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Hamboards Update: Shark Tank Season 5, Episode 4

Andrew is a self-educated business owner and entrepreneur with plenty of free advice (which is worth exactly what you pay for it!).


Did the Deal Go Through?

Yes, but...

Robert Herjavec sealed the deal with Pete Hamborg on the show for 30% at $300,000, and there was a follow up segment where Robert said they'd done over a million in sales. However, the actual terms of the deal are protected by confidentiality, per Wikipedia. It does seem as though some sort of agreement was maintained, at least for a short period of time, although it's difficult to know for sure, given how other business owners have said that their appearances on TV talking about how awesome their businesses were doing were, well, fake.

How Did the Business Do After the Show?

Two key pieces of evidence bode really well for the company's success since airing on the show. First, they actually have a Wikipedia entry, and it appears to be somewhat well maintained. Second, their website is up to date, and has a section where they describe their current business. Their direct-to-customer model on their site is very likely their most profitable line of business, although they're available at Walmart (enough said!) as well, so they're certainly cracking into a higher volume market. Finally, Amazon offers Hamboards, along with ample reviews.

What Do I Think?

When entrepreneur Pete Hamborg skated in with his family, I saw a lot of potential in the product line. What I first saw as essentially an oversize skateboard had plenty of gimmick (and safety) appeal, but the idea that it felt more like surfing held additional appeal. I also agreed that it wasn't really necessarily a bad thing to propagate the California surf culture lifestyle, although the family seems to have been willing to be somewhat nimble, as they've penetrated multiple markets. As to whether the original $300,000 by Robert (for nearly a third of the company) was a good investment, that's a really tough one. If you assume their net profit is around 10% of sales (given their mainstream distributors, this doesn't seem overly pessimistic to me), and if we assume the company is doing $1 million in annual sales and reinvesting half of the free cash back into the company (instead of distributing all of it, which is the death knell of many a scaling business), Robert would see only $17K per year back in his pocket, and get his initial investment back in around 18 years. Yikes! On the other hand, if their sales are $3 million and the other numbers remain the same, he'd see his money returned in 6 years.... and be part of a growing company. It's tough to tell which one is closer to reality.

© 2020 Andrew Smith

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