It's not too often that the Boise Centre echoes with the sounds of Prince, Run-D.M.C. or LL Cool J, but this morning's IdaVation event, sponsored by Kickstand, had a few fish-out-of-water moments, not the least of which was a shark out of his tank.
Daymond John, one of the "sharks" from ABC's Shark Tank, served as keynote speaker (complete with his own DJ and soundtrack) at this morning's conference, which boasts a theme of "Think Different, Act Now. Actionable Ideas for Growth."
"I was a serial entrepreneur," said John, who shared his unique life story. "I shoveled snow, I raked leaves, I was selling clothes on street corners."
John started with $40 and a lot of dreams, sewing clothes in his mother's New York basement and eventually rising to create a $4 billion clothing brand, FUBU, marketing to an inner-city lifestyle neglected by other manufacturers.
"I'm going to tell you a lot more about my failures than my successes," John told the gathering of approximately 250 Treasure Valley businessmen and women. "It usually takes a small area to create a big dream."
John talked about how he slept next to sewing machines in his home, which he turned into a makeshift factory, pushing out thousands of clothing orders.
Today, John is one of the stars of the Friday night primetime telecast Shark Tank, where he and fellow millionaires back budding entrepreneurs.
"Whether you're pushed in or fall in or jump in, you end up swimming with the sharks," he said.