Mark Cuban: ‘Raising money isn’t an accomplishment, it’s an obligation’


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Jordan Crook. The original is [linked here]

Mark Cuban isn’t impressed that you’ve raised money.

“If you think the accomplishment is raising money first, we’re probably not gonna get along,” said Cuban in an Extra Crunch Live interview. “If your orientation is ‘I got to raise the money first,’ you don’t really have a company yet, and you really haven’t accomplished anything yet. […] Sweat equity is the best equity.”

We also got his take on today’s economy, the nation’s direction and his notes on what startups should do to survive in the new world. Happily, as we had an hour to chat, we managed to cover a lot of ground. The full conversation (YouTube) is after the jump, and we’ve excerpted a number of quotes for your perusal.

But up top we wanted to share Cuban’s notes regarding which companies should accept Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds from the Small Business Administration. The matter became a hot-button issue in and around Silicon Valley, where initial debate centered around which startups could access the money. After it became clear the first installment of PPP funds wasn’t going to last, whether startups should access to the capital at all became a question. Some venture-backed companies even decided to return their PPP check.

According to Cuban, when PPP was first put together, the market’s “perspective was that there’d be plenty of money for everybody. You know, people didn’t really want to do the math.” Cuban said that if there was $350 billion in the pot and one million small businesses, the fund would have worked out to $350,000 apiece. “Well guess what,” he said, “there are 30 million companies, [and] like 20 of them are independent contractors.”

Once you did the calculations again with that many companies eligible for PPP funds, you could tell that the money wasn’t going to last. So Cuban told firms that he’s invested in where he has sway to “either not apply or just pay it back immediately.” Why? “For the betterment of the country and the economy,” he said, adding that “if you do have access to capital” or “your business isn’t dramatically impacted [then] let’s leave [the PPP money] for the people who need it the most.”

As noted, the full video is below (you can join Extra Crunch here!), along with Cuban’s notes on startup advice during the pandemic, American 2.0 (and Marc Andreessen’s essay), AI, pre-seed companies, his future in politics and how to pitch him.

Mark Cuban on the record

How he’s advising portfolio companies during the pandemic:

So first and foremost, communicate. Second is be honest. Third is be transparent. And fourth is be authentic. Because everybody is nervous. Everybody is terrified at a certain level. So you just have to recognize that. People are going to need that honesty from you and people are going to want communications from you. That’s been the primary thing around what these companies should do.

Regarding cutting costs: Every business is different. On the smallest ones, they’re already grinding, and it’s typically dependent on the founder. I’ve really tried to encourage people to keep all their employees on if at all possible. That there’s gonna be a lot of change and that’s going to create a lot of opportunity. So, if you can hold on to your employees and push forward in any way, shape, or form, you may have an opportunity.

Mark Cuban: ‘Raising money isn’t an accomplishment, it’s an obligation’


This post is by Jordan Crook from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Mark Cuban isn’t impressed that you’ve raised money.

“If you think the accomplishment is raising money first, we’re probably not gonna get along,” said Cuban in an Extra Crunch Live interview. “If your orientation is ‘I got to raise the money first,’ you don’t really have a company yet, and you really haven’t accomplished anything yet. […] Sweat equity is the best equity.”

We also got his take on today’s economy, the nation’s direction and his notes on what startups should do to survive in the new world. Happily, as we had an hour to chat, we managed to cover a lot of ground. The full conversation (YouTube) is after the jump, and we’ve excerpted a number of quotes for your perusal.

But up top we wanted to share Cuban’s notes regarding which companies should accept Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds from the Small Business Administration. The matter became a hot-button issue in and around Silicon Valley, where initial debate centered around which startups could access the money. After it became clear the first installment of PPP funds wasn’t going to last, whether startups should access to the capital at all became a question. Some venture-backed companies even decided to return their PPP check.

According to Cuban, when PPP was first put together, the market’s “perspective was that there’d be plenty of money for everybody. You know, people didn’t really want to do the math.” Cuban said that if there was $350 billion in the pot and one million small businesses, the fund would have worked out to $350,000 apiece. “Well guess what,” he said, “there are 30 million companies, [and] like 20 of them are independent contractors.”

Once you did the calculations again with that many companies eligible for PPP funds, you could tell that the money wasn’t going to last. So Cuban told firms that he’s invested in where he has sway to “either not apply or just pay it back immediately.” Why? “For the betterment of the country and the economy,” he said, adding that “if you do have access to capital” or “your business isn’t dramatically impacted [then] let’s leave [the PPP money] for the people who need it the most.”

