Mark Cuban

December 24, 2012

Mark Cuban, this is my AMA

ask me anything, im ready to go

Hi Mr. Cuban, I am aware of your past endeavours in technology and investments on the show "Shark Tank" (which I am a big fan of). I have an idea of an app that I could develop that would be a very successful business if I had the funds to create the needed equipment. I only ask for you to follow up so I can tell you more about it, as I do not want to post it in public.

I also have another question: Do you still speak to former mavs players who left the team?

Thank you and Merry Chirstmas to you and your family.

You have to do that work yourself. There are no shortcuts. And for apps, its never about funds. You know someone who can develop an app. You just have to convince them its worth the time and effort.

and Yes, I talk to a bunch of former mavs !

Hey Mark, been a long time Mavs fan (definate MFFL) so it's an honor to have the opportunity to be able to ask you some questions. Also, welcome to Reddit! Here are several questions I came up with:

And lastly...

And by the way, just to show I'm not bluffing about the MFFL thing, here's my wall in my room. And those pictures of Carter, Beaubois (covered by my hand), and Wright are autographed. Sadly part of the Carter one ended up smearing slightly.

you can call me cubes as long as you arent asking me for money !

yes im aware of the gifs. Usually when im pissed about something. Which makes it funny, even to me.

yada yada on the rest :)

Dear Mark,

First of all thank you for doing this. I'm a big fan of you both as such an involved owner of the Mavericks despite living in South Florida (go Heat!) and as a Shark on Shark Tank.

I'm here with a plea from everyone living in south florida. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider buying the Dolphins from Stephen Ross. You would have so much fun owning them and we would have fun as fans of a team you own. Please consider it. Thank you.

Also I'm offering 30% equity in my company of an online link sharing website for $100000 are you in?

i get asked to buy every team that is struggling . Im happy owning the mavs and im sure the way we have played recently, some Mavs fans are asking other owners of teams to buy the Mavs from me !

I bleed Mavs colors and always will , dont know if i have enough in me to go the same length for a 2nd team

What are some must read books you would recommend to any inspiring entrepreneur? (Besides yours, which was a great read!)

Every entrepreneur should read How to Win at the Sport of Business

is the link. Other books really depend on what you are interested in. I like to read biographies of successful people . Ted Turner's bio was always big for me because he worked hard and played hard.

I also love Ayn Rand books , purely for motivation. I dont get into the whole ethos and political aspects of her writing

Do you think the increased number of technical fouls called is necessary, or are the refs being a little too sensitive?

I think a tech is more a reflection on the officiating than it is on the player with the exception being the guys who just love to yell. ie, the old school Rasheed Wallace.

There are so many fewer techs in college and the coaches in particular there get a lot more beligerant than what you see in the NBA

Why are you doing an AMA on Christmas Eve?

because I can.

Hey, Mr. Cuban.

Why do basketball players only get recognition after they’ve been a part of a championship team? For instance, Dirk has been an amazing player for 10 years now, but only got the respect he truly deserved from fans after having a championship caliber supporting cast (Including coaches) around him. If it’s a team game, why do players only get appreciated after they accomplish something that’s mostly out of their control (Since, most of the time, they don’t decide who they get to play with)?

Thats the stupid , macho element of all professional sports. Its a lot easier to just pin a lable on someone than to actually do the work to determine the impact of a player. ITs the same reason everyone over values scoring in the NBA. Scoring is usually the easiest part of the game.

Do you play Minecraft?


What is your opinion regarding "super teams" stacked with stars that choose to all play together akin to Miami and La. Also how do you think this will effect smaller market teams who likely wouldn't be able to attract star players.

Its too early to tell under the new CBA. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. One thing i truly believe is that active players are not very good general managers. So the combos of stars may or may not work. Time will tell

What is something everyone should know before starting a small business?

its not about the idea, its about how prepared you are. Everyone has ideas, most dont do the work required to get the job done. The 2nd thing you need to know is that sales are the most important aspect of a small business. No sales, no company.

Complete the sentence. David Stern is _______.

a great tailor :)

Could you send me $2000 to finish my computer?

you didnt get the paypal notice ? Sorry, guess it went to the wrong guy :)

Mark, dallasite here, where do you see the team ending up in terms of a realistic playoff seed? im putting as at a 5 or 6, thoughts?

also, is the process to get on shark tank really hard? I have a business but im not sure what the process is!

I dont make predictions. Im not happy with how we have played so far, but with dirk back and us finally having a full roster, this will be our chance to make a move. Im on myway to practice right after this. So im ready for us to start gelling as a team

to get on shark tank go to i think it is. Im not involved in that process, so i really dont know.

First of all, congrats on the 2010-2011 championship and thank you for taking the time to do this. Two questions:

  1. What are your thoughts on the Spurs benching controversy? As an owner and businessman, do you see yourself agreeing with the commissioner?

  2. Your organization dealt with a player suffering from bipolar disorder (Delonte West). In light of DeMarcus Cousins' suspension and the Royce White situation, what are some of the challenges of managing players with behavioral or mental health conditions?

I agreed with the commish on it. TV is our lifeblood as a league. You cant screw with the money maker

  1. We as a team/league have to be proactive. The Mavs have a full time psychologist that travels with the team and sits behind the bench. Doesnt matter what your skill and physical gifts are if you cant get your head right. We think its the next big dimensional change in sports. Working with the mental aspect of life and the game with our players

How's your relationship with Skip Bayless?

who ?

