Mark Cuban is a bright individual who defines all characteristics of an entrepreneur and has found his way into many different businesses. He is well known as the owner of the basketball team of the National Basketball Association team, Dallas Mavericks, and a host on the TV show ‘Shark Tank’. He has started multiple business ventures and retains many entrepreneurial attributes as well as he is a natural born leader, which has made him the successful business man he is today. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1958, he created his wealth and success through his two start-ups in 1990’s called MicroSolutions and Broadcast.com.
Cuban was nurtured in a working-class family and was taught to always have a hard working and driven attitude. At the young age of 12, he already showed signs of entrepreneurial skills in the nature of his personality. At that age he would go door to door in his neighborhood selling garbage bags in order to pay for a pair of expensive basketball shoes that he wanted to get. He always took matters into his own hands, in order to afford his college tuition, he sold stamps to make money and attend college, this is an example that Mark has strong internal locus of control. Cuban is a serial entrepreneur because he never stopped thinking of new business opportunities, starting off with his IT start-ups and now has his hands in numerous different businesses. When he lived in Dallas in an apartment with six guys all sleeping on the floor, he had a dream part of the 10 D’s, that one day he would be successful, he would drive around almost every night to look at the big houses and imagine himself living there which he used as motivation to fulfill his imagination. Before Mark began his first two start-ups: MicroSolutions, a software selling company, and ‘Broadcast.com’, an Internet radio station to watch sports all around the world. The triggering event that led to those was him getting fired from another software selling company for not listening to the instructions his boss would give him. It was at that point when he realized he wanted to be his own boss and that determination resulted into his first company, MicroSolutions, to be successful.
A skill that Cuban possesses that makes him a great businessman is his ability to point out potential and take advantage of opportunities. An example of this is when he got fired from the software company, he fueled that anger into motivation to create his own software company by getting a loan of $500 dollars from a customer he brought with him from the company that fired him to his own. His first company became very successful and he sold it for $6.6 million, which brought him a lifetime of travelling the world and retirement. After MicroSolutions, Cuban and a university friend, Todd Wagner, saw an opportunity as the .com boom had started in 1995. Cuban knew that the Internet would change the way people saw the world. His idea was durable because more people were starting to use the Internet and incorporate computers into their lives. Broadcast.com came at the right time since people would be able to listen to radio shows more clearly instead of turning a knob for a frequency. This webcasting website allowed people to view college basketball and it became a huge hit in the sports world. The growth was enormous, within 3 years the company had 330 employees and $13.5 million in revenue by 1999. By Cuban creating this company he identified an unmet need and came up with the 10-fold solution to satisfy that need. He created this company at such a perfect time when the Internet was just starting to evolve more rapidly than ever. He saw the opportunity, took advantage of it and sold the company to Yahoo for $6 billion. This ability of spotting out potential can be seen on TV series ‘Shark Tank’, where Mark invests into countless of new entrepreneurs and their companies. In 2000, Cuban purchased stake of the Dallas Mavericks, he saw an opening in this NBA franchise and took the opportunity a great example of an agent of change. He saw that this team was not doing their best at the time because of its poor personnel decisions and poor coaches with not much experience. Once he took over there were drastic changes made, his strong passion for basketball was clear as he revamped the culture of the team, built a new stadium and made the players feel good.
Mark Cuban also founded a company called HDNet in 2001, he joined the entertainment industry because he identified the opportunity to be a part of HDNet by studying trends and finding gaps in the marketplace. Cuban had noticed that consumers went from buying DVD’s to watching movies at home over the Internet. Cuban was able to offer people the choice of staying at home and still being able to watch movies anytime with HDNet Movies, it was a $20 monthly fee instead of paying $20 for one DVD. The gap that Cuban found was that no other company in the market at that time had offered high definition and quick releases of movies. Unknowingly, Mark followed the steps of the S curve, he started off young selling stamps and garbage bags to earn extra money, he faced challenges like getting fired for not following instructions which seemed to set him back, but he found a way to keep going, get motivated and strive for what he actually wanted to do in life.
As the father of three children, Mark admires and cares about young people and constantly loves to share the lessons he has learnt on his journey to success. This is part of the reason he had joined the TV show ‘Shark Tank’. He continues to invest in up-and-coming businesses that have lots of potential and to be able to share his insightful ideas. From Mark himself: “I love entrepreneurship because that’s what makes this country grow. And if I can help companies grow, I’m setting the foundation for future generations. It sends the message that the American Dream is alive and well”.
In conclusion, there are many aspects of entrepreneurship we can learn from Mark, a serial entrepreneur that is always on the hunt for the next business venture. He shows us that being a successful entrepreneur is not easy, the time you spend every day is so important. In order to be the next Mark Cuban, you have to have the same determination to find the next big thing and demonstrate superior work ethic to beat the next best guy. You should have the confidence to be the smartest person in the room when it comes to your business. When Mark worked on his first business, he invested all of his time to make his ideas come to reality, he taught himself any new technology that was being introduced. He showed me that it is never too late, if you have an idea but cannot find how to make it successful, work hard and learn what you need to do to make it happen. He is truly inspirational to me and I hope to possibly see myself one day in front of the ‘sharks’ getting him to invest in my future company.
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- Verma, V. (2014, August). In Calling Dreams. Retrieved February 5, 2020, from https://callingdreams.com/success-story-of-mark-cuban/
- Billionaire Mark Cuban Reveals How ‘Shark Tank’ Has Shaped the Way He Does Business, and Why ‘Sales Cures All’ (2019, June). In Your Story . Retrieved February 5, 2020, from https://yourstory.com/2019/06/billionaire-mark-cuban-shark-tank-entrepreneurship-tips