In about 40 years, Mark Cuban built an estimated net worth of $5 billion. According to Bloomberg, Cuban’s net worth in 2022 can buy about 59 million barrels of crude oil.
But Cuban wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Born to immigrant parents in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, his first business was selling garbage bags. He also sold newspapers as a teenager when the local newspaper company went on strike. He has gone on to do bigger things like founding 10 companies, the latest one being Cost Plus Drugs. He’s also the owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
Curious to find out how Mark went from newspaper boy to billionaire? In this article you’ll learn how he built his fortune over the years.
Mark Cuban: Started His Own Company, MicroSolutions
In 1983, Mark worked with Your Business Solutions (YBS), one of the earliest software solutions retailers.
After sealing a deal of $15,000 with a client, he arrived late for work. His boss fired him for not opening the store on time.
Fortunately, he had picked up an interest in tech and learned a lot while working with YBS. Starting with that client, he built a decent customer base while offering integrated software solutions within his new company MicroSolutions.
He sold his company for $6 million
For 7 years, Cuban built MicroSolutions to over $30 million per year in revenue. By 1990 he sold it to CompuServe for $6 million. After taxes, he walked away with about $2 million.
Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million
He invested in Audionet which became Broadcast.com. After selling Broadcast.com at $4.7 billion, billionaire Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks at $280 million from Ross Perot Jr. on 4th, January 2000.
They had previously performed so poorly that they were voted the worst-performing sports franchise of the 90s. The Mavs won only 40% of their matches. Fast forward 22 years later, Forbes estimates Mark Cuban’s NBA team to be worth $3.3 billion as of October 2022.
He co-founded 2929 Entertainment
In 2003, Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner started 2929 Entertainment.
By 2005, they’d co-financed “Good Night, and Good Luck” which grossed over $30 million at the domestic box office. It earned an array of awards including the Independent Spirit award for best cinematography and The National Board of Review’s Best Picture of the Year honor.
2929 Entertainment also accomplished other major milestones. Here's a few:
- They purchased the Landmark Theatres, a chain of about 58 movie theaters. It was sold in 2018 for an undisclosed price.
- They own Mongolia pictures, a large American film distributor.
- AXStv which own the rights to Sex and the City, is also a part of 2929 entertainment. They sold a majority stake to Steve Harvey in 2019 for an undisclosed price.
These, combined, bring in an annual revenue of about $16 million.
He bought a Gulfstream V business jet for $40 million
“The most valuable asset you can never own is your time,” said Mark Cuban.
To gain more control of his time, billionaire Mark Cuban bought a Gulfstream V business jet worth $40 million over the internet in 1999. He broke the Guinness world record for the largest single online transaction to date.
He invested in various startups
An aggressive serial startup investor, billionaire Mark Cuban poured funds into over 300 startups apart from his Shark Tank investments. Mark Cuban Companies features ventures in industries ranging from tech to health to education. According to Crunchbase, the Dallas Mavericks owner has made 225 personal investments.
In 2000, Cuban invested $1 million into eGroups, an email list company. In 2001, Yahoo acquired it for $432 million. He netted $250 million after taxes.
In 2005, he invested $85 million dollars into HDNet, a high-definition cable television network. By 2018 it was worth over $1 billion and was available in about 12 million households by 2019. He later sold majority shares in HDNet and AXS to Anthem Sports and Entertainment for an undisclosed price in 2019.
He joined the cast of ABC's Shark Tank
Mark joined Shark Tank in 2011 with seasoned investors including Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Babara Corcoran, and Daymond John. There are 22 episodes in each season and Sharks’ salaries are about $50,000 per episode which adds up to $ 1 million per year.
Mark has invested about $20 in over 85 businesses on Shark Tank. Some of his best-performing investments include:
- TenThirtyOne Productions, a horror attraction franchise, now has 6 brands (the two Hayrides, the Haunted Cruise Ghost Ship, The Great Horror Campout, the film outlet, and Great Horror Movie Night outings).
- Rugged Events Holdings LLC produces the Rugged Maniac Obstacle Course, an annual obstacle course, other marathons, and traditional road races. The New Media Investment Group acquired it for $10 million in 2018.
Cuban recently told Forbes in an interview that he’s considering leaving Shark Tank.
What are some of the key decisions Cuban made that led to his success?
Cuban went from offering dance classes at $25/hr to afford tuition at Indiana University to becoming a billionaire by a lot of hardwork and a bit of luck. Here are some choices he made to get there.
1. Cuban decided to start his own company, MicroSolutions, in 1982.
Who could have guessed that walking away from a $1,500 commission opportunity would lead to owning a $6 million brand 9 years later?
After Mark lost his salesman job with YBS, he dared to start his own business called MicroSolutions with Martin Woodall’s help.
His new company competed aggressively with his former brand. He offered (Personal Computer) PC consultancy, learned to write his own programs, and studied Lotus.
MicroSolutions resold products from TeleVideo and Novell and also provided local-area network services. He grew MicroSolutions to $30 in annual revenue.
2. Cuban decided to sell his company, MicroSolutions, in 1990 for $6 million.
In 1990, Cuban chose to sell MicroSolutions to CompuServe for $6 million. This choice made him a millionaire and gave him the foundation and funds to start Audionet, an online streaming company with Todd Wagner and Chris Jaeb.
3. Cuban decided to buy the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 for $285 million.
Cuban also decided to buy the Dallas Mavericks one of the worst performing basketball teams of the 90s for $280 million in 2000. They went on to become championship material under his leadership. Currently valued at an estimated $3.3 billion, he literally took them from worst to first.
4. Cuban decided to invest in Broadcast.com in 1999.
Remember Audionet? Cuban and his co founders renamed it Broadcast.com. He bought up most of Jaeb’s shares, a decision that would make him even more money in the future.
