Through the years Mark Cuban has managed to make his name – his personal brand even – iconic. However, being in the public eye shapes ones reputation, often in ways we cannot predict or control. Through Mark’s candid ownership of NBA team Dallas Mavericks, as well as his role as one of the sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank, Mark has a very bright spotlight on moments of his life. Aside from behind candid about his business decisions, he is clearly unafraid of stirring up strong public opinions – as demonstrated when he tweeted this photo of himself after his Dallas Mavericks took the NBA title in 2011.
The version of “Mark Cuban” that Mark Cuban chooses to share with the public is just a fraction of himself. I have never had the opportunity to meet Mark; the closest I have come is watching him on Shark Tank and working at a company he invested in. However, I do know that Mark, like everyone else, can be misunderstood. A lot of people do not like Mark Cuban based almost entirely on his actions on the Shark Tank or for ultimately harmless shenanigans such as the above mentioned tweet.
It is Perception vs. Reality.
The Mark Cuban you see on television is not the one you will meet in person. Unless, of course, you meet him in person on television.
I have not yet read Mark’s book, How to win at the Sport of Business, but have read his fellow shark Kevin O’Leary’s book Cold Hard Truth. Kevin might seem like the biggest, most outspoken jerk on Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den but after reading his book I would actually welcome the opportunity to share a conversation with him. Whether or not I like him I can’t say until I’ve met the man.
Whatever your opinion is of Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, or even Justin Beiber their financial success is very real, and typically people don’t end up this successfully though accidents or missteps. People like Mark Cuban can, and probably do, employ people and agencies to manage their reputation and PR, promote their personalities, or create “controversies”- it all feeds back into the machine of their success. However, reputation is not the same as character. Character is a more quiet, private way of being, less about tweets and television and more about private life, business decisions, and day to day interactions.
Mark Cuban has given Procurify a very unique opportunity through not only his financial investment, but also and especially through his personal interest and occasional feedback. Most of us have never met him, and likely never will. It’s useful to remind ourselves however, that the next time he makes the news for being outspoken or some other minor controversy – we’ve seen a piece of his character. We know that the perception is far off from the reality.