A Conversation With Mark Cuban
I was the luckiest guy, and I don't want people to get swell by thinking you're the luckiest guy in the world because Monk just came out of nowhere and when you were creating all these Seiple positionings of yourself in brands to be able to Now that I even you information, that's why I love what we know is that you learning that has these barriers, different amount of haters and, let's say, leading up to the $6 billion exit, Do you know that you're putting these things in play to create an exit or create this thing Because he was their amendment to your man? It's no, no, man. It was just like my first company, Michael Solutions. I've gotten fired and I was sleeping on the floor. Six guys in a three bedroom apartment, literally mustard and ketchup sandwiches. So I had no choice. So there was no method to the madness at all. It was like I remember talking to one of my guys. Is that where you could go on unemployment? I might not. Can't can't can't. I got started business, and, um, that's...
what I did, and it just just started going, man I'm ever going to my just talking to as many people as I could and networking and finally found this one company who offered to put up 500 bucks so that I could buy this piece of software for 250. And I told him if it didn't work, I walk your dog. I washed your car. I sweep your floors, whatever to make it up to you. But I made it work. And then from there I just took took referrals from them and kept on going. And it turned into a $30 million revenue business that I sold HR block Copy, sir. For six million. Seven years later. And then from there it was like, OK, I got my little nest egg and because I knew technology, I started trading stocks, and I just killed it, killed it. I mean, I was making millions back in the early nineties, and one of my, um, one of my brokers said, You know what? You should do a hedge fund because I was making 80 9100% a year, and I was like, OK, so we started this hedge fund, and within a year, I sold it. And so and then from there I was just like, Okay, let's go. And all I do was have fun. Um, but then we started an audio debt in 1995 when the Internet was just getting going and we were pretty much the first put audio or any media on the Internet. And I remember then I knew that had a chance to be big. But it wasn't like I was planning for an exit. This was before even the Internet stock market was going nuts. It was more like, Okay, you know, in my first company, Michael Sluices, we made money every single month because my expenses were so low, you know? And then the 2nd 1 we made money. Then this one, I was trying to do it the same way. But, you know, then the Internet stock market took off, and then it got to the point where it wasn't so much thinking about exits. It was more thinking about Okay, how big can we make this thing? Because we think we can be the new type of table cable TV and you know. But when Yahoo came along and made us an offer we couldn't refuse. We grabbed it. So there wasn't some big master plan, right? But you know what I got? Maybe you're too close to it, because I have rarely been able to exit from getting on my company's. A lot of people think I sold what I didn't like so very portion of it to like, uh, I saw the territories of tryingto um, I don't know their ability, right, But to have two and three exits on, we get people on the show all the time or in person. Yeah, I think it was coming. Sell it and I don't see often. A lot of it is this that exists because they will warn tech exits. I mean, one was ahead. Slime. What is it that the eggs were easier? Because that's how well a tech is really the kind of business where you are absorbing as many as you can to have so many more tentacles with tools. Or that, you know, you just set it up well enough to be able to present it to somebody Well enough because sometimes on the so you know, you ask the question how your records being kept, how is this not because even come with. Yeah, right. So is there a Is there advice that you give people on? Yes, I'm wrapping themselves. According I didn't plan for exits in any of them. What really made it work for me was the industry's I was in. I was usually the first. Like when I started the 1st 1 After I got fired, I started saying, OK, I'm gonna figure out how to connect these pieces together. And that was back in the day when people didn't connect in the local area network, something that seems normal now. Right? So we were doing what's called systems integration. But we were the first, and we were one of the largest in the country to do it, um, for our our niche. So that's why someone was interested in buying us When I did the hedge fund again. It was like a new technology stocks, and we were doing so well that it gave someone was actually able to buy my track record, and that's why they bind us. And then the 3rd 1 with onion, it were the first to do streaming, you know. So we saw streaming as the future of media. And when Yahoo wanted to get into that, I mean, we were Pandora's Spotify YouTube all rolled into one. And so, you know, it was the exits came because we were the first to do something, one of the biggest, if not the biggest to do it. And bigger companies who wanted that skill set, um, acquired us now for other folks. You know, getting acquired isn't isn't just about scale, but it's about having an edge. It's about having something that differentiates. It may be trademarks. It maybe you know, some skill. It may be a product that you have that's unique, but you're gonna have to have something that that big company can't just create for themselves or by somewhere else. And looking back 20 years ago, if you could go back in time now with all the all the more life and the vilification experiences that