Seems ironic that a billionaire who owns such trifles as a G5 private jet could have unmet wants due to the fact that he can't afford them. But that's exactly the case for Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the HDNet television network. Not familiar with Mark Cuban? You'll probably know him best from his fancy footwork on Dancing with the Stars (he was just eliminated last month) and the short-lived reality show in which he starred, The Benefactor.
Mark spoke to attendees in the afternoon keynote at the Blog World and New Media Expo yesterday (Friday) in Las Vegas. (Great conference, by the way! And great parties too, including the bash that Zappos threw right after Mark's keynote!) During the Q&A, there was one comment that Mark made that peaked my interest in particular. Mark shared with BlogWorld attendees two companies he would love to buy. Alas, he confessed he can't afford either one of them. One was Facebook. The other was Verizon.
I agree with Mark's assessment that Facebook is hot. So I have to admit that, at the right price, I think Facebook would be a great buy. But Internet users are fickle, and so it could be a risky purchase. For example, MySpace isn't as hip — particularly with teenagers — as it once was, whereas up-and-comer Bebo has gained a lot of ground with the teenage set, especially internationally. Will users see Facebook as old and tired in a year or two? Will Google's OpenSocial initiative level the playing field and thus lure users away to other social networks, taking market share away from Facebook in the process?
From Mark's talk at BlogWorld, it was clear he sees immense value in the pipes bringing high-speed data (Internet, video, voice,..) into the home. Could Verizon be the one to deliver on the dream of HD (high definition) video over the Internet? YouTube's video resolution sure does su... um, leave something to be desired. Personally I'd love for Mark to own Verizon and drive it hard towards that nirvana for all us bandwidth-hungry entertainment consumers.
I feel bad for Mark that he can't afford these two companies. Perhaps we could all pitch in with a few bucks of our own and lend him a hand so he can buy at least one of them? ;-)