Esso Watches sold watches that contained negative ions. These reportedly could balance out positive ions that put unnecessary pressure on humans. Founder Ryan Naylor pitched the product on Shark Tank but it didn’t go as planned. The Sharks were skeptical about the watches and he didn’t get a deal. The business later shut down and is worth $0 as of 2023.
About the Founder
Ryan Naylor is a serial entrepreneur from Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Viewmont High School and got a business degree from Utah State University.
After graduating from college, he was president of Local Work Marketing. It was a marketing agency that offered services such as website design, SEO and PPC. Ryan spent eight years running the business before moving on to his next venture.
While still at Local Work Marketing, he became the CEO of LocalWork, a recruitment tech company that is still running today. Furthermore, he is currently the CEO of a job posting software called VIVAHR.
Founding Esso Watches
Ryan researched negative ion technology and how it affected the body. The Arizona native concluded that it was helpful in maintaining balance as it diffused the number of positive ions given off by modern devices.
So, he created colorful watches with negative ions. The entrepreneur claimed that it removed unnatural pressure on the body and restores its innate energy field.
Naylor launched Esso Watches in 2011 with a $10,000 investment and found a manufacturer outside of the United States. Though there were no legitimate studies that supported the product, he found believers and made $120,000 in a year.
Shark Tank Pitch
In 2012, Ryan Naylor still had no scientific proof that his product worked. However, business was doing well, and had hopes of bringing on a Shark to explode sales! He appeared on season three of the show, asking for $35,000 for 20% equity.
Right off the bat, the Sharks (particularly Mark Cuban) were doubtful about the product and believed it worked because of a placebo effect. Ryan let Lori Greiner try it out, and it seemed to work. However, most of the Sharks were still skeptical.
Mark Cuban didn’t even accept a sample and went out early in the pitch claiming it was a scam. Daymond John also pointed out that its design was not original. Kevin O’Leary showed a bit of interest after hearing about the sales but didn’t make an offer. Even O’Leary couldn’t lend his name to this type of product.
After Shark Tank
Naylor didn’t get a deal and the negative publicity from Shark Tank didn’t help sales too much. Not long after the show aired, ExxonMobil sued the company as they owned the copyright to the term “Esso.” They wanted nothing to do with novelty watches and Esso Watches went out of business.
Despite shutting down, Esso Watches reached $120,000 in lifetime sales and made a profit of roughly $70,000. Today, Ryan is a serial entrepreneur and runs two companies in the recruitment space.
He is the CEO of LocalWork, a recruitment tech company and VIVAHR, a job posting software. Ryan has long since moved on from Esso Watches and is now thriving as an entrepreneur. In hindsight, Ryan is a talented digital marketer and should have created a more ethical business.