As noted, the full video is below (you can join Extra Crunch here!), along with Cuban’s notes on startup advice during the pandemic, American 2.0 (and Marc Andreessen’s essay), AI, pre-seed companies, his future in politics and how to pitch him.

Mark Cuban on the record

How he’s advising portfolio companies during the pandemic:

So first and foremost, communicate. Second is be honest. Third is be transparent. And fourth is be authentic. Because everybody is nervous. Everybody is terrified at a certain level. So you just have to recognize that. People are going to need that honesty from you and people are going to want communications from you. That’s been the primary thing around what these companies should do.

Regarding cutting costs: Every business is different. On the smallest ones, they’re already grinding, and it’s typically dependent on the founder. I’ve really tried to encourage people to keep all their employees on if at all possible. That there’s gonna be a lot of change and that’s going to create a lot of opportunity. So, if you can hold on to your employees and push forward in any way, shape, or form, you may have an opportunity.

Extra Crunch Live: Join Mark Cuban for a Q&A on April 30 at 11am ET/8am PT


This post is by Jordan Crook from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Billionaire. Entrepreneur. Investor. Shark.

Mark Cuban is one of tech’s best-known entrepreneurs, so we are amped to have him join us for an upcoming Extra Crunch Live, our virtual speaker series that connects the brightest minds in tech directly with our Extra Crunch audience.

Starting out as a salesman for one of Dallas’s earliest PC software resellers, Cuban was fired after he ignored his boss’ orders and asked another employee to cover for him while he picked up a check for a $10,000 sale. He went on to create his own software reseller/system integrator called MicroSolutions, which he sold in 1990 for $6 million to CompuServe, then an H&R Block subsidiary. That marked the beginning of a storied (and, at times, tumultuous) career as an entrepreneur and investor.

Cuban went on to co-found Audionet (later renamed Broadcast.com), which he eventually sold to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in 1999; that same year, he made history when he purchased a Gulfstream V for $40 million in the largest single e-commerce transaction ever conducted.

The man’s brain is always 20 years in the future.

The Dallas Mavericks majority owner and “Shark Tank” judge has invested in startups for two decades. His portfolio includes Apptopia, The Zebra, Node, UBeam and many other startups; according to Crunchbase, Cuban has made more than 100 investments since 2004.

We’ll ask how he’s advising his portfolio companies in the midst of a crisis and will get his predictions on the economic outlook over the next 12 to 24 months. We’re also interested to hear how Cuban thinks technology may or may not solve for the current situation around live sports, which have effectively been halted by the pandemic.

And if we have time, we’ll ask a bit about workers, equitable capitalism and his thoughts regarding the gig economy in these turbulent times. Given Cuban’s straightforward speaking style, we’re expecting a candid conversation, and as we’re snagging him in unprecedented times, our chat may help you understand how at least one leading capitalist views the new world.

Hit the jump to add the call details to your calendar via the AddEvent link and access the Zoom information directly. We’ll take audience questions toward the end, so weigh in. If you aren’t an Extra Crunch member yet, join here for just a few bucks to start.

Cuban joins a schedule packed with all-stars, including Charles Hudson, Mitch and Freada Kapor, Hunter Walk, Roelof Botha and Kirsten Green. And if you missed it, check out our Extra Crunch Live episode with Aileen Lee and Ted Wang.

Details

Here’s the information you’ll need:

America 2.0


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

I feel a certain kinship with Mark Cuban, the owner of Dallas Mavericks and an investor in many companies. Except for owning the NBA team part. Or being a billionaire. Or being white. Still, I like that he is hopeful and almost relentlessly optimistic about human capabilities.

My often visible skepticism about a lot of things aside, I am a believer in possibilities. I mean, otherwise, what’s the point? I also like that Cuban, who can afford to do so, gives the middle finger to authority. As you probably know, I am not getting invited to Zuck’s BBQ anytime soon. Anyway Cuban sent this tweet earlier this week:

I hope he is right. After all this is over, I hope we emerge from this with a more realistic perspective regarding our shortcomings as a nation and more appreciation for the work we need to do to retain our place as a leader on this planet —  not in terms of bombs and bullets, but more in our ability to create, innovate, and be resilient. I sincerely hope that we can find leaders and legislators who understand that science and technology can help create new opportunities —  not necessarily for us, but for your kids and for my goddaughters, nephew, and nieces. America 2.0 is not about us. It is about them.

