But this introductory screen does not show all the things he has done. Legend has it that he first went into business at the age of 12, as a door-to-door salesman. His product: trash bags. But after he later graduated from Indiana University, he moved to Dallas, TX, where he created MicroSolutions. But you will not see MicroSolutions in the 80 companies featured on that first page. He sold it in 1990 to CompuServe for $5M. At that time, sales were approximately $30M.
Onto Bigger Things
But bigger things were yet to come. He and a friend, Todd Wagner, streamed audio over the internet as early as in 1995 with a company called Broadcast.com (later Audionet). Within 4 years, the company was sold to Yahoo for $5.6 billion.
As sports fans know, he now owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball franchise. Born in 1980, the team was acquired by Cuban in 2000, and they were National Basketball Association (NBA) world champions in 2011. The team first made franchise history by being in the NBA finals in 2006.
Moving along on Cuban’s website, you will want to click on Shark Tank. Cuban started on the second season of the show and it is now in its sixth. What you think you are seeing on his Shark Tank home page is a replica of his Cuban site home page with the 80 logos.
Here, we say with mock disappointment, there are only 34 Shark Tank companies with which he has some level of involvement and in which he has invested!
In case you do not know about Shark Tank, if you have ever had a great, unique idea, or are entertaining an entrepreneurial career, here is what it is all about. The Shark Tank website talks about all kinds of things, but the key thing to understanding Mark Cuban’s involvement has to do with the fact that he is one of “5 titans of industry who made their own dreams a reality and turned their ideas into lucrative empires.” They are known as the Sharks.
This is considered to be a reality show where the contestant entrepreneurs “try to convince any one of the sharks to invest money in their idea.” The most interesting part of the show, aside from viewers being exposed to some fabulous ideas, is when/if a bidding war over a prospect and product ensues between the sharks. As one might expect, such a war could cause the investment price on behalf of the future businessperson and his or her product to be become substantial.
Words of Wisdom from Cuban
Some of the following “pearls of wisdom” attributed to Cuban will come as no surprise. He said that, “Every no gets me closer to a yes,” and “It doesn’t matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once.”
Another one is customer service; namely,”Treat your customers like they own you–because they do.” In a kind of allusion to the Mavericks, he once said, about hard work, “In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.”
Also, along those lines, Cuban said, “I love to compete. To me, business is the ultimate sport. It’s always on. There is always someone trying to beat me.”
He also has given day-to-day advice, such as: “Always wake up with a smile knowing that today you are going to have fun accomplishing what others are too afraid to do.”
Cuban also has said no one should ever start a business “unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.”
Finally, he stresses originality, and stated “Wherever I see people doing something the way it’s always been done, the way it’s ‘supposed’ to be done, following the same old trends, well, that’s just a big red flag to me to go look somewhere else.”
At another point, he added to that idea, stating, “When you’ve got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?”
As this article was being written, CNBC reported that Cuban has not ruled out the possibility of running for President of the United States as an independent. Cuban told CNBC’s Scott Wapner that some things would need to happen for him to be motivated to run in 2020, and if he did, it would be as an independent.
“We’ll see what happens,” Wapner reported. “It would take the perfect storm for me to do it. There’s some things that could open the door, but I’m not projecting or predicting it right now.”
He said that no one potentially on the Democratic side of the ticket could win “right now.” His reasoning, is that they are all politicians, and the reason why people voted for Donald Trump is that “he wasn’t a politician.”
When asked, Cuban said, “I like Vice President Biden I think he’s smart and he could do a decent job, but I think it’s way too early to tell. He further stated that what the Democrats are proposing that they are just “headline porn,” and that they don’t believe their proposals can pass.
Mark Cuban has proven over and over again that he is a true original. Who knows what might happen if he sets his mind to it, even the presidency?
By Chris Miles