Could you further explain your stance on taxes for businesses? I've seen where you said that taxes essentially don't matter for business. That entrepreneurs will still start a business because they don't say, "Wow, I have a great idea but the tax rate is too high." Still, wouldn't it be helpful to have lower taxes because when those entrepreneurs sell their business, they have more money left to fund other businesses? If I sell my business for $1MM and capital gains is 5% higher than it is now, that's $50K that I can't invest in startups. That's easily 5 less businesses that will have to find capital elsewhere.

like everyone else, i want taxes lower. MOre money - more choices. BUT, i believe in taking responsibility for the circumstances we find ourselves in. As a citizen I voted for a bunch of the idiots in office. When they were doing stupid shit, I stood by quietly. Even when i spoke up, it didnt impact anything.

So while I believe that lower taxes are good. I recognize that i was part of the problem. And given that we are in the middle of a big problem, what i believe is the optimal way doesnt matter.

What matters now is fixing the problem . Unfortunately the way to fix the problem is to have those who can pay more to pay more.

Ive been proactive individually, Ive written checks to the City of Dallas. Ive written big checks for disasters where i Know that anything not financed privately is going to come from taxpayers. So its my small way of trying to help

I think all these politicians who ignore the current context/realities of where we are hurt more than help

If it were up to me i would increase taxes and create metrics that triggered declines. If the unemployment rate falls to 6pct nationally and the Deb/t GDP ratio declines to a specified amount , we lower taxes.

If it goes the other way, we increase them further on the wealthy

I could go on for days on ideas, but no one is listening to me :)


Everyowner has to make their own decision. I Love the Mavs, love basketball and this is my style for all of my businesses. Plus, I couldnt see writing a check for hundreds of millions of dollars and not being involved, could you ?

I know you're a big sports fan so in curious what you about the future of soccer in America? Will it gain more traction or do you think it's peaking now?

no idea

Do you watch Doctor Who?

not in a long time

Looking back in hindsight, do you regret not resigning Tyson Chandler after he became the defensive player of the year and continues to be the corner stone of New York's D? Or do you still believe in your ability to sign a big free agent this off season? and thanks for being such a great owner. I have always trusted the front offices decisions and am a Mav fan for life.

i believe that you have to build a team to win a championship. We could have stayed with the players we had, but if we were wrong, we would be in a bad spot for a lot of years. Im happy for Ty and the way he is playing but lets see who comes out of the east.

I say it all the time, there is 1 winner and everyone else is tied for last. I dont want to be tied for last, i want to win another trophy. Which is what led to the decisions i made.

Mark, what got you motivated to owning and running an NBA franchise? Is it worth the stress and toil at the end of the day?

it is a lot of stress but its really a unique challenge and opportunity. There are only 30 of these jobs . When we lose its still painful. It will be 13years next week and losses hurt just about as bad today as they did day one

mybig challenge is to make sure that stress and my competitive nature doesnt spill over to my family

What do you think of Damian Lillard so far this year? And where do you think the Blazers will end up this year, or within the next few years? Bright future or inevitable "treadmill of mediocrity?"

Glad to see an owner that's so human win a championship. It's obvious you care about your team and I was happy for you guys in 2011 even though you knocked my Blazers out of the first round.

he is a beast and he has a great choice. Nothing but upside for him

Dirk Nowiztki?

im just glad he is back !

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen someone do whilst trying to pitch their product on Shark Tank? I'm talking either on or off air, preferably the latter.

Thanks, Mark.

the ion watch deal was pretty much it. You cant come on expecting to scam us. We will nail you.

Thoughts on Deron Williams?


Thanks for doing this! What do you think gives the Mavs an advantage in a stacked Western Conference this year, whether it be how the coaching staff game plans or certain personnel advantages? Do you think there will be any difficulty in having Dirk and Mayo on the floor at the same time in a sort of Stoudemire/Melo situation? What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur?

I think dirk will help OJ's game a bunch. Up till now teams have really overloaded their Ds to stop OJ. With Dirk back it should open things up for OJ and the rest of our offense.

If we can stop turning the ball over we will ok. If not, not. The turnovers are driving me crazier than this damn kidney stone surgery Ive had to deal with. I think the turnovers are more painful

When investing in a deal on SharkTank, what sort of upside are you looking for and in what time frame? Looking to make 10x your investment in 4 years, for instance?

I NEVER invest in a business with an exit expectation. Iinvest hoping that they will return cash to me every year and grow to be a huge business. IN a perfect world, none of these are ever sold, they just pay me..

I think the expectation of an exit is one of the worst things that has happened to entrepreneurs over the last 3 or 4 years. People come to me with plans that talk about who might buy them rather than how much cash they can create. Thats not a good way to start a company


i think that the physical trauma elements of both the NHL and NFL will catch up to them. You are already seeing the best athletes shy away from football at the high school level (this is anectdotal on my part, not from research).

If the NFL loses the best athletes and the quality of play declines they may have to change the rules and that could have a negative long term impact on the game

Hi Mark,

I watch first take (to the chagrin of many others), just want to know how actually are Stephen A and Skip Bayless off the set (personality-wise)? Also, thanks for laying down some knowledge on Skip while you were there!

ive talked to stephen A a lot outside of interviews in the past and like him. Never had a convo with bayless

It's hilarious that he seems to go for the most downvoted first. :D

im just going through them all

From the list of FA's available next year, which one might seem like a good signing for the Mavericks?

its way too early to even consider that now. Why ? because it will change 20 times before we get to the summer. If the right trade comes along I will pull the trigger and we might not have any cap room !

