Looking back on his life, billionaire “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban wishes he’d done his own dishes — even the pots and pans with tough stains and baked-on food.
To be fair, I don’t know this for a fact. But today, I’ll tell you:
- The reason I suspect he feels this way.
- How his no-dishes policy led him to miss out on 250x gains.
- How to put yourself in position to potentially make even more than 250x your money.
Let’s dive in.
“If You Like the Store, You’ll Love the Stock”
To set the stage here, let me tell you about an investor named Peter Lynch.
Lynch is the legendary money manager who ran Fidelity’s Magellan Fund from 1977 until he retired in 1990.
When he started managing the fund, it had $18 million in assets. When he retired, it had over $14 billion. His 29% annual returns make him one of the most successful money managers ever.
He attributes his success to a small number of core investment principles — including this one:
“If you like the store, you’ll love the stock.”
You see, Lynch was adamant that individual investors like you could outperform “professional” money managers. All they had to do, he said, was to buy the stock of companies they knew, liked, and were customers of.
His logic was that customers had true insights into brands and products — the kind of insights that couldn’t be detected by an analyst who sat at a desk all day reading financial statements.
And that’s what leads us back to the Mark Cuban story…
As you likely know, Cuban is one of the “sharks” on the hit investment TV show, “Shark Tank.”
A few years ago, an entrepreneur named Aaron Krause stepped onto the “Shark Tank” stage with a sponge he called the Scrub Daddy.
His sponge would change texture based on water temperature. In warm water, it would be soft, perfect for gentle scrubbing. And in cold water, it would be hard, which is good for tough, baked-on stains.
Mark Cuban raised his eyebrows. A sponge?
Aaron provided more details. His sponge had been lab-tested. It resisted odors for two weeks. And its ergonomic shape had been designed to clean both sides of kitchen utensils at the same time.
Cuban frowned, scratched his head, and passed on the investment opportunity. So did most of the other wealthy sharks.
But one shark, Lori Greiner, was intrigued. Perhaps she did her own dishes, so she understood the simple genius — and vast potential — of the Scrub Daddy.
Lori invested $200,000 for a 20% stake in the company, which valued the company at $1 million.
Can you guess what happened next?
Today, Scrub Daddy brings in more than $100 million in sales per year.
The brand is now worth more than $250 million. That’s more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
That means Lori’s $200,000 investment is now worth — wait for it — $50 million.
How did she do it? How did she have the confidence to make this investment?
Simple. She understood Peter Lynch’s principle: “If you like the store, you’ll love the stock.”
In other words, she invested in a product that she understood.
Get Smart about Startup Investing
If you enjoyed learning this simple investment lesson, and you’re looking for other ways to get smart about investing in startups, check out our free resources.
For example, you can download our “10 Commandments of Crowdfund Investing” report »
Also be sure to check out our free “Tips from the Pros” whitepaper, where we interview five of New York’s top venture capitalists to discover how they succeed at startup investing.
You’ll find it on the same page.