For the record. I will comment on the article if I can find some time later.
Kevin O’Leary: Canada’s master of (harsh) reality TV by Andrew Ryan, Jan 6, 2010 G&M
Like all successful men, Kevin O’Leary is a study in contrasts.
On CBC-TV’s Dragons’ Den (which returns to the air Wednesday night at 8) and ABC’s Shark Tank (back on Friday at 9 p.m.), the Montreal native has become known as the bombastic investor who routinely dashes the dreams of budding entrepreneurs, quite often in the most withering manner imaginable. “Life is hard, money doesn’t care and your tears don’t add value,” was his brutal assessment of one product pitch.
The softer side of Kevin O’Leary can be found on his Twitter page, where he posts frequently on his business dealings (“I’m thinking good investment themes for 2010 will be pharma, health care, energy and biotech”) and his fabulous life (“Dinner tonight at the Auberge de Dully in Switzerland … Best roast chicken on earth!”).
Either way, the man knows his business. In 1999, O’Leary sold his software company to the Mattel Toy company for a staggering $3.7-billion (U.S.) – still one of the largest deals in consumer software history. Soon after, he founded O’Leary Mutual Funds, where he’s still chairman.
Love him or hate him, O’Leary is very likely the reason why more people are watching Dragons’ Den (CBC, 9 p.m.), which has passed the two-million viewer mark this season. He’s also the sharp counter to business reporter Amanda Lang on The Lang & O’Leary Exchange on CBC’s The National . How did a simple billionaire become such a Canadian TV fixture? Meet the man behind the mouth.
Why do some people think you’re such a mean guy?
I don’t consider myself to be mean at all. I just tell the truth. I don’t think there’s any room for being grey when it comes to money. In many cases these entrepreneurs are spending their own family’s capital and they’ve never really market-tested the idea. They’ve never gone to an investor that’s indifferent and has no relationship to them. If they don’t like the outcome of that, I’m sorry for them. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
Are some Dragons’ Den contestants undone by their own cockiness?
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