Any hope of you still buying the Buccos?


First off, thanks for being outspoken about the broken patent laws.

It's been a little over a month since you decided to step back a bit from Facebook and, as you put it, moved it to the bottom of a long list. I know a month may not be a very long time to give a good sign of how that's going, but I am still curious how you feel this has affected your brands, if at all? I imagine more emphasis on other social networks may benefit you in other ways, but I am very curious to hear how your drawback from Facebook has been so far.

actually it has really helped. IN particular for AXS.TV ( )

while we continue to use FB and even invested in a company, that works to optimize facebook, we have taken the time to explore the new myspace, work on tumblr, pinterest and other options.

I think FB is going to have some challenges going forward. Its going to be interesting to see what happens from a user perspective.

Just to suss that out a bit -- how has stepping away from marketing on FB helped AXS?

Curious, if you don't mind going into a bit more detail.

it made us take a hard look at the other options and really get involved with them as a hedge. I believe the aggregate value of the other options will offer more opportunity for brands than FB alone

What was your reaction to Lebron leaving the cavs in 2010?

i was surprised

Hi Mark, thanks for taking your time answering our questions today. Appreciate it.

Now, I was wondering, how come you decided to sign Derek Fisher instead of signing someone out of the D-League? If it was for leadership, how much do you value leadership?

Leadership is important in the NBA. Very important. ALmost as important as the culture of the team and locker room

On Shark Tank, how many of the deals get modified or cancelled after the cameras stop rolling? Also, have you ever decided to make a deal with someone after the cameras stop?

we get the chance to do due diligence after the show. As a result you uncover things that were not brought up in the show , so its not unusual for a deal to fall through in the DD phase. I have had things like people who never paid their taxes, people who lied on the show, people who didnt think that if they spent money on their personal credit cards it should be considered an expense., you name it.

There is so much pressure on the entrepeneur during the show that sometimes they say what they think we want to hear rather than the truth. The DD helps us seperate the two

How many of the deals have you had to break off in the DD phase?

probably about 25pct of them have something wrong

I hate to be so straight forward, but what does a billionaire buy his kids for Christmas?

the same junk that everyone else buys.

What impact ESPNs/other media outlets style of coverage (the headline and narrative being far more important than the truth of the story) has had on rosters, coaches, players, and the NBA in general?

credit to /u/MYBEANS

The fact that they are headline driven rather than substance driven impacts our marketing more than anything else. I dont care what someone at ESPN says, but our fans do. At least that subset of fans that are hard core Mavs fans do. So we have to be aware of what they are saying and be readyto respond to questions from those fans.

From a league perspective its a weird dynamic. ESPN pretends to be a journalistic source of information about the NBA, and they are a huge broadcast partner.

It creates a lot of hypocritical circumstances that we have to deal with. But that is the nature of pro sports these days

Please, I must know. What is your deal with the San Antonio Spurs? Why do you hate them so much?

i totally respect the Spurs. But I respect the business of the NBA just as much. Our rivalry over the past 13 years has been amazing, but no one knows about it expect people in Texas.

When i talk about the Spurs its purely with my NBA marketing hat on. I like the city and respect Peter Holt and the team

ok maybe i still hate that muddy assed thing they call the riverwalk :)

How many of your investments on Shark Tank actually make a profit?

ive only lost money on 1, toygaroo.

Hey, Mark, I have two questions. As a Rockets fan, I want to know what your opinion is on Daryl Morey. Both from a professional and personal standpoint. Also, who is your least favorite entrepreneur on Shark Tank?

im a fan of Daryls. But i hope for obvious reasons that he fails miserably :)

as far as other sharks, they are all tied for last !

Hey Mark, I’m a senior in high school and applying right now to schools (Already got into Kelley School of Business!) and I know that I want to do something in the field of business. Do any tips or suggestions for me once I’m in college to get going in the right direction?

learn as much as you can about business. ANyone with an interest in business should take accounting, sales, marketing, finance and business law.

You want to be able to control your own destiny and not be completely dependent on others to do basic things.

If you dont understand accounting and cant figure out your own P&L and BS you start in the business world with one hand tied behind your back.

k this is going to be a weird set of questions but how often do I get to ask this to a billionaire?

1) When you buy something on Amazon or something, do you ever look at the prices? Or do you just buy whatever looks good and have it ship overnight?

2) Let's say that you're looking for a new mp3 player and earbuds and can't decide which to buy, do you just buy whatever one you think is best? Or do you just go "fuck this, I'm a billionaire, and I'll just buy everything & throw away the rest"

3) Speaking of which, what kind of laptop do you own? And mp3 player? Are they customized or are they whatever is on the market?

  1. i always look at the prices. And I belong to Prime to get better rates
  2. I buy the one i like. I dont throw shit away like that
  3. I have a MacBook Air, but am trying the new Acer with Windows 8. I really, really like Windows 8 on my phone. I have 2 phones. first is samsung the 2nd was an Iphone5. THe new Nokia with windows replaced my Iphone 5

What? You mean you don't use T-Mobile 4G? Color me shocked!!!

i actually do on my samsung. I love the tmobile wifi calling option. I love the open Android and Samsung platforms. I use a replacement keyboard sw which increases my typing speed (i still miss the speed typing on my sidekick).

