22 followers
Mark Cuban
Entrepreneur, Investor, Film producer, Author, Television celebrity, Philanthropist, Bilionare

Mark Cuban is a, celebrity billionaire. He is a "shark" investor on the television series Shark Tank, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures and the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV. In 2011, Cuban wrote an e-book 'How to Win at the Sport of Business' in which he chronicles his life experiences in business and sports.

Sign in to Ask a Question
or
Submit links to interesting Q&A involving Markcuban by emailing us an link to askmeanything.me@gmail.com
* Curated from access hollywood, beauty launchpad, zulily, kiplinger, and bussiness insider
Any celebrity friends we can expect to see appearing on this season’s show, whether as fellow sharks or making pitches?
There are a ton of celebs this year. I was really surprised at some of the connections that entrepreneurs had. it was fun!
Why was this something you wanted to be involved in? clearly, you’re not in need of any extra income.
I think it’s important to take responsibility in this type of economy to help businesses create jobs. I don’t think I can do enough to help create jobs. this country has done amazing things for me, investing in companies that I can help grow, whether it’s on ‘Shark Tank’ or outside, is one way I try to give back.
If you were an aspiring businessman, which shark other than yourself would you most want to do business with?
Depends. each of us has our own skillset. on the flipside, I would be least willing to do a deal with mr. wonderful [kevin o’leary] because he is rarely a strategic investor, he is typically a financial investor.
Who is the toughest fellow shark to negotiate against?
Probably lo.I [grenier]. simply because she does a good job of trying to make every product work on qvc. if it’s not a qvc type product she has no shot, but for those type of consumer products, she is good.
Bigger thrill – outbidding a fellow shark for a great product… or the dallas Mavericks beating the lakers on a last-second shot in la?
The mavs every time. it’s so easy to beat the other sharks. if this were the nba, I would be 82-0 against them.
What’s your strategy in going up against the other sharks? is it every man/woman for themselves or is there a sense of teaming up against the hopeful entrepreneurs?
I hate teaming up with the other sharks. I will do it because sometimes they have an expertise that will help the deal. I will always do the right thing for the entrepreneur. there has been many a time when I thought a shark was trying to take adv...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
Biggest fatal flaw a potential entrepreneur can make during their presentation in the ‘Shark Tank’?
Misleading us. there is a lot of pressure in the “Shark Tank.” it’s tough not to get excited and start embellishing a little. at some point, we get to the truth and call you out on it. that isn’t good for your business when you get busted on natio...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
Is there one product that another shark outbid you on that you’re still kicking yourself over today?
Not that I got out bid on. I kind of wish I had invested in big chef shake. I knew he would do well, I just didn’t know the frozen food business enough. now I have a company, frozen naked, that would have been a great complement to chef’s business.
Best piece of advice for a potential contestant on ‘Shark Tank’?
Know your business inside out and know your industry better than anyone in the world and be prepared to discuss it all in the tank
What would you estimate is the total you’ve invested on all ‘Shark Tank’ products/concepts since you joined the show?
I have no idea. i’m pretty sure it’s more than $2 million.
What is the most you’ve invested on a single product/pitch to date?
So far, it’s been about $600k for tower boards. they keep on selling more and more, so I keep on investing money into inventory for them.
Do you go into each show with a set amount you’d be willing to spend or does it all depend on what you see?
No. I go into each pitch excited and hoping that it will be an investment that will make me a lot of money. if I thought every deal on the show made sense, I would invest in every deal.
What has been hands-down the worst product/pitch you’ve seen on ‘Shark Tank’?
It’s a tie between the powerbalance watches, which were a complete and absolute scam and the guy who brought out his nieces with glow-in-the-dark patches that he put on the back pockets of their jeans. I asked one of the girls if she would wear on...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
What has been the best pitch you’ve seen on ‘Shark Tank’?
Wow, there have been a ton of really good businesses. I think the best is kisstixx.com. not only was it an original business idea, creating two different flavors of lip balm that spark when you kissed, but they knew their business cold and were re...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
What do you think is the biggest mistake that beauty companies make when trying to enter the market?
