Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Slam Dunk

IEEE Spectrum Online has an interview with Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks (that's basketball for the hoopically challenged), billionaire (x 2.3 according to Forbes' latest estimate), dot-com-boom casher-inner (a very select group), HD TV believer and investor, and general all-round maverick.

An interesting character to say the least.

He ended the interview with (what other metaphor could I possibly use?) a slam dunk:

IEEE Spectrum: How do you advise others just starting out in the business?

Cuban: Just have fun and be good at what you do. Most people don't make the effort to be the best at it, you know? They just try to make sure everybody thinks they're the best. But most people don't do the work. That's what I tell people: if you're going to do something, be the best at it. Take chances and learn from your mistakes. Put yourself out there to let people criticize you, and then learn from it. That is a never-ending process. You gotta keep on learning, always be learning. And most people don't do that.

It's like sports. If you can't shoot with your left hand, you'd better practice. Business is no different; if you want to get better you practice. You want to get better at coding, you read more code, you write more code. You let people pick at your code, and you compare your code. You argue with people. You put yourself out there. You say, “Here's where I stand.” It's one thing to put it in a bar conversation; it's a whole other thing to tell the world, “This is exactly what I think: you are a moron if you buy YouTube.” I could be proven wrong. Worst case is that I learn something.

Sound advice if you ask me: Just have fun and be good at what you do.