He gained the start of his fortune with MicroSolutions and Broadcast.com, now he’s the owner of a basketball franchise and one of the world’s most famous venture capitalists on “The Shark Tank”.
Here’s the Cubes’ simple formula for startup success:
1. Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you completely love.
I don’t know that I agree with this one entirely, it’s subjective for sure. Not to mention I’m not a billionaire — yet!
2. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.
Just as planning for success will eventually lead you down the right path, planning to fail will inevitably lead to failure.
3. Hire people who you think will love working there.
Obviously, you don’t want Negative Nancy and Grouchy Gary making everyone else feel miserable at the office. Pessimism, rudeness, selfish behavior — they’re all morale busters.
4. Sales cure all.
Mo’ money, mo’ problems. On the flipside, if you don’t make sales you’re screwed!
5. Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them.
And pay big for those who can help your startup to achieve them. Cuban recommends saving on the salary budget by finding people outside those core ideals who’ll work for less to make up the difference.
6. Lunch is a chance to get out of the building and talk.
Get out and talk about something other than work. De-stress and head back ready to attack whatever awaits.
7. No separate offices. There’s nothing private in a startup.
Cuban believes you need to keep everything open, honest and even keeled between yourself, your other management, and the people doing the grunt work for you. It also encourages open communication between everyone. If your executives demand more perks, like flying first class instead of coach, they’ve got an exclusivity complex and should be let go immediately.
8. As far as technology, go with what you know.
Use the operating systems, phones, tablets, etc., that you know best. If your employees have a different preference, encourage them to use what they know and find a way to consolidate your data that works for everyone.
9. Keep the organization flat.
Minimize management and encourage everyone to work together cohesively.
10. Never buy swag.
Save your money until you’re Coca Cola or Apple. Nobody’s going to wear your logo-branded tees just yet.
11. Never hire a PR firm.
Build personal relationships with the publications in your industry. They hate hearing from PR people. Not to mention that most PR firms are just cardboard cutouts of one another — they’ll rarely innovate and tend to publish marketing material in the same media sources over and over, limiting your company’s reach.
12. Make the job fun for employees.
This goes without saying and separates the entrepreneurs with loyal staff who’ll do anything for them, from the ones who’re always putting out “help wanted” ads in the newspaper.
Main image by Ed Schipul