Underestimating their competition. we tend to think our products or services are just enough better to get people's business. usually thats not enough. you have to be compelling and obviously differentiated, not just better
You were the keynote speaker at cosmoprof north america last year and are now a beauty pitch judge; why do you think it's important to support the beauty industry?
I think its one of the most entrepreneurial industries in the world. there are more rags to riches stories [in the beauty industry] than just about any other. I just think its fun to try to be part of. you never know who will be the next john paul!
For companies that didn't make the list of beauty pitch finalists, what can they learn from watching the presentation? what advice can you give companies who are trying to break into the beauty industry?
It's always smart to try to learn from what others are doing. you never know where you are going to pick up an idea.
What are you looking for in a beauty pitch company?
I dont have any preconceived notions. I look for a business that can scale and people who are capable of scaling it
What’s your best learning experience?
I learn by doing. i’m not afraid to dive in and learn about a new business and try to figure out how to make it work.
What’s your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Do your homework. there are no shortcuts. you cant just ask for help and expect someone else to do the work. you have to know your business and industry better than anyone and work your way through figuring out how to make it successful.
What’s your definition of success?
Waking up every morning with a smile on my face, looking forward to the day. it’s the way I looked at life when I was broke, and I look at it the same way today.
What’s the most shocking product or business idea you’ve heard?
There are so many stupid things I can’t mention them all. from super big afros to help block shots in the nba, to gold mining techniques using hurricanes in a box!
What is the most impactful moment from Shark Tank?
I think it’s every show because of the impact we have on kids. the show sends the message to kids of all ages that the american dream is alive and well . if they work hard, anything is possible
What was your inspiration to join Shark Tank?
I came on as a guest shark. so my original goal was to do a few deals and have fun. it went so well they invited me to be on full time!
How do you give back to the community?
I try to find leverage points. sure, I give to charities and those in need. but for me, I try to help people create and grow their companies, and build a future for people. the hope is that they can become self-sustaining and grow to be a pillar o...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
What about those fields attracts you most?
In a lot of respects, we’re the product online. our digital footprint tells the world who we are. the minute you hit “send” on a text or an e-mail, you no longer own that message. the person you send it to does. that’s an incredible amount of risk...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
If you were starting out today, which industry would you choose to enter into?
I created a product called cyberdust.com. it’s an ephemeral messaging and communications platform that has been a springboard for networking and learning from influencers and experts. so I guess privacy and communications [would be the industries]
What are the show-stoppers that turn off your interest immediately?
People who aren’t self-aware. they think they’re the best and that they have the best company when it’s obvious they have no idea how wrong they are. you have to be able to know how others see you. you have to be brutally honest about your strengt...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
What are the key factors that make a Shark Tank pitch a winner to you?
It has to be something that’s compelling. it has to be obvious why people would pay money for it. it has to be something that can scale to be big enough to more than return my money, and then some. it has to have someone who is willing to put it a...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
What are you doing to make your wealth last, other than invest in new ventures on Shark Tank?
I make sure I understand the markets and the risk factors. I try to look for things that could create another great recession. [those include] high-frequency trading; the flash cash is one example. I look at student-loan debt, and I am exploring w...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
What's the biggest risk you took?
I was never a big risk taker. when I started my first businesses, I really had nothing to lose. I was sleeping on the floor. I had five roommates in a three-bedroom apartment. my car was a junker. I had absolutely nothing to lose when I started mi...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
Looking back at your professional journey, when did you realize you were on the path to becoming wealthy?
After the money was in the bank.I never took anything for granted. i’ve had businesses that have failed, so I knew that at any moment things could go wrong. I never thought .I made it” until after I made it.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to a budding entrepreneur?
Be prepared. know your business, your industry and your product better than anyone else. you’ll have competition. they’re not just going to hand over their business to you. your new company has to have a compelling reason for people to want to do ...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
None. I like my life better.
You've been in a battle with the sec over allegations of insider trading in the sale of shares of mamma.com. in 2009 a court dismissed all charges against you, but last year an appeals court reinstated the case. where do things stand now?
I can't give any details but i'm told the office of the inspector general is coming out with a report. you might want to check with them. but I can't wait till it is over. it will be my longest blog post and I will lay out every detail of what it'...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
What are your thoughts on what's in store for the economy and the stock market in 2011? are we headed for a double-dip recession? jobless recovery?
