'Shark Tank' Season 14: Did Big Bee Little Bee owner lose deal with Sharks due to 'inventor-itis'? Fans say 'focus is important'

'Shark Tank' Season 14: Did Big Bee Little Bee owner lose deal with Sharks due to 'inventor-itis'? Fans say 'focus is important'
Mother-daughter duo and inventors of Big Bee Little Bee, Amy Leinbach and Marlo in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 5 (ABC)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Amy Leinbach and Marlo, the mother-daughter duo behind Big Bee Little Bee, showcased their product on 'Shark Tank.' Despite making an impression on the Sharks and almost convincing Robert Herjavec to invest, their ever-expanding product portfolio prevented them from securing a deal.

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The two came in looking for $100,000 in return for 20% of their company in the October 21 episode. Amy showed the Sharks one of their proud creations, the Marker Parker. Marker Parker lets your child maintain track of their markers while drawing, so you don't have to waste time looking for marker caps and tossing away dried-up markers! The tapered, snugly fitted columns grasp the marker caps, allowing your youngster to remove a marker without having to remove the cap. That means no more dried-out markers, misplaced marker caps, or markers rolling on the floor. And whenever a marker runs out of ink, just replace it with a fresh marker. It's the ideal non-permanent marker storage and organization solution!

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Amy clarified Lori Greiner's bewilderment by stating that they only sell the marker's base or holder, not the ink. Shark Emma Grede was curious to know if the holder works for all markers, to which, Amy responded that the particular product shown is for broad-tip markers, but they are in the process of developing bases that work for markers with fine tips as well. Kevin O'Leary sees the invention as a fantastic solution to a daily problem, but he is concerned about the manufacturer releasing their own copies. Amy stated that she applied for patent rights in November, ever since Marlo came up with the concept idea.

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The product is offered for $15, although it only costs $2.71 to create. Herjavec was ecstatic about the margin. Amy later introduced numerous more company products, including the scrubBEE, a tool used by children to clean themselves. As a result of not being made of sponge, it does not accumulate germs or dirt. She then presents Build-A-Straw, which transforms into a straw of a certain length of choice. Emma was anxious to discover which product was the company's hero and how many units of it were sold after viewing so many.

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The scrubber has been their standout product. Amy stated that the scrubber accounted for 80% of her total sales of $230,000 last year. She also discusses the challenges she has been having on the manufacturing end, such as quality issues and supply chain issues. Last year, the company's revenue was $97,000 but its profit was only $2,200. They made $110,000 this year since they didn't have the scrubber during the first half, which cost her a lot. She acknowledges that she is down $77,000 since when Marlo came in with the Marker Parker idea, they already had another product in the works. But she put it off in order to fulfill her daughter's wish.

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Amy's admission that her fear of numbers has hindered her from beginning businesses for a long time came as she lost Kevin. She has already put $166,000 of her own money into the venture. As an investor, Kevin is looking forward to putting his money into a viable business model and expecting a return, but he sees a number of problems with Big Bee Little Bee. As a result, he pulls back. Amy attempted to win back the Shark by bringing out another of her inventions, but Mark Cuban interjected. Amy, he says, has 'inventor-itis' on top of her entrepreneurial tendencies, which he considers to be one of the worst in an entrepreneur.

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Amy has already lost $77,000, therefore Mark believes she has to address the difficulties at hand. Amy tries to persuade Mark that they have sold over 1000 units of the Marker Parker in just three months, but in vain. Lori appreciates that Amy is teaching her daughter vital life skills, but she also cautions Amy that she must first master one product before going on to create something else. Lori feels Amy has overextended herself in every manner, so she's out as well. Emma admires the mother-daughter team, but she also agrees with Lori. Emma is unsure what the brand stands for because there are so many products.

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Looking at the host of products from the company, a fan tweeted: "Which product are they trying to sell to the sharks? All of them or just the marker holder?" Another fan tweeted: "Yeah, she needs to focus on ONE product instead of 5 or 6. This is painful." One viewer felt bringing in Marlo was manipulative on Amy's part: "Ehh. I’d feel weird about saying no to a kid. Seems manipulative to bring her." One viewer adviced: "This lady is jumping into too many inventions. She needs to be the voice of reason for her child. She has to teach her how to see something to total completion/success. Choose a goal and finish."

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Agreeing with Mark, a fan wrote: "They definitely have inventor-itis. Perfect 1 product, instead of 5 or 6." One fan felt the company has no particular direction to follow: "#SharkTank I felt this direction was where the sharks were going. Way too many directions, with no one perfection. I love the 7 1/2 year old salesperson." Implying how important focus is when it comes to business, a fan tweeted: "Focus is so important in business. You can’t solve problems by creating new ones." Speaking of the company's profit margin, a shocked viewer tweeted: "The company lost a fortune this year?."

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'Shark Tank' Season 14 airs every Friday at 8/7c on ABC.Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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