In the mid-Nineties, simply earlier than the dot-com bubble, Mark Cuban was approached by a pal a couple of enterprise concept.
As a fellow sports activities fan, his pal, Todd Wagner, pitched Cuban that it will be profitable to start out an web audio firm the place customers may take heed to sports activities video games on-line. Sold on the probabilities, Cuban agreed, and in 1995, the duo created AudioNet, which later turned Broadcast.com.
At the time, the internet was a very new idea to most individuals, so Cuban and Wagner confronted many critics who did not imagine the corporate would succeed.
“When I’d tell people the vision, they’d say, ‘You’re crazy. I’ll just turn on my TV. I’ll just turn on the radio,'” Cuban stated on a recent episode of the “Starting Greatness” podcast.
“People would laugh at me.”
But that did not matter to Cuban.
“I knew this was a winner,” Cuban stated of Broadcast.com. “I had no doubt in my mind.”
For one factor, Cuban noticed a marketplace for streaming, “which we called network broadcasting or internet broadcasting back then,” he advised “Starting Greatness.”
Cuban stated he “firmly believed that streaming would take over all of television,” as a result of he “believed in the price-performance curve for PCs [personal computers] and broadband, and that as PCs would continue to get more powerful, the price of disc drives and of bandwidth would continue to fall.”
That, Cuban stated, “was a fundamental underpinning for streaming.”
“I had that vision that we would follow this path.”
Once the co-founders began to market the corporate, Cuban stated he seen a rising demand from those that needed to take heed to sports activities video games or music throughout their workday, however could not maintain a radio on their desk.
“I saw very quickly that user adoption was enormous,” Cuban stated. “No one used it and said they don’t need it.”
Then, as Broadcast.com added the flexibility to observe video with audio, “most of our revenue came from corporate events streaming and all-hands meetings,” he stated. That was “the real money-maker for us.”
Broadcast.com additionally had a rising client base, as a result of it was easy to us.
“I knew that in order for you to listen to OU [University of Oklahoma] sports, I was the path of least resistance,” Cuban stated. “I knew that anyone who wanted to watch or listen to a Mavericks game, I was the path of least resistance.”
“There may have been some competing to try and do the same thing and copy us, but we were the only path of least resistance.”
In 1999, Broadcast.com was acquired by Yahoo for $5.7 billion in inventory.
That’s why, Cuban stated, “if you have the technology working in your favor, if you’re the path of least resistance and if you have consumption, then you just got to go for it. Those are the pieces that create a moat that are really hard to replicate.”
The expertise led Cuban to be extra open-minded and belief his intestine to spend money on firms or concepts that others may find “crazy,” he stated. Today, that features his investments in firms centered around cryptocurrency and blockchain.
Investing in these firms at the moment has “the identical really feel of the early days of the internet,” Cuban advised “Starting Greatness.”
“You’ve got to really believe in your product” to succeed.
Disclosure: CNBC owns the unique off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”