Up Where He Belongs
Jake Burton, with two
close associates, near his
home in Vermont.
toughest. If I’d stopped, I would
have lost my house. I had a 3-year-
old and the only thing I could do
was keep trying. There were nights
when I woke up at 3 a.m. in tears.
Bawling. How were we going to
make it to tomorrow? Luckily, no
matter how mentally hard that was,
I had one choice, which was “Pick
yourself up, Jamie, and get back out
there.” Because stopping would
have resulted in the end.
People used to ask me, “What
would you do di;erently?” I’d say,
“Raising $100 million right o; the
bat would have been much better.”
They would kind of look at me like,
“Why didn’t you?” Well, I didn’t
because nobody would give me a
friggin’ $100 million. Someone else
said to me, “I heard a fund pulled
out of one of your rounds.” A fund?
Try 250 funds! I wish it had been
one fund. Everybody pulled out of
I hope that the extreme lows are
over. But it’s not like we’re going to
Amazon thinking it will lavish us
with stu;, and we’re going to have
three meals a day for free. Amazon
celebrates being frugal. I like that.
We celebrate being frugal too. I hope
I have bad days. That means you’re
fighting and going forward. It’s like
when you’re skiing: If you don’t fall,
that means you’re not challenging
yourself. You don’t want those falls
to kill you, but you still want to fall.
The credibility and the awareness
that Shark Tank brought was probably worth $10 million of ads. It
really launched us. The Sharks liked
the idea and said nice things. Mark
Cuban said, “I think it’s a great
business. I think you’ll be successful.
It will be worth $20 million. I just
can’t invest in something that’s not
going to be $70 million someday.”
As a fan of the show who went on it
from his garage, and with Ring now
the largest company ever to have
appeared on it—that achievement is
incredible. And, obviously, I think
they wish they had invested.