Mark Cuban doesn't know what's next either
14:38

Mark Cuban doesn't know what's next either

Tech Industry
[MUSIC] Well, everyone introduces my guest by his Wikipedia biography. It always reads the same way. Billionaire entrepreneur, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and investor on Shark Tank. I'm gonna add one more to that, which I think is as important as any of those three, which is founder of AudioNet. Which is such a key part of how we got to the streaming world that we're now enjoying today, Mark. I mean, here we are, with a couple of clicks, we're doing a video conference. But there was a time when even audio was hard to stream. Yeah, it's crazy way. Hold on, hold on, hold on. Since we're right here. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Man! Where is it? [LAUGH] I have, here you go. [LAUGH] So back in 1995, in the start of the streaming industry, when nobody knew what streaming was, right? Yeah. Ty Wagner and I went to a local radio station Calle if in Dallas and he said yeah you know what there's this internet thing that's gonna be just like cable make probably bigger, right? You just like cable change the business. We're gonna destroy cable someday. And so the way we started was we went to them and said, Okay, we've got this packard bell 95 megahertz [LAUGH] bc And we're get connected, we're gonna use that as an encoder, But what we have to do first is we're gonna take an eight hour VCR. Using these exact tapes. There they are. These exact tapes, right? August 10th K-L-I-F. So those are air checks from Klif that you stuck through the encoder. Exactly right so we would, we had an eight hour VCR, at their at their board, we would record it, we would take these VHS tapes, take them back, encode them, put them on our server, people would have to download TCPI clients and whatever on streaming client. We were putting together the change a couple times at the beginning. Then we started streaming and it went from a couple people to 100 a day to 1000 a day. The rise was unbelievable. It was so fascinating to see audio net kickoff the streaming era which then became broadcast comm which then got sold to Yahoo, which is Arguably then funded all the other things in your Wikipedia biography, right? Absolutely. So I want to bring that up in the beginning. Just to make sure everyone. I appreciate that. GIves you real credit from way back, way back yeah. So in the intervening years you kinda become America's avuncular business savvy uncle. And people call you in for everything from what's the best recipe for chili to cure for cancer? I'm gonna focus here on things that I know are so core to what you are all about as an entrepreneur and an investor. Give me the big picture right now if I'm sitting down having lunch with Mark Cuban, and I say what do you think's going on in this economy? What do you say across the lunch or dinner table? These were major campaigns that were challenging incumbent regimes or they were vying for territorial self determination or succession and the major finding of the research was that the non violent campaigns had been twice as successful. You're an entrepreneur, a small business, please call your bank and ask for that right now, if you have under 500 employees, call your local bank. The government basically will loan you money for your payroll of anybody under $100,000 for three months, and if you keep everybody don't fire anybody, you don't have to pay it back. So that's one thing but you know, right now on on the investment side of what I'm looking for. People with a vision on what we're gonna look like on the other side. Not when but what? Because what type of what cuz whenever it's FUBAR like this will look back in 5-10 years and there'll be five,ten,twenty amazing companies that changed the world that got started because of this. And that's what I'm looking for. Any ideas what getting through this. Looks like any metrics in your mind because it'll play out in phases of 12 months from now and 10 years from now and everything in the middle. Any particular green lights you're looking for that say okay, we're largely coming back. I I don't know yet right? I mean, to me it's just about agility right now it's about staying on top of things, doing as best you can to keep your employees employed because the one thing you don't want to be in a position of if things if it's like a V or even a W and there's an accelerated return and business comes back quickly You don't want to be caught having to chase down employees and find them and retrain them and try to play catch up. So as painful as it may be, whether you can afford it as an entrepreneur or you're using the payroll Protection Program, if you can keep your employees that's good for your company, good for the country. What happens next? You've got to know your business better than anybody and you kind of have the game plan it out where you say, okay, Here's the different alternatives that I see. And here's the probabilities I assigned to them. And let's see where it goes. Interesting. You're talking about two things that have to go together. One is agility and the other one is stability by keeping your workforce in place because once they scatter huge amount of effort to get that back. That's exactly right.>> All right.>> Let's talk about more specifically here, companies that are working on trying to solve this gap of personal protective equipment trying to jump in there and say we can build ventilators, masks and what have you, there's been a bunch of hits and misses.