Science and technology are what made America 1.0 what it was, a powerful nation that was the envy of the world. In order to move forward, we have to get back to being believers in these tools and their potential.

Like Cuban, I am hopeful. On the other hand, we have some people using the pandemic and lockdown in New York City to create viral videos 1 that are nothing but damn cheap tricks — a demonstration of the destructive obsession with self that got us into this situation in the first place.

April 3, 2020, San Francisco.

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

  1. OneZero

What Business is the NBA in ?

It’s been a while since I have updated my post on what business in the NBA is in.  Seemed like now is as good a time as any !

Just as it has been for the past 7 or so year, I continue to get business proposals for new ways to alter the NBA in-game experience.  Without fail the proposal starts out with some form of “Today, everyone has a smartphone and can’t disconnect from their phone” Then I get the meat of the pitch which is some derivative of stats, Jumbotron pictures, fantasy games, gamification apps, instagram pics, social sharing, etc, etc.

They all seem to forget what business the NBA is in.

In order to understand why I hate these proposals you have to understand first what the Mavs sell. The NBA does not sell basketball !

Think back to the first professional sporting event you ever went Continue reading “What Business is the NBA in ?”

Some Thoughts on Fixing Obamacare – Shoot Holes in this Please

I’m not a healthcare policy expert. Not by a long shot.  The challenges facing healthcare in this country are enormous. While I may not have answers, there is no downside to generating discussion on alternatives.  Feel free to comment on anything you feel is wrong with my suggestion.

The problem legislators are facing in their attempts to “Repeal and Replace” or even modify Obamacare in a manner that will make their constituents happy is that they can’t answer one very important question-

“Who takes less ?”

The stakeholders in Obamacare are the Insurance Companies, Health Care Providers and Consumers.

Will Insurance Companies be willing to take lower profits ?

Will Health Care Providers be willing to charge less for the services they are providing or take less reimbursement ?

Will Consumers have to accept fewer services and lesser quality of care ?

No stakeholder is willing to take less. Which is why it Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Fixing Obamacare – Shoot Holes in this Please”

Some Thoughts on Fixing Obamacare – Shoot Holes in this Please

I’m not a healthcare policy expert. Not by a long shot.  The challenges facing healthcare in this country are enormous. While I may not have answers, there is no downside to generating discussion on alternatives.  Feel free to comment on anything you feel is wrong with my suggestion.

The problem legislators are facing in their attempts to “Repeal and Replace” or even modify Obamacare in a manner that will make their constituents happy is that they can’t answer one very important question-

“Who takes less ?”

The stakeholders in Obamacare are the Insurance Companies, Health Care Providers and Consumers.

Will Insurance Companies be willing to take lower profits ?

Will Health Care Providers be willing to charge less for the services they are providing or take less reimbursement ?

Will Consumers have to accept fewer services and lesser quality of care ?

No stakeholder is willing to take less. Which is why it

Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Fixing Obamacare – Shoot Holes in this Please”

Some Thoughts on Fixing Obamacare – Shoot Holes in this Please

I’m not a healthcare policy expert. Not by a long shot.  The challenges facing healthcare in this country are enormous. While I may not have answers, there is no downside to generating discussion on alternatives.  Feel free to comment on anything you feel is wrong with my suggestion.

The problem legislators are facing in their attempts to “Repeal and Replace” or even modify Obamacare in a manner that will make their constituents happy is that they can’t answer one very important question-

“Who takes less ?”

The stakeholders in Obamacare are the Insurance Companies, Health Care Providers and Consumers.

Will Insurance Companies be willing to take lower profits ?

Will Health Care Providers be willing to charge less for the services they are providing or take less reimbursement ?

Will Consumers have to accept fewer services and lesser quality of care ?