5. Cuban decided to sell his shares in Broadcast.com to Yahoo in 1999 for $5.7 billion.
By 1999, the company had grown to 330 employees with $13.5 million in revenue. Yahoo later bought the company that year for $5.7 billion in Yahoo stock.
Yahoo’s shares were selling at $163 at that time. Cuban locked up his shares. When the lockup ended, he sold all his shares because he foresaw the dotcom bubble burst. Cuban made a fortune worth $2.5 billion by this move.
About 18 months later, Yahoo’s stock price began to fall till it hit $30 per share. By December 2001, it plummeted to a record low of $8.11, about 95% short of the price point where Cuban sold.
If Cuban hadn’t sold his shares, they would’ve been worth $125 million. Since then, Cuban has grown his wealth by investing in other businesses.
What can we learn from Mark Cuban's net worth story?
Cuban’s story is a goldmine of business wisdom. Depending on where you are in your financial or entrepreneurial journey, you can find life-changing ideas from his story.
What made Mark Cuban a billionaire?
Cuban’s decision to sell Broadcast.com and later his shares at Yahoo before the internet bubble burst made him a billionaire. Cuban wasn’t afraid of losing some profit when he locked up and later sold his shares. He did not remain comfortable with his last success. He was willing to take informed risks and this move earned him his first billions.
What are some of Cuban's biggest successes?
Cuban has a track record of success stories. Here are a few exceptional wins:
- He bought the Dallas Mavericks, and the basketball team went from a fledgling team to one of the world’s most valuable franchises.
- He bought Audionet’s domain for $8,000 and built it to $80 million in revenue by 1999. Audionet later bought Simple.net which allowed user-generated uploads and other domains. He later sold these domains as part of his $4.8 billion deal with Yahoo.
- They also bought a 10% share in Lionsgate Studios and streamed shows.
- He sold Audionet, later Broadcast.com, to Yahoo for $4.8 billion.
What are some of Cuban's biggest failures?
Despite his many successes, Cuban has had his fair share of failures. Here are 3 of the most significant ones:
- He got snubbed by DeAndre Jordan. In 2015. Mark Cuban verbally agreed on a 4-year deal worth $80 million for DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers star player, to join the Dallas Mavericks. But he did not sign a contract. Andrew snubbed the Mavericks and re-signed an agreement with the Clippers instead. Mark learned to put his contracts into writing.
- He quit or got fired at least thrice. Mark quit his job at Mellon Bank because he clashed with his boss while trying to be more “entrepreneurial.” He was also fired from his job at Your Business Solutions.
- He regretted letting Nash go when his contract expired after 6 seasons. Nash left for the Phoenix Suns. He went on to win two NBA MVP awards in a row.
“We thought his body would break down and it certainly didn’t. So bad advice, bad across the board." -- Cuban on #Mavs not re-signing Nash” (Twitter)
In spite of several failures, Cuban’s life of entrepreneurship and risks eventually paid off. In his words, "I've learned that it doesn’t matter how many times you failed,” Cuban says. "You only have to be right once."
What can we learn from Cuban's story?
Cuban’s life has more lessons than we can possibly exhaust in one post. But here are a few to keep in mind.
- Take informed risks. When acting on foresight, don’t be afraid to stand alone. Cuban sold all his Yahoo shares because he predicted the dotcom bubble burst. Some of his contacts didn’t agree with his move but it paid off eventually.
- Use the owner’s model. Don’t be afraid to lose some control of your business. Own a part of the system and employ the best minds to handle and oversee departments in your company. With this you can scale and expand.
- Don’t be afraid of failure and don’t give up when you fail. Cuban failed but he didn’t stop till his success outshone his failures.
Who is Mark Cuban?
Mark Cuban is a multi-decade and serial investor with an estimated net worth of $5 billion. the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, the richest “Shark” on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and the founder of Cost Plus Drugs.
How did Mark Cuban go from being net worth negative to a billionaire NBA owner?
Mark Cuban founded MicroSolutions after getting fired from Your Business Solutions. He grew the company to $30 million in annual revenue and sold it for $6 to Compuserve. Mark later invested in Audionet which became Broadcast.com and sold it to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in Yahoo stocks. He then sold all of his shares at Yahoo before the dotcom bubble burst. Billionaire Cuban went on to buy the Dallas MAvericks for $286 million.
What are some of the businesses Mark Cuban has been involved with?
Mark Cuban’s first company was MicroSolutions, which he later sold to Compuserve. He built Audionet, later named Broadcast.com and sold it to Yahoo. Mark co-founded 2929 Entertainment. He is the richest ‘Shark’ on ABCs Shark Tank. Check his website to see a comprehensive list of companies he is involved with.
What is Mark Cuban's net worth?
Mark Cuban has an estimated net worth of $4.8 billion.
What is the Mark Cuban Foundation?
The Mark Cuban Foundation is the private non-profit organization of Mark Cuban. They have led initiatives like The Fallen Patriot Fund and AI Bootcamp Initiative.
What is Mark Cuban's stance on taxes?
Billionaire Mark Cuban believes that there are no good taxes, but taxes are justifiable especially when the government uses them to checkmate financial engineering like in the case of taxing buybacks of shares. He said he would’ve made the taxes on buybacks 2% instead of the 1% approved by the US Congress.
What was the outcome of the Mark Cuban vs. SEC insider trading case?
After 5 years of legal battles, Cuban was cleared of all insider trading charges. Cuban avoided a $750,000 loss.
True business success is more than making a quick buck. It’s a journey. Mark Cuban keeps learning and diversifying his portfolio over time. He’s invested in other businesses that serve people and solve problems. Even more than Mark Cuban's net worth, his value lies in the man he has become.
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