It’s Monday morning, just 48 hours after VerbalizeIt was featured on the season finale of the Emmy-nominated ABC television series, Shark Tank.
Over the last week, sleep has come at a premium and yet I’m invigorated. Why, you ask?
Is it because of the thousands of new customer sign-ups? Or because of the hundreds of photos submitted to our #FoundinTranslation campaign and the resulting donations to Children International? Sure, naturally I’m focused on building our highly disruptive business and helping people break through language barriers. But what really makes me proud is not the outcome from Shark Tank, but what being on the show symbolizes for our team.
In the same way that taking part in the TechStars start-up accelerator and the Wharton Venture Initiation Program forced the VerbalizeIt team to accelerate our successes and failures, the approach of the Shark Tank airdate gave us new urgency for completing some of the initiatives that we’ve had on our timeline for 2013. In meeting this new “deadline”, our team grew closer, our translator community scaled to more than 7,500 professionals and our business strengthened.
Much has been written about what goes on behind the scenes of Shark Tank: What is the application process like? How do the producers decide which companies can pitch? What determines which episodes actually air versus those relegated to the storage drawer?
But what isn’t often talked about is that the eight-minute Shark Tank segment is just the tip of the iceberg. For us, our pitch about the strengths of our human-powered translation app showcased just one small part of our multifaceted platform which offers translation solutions to business enterprises, developers and individuals across the globe.
Similarly, the episode featured only my co-founder and me, whereas the entire VerbalizeIt business has been built on the backs of a dedicated team of thousands of translators, community leaders, developers, business development professionals, mentors, and value-added investors.
The exposure of Shark Tank and the opportunity to present our business in front of such a diverse and experienced group of investors is wonderful. But what’s really rewarding is the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work going on behind the scenes that our customers only see in the use of our products and services.
It was a thrill to present in front of the Sharks and the viewing public, but it was an even greater honor to draw attention to the work that our community and our team put forth every day to provide hugely valuable translation services. Congratulations to the 7,537 of you who make every day a joy for our customers and for me.
P.S. You catch the full episode on Hulu and watch VerbalizeIt at the 30 minute mark.