No stakeholder is willing to take less. Which is why it

Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Fixing Obamacare – Shoot Holes in this Please”

DARTdrones pitches Shark Tank to build a flight school for drone pilots

SHARK TANK - "Episode 818"- In a special episode featuring millennial entrepreneurs, one will make the deal that takes the award-winning "Shark Tank" across the $100 million threshold of deals made in the Tank, on "Shark Tank," airing FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network.. (ABC/Michael Desmond)
MARK CUBAN, DAYMOND JOHN, KEVIN O'LEARY, LORI GREINER, ABBY SPEICHER (DARTDRONES), ROBERT HERJAVEC Entrepreneurs who pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank typically make packaged goods and apparel. Occasionally, the high tech breaks through. XCraft, the company behind the PhoneDrone Ethos, scored a rare investment from all of the judges on the ABC show last spring, for example. And tonight, drones are once again flying “in the Tank” as DARTdrones seeks funding to build… Read More

Stadium Goods raises $4.6 million to sell sought-after sneakers and streetwear

stadium_goods_desktop When Stadium Goods opened shop in New York’s Soho district in 2015, it looked like an Apple-inspired spin on the consignment shop, appealing to men in search of authentic, collectible sneakers and streetwear. In the short time since it started, Stadium Goods has evolved into an online brand with distribution of its “authenticated” kicks, and a branded presence everywhere… Read More

Dear Mr President , My Suggestion for Infrastructure Spending

I happen to be a fan of the government investing money into what is commonly called infrastructure projects.  I strongly believe that any reasonable businessperson, even one who works for the government, should be able to invest money at 1% interest rates and get a better than 2% return on taxpayer money. But I think its time to rethink how we spend a big chunk of that money.

If it was me spending the money, I would take 100 billion of the proposed $ 1 Trillion dollars in infrastructure investment and invest it in Robotics.

I would invest it in the companies that do R&D, software, and design for robots and every other facet of the Robotics Industry.

Unfortunately, none of the companies that actually make the robotics are based here in the USA. That’s a problem that needs to be solved.  We need to help develop domestic companies much like Continue reading “Dear Mr President , My Suggestion for Infrastructure Spending”

Dear Mr President , My Suggestion for Infrastructure Spending

I happen to be a fan of the government investing money into what is commonly called infrastructure projects.  I strongly believe that any reasonable businessperson, even one who works for the government, should be able to invest money at 1% interest rates and get a better than 2% return on taxpayer money. But I think its time to rethink how we spend a big chunk of that money.

If it was me spending the money, I would take 100 billion of the proposed $ 1 Trillion dollars in infrastructure investment and invest it in Robotics.

I would invest it in the companies that do R&D, software, and design for robots and every other facet of the Robotics Industry.

Unfortunately, none of the companies that actually make the robotics are based here in the USA. That’s a problem that needs to be solved.  We need to help develop domestic companies much like

Continue reading “Dear Mr President , My Suggestion for Infrastructure Spending”

Dear Mr President , My Suggestion for Infrastructure Spending

I happen to be a fan of the government investing money into what is commonly called infrastructure projects.  I strongly believe that any reasonable businessperson, even one who works for the government, should be able to invest money at 1% interest rates and get a better than 2% return on taxpayer money. But I think its time to rethink how we spend a big chunk of that money.

If it was me spending the money, I would take 100 billion of the proposed $ 1 Trillion dollars in infrastructure investment and invest it in Robotics.

I would invest it in the companies that do R&D, software, and design for robots and every other facet of the Robotics Industry.

Unfortunately, none of the companies that actually make the robotics are based here in the USA. That’s a problem that needs to be solved.  We need to help develop domestic companies much like

Continue reading “Dear Mr President , My Suggestion for Infrastructure Spending”

My Thoughts on the MSM Getting President Trump Elected and Then Some

Peter Thiel was right when he said that Trump supporters take him seriously, but not literally.

When it comes to reporting the news,  a presidential campaign and election is obviously news, the MSM (Main Stream Media) takes everything literally  and seriously. That is the definition of reporting isn’t it ?

There are 10s of millions of voters who probably preferred  to consume literal information from MSM sources they trust and processed it before they decided which Presidential candidate they  voted for.

There are 10s of millions of voters who probably preferred to consume other, non MSM sources of information.  It’s not that they don’t want literal information. It’s that they don’t trust traditional reporting sources, aka, MSM, aka Main Stream Media.

I don’t know how or why they developed this distrust of the MSM. But they certainly did and still do. They not only distrust the MSM, they seem to feel

Continue reading “My Thoughts on the MSM Getting President Trump Elected and Then Some”

My Thoughts on the MSM Getting President Trump Elected and Then Some

Peter Thiel was right when he said that Trump supporters take him seriously, but not literally.

When it comes to reporting the news,  a presidential campaign and election is obviously news, the MSM (Main Stream Media) takes everything literally  and seriously. That is the definition of reporting isn’t it ?

