10 Questions With … Mark Cuban

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Mark Cuban family lede
The Cuban family at Ruby’s Diner in Laguna Beach.

This “Shark Tank” investor shares some business advice and his favorite spots in town after recently buying a vacation home at Montage Laguna Beach.

By Laguna Beach Magazine Staff

 

An entrepreneur from a young age, Mark Cuban got his start by going door to door selling garbage bags when he was only 12. Cuban went on to eventually create computer consulting firm MicroSolutions, which he sold in 1990 to CompuServe, the country’s first major, commercially operated internet service provider.

Five years later, he and friend Todd Wagner became involved in another project: broadcast.com (then called Audionet) to stream audio online—and listen to basketball games from out of state. That program sold for $5.6 billion to Yahoo.

Now, Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, serves as chairman and CEO of AXS TV and is an investor on the TV reality show “Shark Tank,” where business owners pitch their ideas in hopes of partnering with one of the “sharks” for their cash injection and business expertise.

Cuban lives in Dallas with his wife, Tiffany; daughters, Alexis and Alyssa; and son, Jake. However, he recently bought a vacation home at Montage Laguna Beach, reportedly paying $19 million for one of the exclusive, oceanfront residences.

Cuban says he spends about five weeks per year in our coastal town. Here, he shares what makes him want to call Laguna home when not in Dallas, plus some other insights into the multibillionaire’s life.

 

What do you like about Laguna Beach?

The weather. It’s laid-back. It’s cozy.

 

What made you decide to buy a home at Montage Laguna Beach?

We spent so many summers there, it was getting to be a hassle trying to make hotel rooms and dates work. This way, we can go anytime we want and spend more time there.

 

When you travel to Laguna with your family, what do you enjoy doing together here?

Eating at Ruby’s [Diner]. Time on the beach. Being silly at the pool. Just spending time all together.

 

When in town, what’s your favorite restaurant and what do you order there?

Ruby’s. The milkshakes. And I like that they have calorie-conscious options as well. I usually end up there on my birthday every year.

 

Looking back on your time with “Shark Tank,” what’s the most memorable (good or bad) pitch you’ve heard?

We see 250 pitches every season. Times 10 years translates into a lot of memorable pitches. My favorite pitches are when someone comes in and tries to pull a fast one or scam us. You may be able to fool one of us, but you can’t scam five of us. My fave scam is when we had someone selling “balance bracelets.” I went off on the poor guy. He had no idea what was happening.

 

Any tips for entrepreneurs looking to make a pitch or succeed with an idea?

Know your business, your industry and what makes you a necessity for your customers.

 

What’s the last book you read?

I’m reading “The Storytelling Edge” [by Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas] right now.

 

What’s something you’re looking forward to this year?

NBA free agency

 

Tell us about a business you recently invested in that you’re excited about.

So many. Like my kids, I love them all. If you want to see what I’m up to, go to markcuban.com.

 

Anything else you want to add?

If you see me in Laguna, always feel free to walk up and say “hi.”

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