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Against All Odds: Mark Cuban

Against All Odds: Mark Cuban

His first job was selling garbage bags door to door. After college, he shared an apartment with five friends and slept on the stained floor.


But entrepreneur Mark Cuban defied all odds and went on to become the public face of successful business and a network of investments that continues to grow.


This is his story.


The early years


Born in 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pa., to a middle-class working family, Mark Cuban’s extraordinary business skill and ambition were honed at an early age.


When Cuban was 12 years old, he asked his dad for a pair of designer sneakers. When his dad suggested he find a job to pay for the sneakers himself, Cuban went door-to-door selling garbage bags until he had enough money for the purchase.


“I learned to fill a need, and I learned to problem-solve,” he says.


And he used those same skills to become the star entrepreneur he is today.


College and beyond


Cuban skipped his senior year of high school, choosing to instead study business at Indiana University.


After college and a short working stint in his hometown, Cuban, then 23, moved to Dallas with just $60 in his pocket and a huge student loan debt to pay off. He roomed with five buddies in a 3-room apartment, where he slept on the beer-stained carpet and ate ketchup and mustard sandwiches because they fit his budget.


In Dallas, Cuban went through three jobs in quick succession until finding his calling in technology.

In 1983, his luck turned when he used his newfound technology skills to launch MicroSolutions, a computer company he sold seven years later for $6 million.


Launching AudioNet


In 1995, Cuban, along with business partner Todd Wagner, combined his great love for sports, business management and technology, and launched AudioNet, an online sports broadcasting platform, which was an instant hit. The website was created at the start of the dot-com frenzy and later, renamed, the stock soared from $18 to $62.75 in a single day. was later acquired by Yahoo! and Cuban took in $5.7 billion in Yahoo! stock. Accurately predicting the burst of the dot-com bubble, he hedged against the risk of a decline in his shares and was able to hold onto 90% of their value when they fell from a peak of $237 to just $13 per share.


Net worth and current interests


In 2000, sports-loving Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks National Basketball Association (NBA) team for $285 million. The basketball team, once considered the worst in the league, thrived under Cuban’s management. By 2011, the Mavericks became NBA champions and are now valued at $2.4 billion.


Today, the boy from Pittsburgh is worth 4.3 billion and is best known for his position as manager of the Mavericks as well as his frequent appearances on “Shark Tank,” through which he has invested millions of dollars in successful businesses.

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