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Rapid Ramen Cooker Update: Shark Tank Season 5, Episode 3

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?


While Mark Cuban made Chris Johnson an offer for 15% equity for $300,000, and the offer was accepted by Johnson, it seems most likely that the reason the deal was never sealed is that there were strings attached: Cuban insisted on half of the money being paid back as a loan. Perhaps Johnson ultimately balked at this, since taking on debt isn't exactly my idea of a great plan when a business is growing. While the deal never went through, Johnson plugged along with his innovative product, ultimately selling a bunch of units, and seeming to do well as his business scaled up.

How Did the Business Do After the Show?

Rapid Ramen Cooker's official site is alive and well, and there is a strong, solid presence on Amazon. Extrapolating the thousands of ratings on Amazon, most of which are very positive, it is reasonable to assume that millions of units have been sold over the years. With excellent packaging and great reviews, it seems like this product has been a runaway success. Reports indicate that over $10 million in sales have channeled through the company to date, making Johnson's innovation worth even more than his initial ask. Fans who watched the show walked away with a generally favorable impression of Johnson.

Rapid Ramen and Rapid Mac Inventor and UC Davis Alumnus Chris Johnson

What Do I Think?

I think the deal was really good, and Johnson should have taken it. Giving up equity, even 15%, can be painful for any business owner. If the terms of the loan were "sharky" (sorry, couldn't resist), I can understand an argument as to why not to go through with the deal, but it seems like even a tiny push from Cuban would have sent the sales much further along. On the other hand, perhaps Johnson understood that the company needed to retain its cash flow as it was coming in, and maybe he figured out a better way to get the cash he needed without the aforementioned sharky terms. Still, I have to think that Cuban being a partner would be a plus if you could make it work, even just for the reputation and potential connections and introductions.

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