Wake up and smell the bacon Prior to Shark Tank
Matty Sallin, an industrial designer from San Francisco, believed he had invented the ideal replacement for an alarm clock that jolts you up with a loud jolting noise. In college, he took an electronics class and designed an alarm clock that gradually rouses a sleeper with the aroma of cooked bacon as a class project. The clock’s façade was designed to mimic a pig in block wood form.
The Wake N Bacon alarm clock works by heating pre-cooked bacon ten minutes before the time you specify for waking up. The user would need to put a few slices of bacon in the Teflon-coated cooking pan the night before, and a halogen lamp would crisp the bacon. Instead of a loud alarm, the user would be softly awakened by the aroma of bacon.
On Shark Tank, Wake N Bacon
Season 2 Episode 2 of Shark Tank
Matty walked into the tank and began his pitch. He told the sharks how he came up with the idea for his alarm clock and how it functioned. He also mentioned that when he first developed the clock and blogged about it on his website, the response was tremendously positive, with many people urging him to make the project a reality. That is why he sought the assistance of the sharks.
He asked for $40,000 in exchange for 20% since he needed their help with finance, skills, and connections. The funds would be used to adapt the clock for mass production, produce a mass prototype, and pitch potential investors and retail and manufacturing, partners.
Matty exhibited an artist’s rendering of what the mass prototype would look like after giving the cooked bacon to the sharks for them to sample. Despite the sharks’ amusement at Matty’s plan, Kevin was the first to point out a sobering reality: What if the clock malfunctioned, causing a fire and death? Was it a good idea to keep a bacon-cooking oven near your bed?
Matty compared his kitchen appliance to the Easy-Bake Oven. There was no way of knowing for sure where that substance was being used – it might have been anywhere in the house. He would also have it UL listed to guarantee that it was safe to use in the home.
Kevin was not persuaded by that reasoning, so he moved on to ask Matty about pricing and margins. Matty didn’t say what the retail price would be, but he did tell Kevin that it would cost $13 a unit to make.
Robert was curious as to what would happen if he spent all of his money on a prototype. Matty had no idea where he’d acquire the money to sell the product. Matty’s response was ambiguous, but he reiterated his previous statement about the necessity for retail and production partners to bring his product to market.
The clock appealed to Mark as a novelty item. He was curious as to how many Matty believed he could sell. Matty, surprisingly, did not provide any sales forecasts. Kevin was taken aback by Matty’s failure to present a sales prediction. He stated that he was out, but that he would pay Matty $100 for the “pig box.” Robert inquired if the “pig box” could be purchased. Matty laughed and explained that it was his only one.
Barbara was the next to speak. She thought the clock was a fun novelty item, but she didn’t think anyone would want bacon cooking so close to their bed. She recognized the allure of cooked bacon aroma but stated that consumers would like the perfume to emanate from the kitchen. She then exited the room. “I’m grabbing my piece of bacon and dropping out,” Robert declared immediately. Then Daymond backed out, leaving Mark as the lone shark willing to negotiate.
Mark inquired of Matty about the minimum production run. It would be 10,000 units, Matty said. Mark, on the other hand, did the math: 10,000 pieces at a cost of $13 apiece equaled $130,000. What would be the source of that money? Matty talked about the necessity for manufacturing and retail partners again, but he didn’t answer the money question. Mark questioned why Matty only wanted $40,000 when he truly needed $170,000. Matty appeared a little uneasy before announcing his asking price of $170,000. That admission made all of the sharks laugh.
Kevin was still fixated on the notion of the clock lighting the home on fire when Robert asked Mark whether he was actually interested in the product. Mark said that he was not concerned about his safety because he knew how to obtain insurance. Mark liked the concept but believed that only 10% of buyers would make bacon once and 0% would make it again. The clock, he thought, was just a joke gift that people would buy because it’s “so damned stupid.” Finally, he declared that he would not be putting up the money.
Matty thanked the sharks for their time once they were all gone. Kevin, on the other hand, was still taking bids for the pig box. He joked that he wanted to display it in his museum of truly terrible ideas. Matty politely rejected and went away. Matty was certain in his post-pitch video confessional that he wanted to advertise his clock in a different way because people enjoy the scent of bacon.
Wake up and smell the bacon Following the success of Shark Tank,
Despite the fact that some people on the internet still claimed to want to buy the clock, it never became an actual product. The takeaway for other businesses is to avoid approaching sharks too early in the process. The sharks are seeking a product with a proven market, a track record of past sales, orders pending, and potentially a patentable feature. Matty only had a prototype when he went in.
Matty looks to have opted against being an entrepreneur after all. His LinkedIn profile indicates that he works in User Experience (UX) and has recently started working for Finix, a financial technology firm. Bacon fans will be dissatisfied, but they’ll have to accept the truth that bacon belongs in the kitchen, not the bedroom.
Updatedideas.com is not linked with Wake N Bacon, SharkTank, or any of its companies, and the material presented in this article is solely for educational purposes.