I have no idea. neither does anyone else. so my advice is to be careful. whoever tells you they know what is coming is lying to your face. always remember that in the stock market, no matter what you are buying or selling, there is someone else on...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
Apple, Google, netflix, and others are all moving aggressively into streaming movie and tv content and are in active licensing negotiations with providers of that content. do you think that one of these companies will decide to just buy a movie studio or production company outright to both give them control over their own library of content as well as the capability to produce new content instead of just striking licensing deals, particularly if the terms offered by the incumbent content creators is undesirable?
Buying a library of content will open the door and allow them to test some things, but they very quickly fall into the trap of every content originator, paying the money to produce new content. that's a new business that is very, very difficult an...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
On your blog, you've been outspoken about how a la carte media businesses will have a hard time surviving because they are easily disrupted by technological innovation. what are your thoughts on the new york times' pay-wall plans and news corp.'s ipad-only newspaper, the daily?
As long as everything behind the pay wall is free to paper subscribers, it absolutely will work. they are assigning a value to their internet content and offering it for free to the people who pay them the most money, their subscribers. none of th...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
Prior to lebron james' announcement that he was going to the mia.I heat, you predicted on your blog that he would stay in cleveland, writing, "the sports world is full of uncertainties. when in doubt go for the love." nearly halfway through the season, what are your thoughts on fan reaction to james' choice and how the decision has worked out for him?
His choice is his choice. I don't think anyone outside the state of ohio has a problem with the choice. it was how he handled it. it turned him into a villain. but given that the heat are playing the best basketball in the nba right now, it has wo...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
Will there be an nba or nfl lockout next season? what do you think are the key similarities and differences between the nba and nfl negotiations?
Can't comment unless you want to pay the fine.
You own the dallas Mavericks nba franchise, and you've been involved in the bidding for the nhl's pittsburgh penguins and mlb's chicago cubs, as well an investor in the nascent ufl. are you just the typical free-spending billionaire sports fanatic or do you see a value proposition in owning sports franchises?
Right now most sports franchises that try to win are vanity assets. they aren't great businesses. there are structural problems in every major sports league that have to change for them to become good businesses.
Continuing with that thought, what do you think comcast ultimately does with hulu, the popular video-sharing site?
I think it stays alive to serve the purpose it has been serving all along: letting people watch tv at work. where is the one place you don't have a tv, can't just pull out your ipad/iphone/itouch/viewing device and hook it to a network? at work. w...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
You recently said that cord-cutting is a way for people to say they want more tv. can you explain your reasoning?
I always have to crack up when I hear people bragging about how they "cut the cord," then they go on to discuss what they watch...all shows that were paid for and branded by virtue of their appearance on a linear tv network. they don't realize tha...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
In your opinion, which of the traditional media company ceos is the most tech-savvy?
This is going to sound crazy, but I think they all are. I don't think there are media companies that are ignorant about technology any longer. it's not like everyone in media companies is 75 years old and out of touch. the internet has been around...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
Before your most recent blog posts, you had a quiet spell
Twitter has changed the blogging business. pre-Twitter, if anything was on my mind, a blog post was the only way to go. now a quick tweet can convey the message in a lot fewer words. so I blog when I have something to say. if not, not.
You described yourself at the ubs conference in december as an "all-around troublemaker." indeed, you seem to relish the role of antagonist—to traditional media, to basketball referees. what is it that you find so gratifying about being a pain in the ass, for lack of a better term, to authority and/or the established way of thinking/doing business?
I love to challenge conventional wisdom. i'm a big believer that in business and in politics, when everyone is doing the same thing, none are probably as effective or successful as they could be. typically it's not prudent for people within those ...This knowledge is worth millions but signing up is free
While on the topic of yahoo, give us your assessment of ceo carol bartz . will she still be yahoo's ceo this time next year?
No idea. I like carol. she has the balls to do what is necessary, once they figure out what that is. however, like every mature technology company, they are looking for the next big thing, and it's not easy to find or create.
Was selling broadcast.com to yahoo the smartest business move you've ever made? if not, what was the smartest thing you've ever done in business?
From a financial standpoint, it obviously is. but I would put teaching myself networking and becoming one of the first local area network integrators and developers in the country up there as my best business decisions.