Mark Cuban is one of America’s best known entrepreneurs, through his inclusion on the Shark Tank panel and his can’t-be-missed presence as an NBA owner. Via his blog and media appearances, he doesn’t mince words about sports or business.
A recent blog post had Cuban telling business owners to “be nice” in order to cultivate success — because no one wants to work with a jerk. Now, in a clip posted on Inc magazine’s website, Cuba reveals his key to business success: serve customers better than the competition.
In the clip, Cuban implies people make the mistake that toughness and a confrontational nature lead to a thriving enterprise. In reality, Cuban says it’s much different.
“Companies don’t fail for a lack of cash or attitude. Companies fail for a lack of brains and effort.”
According to Cuban, keeping ahead of the competition, knowing that at any moment another company is waiting to swoop in and steal the customers you have cultivated, is essential. See his full explanation in the clip below:
If casual observers of Cuban are surprised by his assertion that “toughness” is not, in and of itself, the strategy that makes a business succeed, it is likely because of his blatant opinions and assertive personality. He changed the way NBA owners are perceived. As the Dallas Morning News reported Friday, Cuban has been fined a total of $2 million by the NBA since buying the Mavericks in 2000. Most of his infractions were related to his propensity to offer opinions about the league and its officials.
Despite this, Cuban has his admirers, not least of whom is new NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
When asked in a television interview on September 4 who might be the modern NBA owner, Silver named Cuban.
“I think before Mark came in, owners kind of sat in the back of the suite. It sort of wasn’t cool to cheer and jump up and down. And I think once Mark demonstrated that it was OK to be a super fan, and that the season-ticket holders, the fans wanted to see that he was losing as much sleep over losses on the court as they were, I think other owners sort of who really wanted to be like that but for whatever reason didn’t think that was how you were supposed to act as owner saw, all right, well, Mark’s doing. It’s successful. That’s what I want to be like.”
Although Cuban might take Silver’s compliment, he might not care one way or the other. As his Biography.com profile quotes him, Cuban once said, “Who lives their lives worried about what someone else thinks?”