Daymond John insists that he's the "meat in the moron sandwich" on Shark Tank, he told Inc., but his career--as a founder of FUBU and an investor--proves he's anything but that. While John will ruthlessly compete with his co-stars for deals, he says they're good friends who spend time at the beach, go out for drinks, and occasionally hit Miami's club scene.
Watch John in the Tank and you'll see him sparring and trash-talking with his fellow Sharks for a deal. But the cameras don't catch the corny jokes he cracks off-camera to sabotage Lori Greiner's negotiations with entrepreneurs. One time, he said, he used the following dad-joke: "Two peanuts are running down the street. One peanut started getting in the lead, and the other peanut said, 'I'll cashew you.'
"She started cracking up and I stole the deal from her," John told Inc. during an interview in December. "If you ever see her cracking up, I'm saying something like that to her." Greiner isn't the only one to get a taste of his antics--John makes a point to foster camaraderie with each Shark.
John takes the relentlessly buttoned-up Kevin O'Leary clubbing in Miami, even if Mr. Wonderful insists on wearing earplugs. "You see this little pea head walking through the crowd, and everybody wants to try and touch his head," John says.
If he's not listening to hip-hop with Mr. Wonderful, he might be having a more casual night out with Mark Cuban, whom he described as a "beer and chips kind of guy." John's and Robert Herjavec's children are close friends, and John will often spend time at Barbara Corcoran's beach house in the summer.
John says his relationships with the Sharks aren't just about the social engagements; they've taught him valuable business lessons both in and out of the Tank. For example, the investors know failure is an important part of entrepreneurship and don't try to hide their losses. "None of us have the magic wands, and we are all about the same in closing ratios," John says. "So when I see that Mark Cuban has just as many failures as I have, or Robert or Barbara, I feel better."