Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban talks business, life on visit to UF
Published: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:40 p.m.
Mark Cuban cheated in his only computer class in college, yet made billions in technology companies and bought the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.
He told University of Florida students Monday that they didn't need money or connections, just hard work to be successful.
“Look at me: Other than the fact I'm exceedingly handsome and charismatic, the reality is there's nothing special about me except the fact that I work my (butt) off,” he said.
Cuban spoke to a crowd of more than 900 at UF's Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Cuban sold Broadcast.com for $5.7 billion during the tech boom, before buying an NBA franchise and businesses including a film distributor, theater chain and HDTV channel.
He told students about being fired from his first big sales job at a software company, only to go out and start his own software business. He said he went seven years without a vacation to build the company into a success.
He advised people seeking the next big thing to go someplace where others aren't looking. Technology is constantly changing, he said, so it's probably too late to strike it rich in fields that are hot now.
“You don't live in the world you were born into,” he said.
Yet he said he thought cable companies weren't going to be replaced by streaming video anytime soon. People want to be entertained with as little effort as possible, he said.
“That's why movie theaters won't go away — because you can go out on a date and don't have to talk,” he said.
The student-run ACCENT speaker's bureau sponsored the event. Cuban was paid $43,000, according to the group.
Cuban spoke about a half hour before taking questions from the crowd for about 50 minutes. He talked about his experience on the reality TV show “Shark Tank” but mainly just dished out advice on business and life.
Students shouldn't try to find success in their passions, he said. Instead, they should try as many things as possible.
“It's not really about your passions, it's where you're willing to put the time,” he said.
Contact staff reporter Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/nathancrabbe.
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