Inventor of the Infomercial & OG Shark: Meet Kevin Harrington
Long before he was the “Billion-dollar Man” or an original “Shark,” Kevin Harrington was an entrepreneurial pioneer. At the first-ever 10X Growth Conference in 2017, the trailblazer talked strategy, marketing, and inventions…
Over this OG Shark’s storied career, he has launched over 500 products. Through those products, he has generated over $5 billion in sales across 100 countries.
Despite these impressive numbers, Harrington’s early life in Cincinnati foreshadowed his ultimate success…
Before Entrepreneurial Superstardom
During his Growth Con presentation, the Billion-dollar Man shared that his father was his hero. He then recalled learning his business acumen from working with his dad in the family’s Irish pub.
As a result, by the time Kevin Harrington reached his mid-twenties, he’d built and sold several companies.
However, he claims his journey to the top didn’t truly begin until one night when there was nothing to watch on television…
Kevin Harrington Decided to Fill the Dead Air
The younger 10X’ers reading this may not believe it, but there was a time when there weren’t TV shows scheduled 24/7…
One sleepless night, Harrington wanted to watch the Discovery Channel on his new cable subscription. Unfortunately, he found nothing but vertical bars when he turned to the station.
Since he thought something was wrong, he called the cable provider who told him simply that during those hours, the Discovery Channel was off the air!
Kevin knew he couldn’t be the only person frustrated by this. So, he began looking for a solution to fulfill this opportunity. He had no idea he would find his answer when he saw a man cut a Coke can in half with a kitchen knife…
A Eureka! Moment — and a Set of Free Steak Knives
After the Discovery Channel disappointment, Kevin Harrington was attending a trade show when someone caught his attention…
There was a gentleman loudly claiming he was selling the best quality kitchen knives money could buy.
The product presenter demonstrated how the knives could cut paper-thin. They were strong enough to slice through an aluminum can like butter. Plus, the first handful of customers got a set of steak knives for free.
Harrington was one of the first to jump up and buy the phenomenal cutlery. But he also was struck with an idea…
He decided to film an entertaining, informative, long-form sales program to fill those empty cable hours.
The first star he hired was, of course, the knife salesman.
Shortly after, they filmed the flagship infomercial for $2,000. The program went on to make $500 million in revenue.
The Rest Is History
In the end, Kevin Harrington’s story embodies what we want our 10X Growth Conference attendees to walk away with…
New perspectives. Ingenuity. Eyes open to opportunity… regardless if it can slash a soda can.
Keep looking for your Eureka! moments — and be great.
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