Steve Gadlin went into the Tank thinking he was there for comic relief. And he delivered—with his catchy rhyme, “I Want to Draw a Cat for You,” silly dance, and totally engaging personality. Steve’s business was drawing “custom” cats. A customer asked for, say, a cat dancing on a roof and, in a matter of minutes, Steve drew a stick-figure cat tap dancing along the gutters—or something like that. (Fortunately, he had a day job as a website development manager, so his family could eat.)
Mark liked Steve and his brand of creativity and thought they could go into other businesses together. He gave Steve $25,000 for 33% of the business. Mark and Steve sealed the deal by doing the “cat dance” together.
In a Shark Tank update, the business was doing well and Steve had already paid Mark Cuban back. But later it appeared that Mark and Steve clashed. Mark was frustrated by Steve’s lack of commitment, and Steve felt Mark was too interested in the returns on his investment.
By 2015, Steve announced that he had maxed out on drawing cats—18,000+ of them—even though he did not draw the last one until 2020. He raised funds on Kickstarter for his next project, “Steve Gadlin’s Star Makers,” advertised as a showcase for tomorrow’s Hollywood and Broadway stars. It aired for a while on an Erie, Pennsylvania, television channel and can be seen on YouTube. The future “stars” display talent such as counting (up to 113) and hitting a tennis ball. Steve as host is neither charming nor funny.