I love myIPad and my macbook air is amazing when it doesnt crash, so i like apple products, but i think as far as phones, both Samsung 3 w android and the windows phone kick the Iphone's ass. Its not even close.

dang really?? is the Nokia really as good as they say it is!?! what do you like about it over the iphone5?!?!

can i have your old iphone 5?? nervous laugh

edit: WTF!?!? i get downvoted for asking Cubes' opinion on his new phone!?!?

it crushes the IPhone 5. not even close

I’d first like to say thanks for doing this, and you’re by far my favorite owner in professional sports. I have two questions. My dad grew up in Pittsburgh, so I’m a Pirates fan (unfortunately), and I’ve heard about you trying to buy the Pirates several times. What were your experiences with that? Do you think the other owners were afraid of you or something? Also, you and the Mavericks often get the short end of the stick when it comes to policies in the NBA. Like that one time where you got fined for just talking about Lebron, but New York was left untouched when they were publicly putting together a celebrity recruiting team to try and get him on the Knicks. Have you ever thought about starting your own league, like an ABA? There’s a lot of bullshit in the NBA, and you seem like the only guy in the league that’s not willing to put up with it. Thanks again.

the BS in the NBA is nothing compared to MLB. Its probably better that MLB didnt let me in. They would hate me

Your "24 second shot clock" rule on SharkTank is definitely a little gimmicky and something influenced by being on TV. Do you think it is good business practice as well? What are the benefits to you of putting this time pressure on an entrepreneur?

its a horrible business practice in the real world. BUT, you cant let things drag on forever. People have to get to the point where they make a decision.

If you could change one thing about the NBA, what would it be?

Also, thank you for voting against the Sonic's move to OKC.

the officiating. Ive spent 13 years trying to make it better and I havent really accomplished anything.

Do you think the NBA should change towards the FIBA rules for goaltending and offensive interference?

No. Our game , our rules. I want a game that sets an example for young kids playing the game. If we change to fiba rules it creates confusion because the rules would be vastly different from college and younger rules.

In regards to the officiating, which rules need to be watched (corrected) the most?

I think we have to re evaluate the mechanics of officiating . We miss far too many 3 secs and travelling calls. I think we need to devise a way where officials can help each other more. Right now its very limited when and how officials can help change a call

Mark, I'm 15 years old I've seen every Shark Tank episode there is. I am a huge fan, when I watch the show every deal that I would make if I was there you end up making.

I dream to be an entrepreneur soon enough. What is your advice for someone like me coming out of high school.

take all the business classes that you can. Step away from the XBox and read as much as you can about businesss and people who have been successful in business.

  1. How did it feel after so many years as the owner of the Mavericks to finally see them win a NBA title?

  2. With your own personal successes and your experience with shows like "Shark Tank", what advice would you give to any upstarting entrepreneurs?

Thank You for answering our questions and Happy Holidays!

  1. it was amazing. Now i want another one even more
  2. read my book. Seriously. It has all the advice i would give

Hi Mark, What's your best motivational piece of advice for someone who is down on themselves? I once read in your book that there were times you woke up in the morning and didn't feel like crawling out of bed, what did you tell yourself to keep yourself motivated to succeed no matter what?

we all get down on ourselves. When the Mavs lose a game, whether its one point or a blowout, i feel horrible. I really have to push myself to focus and get back on track. It used to take me a couple days. Now fortunately its just that night.

When im down like that I just remember mygoals . It was the same when i was 25 and broke. I remember my goals, and remind myself that im down there is no fucking way I am going to get where i want to go and i have to get my ass out of bed and get rolling.

99pct of the time it works. We all have bad days. We just haveto make sure we limit them to 1x every year or so and not every week

Hey Mark, what do you think of guys like LeBron going to Miami or Dwight going to LA to win now? I for one hate it, seeing as teams like my Timberwolves won't be able to get guys like that, and the only way we can develop a good team is to draft guys and sign c-list free agents. The big market teams get the big name guys, hands down. Do you think we're getting a LeBron? No. What do you think about all of this?

no question the big market teams with big market tv deals have a financial advantage. That said, the new CBA finally put some teeth into limiting player movement when a team is over the tax. For instance, the lakers couldnt do th esign and trade for Nash if it was this coming summer. So it will be interesting to see if teams that accumulated big dollar players can improve their teams

  1. in about 20 years
  2. We are wide open to trade talks. The way we are playing right now we will listen to anything. We wont rush into anything. But we will answer the phone

How do you feel about being rejected by MLB to own a franchise, especially when crooks and shady businessmen like Frank McCourt and Jeffrey Loria are allowed to run teams?

Also, do you still hold the opinion that there was something crooked about the officiating in the 2006 Finals?

  1. kind of crazy isnt it
  2. yes

Can you please get Lori Greiner into a Dallas Mavericks Cheerleader outfit?? Thanks Mark.

i will ask her :)

How much more do you want to expand into MMA? Love the work your network has done so far!

we love partnering with up and coming promotions. THere are a ton of good fighters out there. If a group can put together great fights , we want to talk to them

Hey Mark, thanks for doing this.

What's the best way an entrepreneur can pitch you a business, in terms of method of communication and content you'd like to see?


put the info /want/give in 3 paragraphs. If im interested i will get back to you, if not, not

What position did you play in rugby when you played in college? From a current college player at UD

started off at 2nd row. then moved to 8man and wing forward

On Jimmy Kimmel, you mentioned you clicked the receipt button once at an ATM to check your checking account balance and it being some insane number (around $300K if I remember correctly). Have you checked recently to see what it was?

yes and its more insane. I keep a lot of cash available for investments.