you've had now, if you were back in the room with God, with all of these, you know now do you think it would have been a different outcome? Good, bad or indifferent? No, because the thing about negotiate a good deal, you don't have to get everything you say this all the time, right? I mean, you know, when you when you have a deal, usually both sides airlift don't think they got everything they wanted, and that's okay. And that's the way it was. Neither one of us got everything we wanted, but I wasn't gonna You greedy because once you tried to get everything out of a deal, that's when deals fall apart. Before I knew you, I knew, of course, and you were in our pop culture kind of guy. People no more cumin, the billionaire. But they also you or heard of you throwing chairs on the core. I don't even know if you ever did that. But you know, this story got bigger and bigger, bigger. You throw a chair that you saw a person in that you know, And I know that earlier on, and you create your very passionate about your team. You're right down there and you show that you'll want to do whatever you see done. But earlier in your career as ah eh, NBA owner, you got You got a bad rap as far as I'm concerned. But no, you know, But I think I share talking about that. You said, Well, you came in the mayor as an owner and you said I could do what I want. It's my team. And then you learn that you more of, you know, kids looking up to anything. I tell me that story because it shows people how your reputation, your influence, can go on negatively, possibly, but also working on it and adjust to it when you in the responsibility. So when I bought the team, you know, everybody's like, you gotta act like all the other owners. And I was like, Why would I do that? I mean, the way I've run companies has worked for me, you know, that I've started to companies prior to that three companies and I built them. They've all been success when I sold them all, you know, So why when I use the same skill set to run the Mavericks, and that's what I did and it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Um, you know, particularly a lot of people, not just other owners, but, you know, in the sports world there's a lot of close connections between ownership, you know, management and media. And so the media would just crush me all the time. So that was one part of it. And I just didn't care on that part. But to your point, like for whatever reason, like you know me, D j. I'm mellow, right? You don't seem to get all fired up. You don't see me yelling and screaming. I don't get mad at anybody. But you put me in the middle of the game for whatever reason, I'm screaming and yelling nets. That's a place where I let it all out. You know, where I get really passionate emotional, and I guess that's my release. But, you know, at the beginning, I would curse at the refs, and then I would find out their kids all around me. And then it got me upset that I was cursing, you know, just firing away. And these kids, you know, I would have these parents walk up. You can't curse. And I'm like, damn it and what he learned, right? And so I figured out real quickly that, you know, I'm still gonna yell. That's just the way I am. You know, that's my one place to get out my aggression. But I stopped person, you know, there three times for him, about the else up that shit. Right now I catch myself probably. You know, I've only came out for 20 years, for probably the last 17 years I've been given that. But you know, like you said, some stories get blown out of proportion. It and everybody's got a story to tell. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. What? That's it from now, when you had that conversation with you that you did second exchange looking up to you. And, you know, um, you're representing the city in the town and exactly run you bigger obligation that you were glad to take on. And, you know, that was built due to be even better pop culture here. Yeah, you know, to your point, you know, I learned quickly, You know, sometimes the hard way that, you know, sports is so big, bigger than I ever imagined. And you know, kids to look up to. You kids do look up to the players and you're not No one's perfect. And fans don't expect you to be perfect. But you know, when you have a chance to be nice, when you have a chance to do the right thing. You have a chance to order when you have the chance. It is something in the community when you have a chance to help people in the hospitals or the front line workers. Now, you know, a sports team is a great way to do it. And I had to recognize that if I was going to fit into that, people wanted me to help them, right? If I was gonna be a jerk, people wouldn't want me to help them. That I would have to adjust and recognize that, you know, there were kids always watching and how I carried myself, you know, particularly not just during the game, but particularly outside of the games. That was very important, because I had to be able to connect to relate if I was gonna help you. Yeah. Is there any other polish if you're making? But I know that you've been getting surely fits. That's apology. Taking care of your health before this, you know, Pandemic came around the house you made today, if any. Yeah, I'm trying to help the community. You know, one of my friends said to me none of us could be heroes. Unless we're all heroes. You know, this only works unless we all protect each other. Um um And so I'm trying to just be out there and help the first responders help healthcare workers help people in the community help local businesses just because, I mean, this is a struggle for everybody, and we're really blessed in our ability to help people. And so that's really been my focus, helping small businesses and help people who need help.