Chord Buddy's "Math Buddy" Beyond The Tank Update
When the Chord Buddy was first Featured on the Shark Tank it was easy to see this product was going to become an enormous success. Travis Perry, the owner and inventor of the Cord Buddy, made a deal with Robert Herjevic in Season 3, Episode301 for $175,000.00 and a 20% stake in the business. Travis was fully prepared with 5000 units (retail value over $250,000.00) for the Shark Tank Effect when millions of viewers learn how easy it is playing a guitar with the Cord Buddy System. The only problem was over 12,000 guitar learning orders came in within the first Month with no signs of slowing down.
Robert Herjevic has a meeting with Travis Perry on the Beyond The Tank Update going over Chord Buddy's numbers revealing $1.7 million is sales for 2013. In 2014, Cord Buddy only did $1 million in sales with Perry's primary focus now on a new product called the "Math Buddy". The strategy is getting the Math Buddy Learning System into Public Schools on a large scale. Combining math problems while learning how to play the guitar with a Cord Buddy seemed like a great idea to everyone except Herjevic. His main focus, and rightfully so, was on the core business selling Cord Buddy's proven products first. As a Shark Tank Investor owning 20% of the business with $700,000.00 fewer sales than the previous year, Robert showed very little interest in Math Buddy. The company needs to either lower the cost or increase sales, or both.
To save on the $11 cost to produce a Chord Buddy System, the sheet music will be public domain songs eliminating $3 per unit in royalty fees. Percentage wise this is an enormous savings bringing the cost down to $8 per unit. But the Shark in Herjevic wants more, a lot more. After a little fidgeting, Travis reluctantly admits they can make the parts for a Cord Buddy Oversees for only $1.00 versus $4.00 if Made in America. By implementing these two changes, the production cost for each unit is less than half. Robert points out the business would've made $120,000.00 the prior year instead of losing money.
Robert Herjevic asks Travis asks a difficult question some entrepreneurs must answer if thinking about having products manufactured overseas. Robert asks, "What's more important, Having it "Made in America" or having the Business survive"? The way I see it, the cost savings using royalty-free sheet music offsets the additional costs of production in the USA and still reduces production costs by 30%. As far as Travis was concerned having any of the Chord Buddy's products manufactured overseas was NOT an option. You could see it in Perry's eyes that by focusing more on the new product "The Math Buddy", it was affecting the success of the core business.
When Perry met with the City Officials of the School System, the Math Buddy learning system's entire success was on the line with a lucrative government contract at stake. Travis says they could fund 250 schools with the Math Buddy learning system that includes a Cord Buddy for only $250,000.00 or $5,000.00 per School. The Officials seemed impressed and asked Travis about a State-Wide Math/ Guitar learning program for all the Schools. They quickly added up the 67 County's in Alabama and determined a $2.2 million budget for the entire State. Instead of showing confidence the product was worth the investment and the company could handle a multi-million dollar order, Travis seemed a little overwhelmed at first but assured them he could deliver.
The Beyond The Tank Update ended on a positive note with the City Officials agreeing to take the Math Buddy to the next of approval stage for a statewide musical learning tool. Surprisingly, the Math Buddy learning system is not available to the general public as near as I can tell. At least there's no mention of the product on the Cord Buddy Website. Half of the Beyond The Tank Update covered a brand new product that's currently not for sale? Now that's a first in the entire History of the Shark Tank Show. Could it be Herjevic's meeting convinced Travis to focus once again all his energy growing the core product line first? It appears that's the case, and the Cord Buddy is now back on track to become one of Shark Tank's Most Successful Products.