MOst people throw their money at investments trying to beat inflation or the market. I wait until somebody does something stupid and try to pounce. that is where the best deals are made

what was Mark Cuban like growing up?

no different than anyone else. Loved sports. Went to public school

Is Kris Jenner really very stage mom-y? And was that meeting awkward like the show made it seem? Just saying that I really like how down to earth you seem at all times. And you're the best part of that Shark Tank show ;)

i dont know her at all, and yes it was very awkward. I havent seen the show but it sounds like it was just as awkard on tv.



Hi Mr. Cuban thank you for doing this AMA. I have a couple questions about Shark Tank.

What has been your favorite product pitched on the show even if you didn't invest? What is Kevin O'Leary AKA Mr. Wonderful like off camera?

Happy Holidays!

There is a guy selling belts that will be on this season. he was my fave that i didnt do.

and Kev O is just your every day money grubbing, financial engineer . Unless he is drinking. then he is a blast :_ jk

What advice would you give to an undecided college student finished with general studies and eager to get a degree?

pick a school that you can afford to go to. Dont take on debt. Debt is the anchor you dont want when you graduate. It will force you do to things that may not be in your best long term interests

What is the NBA and its ownership doing to improve the quality of the product for the fans at home and in the stands?

i know the Mavs spend a fortune on in game entertainment. we want to make sure that its an outing that you remember for a long time. We work hard at it. I know many other teams follow our lead and copy us. So i think its improving around the league.

Do you have any interest in eSports? Starcraft 2, league of legends, Dota, counter strike. The industry could use someone like you

Ive looked at MLG and talked to folks in the business. Its interesting. But i havent had the time to take a deep dive look at it yet

Hey Mark. I'm a highly talented individual who is interested in being part of an NBA front office, with a goal of becoming a general manager within twenty years. How could I get my foot in the door and get this plan rolling?

your best bet is to pick another job. The #1 job of a GM in the NBA and all of pro sports is to keep their job. They are tough to come by.

Hi. I have a couple questions. 1. Why did you originally want to get bracelets instead of rings for the Mavs when you won the championship? What made you switch back to rings? 2. What is your opinion on the belief that you need multiple superstars to win a championship?

i wanted to do something different and more memorable. As it turns out, IM glad the guys convinced me to stay with rings. Although i have never worn my since we were presented them. I think it reflects the past. I want many more and wantthe motivation of naked fingers :)

I think you need a great team to win. How that team is built depends on the skill set of your best 5 players.

HOO HOO HOO _______!!!!!!

What's your advice for a Kelley entrepreneur major graduating in Spring who still hasn't found the right job?

there is no such thing as the right job.

whatever job you take, you are getting paid to learn. You will learn more from a bad company than you did in school.

I always recommend taking the job and learning as much as you can from it, and you can learn from any job, and then using that knowledge to help you get to the next job.

You're in a position to see and guide the future of the internet. what are some things you'd like to see happen and what are some bad things you don't want to happen?

thats a great question.

I want to see an open API for broadband where we can create apps that leverage 100MBS throughput rather than just putting all apps out in a contentious environment.

that said, i dont want google, apple, etc being able to pay for preferential performance. But i do want high end apps, like medical apps to know they can get bandwidth .

its going to be very interesting to see what apps can pop up on Google Fiber in KC

Hey Mark, how close did you come to buying the Cubs?

not close at all. When I couldnt get the owner of the Cubs to sit in a room with me that pretty much told me it wasnt going to happen. I never made a final formal bid

Would you ever consider buying the Cowboys from jerry?

i couldnt afford an nfl team

Who are you?


What are you thoughts on the Michael Jordan conspiracy theory? Do you believe in any other way that David Stern "controls" the NBA in any other shady ways?

No. i dont believe in that David "controls" the NBA in any way

Thoughts on the NHL lockout?

the nhl has to use this lockout to fix its problems. You cant have every team south of the Mason Dixon line going broke every year

Mark, I've got a TV show that I created, own and is ready for broadcast. 6 one hour episodes... IDEAL for HDNet. Perhaps you'll check it out.

we arent HDNet any longer. we are AXS TV.

and for that reason, IM out !

Did you fantasize about being rich when you were young, like on your blog you said you drove by the big houses and said you'd live there one day. Doesn't that contradict your other piece of advice that too many people spend their time dreaming/talking about what they're going to do instead of actually doing the hard work necessary?

i day dreamed for motivation. I didnt lie to myself and talk about my passions and how if i was passionate enough about something i could be successful at it.

I was lucky. I grew up knowing that hard work and smar twork was a greater impact on results than being passionate about something.

How well do you know Adam Silver? Do you think he will be a good fit to replace David Stern when he steps down?

i think he will be great

Describe your experience on "Trust Us With You're Life"

those guys were great . I had a blast doing the show

What led you to become an entrepreneur? As a multifaceted CEO how do you stayed informed across the technical and business aspects of your company? Is pimpin easy?

i work my ass off to keep up with tech/business/NBA.

and pimpin ain't supposed to be easy :)

Hi mark,

There seems to be this stigma in the NBA, that no one really wants to play for the Toronto Raptors especially superstars. I myself have lived there in the past and its a wonderful city and i can't see why anyone wouldn't want to live there. Canada is a great place to live but it seems to really scare players away, it could be the high taxes or the cold weather, but other teams have that too.

