Why I Admire The Heck Out Of Mark Cuban

For a good long time, my opinion of Mark Cuban could be boiled down into two main points:

  • He got lucky selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo for billions before the dot.com bubble burst
  • He was annoying as an outspoken and brash NBA owner.

If these are thoughts you have, I’m here to tell you that you need to think again!

Since forming those opinions in the early 2000’s, I’ve done a lot more research and have become a lot more aware which now leads me to have a great deal of respect and admiration for him.

What changed?

Let me give you a few things which have helped me re-shape my views:

  1. Shark Tank – I first became a little more aware of Mark Cuban when he debuted on the ABC show, Shark Tank.  Even though there’s a lot of glom and production that goes into making it interesting to watch for viewers, the fact is that the ‘sharks’, who purchase stakes in ideas that they see as moneymakers, are savvy and have business knowledge.  After watching him on a few episodes, I realized that can pick through an idea and determine if it makes good business sense.  What really won me over, though, was seeing that he takes it one step further, often passing up on ideas that he sees as moneymakers, but that aren’t suited to his expertise.
  2. He Wants To Be A Champion – In 2011, his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, won the NBA championship.  After owning the team for over a decade, he got what he wanted: To be on top.  I started looking at all the ‘trouble’ he got into over the years and realized that he was that way because he wanted to be successful, and he was setting the standard for his team.  When his team wasn’t performing, he wasn’t afraid to call them out.  He expects and demands success.  In short, I used to roll my eyes when I saw news articles about his involvement in the NBA.  Now, I think he’d be a welcome addition to other leagues (it’s been rumored that he wants to buy a baseball team)
  3. He Didn’t Just Get Lucky – For a long time, I dismissed the billions he made with Broadcast.com as dumb luck.  He sold his company to Yahoo for billions, only to watch Yahoo take it over and later shut it down, basically getting nothing on their investment.  It’s easy to think that he just happened to get lucky, but let’s face it, he knew what he was doing when he sold.  We can all think that if someone came to us and offered us a ton of money for something we were working on, that we’d sell.  This is even easier when you have the retrospect that comes after the dot.com crash.  But, let’s think back to those days before the dot.com crash.  Everything was going up, up, and away.  How many people would have taken pause at Yahoo’s offer, figuring, “Hey, if I can get $5.7 billion today, maybe I should hold out and get $10 billion in a few months.”   Bottom line: Many people don’t know when to cash in their chips.  Mark Cuban did and that is something worth noting.
  4. He Works Hard.  Really, Really Hard – Doing more research into the companies and endeavors he’s taken before and after making his billions, it’s clear to see that he’s driven.  Back in the early 2000’s, I sort of figured him the type that just took the billions, bought his basketball team, and sat back soaking it all in, taking the occasional time off from lounging by the pool to annoy the NBA by spouting off about this or that.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  He put a ton of effort into Broadcast.com and other companies he had before then.  He works hard as an NBA and business owner.

Long story short, Mark Cuban didn’t just get lucky.  He’s intelligent, hard working, and expects nothing short of full success, putting everything he has into achieving that success.  I admire him and look forward to seeing what else he accomplishes in his career.

What do you think of Mark Cuban?