ITST: Did you know which Sharks would be in the tank for your segment?
PW: We knew four of the Sharks, but one was in the air. Daymond was the only one I focused on, but I tried to go in with an open mind.
ITST: What were you hoping to gain from going on the show?
PW: Early on when I first started the company, I was looking to license the technology to an apparel brand. I wanted to close an equity deal, mainly with Daymond. He’s in the apparel space, he’s a branding expert, and I just felt like we’d have a lot in common.
ITST: What was the most stressful part of preparing for the show?
PW: The unknown. You basically have to sign hundreds of pages of documents and have no idea what to expect. You’ve seen the show a thousand times, but it’s filmed live and anything can happen. You have to be ready to answer any question; a thousand different questions can be asked in the span of the filming.
In my filming they really went after the research and mine has been validated by so many researchers and colleges and teams, that it took me aback and I didn’t know how to react. We developed something that was non-restrictive and that doesn’t compromise form. It got to the point where Kevin stepped in and said “enough about the research, the guy sold a million dollars last month!” Both Kevin and Daymond were sold on the value. The research has been around for decades, how could you possibly question that? The problem with extra weight is that you have to change workouts, but that’s what we designed around. We designed around end use, to train as though you’re not wearing anything at all. If you have to compromise the way you train, you’re training wrong.
ITST: Mark really beat up on you in the tank. How do you handle that type of negativity?
PW: Ever since I started this in my dorm room, I’ve encountered so many different naysayers. After all of those, I’ve learned to hear [the negativity]as encouragement. I take people who tell me I can’t do something and I use that as firewood to build myself up and to prove them wrong. In the real world there are so many people out there who like to rain on somebody’s parade. You need to learn to do one of two things: take negative energy and drown it out or you have to leverage it and turn it into your fuel.
ITST: But clearly not all the Sharks were naysayers, you walked out with a deal.
PW: We did make a deal with Daymond at 20% for $500,000, which was a massive cut on the valuation I had come to. However, when I looked at him, the one thing I noticed is he was sitting and listening to everything that I said. At the end, he was able to express everything I had tried to get across during my pitch. When you hear that back from a potential investor, that, in itself, has value. You not only have an investor who believes in you, he understands where you want to go. That to me was more valuable than anything else, and I couldn’t turn him down.
ITST: You had two offers in the tank, and Kevin’s was actually the better offer, financially. Why did you pick Daymond?
PW: Just before show, I got out of an investment with a firm from London that wasn’t going well. I was fresh from getting rid of one set of investors because they had a different vision and tried to force me out of my own business, and very shortly after that I went on the show. So I valued the vision that Daymond had of myself and my brand more than anything. I valued that he saw something in me.
ITST: Was the final deal you and Daymond made in the tank the same deal you eventually signed with him?
PW: No, it wasn’t. The deal ended up much better. After filming, you wait for a month and then eventually you get a phone call. So Daymond basically sat me down after a few months, and every time I spoke with him it got better and better and better, both my interaction with him and the deal as a whole. In fact, Daymond told me that this is the largest deal he has ever done on Shark Tank.