Shark Tank Episode Illustrates Lack of Listening and Humility


The owners of Birddogs didn't do very well on Shark Tank. In Season 9, Episode 14, investors grilled the makers of gym shorts with built-in underwear and were skeptical about their responses.

At some point, Kevin O'Leary stopped the discussion to ask how they thought things were going. They didn't say much at that point, but viewers knew the answer: they probably wouldn't get a deal. At the end, Daymond John, the clothing expert and most likely partner, said, "You were also telling us about how you're better than everybody else. . . . I think it's a very elitist attitude, and I just wouldn't be able to work with you."

The entrepreneurs spoke in generalities about how their marketing was better than that of anyone else. They also claimed a 40% email marketing open rate, while their competitors had only 4%, which the sharks didn't believe.

When Lori Greiner was asking questions, one of the owners kept trying to jump in. He didn't demonstrate good listening skills.

Perhaps the worst of it was at the end. In closing, one of the men was incredulous about why they didn't get a deal.


  • Watch the episode (available on Hulu). How well do you think the team handled the pitch? Do you share the sharks' view that they were arrogant and that their numbers "didn't add up"?
  • How do you assess their presentation skills? What would have improved their delivery?
  • How could they have listened and demonstrated humility? Try to give specific examples.