Why do you think Toronto is avoided by major NBA stars?

i dont get that either. I think TO is an amazing city

You own Magnolia pictures. Magnolia pictures owns the movie V/H/S. I'm a director on the movie. So this is how we meet. Reddit.

nice to meet you. Great movie !

everyone should check out and in particular V/H/S

How do you like being on the "shark tank"? Is it very scripted or do you guys speak freely?

shark tank is not scripted at all. When the entrepreneur walks into the shark tank the ONLY thing we know is their first name. NOTHING else.

the only "Scripted" part of the show is this.....

the producers tell us before every show ---

If an entrepreneur looks like they are going to cry, shut up and let them. They love tears. Thats the only scripting

What are you most proud of?

my family. in particular my kids

Im excited about the Mavs and what we are doing at AXS TV and really what we are doing at all my businesses

[No question]

Im going to answer just a few more. Im getting hungry !

For more info on the companies Im invested in, you can go to and for more ideas on what it takes to be successful, check out my ebook

What car do you drive the most?

lexus hybrid

Come to the UK and do dragons den?

they have never asked me. THe bigger issue is that if i bought a company, i wouldnt have the time to really help them .

Just like basketball, pursueing a motorcycle road racing career, what would be your best advice. Lots of blood sweat and tears goes into mastering the skill. How do you cross the final bridge into doing it full time?

when you trust your skills enough to believe that you are gaining rather than risking something

I've been told that once professional athletes retire, many (some claim most) go on to bankruptcy, depression, even suicide.

Thoughts on this? Do leagues not provide any kind of support to help athletes prepare for life after retirement? Do these guys just get in the habit of extravagant spending and then don't stop once the money dries up?

the leagues and teams, at least the NBA provides a ton of support. The problem is that like any 20 something no player believes it will come to an end.

and when it does, it catches them un prepared.

Plus, so many of the players have zero financial literacy. Its not like you can just teach someone in a year how to become a finance expert. And not only do they not know business, they dont know how to pick someone to help them. So they pick friends and family who often times know less than the player.

Its a problem, but its not one the players as a group are trying to fix.

With the Mavs, I do my best to let every player know that they should run every business pitch or idea they get by me first. some do. Some dont

Have you ever "made it rain"?

no. thats dumb shit that people with real money dont do .

Mr Cuban, I live in a blackout area for the Mavs, but I do not receive the Mavs games on FSSW like i used to because of the Hornets(ewww)new tv deal. Any remedies for this? Even if i get NBA league pass the games will still be blacked out. Help me Mark, you're my only hope.


no. i wish i did. We have some really stupid 90 mile rules on broadcasting . I keep working hard to change them, but i havent been able to

You were on guest commentary for German television at a NBA All Star Game a couple of years ago. And during the 3 point shooting challenge you refered to Dirk as Dirty Dirk (or something like that). How did Dirk "earn" that nickname?

when we had nash and finley they were

dirk - dirty fin - filthy nash - nashty

we have called him dirty ever since

What is your most profitable investment from Shark Tank?

i have a bunch that are killing it to name a few.

they are all on

can you please somehow become involved in the NHL...i know that is a ridiculous question but i feel like you would expedite the process of this lockout somehow.

i would probably make it go longer until we got it all right

Hi Mr. Cuban,

Have you noticed a slowing down of series A funding in the tech startup world and if so, what are your thoughts?

Thanks for doing this!

there is a HUGE bubble in the Valley for tech startups. The valuations have gotten out of hand. When valuations go up beyond the reality point, the funding goes down.

its almost become like the movie business was 10 years ago. THere was so much dumb money coming in and so few actually making money that the suckers finally wised up.

Hey Mark, my dad and I watch Shark Tank all the time. Who is your favorite shark to work with or make a deal with? Who is, in your opinion, the best at what you do? What some successful business partnerships with other sharks, if any?

Oh, and what do you guys do when you aren't filming? For example, Robert seems like a really nice guy in person, and Daymond really seems like a down to earth kind of guy. But does Kevin O'Leary just as money-minded and cold as the show plays him up to be?

Thanks for this AMA! Can't wait for more Shark Tank episodes!

there are some great examples, but i cant talk about them because we have a lot of eps that havent aired yet this season.

we are back to original eps on Jan 4th, so stay tuned and make sure to watch every friday on ABC !

Mark, if you could reboot/continue one tv series what would it be?

ALl in the Family. I think we need to have a character out there that is not PC and doesnt talk in phrases that a team of 10 writers had to compromise on

i think it would help the country

As an NBA owner, who do you think is really at fault for the NHL Lockout? What would you do if you were tasked with resolving the lockout?

i think the people who did the last deal . Anyone who thought the last deal after the lockout was a good deal was delusional

Mr Cuban, How did AXS tv get involved with MMA, Are you a big fan?

my choice. Im a fan


i hope so

Did the Iwanttodrawacatforyou partnership work out?

absolutely. he has paid me back my initial investment already !

iwant to draw a cat for you, cat for you !

google it 1

Why do VC's pour so much damn money into social network type businesses? They're a dime a dozen and IMO don't create a good enough long term ROI. We're going to see that with Facebook. Instagram didn't make one red cent but were bought for an absolute fortune. We still see social networking fledglings getting seed money out in the valley.

Any thoughts?

VCs look for the next big hit they can offload.

if someone can unseat facebook or twitter and someone will eventually, it would offer a huge return.

What is your daily driver?

im the most competitive person you will ever know. I hate to lose and love winning

Hey there Cubes, thanks so much for doing this. many of the AMA's are interesting but you are one of my idols and this is an opportunity I never expected to have. Now on to the question:

I am about to graduate from University of Washington with a business degree at the end of the next semester and I am concerned that I will just be one of the many out there with the same degree from similar schools.

