For those of us who do not follow basketball still have, at some point, heard the name of billionaire, Mark Cuban. Although the 56 year old is primarily known for his zealous management and ownership of the NBA team, Dallas Mavericks, he is infamous for his distinctive and bold opinions such as “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy”. He has dealt his hand in many successful business ventures, ranging from media to technology and made into Forbes’ ‘World’s Richest People’ list, ranking in at 459 in 2011. As of present, he has a net worth of 2.4 billion dollars. His recent endeavors include starring in the reality show Shark Tank (2009) and competing in Dancing with the Stars.
Mark Cuban is considered to have a natural knack when it comes to any form of business. His everlasting success can be credited to his limitless drive to push through no matter what (and unpredictable but ingenious) ideas, which inherently allows him to challenge the status quo in many areas of media and technology. His rise to fame does make one wonder about the obstacles and hurdles he had to overcome. But one thing is for certain, he would not have been a billionaire without some of the humorous and at times, eye-brow raising choices that he made. Here are 10 things you never knew about billionaire Mark Cuban:
10. Mark Cuban Holds The Guinness World Record For The Largest Single E-Commerce Transaction
Growing up, most of us have usually had jets and planes as toys, imagining and playing out how fast it would go and the sort of sharp dips and swerves it would take, if we were flying in it. It also served purpose of annoying our siblings. Well, billionaire Mark Cuban made that fantasy a dream come true and in the process, gained recognition for that. In 1999, Cuban placed an order through the internet for a Gulfstream V jet that cost him $40 million dollars. Guinness World Records officially acknowledges this as the largest-single-e-commerce-transaction to date. Aside from the Gulfstream jet, he also owns two Boeings, one for the Mavericks and the other for rental purposes.
9. Cuban Pays Back To The Community
Since his purchase of the Mavericks, Cuban has been fined nearly $2 million dollars for various issues related to the NBA. Most of them are related to expressing his opinions on the officials or the league. In 2006, Cuban made history when the NBA fined him $250,000 for his brash remarks regarding the officiating of a play-off game on Twitter. That, in no way, stopped him from acting or speaking his mind out. Mark Cuban matches the same amount in donation to charity every time he gets fined. Talk about eating humble pie!
8. Cuban Was A Disco Instructor During His College Days
Cuban skipped senior year in high school to do business classes at the University of Pittsburgh. After finishing his credits for high school, he enrolled there as a full time student. He transferred to Kelley Business School a year later, since it was one of the top ten universities in the country that had the lowest tuition rates. In an interview with Forbes, he recalled an instance in college when he fell short on his tuition, he started giving dance lessons for $25 to sorority girls. This initiative led to the hosting of lavish disco parties. Years later, his dancing skills did seemingly come in handy, when he appeared on Dancing with the Stars.
7. Cuban Revolutionized Hollywood
Aside from his impressive sports and computer business ventures, Cuban has also delved his hands into the movie industry with his business partner and has built a small movie empire. He has produced a slew of different films. Director of the movie Traffic, agreed to shoot six pictures shot by Soderbergh on high-definition video, that will all be released at the same time but on different movie watching devices. The concept challenges the conventional choices that film-goers usually face with new releases and gives them unprecedented options.
6. Cuban Funding Research On “Players flopping”
Mark Cuban is known for his passionate drive for Basketball and his undying dedication and commitment to the Dallas Mavericks. So much so, that he has taken great lengths related to the serious issue of flopping basketball players. Reportedly, he is paying $100,000 for an 18 month long research study to determine if a technical system can be built to determine whether or not a player is flopping. This just comes to show that even though he already has enough money to last him a lifetime, he still is a man of humility and maybe just a tad bit obsessively concerned on the (if possible) quantitative outcomes to what leads a player to flop or not.
5. Mark Cuban Cheated To Pass His Computer Class
Considering the fact that Mark Cuban had his first big financial break by selling retail computer hardware and software, it is ironic that he only did one Computer class during college and reportedly, had to cheat to pass the course. His first company; Micro Solutions (that he built from scratch) surprisingly rolled in the big bucks due to Cuban’s own networking and image cultivation. He never went on vacations. Instead, he utilized that time to enhance his learning further. He understood sales, so he employed a larger sales force that the other firms lacked. By the start of 1990s, his business had not only flourished, but reeled in a whopping $30 million in sales.
4. Cuban Started Working When He Was 12
The need for a new pair of sneakers is what led to Cuban’s first business venture. When his father did not give into his wishes for a new pair of sneakers and told him that he would have to work to afford a pair, the young Cuban took it to his heart. With the assistance from one of his dad’s friends, he started selling plastic garbage bags door-to-door. He admits to selling the bags at twice the price that he had bought them for. Cuban also sold Cleveland papers out of his father’s station wagon during a newspaper strike in Pittsburgh. This prompted his love affair with business.
3. Mark Cuban Collected And Sold Stamps
At the age of 16, Cuban was introduced to stamps by his mom. It turned into a hobby and led him to do as much research as he could on them. It should come as no surprise that he also turned his hobby into a money-making scheme. Cuban would go to stamp shows and buy stamps from one collector and then sell it off at a higher price to another collector on the other side of the show. Soon he had made enough money to afford college. He left high school early because they did not offer business classes and instead, shifted to the University of Pittsburgh to earn enough credits to finish high schools. He researched and discovered that Kelley School of Business had the lowest tuition and decided to transfer there afterwards.
2. Cuban Has Done His Fair Share Of Crazy Jobs Just To Make Money
From selling garbage bags to being a dance instructor, Cuban has been an entrepreneur all his life. At one point in college, he was a bartender and would make his own cocktail concoctions, especially for the female customers. But not all his jobs were this exciting. Some of Cuban’s jobs were so stupid that he was embarrassed to list them on his resume. Like the idea of selling powdered milk. According to Cuban, it seemed like a product that only had benefits. He sold it to everyone, even his own parents. But unfortunately, it did not pan out in the long run and Cuban had to look into other prospects.
1. Cuban Was Cut From His High-School Basketball Team Three Years In A Row
It comes as quite the shocker that the man who is solely responsible for raising the Dallas Maverick’s net worth to $685 million dollars, ranking them as the fifth-most valuable team in the NBA, was once upon a time, rejected (not once but thrice in a row) from his own high school basketball team. In no way has that had an effect on his level of passion for the sport. He not only uplifted the Maverick team’s image and performance, but also plays an active role to ensure that no expenses are spared for the players. During most of the Maverick’s matches, he can be seen a few rows behind on the court, amongst fans, screaming and at times, questioning the referee’s calls.