One of this country's most successful businessmen, Mark Cuban has always been known for his extroverted demeanor and outspoken personality.
Today many young entrepreneurs hang on this man's every word and really try to follow the good insight Cuban has, but I can't lie sometimes it feels like he says things for shock value.
When asked to give advice to people who want to work in the sports industry; "Don't. The sports industry is the "worst possible business for a college graduate to try to get into. It doesn't pay s--t. There are a thousand people applying for every job."
When asked about becoming an overnight success; "It doesn't matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once and then everyone can tell you that you are an overnight success."
When asked how he makes it fun to work for him; "Keep a pulse on the stress levels and accomplishments of your people and reward them. My first company, MicroSolutions, when we had a record sales month, or someone did something special, I would walk around handing out $100 bills to salespeople.
At Broadcast.com and MicroSolutions, we had a company shot. The Kamikaze. We would take people to a bar every now and then and buy one or ten for everyone. At MicroSolutions, more often than not we had vendors cover the tab. Vendors always love a good party."
Again as I said Cuban always has something to say and since Cuban's rapid success he has been able to use his success as a platform to tell young entrepreneurs how to be success in business.
On the competition
“I don’t know, I don’t care, I just hope they suck.”
On customer service
"Treat your customers like they own you. Because they do."
"It's not about money or connections — it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone... And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time."
His advice for people who want to work in sports
"Don't." The sports industry is the "worst possible business for a college graduate to try to get into. It doesn't pay s--t. There are a thousand people applying for every job."
On Wall Street
"Wall Street used to be a place where you can raise capital to grow businesses. That's not the case anymore. Wall Street has become a platform for hackers."
On why "follow your passion" is the worst advice you could ever get
Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than one thing. We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really, really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel. Think about all the things you have been passionate about in your life. Think about all those passions that you considered making a career out of or building a company around. How many were or are there? Why did you bounce from one to another? Why were you not able to make a career or business out of any of those passions? Or if you have been able to have some success, what was the key to the success? Today's twenty-somethings were raised to find our dreams and follow them. But it's a different world. And as the jobless generation grows up, we realize the grand betrayal of the false idols of passion. This philosophy no longer works for us, or at most, feels incomplete. So what do we do? I propose a different frame of reference: Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems.
On why startups should never hire PR firms
"I'm a believer that you accomplish much, much more with direct relationships than by using an intermediary. And that cash you keep in the bank can be the difference between staying alive as a small business, or not."
On becoming an "overnight success"
"It doesn't matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once and then everyone can tell you that you are an overnight success."
On the biggest lie CEOs always tell
“We are acting in the best interests of shareholders.”
On getting a "guaranteed return."
"If you've got $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, you're better off paying off any debt you have because that's a guaranteed return."
On why the government should tax every share in every trade $.10
It might just put the market back to the basics of what the stock and bond markets are supposed to be, a means of raising capital to support corporate growth. There used to be a time when Investment Bank Partnerships made their money scouting out small companies in need of capital and matching them with investors. They weren’t as big as they are now, but they managed to create quite a few growth industries. Something we could use some of today. Making the stock market a launching pad for companies will have far greater value and impact employment far greater than making sure High Frequency Traders can get their trades in.
On how high schoolers can make "easy money" right now
Shoelaces. Say what ? Shoelaces. I said it. I guarantee you that if you go to the parking lot of any high school or college football game with a bunch of shoelaces in team colors that you bought for 2 bucks a pop,and put up a sign and 2 chairs, you can make money. Not football season? . Go to where ever there are people in your community. Flea Market.Basketball Game. Dance recital. Wherever people who go to your school show up , you show up. You set up your sign and your chairs. On the sign you put something like ” Get in the YourSchool spirit”. I will re lace your shoes with “YOURSCHOOL” color laces for $10 (small schools), $20 bucks (big schools with more drunk alums or lots of rich people). If you want to make it even more fun. You can add “I will lace them in 5 minutes or they are free”. If you are really enterprising, you can put up on the poster about 5 different ways to lace the shoes and charge a premium for anything but “Missionary” lacing. Easy money. Guaranteed.
On buying "swag" for your employees
"A sure sign of failure for a startup is when someone sends me logo-embroidered polo shirts. If your people are at shows and in public, it's okay to buy for your own employees, but if you really think people are going to wear your branded polo when they're out and about, you are mistaken and have no idea how to spend your money."
On what kind of business to start
"Don't start a company unless it's an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it's not an obsession."
On why startups should have no private offices.
"Open offices keep everyone in tune with what is going on and keep the energy up. If an employee is about privacy, show him or her how to use the lock on the bathroom."
On managers reporting to managers
"If you have managers reporting to managers in a startup, you will fail. Once you get beyond startup, if you have managers reporting to managers, you will create politics."
On making life fun for employees
"Keep a pulse on the stress levels and accomplishments of your people and reward them. My first company, MicroSolutions, when we had a record sales month, or someone did something special, I would walk around handing out $100 bills to salespeople. At Broadcast.com and MicroSolutions, we had a company shot. The Kamikaze. We would take people to a bar every now and then and buy one or ten for everyone. At MicroSolutions, more often than not we had vendors cover the tab. Vendors always love a good party."
On "conventional wisdom"
"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 industries, parties, or organizations to stand up and challenge the incumbents. It is usually a formula for losing a job, customer, or endorsement. My businesses are usually built around challenging conventional wisdom, so I tend to gain by taking the other side. It's been very profitable and entertaining for me."
"It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing."
Andrew Alvez | Elite.