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This article was published on December 24, 2012

The Maverick speaks: Mark Cuban talks ‘Shark Tank’, leaving Facebook, and more in Reddit AMA

The Maverick speaks: Mark Cuban talks ‘Shark Tank’, leaving Facebook, and more in Reddit AMA
Ken Yeung
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Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

Entrepreneur, investor, and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Maverick’s Mark Cuban has taken to the Internet to participate in his first Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Following in the footsteps of notables like Snoop Dogg and President Barack Obama, Cuban is talking openly about anything, including the NBA (naturally), leaving Facebook, Shark Tank, and entrepreneurship.

Yes, you’re probably all wondering why he’s doing an AMA now on Christmas Eve. According to him? “Because I can.”

On meeting the Sharks

Right now, there are thousands of comments posted in the forum and the Maverick’s owner isn’t pulling any punches. One member asked what was the most ridiculous thing he’s seen someone try to pitch on Shark Tank. He replied:

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

With “Shark Tank”, hopeful entrepreneurs go on the show in search of investments from at least one of five investors, including Cuban. It’s basically a real-life funding interview session complete with product demo, but on national television. While some products get funded, not all of them actually receive the funding as Cuban explains:

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.

About 25 percent of the companies he says he talks to has something wrong. When asked how many of his investments make a profit, Cuban replied that he only lost money on one so far: Toygaroo.

Running a business

Being a entrepreneur himself, Cuban also answered some questions relating to those interested in started their own business. To them, he said that it’s not about the idea, but rather how prepared they 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.

On the Internet

A Reddit member asked Cuban what he would like to see happen on the Internet in the future. Cuban replied that he would like to see “an open API for broadband where we can create apps that leverage 100 Mbps throughput rather than just putting all apps out in a contentious environment.”

However, he also doesn’t want to see Google, Apple, and big tech companies being able to pay for preferential performance, but it would be great for “high-end apps” know they can get bandwidth. He is looking forward to see what develops with Google Fiber in Kansas City.

On stepping away from Facebook

It was over a month ago when Cuban published a post in the Huffington Post calling Facebook a time waster. In doing so, he believed that the social network “wasn’t able to accept that its purpose was to be a huge time-suck platform that we use to keep up with friends, interests and stuff.” Basically he felt it was overthinking what the service was all about.

So in today’s Reddit AMA, someone asked him about how it’s affected his brand and whether Cuban has branched off to other social networks. He says that his departure from Facebook has actually “really helped” specifically for his entertainment television channel because he says it has made the company “take a hard look at the other options and really get involved with them as a hedge.”

The entrepreneur’s company still uses in Facebook and makes investments in services within its ecosystem, but he has also spent time exploring Tumblr, Pinterest, the new Myspace, and more.

Facebook is going to face some challenges going forward, Cuban says, and he’s watching to see what happens from a user perspective.

iOS, Android, or Windows Phone?

Cuban told Reddit that he has two phones: a Samsung Galaxy S III and a Windows Phone. He used to have an iPhone 5, but chose to replace it. He has an iPad and Macbook Air so he’s not against owning Apple products. But, in terms of phones, he believes that “both Samsung 3 w android and the windows phone kick the Iphone’s ass. Its not even close.”


Of course, every talk with Cuban couldn’t go anywhere without a discussion about the National Basketball Association. Famous for not only being the owner fo the Dallas Mavericks, but also for his criticism of the sport’s officiating, Cuban had some insights into the league today. For one, he didn’t have much to say about commissioner David Stern, and why would he? As Stern is set to retire in 2014, the Maverick’s owner has said that he’d leave a lasting legacy on the sport.

What about the infamous LeBron James spectacle that saw him leave Cleveland for Miami in 2010? Cuban says he was “surprised.”

➤ Mark Cuban’s Reddit AMA

Related: Mark Cuban and Minecraft Creator Notch give $500k to EFF for software patent reform

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