Sunday, February 25, 2024

What Happened To Esso Watches After Shark Tank – 2024 Update

February 24th, 2012 on Shark Tank, entrepreneur Ryan Naylor came into the tank pitching Esso Watches: a fashion accessory business with a twist. Esso timepieces were built infused with negative ions, which Ryan claimed work to bring the wearer’s body back to it’s natural state by restoring an ideal “energy field”. Ryan came seeking $35,000 in exchange for 20% of his company.

Ryan Naylor’s Esso Watches in the Shark Tank

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Ryan Naylor, a picture of sincerity.

Ryan kicked his pitch off with a lesson about the harmful effects electronic devices have on our bodies, asserting that they ‘bombard us with positive ions which put unnatural pressure on our bodies’. Right out of the gate Kevin showed some skepticism, questioning whether the negative ion solution addressed a real health concern. He followed up his critic with the colorful comparison of a coffee enema, “Supposedly good for you, but who knows right?”. A little shook up, Ryan kept his poise, maintaining the legitimacy of the issue and continued his pitch with a demonstration of the watch in action using a balance test. Curious, Lorie agreed to put Esso Watches to the test and she seemingly validated the benefits, showing some improved balance wearing the watch.

Next Ryan handed out his watches, which came in various colors and designs. Mark flat out refused to take one and continued with Kevin’s criticism but was hardly as polite. As Ryan tried to give Mark a Maverick blue Echo Watch, Cuban cringed and dismissed the technology as a joke. He immediately bowed out claiming he was ‘allergic to scams’.

Then came the numbers. Ryan said he had sold over $110,000 of Esso Watches in the last year with $70,000 profit. This intrigued Kevin and it seemed that he was starting to warm up to the idea of an Esso Watch investment. Kevin’s interest grew when Ryan proudly told the Sharks that he wasn’t spending any money acquiring new customers as his background in search engine optimization allowed him to reach his customers at no cost other than his time.

 Lori wanted to get back to the product, she asked about how the negative ions work, wondering if there was any independent lab testing done to prove his claimed benefits. Lori insisting that this could be a liability nightmare as products that make these types of claims required rigorous testing if they wanted any hope of being sold on television. Mark scoffed, and as he and the other Sharks guessed Ryan did not have such tests. That was enough for Laurie to hear and she was out.

Daymond then chimed in with a seemingly innocent question, ‘So you created this watch?’ to which Ryan replied yes and eagerly added that some of them were his personal designs. Then, like a boxer throwing a counter-jab, Daymond struck back quickly, calling him a liar and said that another one of his companies, Rumba Time, created those designs and that he had stolen them. Before Ryan could get a word out, Daymond was out. Lori came to Ryan’s defense claiming that companies make similar watches all the time – Daymond didn’t want to hear it.

Two Sharks left – Ever the no-nonsense investor, Mr. Wonderful went back to his roots and asked his most important question ‘Can I make money off of this deal’. Just when it seemed like a deal might have been on the horizon for Ryan, Mark butted in and jokingly warned Kevin that if he even thought about investing into the business he would come over and beat the living crap out of him.

Before Kevin could react Robert, who was mostly quiet throughout the pitch, commended Ryan for his ability to take all the abuse from the Sharks and then swiftly took himself out of the running simply stating that he doesn’t believe in the idea.

Shark Tank
The unique Esso Watch.

Last but not least was Kevin, he extended Ryan one last olive branch, if he was willing to admit that the negative ion technology was a scam Kevin would consider investing. Ryan wouldn’t do it and stuck to his guns affirming his belief in the technology. With O’leary out, Ryan’s shot at a Shark investment was gone and he made the long walk out of the tank. As he headed out, the bitter Mark Cuban couldn’t help but throw in a few more jabs and the other Sharks criticized Ryan for not defending himself or his business enough.

Esso Watches Now In 2024 – The After Shark Tank Update

The experience taught Ryan a lot of things- including the fact that he didn’t actually have a real passion for the watches. Even the sharks noticed his lack of passion. After he walked off the stage without an investment, Lori remarked that “he’s not a fighter.” This was confirmed in a later interview where he admitted that he “didn’t even care to defend the technology.”

To make matters worse, he was hit with a copyright infringement notice from Exxon Mobil, who claimed they had rights to the name “Esso.” The two parties eventually cut a deal, which resulted in him shutting down Esso Watches.

Drawing from his own experiences as a teenager, Ryan eventually found another passion in the form of an employment platform. Wanting to help people find work, he ended up creating LocalWork, which allows individuals to find work based on their expertise. He also began hosting talks for budding entrepreneurs.

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Ryan launched a new business called VIVAHR, which provides hiring software, in 2017

Fast forward to 2017 and he created a new product called VIVAHR. A hiring software, it allows businesses to track their applicants in an all-in-one platform. According to their website, it’s the only recruitment management system on the market that provides individuals with the tools to make them recruitment experts.

As of 2024, VIVAHR is still up and running. Not only does it allow employers to post jobs to dozens of job boards (including premium and niche job sites) with a single click, but it also comes with a variety of features to help build the perfect position including automation tools, templates, and customizable fields. It also makes sharing job postings easier, which gives businesses the edge in finding the best candidate for the position.

Currently, there are three different VIVAHR plans to choose from, all of which post to 50+ job posts and allow for unlimited candidates:

Starter ($89 per month): One job posting per month, one hiring location included
Grow ($179 per month): Unlimited job postings per month, five hiring locations included
Pro ($279 per month): Comes with all the features provided in Grow in addition to eSignatures, Custom Roles and Permissions, Dedicated Customer Service, and Text Messaging

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His new company, VIVAHR, currently offers three types of plans: Starter, Grow, and Pro (see above for pricing)

For those who are interested, you can check out their website at vivahr.com. They currently offer a free 7-day trial so you can get a feel for what it’s like before committing. You can also view their virtual demo to see how the platform works.

As for whether or not we’ll see Ryan on the show again, he had stated in a previous interview that he would pitch again on Shark Tank “in a heartbeat” and that he would make sure that his product “completely aligns with his goals and passions.” For now, however, it looks like he’s busy running VIVAHR.

Viktor Yakovlev
Viktor Yakovlev
Viktor Yakovlev is a Canadian freelance writer out of Kitchener, Ontario. A graduate from the business program at Wilfrid Laurier University, Viktor currently works in the world of marketing and sales. He's a cinephile, and MMA fanatic, in his free time Viktor enjoys Brazilian jui jitsu and performing stand-up comedy.
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