notes from Jed Malitz regarding CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer, season 2 episode 3
I am grateful for the experience with CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer and for Tilman Fertitta’s attention, time and opinion.
My websites (jedmalitz.com and jedmalitzv2gallery.com) have been receiving high sustained visitor counts as a result of the broadcasts.
Easily lost in the numbers is an important observation that my glass sculptures are unique and impactful enough to merit the attention of a multibillionaire, as well as coverage by CNBC. To have them visit my gallery at length says a HUGE amount about the art, and that is what I make: art. I don’t make decoration, which ultimately is what Tilman was looking for as expressed on the show.
Despite what naysayers may think (and I have received plenty of feedback full of nasty commentary), I really DID WANT to do a deal with Tilman. Had this opportunity come up 1-4 years ago when I had more financial reserves, I would have been all in with his $100,000 offer.
In my opinion here are the major “pros” of the potential deal:
1. The exposure of having a large artwork as a conversation piece in an exceptional building.
2. Exposure to a large number of elite visitors and residents.
3. Simply getting a deal with Tilman would obviously be a major checkmark of affirmation and validation on a route to success.
4. The potential of future deals with Tilman.
5. The size of the artwork (6 ft x 8 ft panels) would lead in a direction of larger scale pieces; this is a major long term goal of mine.
6. To adequately cut the leaves, I was going to use a new cutting technique that would further progress my art form.
And here are the “cons” of the potential deal:
1. At this time, my capital is simply too low to take on a significant job where I don’t get paid enough after all job expenses to both pay myself and feed the business. People balk at startups when owners pay themselves. But I have not paid myself in 4 years; and it is no longer possible to do so (my savings are depleted).
2. Given that I would not make enough to cover my personal and business expenses to last until the end of the job, and given that I have no other financial resources, I would have failed to deliver the artwork after taking Tilman’s money for the project.
3. The timing of the opening of the Post Oak was going to be around December 2017; so there would be no substantial foot traffic and exposure to foot traffic for another full year from now. I don’t have the means to last well into 2018 hoping that the onsite exposure in 2018 and beyond would drive further sales. That timing is simply too far out for my business’ near term survival and the project would not pay me enough to support the business near term.
4. Taking the deal would have set precedent for pricing of any future deals with Tilman or anyone else. Art devalued to the point of being worth little more than material costs is not a recipe for success by any measure. The deal valued the art itself (ie. the ingenuity of it, the ideas, the design, my time, etc.) as virtually worthless.
5. The installation would have completely hidden all outer edges from view, since the outer edges would be inside the wall and fully enclosed. Losing the refracted light perspectives of the outer edges would have meant losing (by obstruction) 1/2 of the artwork.
It was made clear to me that there was no room for negotiation. The offer was a firm and final $100K, although I was ready and willing to negotiate.
It was a great experience overall. Despite the public beating, it was a thrill to be on CNBC national television.
Meeting Tilman, one of the most brilliant and successful businessmen ever, was an amazing experience that I will not forget, and I am thankful for it.
The talented CNBC crew was always incredibly professional and gracious, and they obviously did an amazing job. The footage of the glass was absolutely stellar.
I spent months of time and substantial money preparing for the show and putting in the utmost effort and hours EVERY day. I DID want the deal, but as the episode’s title expresses sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
Thanks everyone for your interest, opinions (both positive and negative) and moral support.
Is it not through experiences that we all grow?
Thanks for watching our episode of CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer, and THANK YOU CNBC and Tilman Fertitta!