There are 10s of millions of voters who probably preferred  to consume literal information from MSM sources they trust and processed it before they decided which Presidential candidate they  voted for.

There are 10s of millions of voters who probably preferred to consume other, non MSM sources of information.  It’s not that they don’t want literal information. It’s that they don’t trust traditional reporting sources, aka, MSM, aka Main Stream Media.

I don’t know how or why they developed this distrust of the MSM. But they certainly did and still do. They not only distrust the MSM, they seem to feel Continue reading “My Thoughts on the MSM Getting President Trump Elected and Then Some”

My Thoughts on the MSM Getting President Trump Elected and Then Some

Peter Thiel was right when he said that Trump supporters take him seriously, but not literally.

When it comes to reporting the news,  a presidential campaign and election is obviously news, the MSM (Main Stream Media) takes everything literally  and seriously. That is the definition of reporting isn’t it ?

There are 10s of millions of voters who probably preferred  to consume literal information from MSM sources they trust and processed it before they decided which Presidential candidate they  voted for.

There are 10s of millions of voters who probably preferred to consume other, non MSM sources of information.  It’s not that they don’t want literal information. It’s that they don’t trust traditional reporting sources, aka, MSM, aka Main Stream Media.

I don’t know how or why they developed this distrust of the MSM. But they certainly did and still do. They not only distrust the MSM, they seem to feel Continue reading “My Thoughts on the MSM Getting President Trump Elected and Then Some”

My Thoughts on the MSM Getting President Trump Elected and Then Some

Peter Thiel was right when he said that Trump supporters take him seriously, but not literally.

When it comes to reporting the news,  a presidential campaign and election is obviously news, the MSM (Main Stream Media) takes everything literally  and seriously. That is the definition of reporting isn’t it ?

There are 10s of millions of voters who probably preferred  to consume literal information from MSM sources they trust and processed it before they decided which Presidential candidate they  voted for.

There are 10s of millions of voters who probably preferred to consume other, non MSM sources of information.  It’s not that they don’t want literal information. It’s that they don’t trust traditional reporting sources, aka, MSM, aka Main Stream Media.

I don’t know how or why they developed this distrust of the MSM. But they certainly did and still do. They not only distrust the MSM, they seem to feel

Continue reading “My Thoughts on the MSM Getting President Trump Elected and Then Some”

Sprinklr acquires LittleBird, a tool for finding experts on anything via Twitter

twitter-impressionist New York marketing tech firm Sprinklr has acquired Portland-based LittleBird, according to Sprinklr founder and CEO Ragy Thomas. LittleBird was founded in 2011 to help researchers quickly find the top experts and influencers on any given subject via Twitter. It raised $4.8 million in venture capital to build its analytics platform from Mark Cuban, Jason Calacanis, Oregon Angel Fund and… Read More

Virtual Reality Gave Me My Brain Back

No, this is not a joke. It isn’t a set up for a routine or comedy.  It is a real title for a very real and nerve wracking experience I had.

On May 20th, 2015 I was in New York City.  Like I love to do on a nice day, I took a long walk through the city. When I say long, I mean long.  From Columbus Circle down to the Alphabet Streets and back.  My step count was through the roof:).

I got back to my apartment, showered and soon after I had a headache. I rarely get headaches so I thought maybe it was dirt and grime and whatever that had accumulated on my contacts. Took them out. I was tired. So I went to bed. Expecting to feel better in the morning after a good nights sleep

May 21st, 2015. I woke up dizzy.

My initial reaction

Continue reading “Virtual Reality Gave Me My Brain Back”

Virtual Reality Gave Me My Brain Back

No, this is not a joke. It isn’t a set up for a routine or comedy.  It is a real title for a very real and nerve wracking experience I had.

On May 20th, 2015 I was in New York City.  Like I love to do on a nice day, I took a long walk through the city. When I say long, I mean long.  From Columbus Circle down to the Alphabet Streets and back.  My step count was through the roof :).

I got back to my apartment, showered and soon after I had a headache. I rarely get headaches so I thought maybe it was dirt and grime and whatever that had accumulated on my contacts. Took them out. I was tired. So I went to bed. Expecting to feel better in the morning after a good nights sleep

May 21st, 2015. I woke up dizzy.

My initial

Continue reading “Virtual Reality Gave Me My Brain Back”