>> We're dealing with imperfect information and when you do that, you make imperfect decisions. We're not in a ready Aim Fire mode, we're in a ready fire aim mode, and so I'm not going to say so and so should have done anything but here's where we are right? I just posted an article on Twitter about a German company that makes the majority of the world's ventilators and you know the TDLR is it doesn't look good because it's not something you just turn on. It's not like making one more widget. If you just had one piece of equipment, you can build another hundred thousand units. And so it's really gonna have to be a capacity management issue where we look to see where all the hotspots are for the buyers and where the most hospitalizations are, get them whatever we have them on a just-in-time basis, and the minute they start to recover, you move it to the next hotspot. Because of the uncertainty, everybody tries to over buy in, in inventory and warehouse, and that's the worst thing that can happen in the limited capacity environment. And in parallel to that, hopefully we'll be able to pick up some new units that are being manufactured, whether they're traditionally made, as they always have been, whether they're smaller units that have a little bit less functionality, or whether they're the kind of You know, clues things that are being done. But my understanding also is that these aren't the types of things where you just plug and play. You know, it requires a serious amount of medical knowledge in order to make them work. The mass are a completely different issue because. There's this become such a black market that everybody's tried to play. Starting with three m right I give them credit for manufacturing as many as they can and jacking up their production. They get a lot of credit for that, but their silence has been definitely And this tends to be a strategic advantage of nonviolent resistance whether it was in the Philippines in 1986, or in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution in my dawn, you saw major defections by elements of the security forces when they were faced with discipline unarmed protesters. Yet they don't come out and talk about the supply chain at all. They don't come out and say, you know what, we are redirecting production from Singapore, or Korea, or other manufacturing plants to the United States, so we have plenty here. They're not saying, you know what, we're gonna work with Honeywell, we're gonna work with other manufacturers of these products. So that we can do the same thing just in time inventory. And as a result, this lack of information, you're seeing all kinds of black market, three masks that we don't know where they come from, whether it's United States distributors selling them out the side door, whether it's global distributors, but that lack of information that Has just added to the fear and added to the hoarding. But the feds can come here and make this market efficient with good information. And that's what we need to happen today. As we talk about this idea of communications, let's turn it inward now what a great leader saying right now to keep the team moving forward. That our employees and our stakeholders are first shareholders are last. You said often the shareholders should get paid last in a recovery kind of surprising to hear from a guy who's an investor. Yeah this is this is a once in a lifetime You know the old rules are gone. We need to keep the country together we need to keep ourselves out of the depression. You know, we have so many people doing so many great things for each other people making masks just to try to help our hospitals American people are really stepping up. But in terms of leadership within your own company, whether you're five employees or the 50,000 or 500,000, you need to communicate, the the CEOs of the big companies should be having at least weekly if not daily webcast, saying here's the state of our business. Here's where we plant what we plan on doing and here's why. Here's some of you, there's some risks, you're gonna lose your jobs. Or some of you we may ask to take a 20% pay cut because we can't afford it. Otherwise. Hopefully there's other companies like Bank of America who said with our 200,000 employees, we can afford to keep on paying you even if you're the janitor staying home because the building is closed. We're gonna keep on paying you, but at least that janitor or you know that That programmer that engineer, they all know what their status is. They all know whether or not they can, put food on the table for their families. And that's what communications does. And that's why it's the most important element for CEOs. The journal had an interesting story today they put an interesting piece of phrasing around this. They said it's the first time in the American economy is history when we've. Put this economy into essentially a medically induced comma and then need to bring it out, just like in the medicine when they put you a medically induced comma. They have to bring you out very carefully and specifically as a real protocol so it doesn't go wrong. We've never done this before, so there is no protocol. But what you are talking about it sounds to me like is a big piece it which is, keep the employees connected to the organization