Talk of a Maverick: Talk of Mark Cuban

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With a net worth of $2.5 billion at the age of 52, Mark Cuban has rarely trod the beaten track, and has always been a maverick. In 1999, he and his friend Todd Wagner made headlines by pulling off a deal with Yahoo at $5.7 billion for the audio and video portal, co-owned by Mark Cuban and Wagner.

Mark Cuban had always been a team player, and his widely lauded move of selling included turning all his 300 employees into instant millionaires, while the owners themselves became billionaires. As far as the employer mindset goes, Mark Cuban is definitely a maverick, a man who has the guts to include proactively the futures of his employees in a business deal, and welcome with open arms, what for many employers would be the gruesome heartrending pain of watching employees become millionaires en masse. If you understand employer brands, then that is true employer branding. Who wouldn't want to work for a man like Mark Cuban?

After their historic business deal, Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban went ahead to found 2929 Entertainment, which they continue to run at a profit. With their new funds, each went ahead to pursue their own passions. While Wagner focused more on technology, education, and life skills, Mark Cuban bought Dallas Mavericks on January 14, 2000, and focused more on developing sports.

Of course, building up and selling was not the first such deal pulled off by Mark Cuban. He had co-founded MicroSolutions in 1983, built it up to become a leading National Systems Integrator, and then sold it off to CompuServe at a profit. His career shows outstanding ability to lead and develop organizations, and his talent has been as much evident in his ownership of Dallas Mavericks, as in any of his other ventures. Fans of Dallas Mavericks admit unequivocally that Mark Cuban has turned the fortunes of the team, and his personal efforts are visible everywhere.

What Mark Cuban did, after taking over ownership of Dallas Mavericks, was to turn games played by DM into total entertainment events, way different from other NBA games. He cheered with the fans from the same seat from where he used to watch Dallas Mavericks' games, before he became the owner. Mark Cuban also established himself as the first owner of a sports team who personally responded to fan mails and put suggestions by fans into action. The adoption of the innovative three-sided shot clock in the games of Dallas Mavericks, is a result of such interaction between Mark Cuban and team fans.

True to his personal tradition, Mark Cuban propelled Dallas Mavericks to create a 31-19 record within April 2000, including a 9-1 mark. Cuban hired specialists to coach the players specifically for offense, defense, and shooting and the team ended the 2000-01 season with a 53-29 record, had their first playoff appearance in 11 years, and became the sixth team in NBA history to win a five game series after being down 0-2. After building Dallas Mavericks to a solid position, Mark Cuban went ahead to float HDNet to cover live sports events on HD television.

A maverick to the boot, Mark Cuban holds unusual business concepts and has the guts to express his radical views in public. His latest blog post made on November 8, 2010, and titled ''How the Fed is Getting QE2 Wrong - The Anti Wealth Effect,'' clearly shows the difference of his views from those possessed by ordinary businessmen. He argues that the government theory of believing in the ''wealth effect'' being better for the economy has serious flaws. While for some people, access to wealth can lead to more spending, for the people who actually hold the greater part of the cash, the wealth effect does not matter. Mark Cuban points out that while the country is in a recession corporate cash balances at public companies are at an all time high, and that bigger corporate ''war chests'' do not urge business owners to spend, but enjoy the feeling of power and clout they hold over the economy.

In radical opposition to popular economic beliefs, Mark Cuban states that ''Companies are not holding on to cash because of fear of political and tax uncertainty. Companies are holding on to cash because of the power it offers and the opportunity to increase personal wealth....If the Fed thinks that creating money to make it easier for companies to borrow money is going to stimulate the economy, they are wrong...They are simply making it easier for companies to hoard cash.'' And such a view clearly shows how much of a maverick Mark Cuban is, and how much he loves finding and treading his own way through the world.
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