Mark Cuban-The “Mavericks” Self Made Billionaire
Mark Cuban first trailed the entrepreneurial path when he was 12 years old by selling garbage bags door to door so as to buy a pair of basketball shoes which he had being eyeing for a while. He was brought up to go after what he wanted rather than having his parents get it all for him and this early experience as well as upbringing may be why he has become a successful entrepreneur and investor over the years by mastering most of the hoops of the business world which others have found difficult to keep up with and today our focus is on the self-made billionaire, philanthropist, investor and Dallas Mavericks owner.
Mark Cuban’s Bio
Born: 31 July 1958 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S)
Spouse: Tiffany Stewart
Occupation: Owner of Dallas Mavericks, Co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, Chairman of AXS TV, Owner of Landmark Theaters, Owner of Magnolia Pictures, Author, TV personality (Shark Tank), Philanthropist and Investor.
Net Worth: $2.3 B (As of September 2012)
Mark Cuban’s Early Life
Mark Cuban was born in 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Norton Cuban and Shirley Cuban and he was brought up in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon in a Jewish working class family. His father Norton Cuban worked as an automobile upholsterer for nearly half a century. Mark’s initial surname was “Chabenisky” but it was later changed to “Cuban”.
While still in his junior year in high school, Mark Cuban began taking psychology classes at the University of Pittsburgh and instead of attending his senior year, he enrolled to join the University of Pittsburgh as a full time student though he transferred after one year to join Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and in 1981, he graduated from the Kelley School of Business with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He chose the Kelley School of Business without even setting foot on it leave alone seeing it because its tuition fees was the least expensive compared to all the other business schools in the top 10 list.
Mark Cuban and Tiffany Stewart tied the knot on September 2002 in Barbados. The couple’s first daughter Alexis Sofia was born on September 25, 2005, their second daughter Alyssa was born in 2007 and their third child, a son was born in early 2010. The Cuban’s live in Preston Hollow in the Dallas area in a 24,000 square foot mansion.
Mark Cuban Ventures Into Business
Mark Cuban first ventured into business at a tender age of 12. He wanted to buy a pair of basketball shoes but when his father said he didn’t have the money, he put his brain to work and came up with a business idea to sell garbage bags in order to raise the money he needed to buy the pair of basketball shoes.
When he was a student, Mark Cuban paid for his own tuition and to get the money, he tried his hand at various jobs and a couple of them included working as a party promoter and even a disco instructor at sororities which later saw him hosting lavish dance parties at the Bloomington National Guard armory. He also bought a popular college hangout on Kirkwood Avenue called Motley’s Pub. He used a chain letter to pay for his junior year.
After he graduated from the Kelley School of Business with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Mark Cuban moved back to Pittsburgh where he worked for Mellon Bank. As he studied more and more about machines and networking, he felt he needed to broaden his experience and in 1982, Mark Cuban moved to Dallas, Texas. The first job to come his way was that of a bartender and shortly after he worked as salesperson for Your Business Software; one of the first PC software retailers in Dallas, Texas. He was however fired after 12 months for trying to acquire new business for the firm by meeting up with a client to discuss the logistics. His boss argued that he should have been opening up the store and preparing for customers to come strolling in and not playing the management’s role.
After Cuban got his job terminated, he and his business partner Martin Woodall started MircoSolutions, a national system integrator and software reseller in 1983 with help from his previous clients at Your Business Software. In 1990, Mark Cuban sold MicroSolutions to CompuServe for $6 million making approximately $2 million after taxes.
In 1995, Mark Cuban teamed up with Todd Wagner, a fellow Indiana University alumnus and the duo started Audionet using only one server and a single ISDN line. In 1998, Audionet became Broadcast.com, a video and audio portal which grew to employ 330 people and it registered about $13.5 million in revenue in Q2. Broadcast.com was in 1999 acquired by Yahoo for $5.7 Billion in stock during the dot com boom.
Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner once again worked together to create 2929 Entertainment, a company that integrates and distributes films and video. On 24th September 2003, 2929 Entertainment acquired Landmark Theaters (inclusive of 58 movie theaters) and in January 2006, they released a movie called Bubble in theaters and DVD on the same day.
