Mark Cuban estimates that he receives as many as 1,000 emails a day, many of them from people doing their best impression of a Shark Tank contestant pitching a big idea. Likewise, it’s not easy to get—let alone hold—Cuban’s attention. Both your pitch and the product you’re selling need to be truly exceptional. “90 percent are delete, delete, delete,” he once told CNBC.
In a recent interview with Men’s Health about his best advice for building wealth, the billionaire CEO and Dallas Mavericks owner shared an example of one of the most memorable cold pitches he ever received from Doug Saraci, the founder of Alyssa’s Healthy Cookies, which has since resulted in a highly lucrative and successful partnership.
“The founder was basically living in his car selling his cookies. He cold emailed me about them and sent me samples. The first thing I always do for any food product is look at the ingredients and the nutrition label. Alyssa’s was low-cal, low-carb, high fiber, and zero added sugar,” Cuban says.
Naturally, Cuban was skeptical. “I opened the package, expecting it to taste awful. It was amazing. Then I took it out of the package and the cookie fell apart,” he said. Cuban had a feeling Alyssa’s could be a winner if they could solve that problem, so he asked Saraci to manufacture a smaller, bite-size version, resulting in Alyssa’s Healthy Oatmeal Bites. Eight years later, the cookies are a certified hit.
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“Now we have chocolate, vegan, and more—they’re crushing it,” Cuban says. “$20 million in sales, $10 million in cash profit. One of the best businesses ever. It’s just a matter of time before a smart food company grabs them.” That’s also quite a healthy return on Cuban’s reported investment of $50,000 for 25 percent of the business, according to CNBC.
It’s no wonder, then, that Cuban is now apparently such a fan that the cookies have become his go-to holiday gift.
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