The Series Premiere of Shark Tank featured Kevin Flannery and WiSpots. Kevin leveraged his personal assets and his family assets before approaching the Sharks for investment. Kevin sees this sign of commitment as a strong characteristic. Unfortunately, that strong character trait also can be a huge weakness, which is the case for Kevin.
Investors want you to do anything possible within reason to succeed. Within reason doesn’t include leveraging your kids college fund to keep WiSpots afloat. If you’re willing to that, you’ll not only leverage your own assets, but anyone else’s that you can grab onto. The worst thing Kevin did in his pitch was disclose this upfront to The Sharks, causing them to quit listening from that moment on.
Today, WiSpots and Kevin Flannery are still actively seeking investors, three years after appearing on Shark Tank. According to his website, the vision is still the same one that was presented on the show. His press releases have not been updated since 2010 and, even then, it showed failed deals.
From time-to-time I read his WiSpots Twitter feed, where he discloses personal information that demonstrates he’s lost even more than the college fund. That said, I don’t want to get to involved with that conversation other than to recommend that if he needs to share, he does it on a different account then the WiSpots account.
WiSpots has been around since 2002. It might have been an OK idea at the time, but that ship has sailed. I would never use a tablet in a waiting room and I wouldn’t expect to see anyone else using it. Anyone who is into technology enabled devices likely already has everything they need in their phone.
At some point, you have to cut your losses when things don’t work out. I think Kevin Flannery would be wise to learn from this experience and cut the Wispots’ losses. There are good things that come out of failure, like a clear mind and the ability to see things differently.