by hook or by crook. That's one part of that protocol. Yeah, because you want continuity as best you can get it. Yeah, You know, you want people to know because one of the biggest challenges and one of the biggest stress and juicers for everybody, what you do with your employees in particular is going to define who you are as a brand and how you treat Your employees how you treat your stakeholders. You are making a statement that's gonna be associated with your brand and will define how consumers deal with you for decades. Now let's turn to this this area of sports and Event entertainment. You own the Mavs and until very recently you were founder and majority shareholder of access TV which came out of HD net. So you've got all kinds of interesting lenses on particularly sports and event entertainment. This has been a massive shut down. How do you see it coming back? Well, the good news is Americans need sports, and this is this particular situation we really need them. And when I say that, obviously there's people who don't watch or care about sports, but we still are When Google has the best quarter that they've ever had, nobody throws a parade. When the Dallas Mavericks won, you see this guy when we won the championship. Yeah Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets. When we were making our run, the entire city was on fire when the warriors were winning the entire cities on fire. People, even if you're not a big sports fan, you climb together with your neighbors because it's so exciting. Yeah. It becomes part of what's going on in a given metro when there's something great going on with one of our teams. It's kind of one of the last things we do collect Actively anymore is get behind sport. Exactly, and we need that, we need something to get excited about, we need something to cheer for. Particularly with the Olympics been suspended till next year, I think the NBA in particular we have a very specific role. Now, I don't know when were coming back, I hope it's before June, but that's beguessing and It's hopefully we'll play without fans and just so we'll be able to put it on TV because viewing habits and media consumption habits are changing dramatically. Now whether that will be sustainable, I'm not sure, but just look at Shark Tank Friday nights on ABC. Our ratings have gone up significantly. We're setting multi year highs and viewers and in the demo so i think you know, as it relates to sports as it relates to the NBA, I think as soon as we can safely do it, I think going on television, the response is gonna be incredible Something else I want to ask you about mark, millions of college students have had their educational path recently disrupted, at least for the time being probably to the end of this term until we get to next academic year. One of the best things I've ever heard you say to young college grads or students is don't follow your passion. Follow your effort now that they have a lot of time to think on these things expand on that a little bit. Yeah, you know what we all have passions. You know, I wanted to be a basketball player. I wanted to be a baseball player. I thought I could play the guitar and piano [LAUGH] And test myself and, you know, that didn't that didn't quite turn out the way I expected. But as I spent more and more time on things, I realized I spent time on the things I was good at. And the more time I spent on it, the better at it that I got, and when I realized that, it was like okay. My first company, I taught myself how to code, initially it was. Alright, I'm wanna do this just because I have to try to get by and I need to make the sale and then it was like, wait, I'm doing this more often and wait, people like what I'm doing maybe I'm pretty good. Let me try to get better and really expand my business. And I never really thought I'd ever write any code at all and I ended up doing it for seven years. And so I think people coming out of school have to learn a couple things. One, you don't need the perfect job. You just spent four years I guess now almost four years paying to learn>>Yeah>> now go find a job where you get paid to learn, right? Doesn't have to be the perfect job because you'll learn just as much from the jobs you hate, as the jobs you love. Where you'll find out is that there's things that you're trying that you may be very good at and that's the key to being successful in this day and age Try as many things you can. Find the one thing that you may be good at, no matter how many different things you try. And then look to see where you're spending your time. And changes are you're gonna spend your time on things you're good at. People cannot de-quit things that they're good at. I mean, I think it's an almost magical piece of advice to help people really find where their talents lay. It's so easy for someone in college or recently have graduated to follow that meme like advice to follow your passion, man. But like you've often said, if you just done that you probably be a third rate basketball player in the Lithuanian league right now, right? > [LAUGH]. Hey Mark, thanks so much for spending some time with us today. It's nice to talk to you again. And keep sniffing around the front edge of this economy for us and let us know what you see. Thank you, Brian, take care, buddy. You too, bye. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]

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