The CEO that I have chosen to write about today is someone, who I believe can inspire anyone to become an entrepreneur. Mark Cuban, who today is worth $3.2 billion today, is a self-made entrepreneur originally from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. While many people only know of Mark Cuban as a shark on the well-known show Shark Tank and his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, he started with nearly nothing. From a young age, people around him knew he was going to be successful. When Cuban was only 12 years old, he started his own paper route, sold garbage bags and posit stamps in his hometown. It was clear that from a young age he had his sights on making money. As Mark grew up, his entrepreneurial spirit did not fade at all. He co-founded his own Bar in college which for a while was very successful and after graduating created a company called Micro Solutions which was eventually bought for 6 million dollars. This was only the beginning for Cuban.
In 1995, Mark Cuban co-founded a company call Audionet, which eventually became broadcast.com. The concept was simple, he merely brought live radio and video streaming to the internet. While he was not an expert in software or programming, he led the company to extreme success. The internet boom was in full swing and thousands of people were using broadcast.com and eventually the company went public. The company set a record for the highest percentage increase on an opening day. Mark attributes the success of the company mostly to timing and luck. But as we see Cuban’s career you have to wonder what it is that Cuban is doing that has made him so successful. Broadcast.com approached Yahoo, one of the most notable Silicon Valley companies, at the time. Yahoo bought Cuban’s company out for $5.7 billion. Cuban could have retired easily, however, he was not done yet.
Not long after the buy-out, Cuban, a sports fanatic, bought the Dallas Mavericks, one of the worst teams in the NBA. Cuban, I believe, saw this as an opportunity for success. He drastically changed the mentality and atmosphere of the team. Cuban renovated the clubhouse and weight room, bought a new jet that could comfortably fit the players, and improved the hotel accommodations for them as well. Something that had never been a point of interest for the Mavericks or any other team at that time. Cuban also made himself a part of the team, in a way. He sat court side and would yell at the referees and got amped during the games, at times too amped. He was fined several hundred thousands of dollars for his comments made during the games. Which drew a lot of attention to both him and, more importantly, the team. In his first year as owner, the team value leaped $50 million, attendance increased by 30%, and the team went to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Within three years the team won a National Championship.
Today, Mark is still the owner of the Mavericks, and a few other companies, he also is one of the shark investors on the popular show Shark Tank. Now while Mark has taken some criticism, I believe his passion and enthusiasm for whatever he puts himself into is unprecedented and should not be ignored. All entrepreneurs must have these attributes, otherwise, they will never succeed. I always wondered if Mark Cuban was someone who only cared about money, and I do not think he is, most successful entrepreneurs are not. I believe he cares about helping a company meet its fullest potential. While he is a fantastic manager, I believe what Cuban does best is advertising and market. He cameos in blockbuster films as himself, he sat court side at the Mavericks games and screamed at referees to get people excited, and he has become one of the most notable entrepreneurs in the United States, if not the World. What I like most about him though is his can-do attitude, without one any entrepreneur will fail.
I picked Mark simply because he is an inspiration and if anyone had his attitude towards whatever endeavor that person will find success.