During an episode of this season’s “Shark Tank,” Ben and Eric Kusin, sons of the founder of GameStop, went on the show to seek funding for their fabric freshener startup Reviver. They noted that their father had already invested $2 million in seed funding in their business.
Shark investor Barbara Corcoran was not pleased to hear that and said the following:
“I feel very badly saying this to you, but I, as a matter of principle, don’t invest in rich kids’ businesses.”
The episode showed the brothers being clearly shocked at what she said, but they were able to get a $150,000 investment from Lori Greiner for 15 percent of their company.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Corcoran adds more color to what she said during the episode:
“It’s not that I look down on [privilege]. It’s harder for a kid with privilege and successful parents … to succeed if they’re going to be in business for themselves. I’m not talking about in corporate America or investment banking — all those connections play to your advantage, I think, along with education.”
Corcoran also notes that being the offspring of rich people can affect the way you make business decisions:
“The best way to think of a solution in business when you’re slammed up against a wall is to try to think of five different solutions to get around it and keep going. But when you know that you have a trust fund, you know that you can always fall back on your parents, and you know that you can get additional funds, you get cheated out of thinking of those spur-of-the-moment, very needy ideas that get you through.”
In the words of billionaire Jack Ma:
“A lot of entrepreneurs didn’t make it not because they don’t have money, but because they had too much money. Because when you try to solve problems with money that is when your real problems start. I believe that money could not solve all the problems. Money is just an important tactic in problem solving. So when people say, ‘I have money, so I can do this,’ that is the start of their failure.”