long-winded psychopath shucking a terrible idea. 

I think now I've settled into a really comfortable groove where the inventors sort of fall into a ball pit of good and bad ideas but the real joy is dissecting how each shark operates and naturally that has led me to really embrace some sharks and really disdain others. 

Here now is my unsolicited and highly accurate ranking of the Sharks:

I've divided them into two categories, Regulars and Guests. 

The Regulars

1. Kevin O'Leary - One of the OGs from the Dragon's Den days on CBC, O'Leary is everything that makes Shark Tank great. He is cunning, ruthless and very funny. Sure the other Sharks mock him but he doesn't waste time, suffer fools or fall for the melodramatic backstories of aspiring entrepreneurs the way his fellow Sharks do. If your idea sucks O'Leary is the first to take it behind the barn and shoot it. 

2. Lori Grenier - The Queen of QVC ranks second on my list for several reasons not the least of which is her ability to quickly assess whether or not she is the right Shark for the job. Depending on what the situation calls for Grenier identifies if she needs to make a quick offer, immediately go out or team up with another Shark if she thinks it will pay large dividends. The fact that she wasn't one of the original Sharks but nuzzled her way into a "regular" chair speaks volumes about her ability, skill and likability to viewers. 

3. Mark Cuban - In the early days of the show many people forget that Cuban was a "Guest Shark" and like Grenier managed to take advantage of his guest appearance in the same way that he took advantage of the opportunity to invest in Audionet/Broadcast.com. Cuban was for awhile the celebrity Shark. His unique ownership style of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks made him the perfect fit for a guest spot. His personality around the court translates well to the tank and it's no surprise that on occasion in recent seasons he has taken over for O'Leary in the center chair. 

4. Robert Herjavec - Also one of the OGs from Dragon's Den, Herjavec is the energetic, adrenaline-loving Croatian holding down the blind side of the Shark Tank line. A recent episode featured Herjavec losing out to Cuban and Herjavec reacted to his loss with an aside about Cuban being a billionaire seemingly suggesting that Cuban had the financial flexibility to outbid any of the other sharks whenever the mood struck him. It's for this reason that I love the scrappy Croatian. He loves anything having to do with recreation. He loves cool gadgets, cyber-security and more than anything his energy gives the tank a much needed jolt. I love how quickly he'll go in on an idea if he loves as well as how quickly he'll change his mind if he finds an inventor to be too scatter-brained. 

5. Daymond John - There is a moment on the show when all the other Sharks have gone out and Daymond is still in. He looks pensively at his notepad assessing the numbers and debating a play. I'm often surprised by the entrepreneurs Daymond invests in. His gaze at people is often difficult to read. Does he like them? Does he hate them? Regardless all of it makes for really compelling television. Daymond is as impressive as any of the Sharks. He is self-made. He had a passion. He went all in on it and it's paid off. 

6. Barbara Corcoran - It's not really a surprise to me that we seem to be seeing Barbara less and less. I go back and forth from pitch to pitch on my feelings for this brash Anna Wintour of real estate. Sometimes I think I'd love to be in business with her and at other times I think she is flat out terrifying. She can be downright nasty to some people and while I enjoy that coming from Kevin who tends to pepper it with the right amount of humor, Barbara doesn't have that skill. Her opinions of rich kids not being good people to work with is ridiculous. That said in many ways I find that same brashness to be very appealing. I like how quick she is to bid, how forceful she is when she gives someone a good deal but demands an immediate answer. It's probably why I'm writing the most about her. She is a force of nature. Like a lightning strike. Beautiful unless it's hitting you in the head. 

The Guests

7. Kevin Harrington - Not a true guest as he was a one of the originals Sharks from Season 1. Harrington was fairly forgettable and I presume that is why he didn't last very long. 

8. Jeff Foxworthy - Sadly I never saw the most financially successful stand-up comedian of all time time on this show. And for that reason I'm out. 

9. Steve Tisch - 

10. John Paul DeJoria - 

11. Nick Woodman - 

12. Ashton Kutcher - 

13. Troy Carter - 

14. Chris Sacca - 

15 Richard Branson - 

16. Rohan Oza - 

17. Alex Rodriguez - 

18. Sara Blakely - 

19. Bethenny Frankel -