Mark Cuban AMERICA’S ENTREPRENEUR

AMERICA’S ENTREPRENEUR

From Beauty to Tech, Mark Cuban Sounds off on What Makes Him Tick BY ANGELLA SPRAUVE • PHOTO ILLUSTARTION BY PETER BOLLINGER

 

Even in a brief chat with a stranger, Mark Cu- We recently asked Cuban what he’d learned about the industry in the eight months since the conference. “I thought it would be easier to get shelf space, but it’s not,”he said. “Salons are very entrenched with existing vendors and don’t really like change. So it’s hard to break through unless you just want to spend a lot of money.”

 

Yes, even billionaires can learn a thing or two. e self-professed “in- formation junkie” is a sponge for just about anything that gets his at- tention. In 1995, Cuban and long-time friend Todd Wagner came up with an Internet based solution to not being able to listen to an Indiana Hoosiers basketball games in Texas. at answer was broadcast.com, a pioneer in streaming audio over the Internet. In just four years, Broad- cast.com [then Audionet] was sold to Yahoo for $5.6 billion dollars, and Cuban has not slowed down. His lifelong love of basketball came to full fruition when he acquired the Dallas Mavericks basketball team in 2000.

 

 

He oversaw the Mavericks competing in the NBA Finals for the rst time in franchise history in 2006 before winning the NBA world champion- ship in 2011. e team is currently listed as one of Forbes’ most valuable franchises in sports. Forbes estimates Cuban’s net worth at $3 billion. In addition to his business ventures, he is chairman and CEO of AXS tv, a cable network dedicated to providing live events on television, including music

pro-ban exudes con dence. And why wouldn’t he? e self-made billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks possesses the know-how to be successful in several industries. He is also approachable and happy to share tidbits on achieving entrepreneurial success. As an as- tral success story himself, Mark Cuban is the American dream, and much of what makes him successful today is his willingness to learn, as well as teach.

The last place one would expect to encounter the tech entrepreneur, sports team owner and self-described “man’s man” is front and center at a beauty conference. But lo and behold, in July 2014, Cuban was the keynote speaker for the Las Vegas Professional Beauty Association Beauty Week hosted by Cosmoprof North America, where he spoke to beauty enthusiasts and business owners about his keys to success. Cuban re- peated the soundbite he is best known for: “Business is 365 days a week, 24/7. You have to work like the whole world is trying to kick your ass.”

 

CUBAN, 56, IS WELL-KNOWN FOR “KICKING ASS” ON ABC’S SHARK TANK, WHERE THE INVESTMENT MOGUL HAS FUNDED BUSINESSES IN JUST ABOUT EVERY CATEGORY POSSIBLE, FROM FOOD TO WINE
TO HIGH-TECH GADGETS AND MANY MORE.

Cuban, 56, is well-known for “kicking ass” on ABC’s Shark Tank, where the investment mogul has funded businesses in just about every category possible, from food to wine to high-tech gadgets and many more. Winning an investment from Cuban means it’s time to grind. And if you’re not ready, he’s got no time to waste. He elaborates on his taste of Shark Tank failures. “My rst two investments were my worst. ey [the entrepreneurs] failed because they didn’t want to work. ey wanted to be on TV and do PR instead of grinding. at is the road to failure.”

On the ip side, three of his successful investments came from the beauty industry. It’s a category that he never thought he’d be involved in, but he saw great potential in the pitches from the owners of Simple Sugars, KissStix and HotTot. at’s why he was at Cospmoprof. “Hon- estly, it was to help these guys,” he said. He pointed in the direction of his beauty entrepreneurs. “Each one of them has drive, motivation and com- mitment to their products, and this is a place where I could help them.” As for what he knew about the beauty industry, he admitted, “Absolutely nothing.” But, he added, “I want to learn everything.”
gramming, festivals, comedy performances, current events and mixed martial arts. With a still-growing portfolio of 50-plus investments, he employs a team to help him keep up with it all.

 

 

“I have people at my companies take over the drudge work like book- keeping, websites, mobile and tech,” he said. “ ose are the types of things that are not key to gaining an advantage but can suck your time.” Whether it’s running a basketball team or a tech business, Cuban says that the recipe to success is virtually the same. “I try to let great perform- ers be great and to put everyone in a position to succeed.”
Cuban is rarely at a loss for words. On his blog, Blog Maverick, he asserts his opinions on just about everything from the over-in ated “tech bubble” to his disdain for patent trolls. When we asked him about the most overrated piece of technology today, he responded, “I think web- sites are rapidly becoming overrated as apps take us two taps away from pretty much anything we want to do.”

Speaking of which, Cuban has got apps covered. He created two, Cyber Dust and Xpire, as a result of scrutiny he faced in a 2013 insider-trading lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission. [Cuban was found innocent and cleared of all charges]. It was alleged that he violated con dentiality agreements and unload- ed his shares in a Canadian search-engine company in 2004 after learning that the company planned a stock o ering that would reduce the value of his $7.5 million stake. During the trial, his personal messages, emails and texts were entered into evidence. Cuban realized that there was an opportunity in having the ability to erase those messages forever. Both have since become e ective communication platforms.

Surely, the bene ts of success far outweigh the problems. Cuban says that the best perks of reaching billionaire status are ying in the comfort of his private plane, and not having to worry about everyday stresses like paying bills. “I have had my utilities turned o and credit cards cut. Even after I sold my rst company, I used to stress that I could end up right back there.” Now free of those worries, he says he relaxes by “shooting hoops in my own arena.”

Another side of Cuban is a fearless sense of adventure, wherever that might take him. He has acted on TV shows, e Simpsons and Entourage, as well as execu- tive produced movies like Good Night, and Good Luck and Akeelah and the Bee, among several. He’s also appeared on Dancing with the Stars and WWE Raw. He doesn’t set his sights on on anything particular, and instead chooses to keep his options open. “I work on whatever comes along that I think is interesting. I really like acting, so hopefully I will get more of those o ers.”

Cuban will be returning to Las Vegas this summer for the second year at Cos- moprof ’s Beauty Week, where he’ll be a keynote speaker. Only this time, he will also sit on a panel of judges for a contest called “Beauty Pitch,” a one-of-a-kind opportunity for beauty entrepreneurs to present their company to a panel repre- senting savvy business leaders and industry experts. “It’s an industry that’s ripe for innovation, but I just don’t know how,” he says with a smile. Catching Cuban’s attention can’t be easy, but it’s safe to say that the beauty industry holds a common denominator that Cuban looks for in any business he chooses to invest, “I love the entrepreneurial spirit.”

MARK HIS WORDS
5 HABITS OF A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR

1. BE PREPARED.
2. KNOW YOUR BUSINESSBETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE.
3. GRIND!
4. SELL!
5. IF YOU AREN’T PREPARED TO DO ALL OF THESE, THEN IT’S TIME TO QUIT.

Mark Cuban was featured on our Chic Metropolitan Billionaire Issue

Read it now

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