1) What is some key advice you have for a recent graduate as far as finding a job in this market and standing out from the rest of my piers?

2) what was your first job, how did you get on the road from normal employee to billionaire...what was your first big step away from the average entrepreneur.

  1. you dont need to get the perfect job. You just need a job. Whatever job you take, you are getting paid to learn. You can take that knowledge and lever up. YOu can prove to your employer that you can be great at your job and hopefully get noticed.

If not, you can become a free agent and use what you learned to get your next job

  1. For me. i went through a bunch of BS jobs. check out my book for all the gory details

how does it feel to get owned by the Spurs consistently?

they took it to us last night, but last i looked we have won a ring more recently than the spurs and over the years we are pretty evenly matched

the spurs are agreat organization , but we havent done so bad either

how would you propose we go about solving the mortgage/housing industry? - specifically all the homes with negative equity and getting the banks and homeowners into beneficial and realistic solutions?

i would start tearing down empty homes. Just let the banks write off the mortgages, not count them against capital requirements if they tear them down.

It would reduce inventory enough to have a modest , but positive impacton the market

Quit wearing cargo shorts and prove your not a geed

ive always dreamed of being a geed

and what does it say about you that you pay attention to what kind of shorts i do or dont wear ?

Nick's English Hut or Kilroys on Kirkwood?

Motleys Pub - Now the Kirkwood i think.

As an entrepreneur in college debating between pursuing a job in the financial sector and starting my own business, what made you choose your line of work?

as a poor new grad, i had nothing to lose by starting my own business.

once you take on debt you lose a lot of flexibility and opportunity

What's the deal with Naked Pizza?

I used to work there, and it seems like you've been right on with the leadership stuff.

It's a good concept, to me. Delicious.

we took it over from some folks who had mismanaged it. we are turning it around slowlybut surely.

most importantly, its amazing pizza !

Hey Mark, was fun to see Nelly beat you guys one year but was totally rooting for you versus the Heat when you won it all. Great to see the thug Lakers get tossed out especially after being assholes to Barrea. Big fan on the shark tank too.

The debate one time on the Shark tank about manufacturing in the US was interesting. Do you see the manufacturing situation changing? China is running out of cheap labor and transportation only gets more expensive. I know there are other third world countries who can make widgets but in general is there a trend towards returning manufacturing to the US?

i think it will change drastically as we see more and more robotics and factory automation. Cheap labor cant compete with robotics.

when that happens we will still lose manufactoring jobs, but we will see the factories and the intelligence required to create the software to run them move back to the states.

its critical that we as a country dominate in robotics and factory automation. That is how we will take back manufacturing

Mark, on your blog you said industry knowledge from your time with MicroSolutions gave you an edge for trading, as a student, where can I immerse myself to learn the ins and outs? Are there sources, books etc. that you recommend, or certain people to 'network' with.

you just have to start digging in.

a site i use for business multiple times a day is and from there i read everythign i can.

I get about 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night. the rest i spend learning about everythign i can


i think an MBA is an absolute waste of money.

If you have a hole in your knowledge base , there are a ton of online courses you can take.

I dont give any advantage to someone in hiring because they have an mba

When is the last time you talked to Frances from IU?

we email all the time :)

Do you believe that the numerous books created by those deemed successful by society to merely be those successful people making money? Or, do you genuinely believe that the book is something worth the money?

i read a lot because of the value proposition

the cost of the book + the value of my time <=the value of one good idea to my business

across all the reading and my businesses, its been very valuable to me


from where ? sounds familiar

What was your favourite part of being involved in Entourage?

acting. It uses a part of my brain that is very different from business. Which makes it a huge challenge.

That is why you see me doing commercials, acting , film, its a unique challenge for me, which i love

Scarface or Top Gun?


Hello, thanks for doing this AMA and I am a soon-to-be college student interested in becoming an entrepreneur one day. When it comes to college would you advise going to community college to save money or going to a university and commuting? Thanks for answering!

only do what you can afford.

college is about learning to learn. its about challenging yourself.

If it were me and i were graduating from high school or close, i would be online taking as many of those MIT/Stanford classes that I could to push and challenge myself. And of course to get the actual knowledge.

I would find an inexpensive university close by and work with them to have them help me create a program that leveraged those online classes with the classes i needed from the school to get the best education at the best price.

Hey Mr. Cuban! I am an 19 year old guy, live in the Baltimore area and I believe I have a really good idea that could benefit both the outdoors man and the military but I'm so lost with what to do! All I have is the concept, I know it will take designers and engineers to create. I just have no capital! I really don't know where to start to gain capital. I am thinking about joining the Air National Guard but am not sure if thats really for me yet but my question is what key steps can I take in making my dream a reality. I do believe what you say about being prepared is extremely important. I just want to get a move on... but don't want to be taken advantage of by, well... sharks, haha! (Sorry for posting multiple times, this just seems like a great opportunity please don't hate me! :( )

capital is never an excuse. But you have found multiple excuses as to why you cant turn your idea in to a business.

why dont have learn all you need to learn to make it work without capital ?

sweat equity is the best equity

You seem to have a pretty strong libertarian streak. Care to confirm this? Expand your own political inclinations?

Also, I'm a native Dallasite and really appreciate you, and what you've done for the city and the Mavs. I also really appreciate you making the St. Patricks day parade happen. As a citizen of lower Greenville, you made my spring.

Thanks for making us proud.

i hate all politics and politicians. But i am a realist. I recognize that the worst position for a person to take is one that is pure ideology.

