'Shark Tank' investor gives marketing students advice

Mar 29 2012 - 11:55pm

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Jeff McCauley talks with Daymond John during a video conference in marketing class on Thursday at Davis High School in Kaysville. John stars on ABC’s “Shark Tank” television show. 

NICK SHORT
Standard-Examiner
Jeff McCauley talks with Daymond John during a video conference in marketing class on Thursday at Davis High School in Kaysville. John stars on ABC’s “Shark Tank” television show. 

NICK SHORT
Standard-Examiner
Jeff McCauley talks with Daymond John during a video conference in marketing class on Thursday at Davis High School in Kaysville. John stars on ABC’s “Shark Tank” television show. 

NICK SHORT
Standard-Examiner
Jeff McCauley talks with Daymond John during a video conference in marketing class on Thursday at Davis High School in Kaysville. John stars on ABC’s “Shark Tank” television show. 

NICK SHORT
Standard-Examiner
Jeff McCauley talks with Daymond John during a video conference in marketing class on Thursday at Davis High School in Kaysville. John stars on ABC’s “Shark Tank” television show. 

NICK SHORT
Standard-Examiner
Jeff McCauley talks with Daymond John during a video conference in marketing class on Thursday at Davis High School in Kaysville. John stars on ABC’s “Shark Tank” television show. 

NICK SHORT
Standard-Examiner

KAYSVILLE -- High school students don't often get to sit down and visit with a celebrity.

But Davis High School students in Jeff McCauley's marketing class on Thursday got to chat with Daymond John, CEO and founder of the clothing brand FUBU and one of the investors on ABC's show "Shark Tank."

The group met during a live Google+ hangout session.

McCauley took a shot in the dark and contacted John in hopes of getting an interview. Because the show works with entrepreneurs and looks at what makes a successful business, he thought the interview would work well with his classroom setting.

Much to McCauley's surprise, John agreed to the chat session.

McCauley took it one step further and, with the help of Google employees, they found a way to open the session nationwide to high schools interested in participating.

"Daymond wants to help get the entrepreneurial mindset to young people out there, and we're using a new tool to do that," McCauley said, referring to the Google+ live hangout session technology.

The Davis High students weren't exactly sure what to expect, but it turned out to be an informative, down-to-earth chat with practical advice they can incorporate into their lives.

Senior Alec Hansel asked John about his key to success.

"It was pretty scary, but awesome at the same time, talking to him," Alec said.

"The only trait in common with those who succeed is doing something you love," said John. "I know it sounds corny, but success does not mean money. I know people with a lot of money who are miserable because they're not doing something they love."

The 45-minute discussion went smoothly with no technical hiccups. As far as McCauley could tell, nearly 100 schools, each with 25 to 30 students, successfully hooked up to the live discussion. McCauley also took a few questions from students in other states, including one student who wanted to know what makes an idea successful.

"The most important thing is to show me that someone wants to buy it," said John. "If you sold 30 items in 10 minutes, I want in on that, because if you can sell it that quickly, you can sell it everywhere else."

Junior Kate Simpson was excited to be a part of the live session.

"It really manifested itself that he is a real person because they just don't seem real on TV," Kate said. "To hear him talk about failing and picking himself back up in his business, I can see that I can relate to him."

John told the students his success didn't come quickly.

"Every overnight success has taken about 15 years," he said.

One student wanted to know how much of the show was real and how much was entertainment.

John assured the students that it is very real.

"What most people don't realize is that we're reaching into our own bank accounts for these people, so it's very real," John said. "Ninety percent of the money, we're going to lose, but we are willing to lose and keep reinvesting because we have faith in the process."

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