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RFID Goes Into the Shark Tank

Many RFID companies make mistakes that cost them money. They wouldn't survive on Shark Tank.
By Mark Roberti

Lori: "How are you marketing this?"

Edsel: "Mostly word of mouth. We also do some Google Ads, and we have a Facebook page and a Twitter account."

Lori: "How many customers has Google Ads brought you?"

Edsel: "None."

Lori: "You seem like a great guy and a smart entrepreneur, but I just don't see the value. I'm out."

Daymond: "I'm focused on marketing, and I don't see how you are marketing your solution, or what applications need the extra read range. For that reason, I'm out."

Mark: "I agree with Daymond that there isn't enough value in the extra read range, and I agree with Mr. Wonderful that your valuation is crazy. I'm out."

Edsel: "Robert, you're the only one left. Don't let me down."

Robert: "Do you have partnerships with tag and software providers, by which someone could buy all three together as part of a solution for, say, health care?"

Edsel: "We're looking at that."

Robert: "It's impressive that you've put a lot of effort into engineering a better RFID reader, but the reality is that the extra read range probably doesn't mean that much to most companies. They are looking for solutions to their problems. Google Ads are not a marketing strategy, and your valuation makes this deal way too risky. I'm out."

Edsel: "Thank you for your time." [Exits the tank and speaks directly to the camera.] "I don't think the sharks understand RFID, or realize how big this technology is going to get. This market is huge, and I'm determined now to see if we can increase the read range by 30 percent."

Six months later...

Shark Tank Update: XYZ RFID has gone bankrupt.

It's sad, but in many cases, this is how it would go. Why? Because most RFID companies are focused on their own engineering, instead of on solving potential customers' problems.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.

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