In 2005, Mark Cuban invested in Brondell Inc., a San Francisco startup that made high tech toilet seats called Swash and also in Goowy Mdia Inc., an internet software startup located in San Diego. The following year, he invested in Sharesleuth.com; a website created by Christopher Carey and whose main agenda was to highlight fraud and misinformation in publicly traded companies.
Mark Cuban is the owner of IceRocket, a search engine which searches the blogosphere for content and at one point he was an investor in Weblogs, Inc. before AOL acquired it. He’s also invested in several startups like Mahalo, JungleCents.com, motionloft.com, Filesanywhere.com, Naked Pizza and 140Fire.com just to mention a few.
Mark Cuban owns Magnolia Pictures and he’s the co-founder of AXS TV, the very first High Definition satellite TV Network. He also owns a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment.
He is currently the owner and chairman of HDNet. HDNet together with HDNet Movies, are one of the very few U.S TV networks that are independently owned and operated. Under Cuban’s leadership and that of Philip Garvin, the networks co-founder, HDNet has continued to outperform TV networks owned by larger corporations and which have greater distribution channels.
Mark Cuban The Shark Tank Investor
Mark Cuban is an investor in the Shark Tank Show and he’s notorious for giving people
a 30 second timer to either take his offer or lose it but other than that, he’s a great shark who first lets the others fight it out before placing his offer on the table.
Shark Tank is an American Reality TV show produced by Mark Burnett and aired on ABC television. The show basically involves entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas to a group of five investors better known as the sharks who are willing to invest in start-ups that they see as promising and if the idea is good enough, they’ll even fight each other for a piece of the cake (in monetary terms of course). The show first premiered on August 9th 2009 and it’s the US version of the Dragons’ Den.
Mark Cuban And The Dallas Mavericks
On 4thJanuary 2000, Mark Cuban parted with $285 million to purchase a majority stake in NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, from H. Ross Perot, Jr.
Before Cuban bought the team/majority or it, the Mavericks had only won 40% of their games in a span of 20 years but after the purchase, the Mavericks won 69% of their regular season games in the next 10 years managing to reach the playoffs in each of those seasons. On 12th June 2011, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat to win the NBA finals.
Whereas NBA team owners are discrete in their activities and follow the games from skyboxes, Mark Cuban sits together with the fans cheering his team and he’s been fined at least $1,665,000 for the 13 or more times for either yelling at the game officials or players of the opposing team. He uses his Gulfstream V jet to attend their road games.
Mark Cuban The Author
In April 2007, Mark Cuban partnered with Mascot Books to publish Let’s Go, Mavs! ; His first children’s book. He’s also written a motivational e-book titled “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It”. In the e-book, Cuban shares his experiences in life, business and sports. It was released on November 2011.
Mark Cuban The Blogger
Mark Cuban has a weblog called blog maverick where he writes about issues he feels needs attention. Some of his posts include:
- What I Really Think About Facebook
- Entrepreneurs, Investors and Financial Engineers – Not All are “BusinessPeople”
- What Business is Wall Street In ?
Mark Cuban And The Fallen Patriot Fund
Mark Cuban started the Fallen Patriot Fund which is aimed at helping the families of U.S. military soldiers who were either killed or injured during the Iraq War. He matched the first $1 million in contributions with funds from the Mark Cuban Foundation which is run by his brother Brian Cuban.
Mark Cuban’s And Donald Trump’s “Feud”
After Billionaire and real estate mogul Donald Trump said in a video on October 24 2012, that he would give $5 million to a charity of President Obama’s choice if the president released his passport applications and academic transcripts, fellow Billionaire Mark Cuban reacted by mocking Trump’s offer to President Obama on Fox 4 News in Dallas. Cuban’s words were “The offer he made for $5 million, that was one of the dumbest things ever “and he went ahead to offer Trump $1 million to a charity of his choosing if Trump shaves his head. What followed was a Billionaire twitter feud.
After Mark paid $40 million for his Gulfstream V jet in October 1999, the Guinness Book of Records credited him as having had the “largest single e-commerce transaction” in history. In April 2011, Mark Cuban announced that he was willing to sell the Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures but only to an offer which according to him would be “very, very compelling”
“When you’ve got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?”-Mark Cuban