It doesnt work in business and it is what is really hurting this company.

I guess my new party affiliation is Realist.

Find solutions based on the circumstances we find ourselves in not circumstances we wished we are in

can i have some money? i dont even need a lot, a few thousand would be cool. i have dandruff and my kid has eczema, and this christmas it would mean the world to us if we could afford a cure.... and also, lots of stuff we dont need.

my kids have eczema too. we use this stuff called Simple Sugars scrub. Has worked so far

Hey Cubes, I will be graduating from college with degree in marketing in May. Do you have any advice for someone who would like to work in professional sports?

dont. get a real job

I don't have a question. But wanted to say thank you.

I've watched you a couple of times on Shark Tank and Entourage. Numerous times on sport shows and new outlets. And you always are the same genuinely nice person. Doesn't matter if the person is rich or poor. Its nice to know money doesn't change everyone. Well, unless someone is full of shit or has the facts wrong.

thank you


  1. you dont. if you are always stressed out now, it will be worse
  2. by the results you are getting

Has you're wealth affected you're relationships with family/friends? Do you have those awkward cousins you've never heard of asking you for cash?

when i first made money, yes. I had one guy ask me for 275k like it was no big deal. My real friends never ask, but because they are real friends and i know their situation, i offer when need be.



ive been there. If i walked into a grocery store and stood behind a friend and fired down some cheese whiz, it wouldnt be the first time.

Mac and cheese for life !

What's the most expensive gift you purchased for anyone this xmas?

under 200 dollars

Do you enjoy being on The Ticket when you are? What do you think of the Fake Mark Cuban?

ive actually never heard the fake mark cuban

The current digital economy seems like money is only made selling up. Many don't turn profits until sold (Instagram, maker, nerdist, iOS apps...) Is building an audience really more valuable than sales?

no. never.

Hey Mark, I am a third year Kinesiology student trying to decide between two masters programs, sport psychology & exercise physiology. Three questions: 1. What credentials and experience does the Mav's strength and conditioning coach have? Experience? 2. Do the Mavs have a dedicated, full-time sport psychologist? I read you had a psychologist behind the bench at all times, but what about a consulting psychologist who specialized in group dynamics, mental training, etc. ? 3. Do any of your companies, not just the Mav's, ever do co-op or work experience programs with post-secondary students?

  1. hack has been in the business for 15 years and has a degree in it, etc

  2. yes. those are all part of his responsibilities

Mr. Cuban, what is currently on repeat on your iPod?

i use my galaxy or windows phone, but its bangarang

You came in to my work and tipped 100 on a 50 dollar tab. You made the waitresses night. You sir, are a gentleman.

i worked as a bartender and waiter. I always try to tip well

What kind of music do you like?

dubstep, hip hop. old school funk

A couple of questions: - With regard to due diligence, how much of that do you simply pay someone to do? Accounting, legal, etc. There's a line over which I don't feel comfortable / competent to cross, but the work isn't getting done. (I'll save questions regarding business partners for when I'm less stressed by it.) - Regarding funding, I've been told (by VC-funded tech folks) to "move out to the bay area. Your idea will get funded in a second." I'm struggling to find funding in my local (and small) pond, but can't move a family on speculation. Are there any good ways to attract investors to you without being a serial networker or landing in the shark tank? - Thanks!

you cant ever do enough due diligence. Everything you dont know is risk you have to deal with after the fact.

I think moving to the bay area is nonsense. You can catch a plane. If its a good biz, it will find funding. that said, you should do everything you can not to take anyone;s money.

Funding is not a positive, it makes you an indentured servant to someone like me :)

Do you remember a place called Motley's in Bloomington?


So the most recent season of Shark Tank has a lot of T-Mobile product placement. Is it really as cheesy to do as it is to watch on tv?

it is beyond cheesey. none of the sharks like it. but we learned from it and it will be different in the future

Mr. Cuban, considering the venue of this Q&A, I'm curious what your thoughts are about the affect of the internet age on entrepreneurs. Do you think that the widespread availability of information on the net has changed the entrepreneurial landscape? For example, I imagine that a decade ago it would have been impossible for a bunch of random people to have a meeting where they can ask questions of successful businessmen like yourself. What do you think are some of the best ways for an entrepreneur to leverage the resources on the net?

it has lowered the cost to start a tech company. Now all you need is a phone, laptop, broadband and you are good to go

I am a mobile developer from Canada who has been working with VC's for the past 3 years now, and most have said the reason they chose to do business with me is my attitude and presentation. The other big factor was that I knew my numbers and the industry inside out. Most of these introductions have come through networking, but now that I am trying to go speak with American investors, it's a little bit harder as my name and traction don't cross the border as well as my ideas do. What is the best way to start making introductions to VC's in the good 'ol USA?

why do you need american VCs ? work with the ones you have

Do you ever feel your wealth is a product of being in the right place at the right time (in relation to the internet bubble of the late 90's)? Do you think you'd be able to find similar success if you were graduating college today?

ive made a lot of money from a lot of different companies i have started, but there is no question i made the most money because i knew what i was doing on the net when the internet bubble hit.

Timing didnt make me rich, i was there already. But it put a B next to my name

[No question]

Got to go folks. Thanks for all the great questions ! Hope you all enjoyed it and I hope to do one again !

if you want ot know more about me, check out and check out my book or go to AXS.TV for more about the network

thanks !

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Mark Cuban conducted on Reddit on 2012-12-24. The Reddit AMA can be found here.