No Nonsense Commentary and Advice for Entrepreneurs

More on the Cuban Solution

By on February 26, 2009 in Business Smarts

Recently Peter posted an interesting piece on Mark Cuban’s solution to stimulating the economy.  While I agree in principle that entrepreneurship is the way to make things happen, one could question Cuban’s motives in his approach.  Actually last night one of USC’s great grad students did question those motives, so I’m sharing his thoughts in my post.  His name is Tom Grasty and it would be great to hear what you think of his take on Cuban.

From Tom: Self-deprecating candor aside, I expected this latest brainchild by one of the world’s most effusive billionaires to be dismissed out of hand. Boy was I wrong. As of Tuesday night, nearly 2,000 people have posted to Cuban’s blog. Sure, some have been dismissive: “We would love to present our business plan to you but not over a public domain.” Some snarky: “If I am going to start something with sweat equity and reach profitability within 60 days why do I need outside money?” But most have been supportive, even encouraging of Cuban’s “open source funding” experiment. Aspiring entrepreneur Alain Raynaud summed up his support in five words: “Ask and you shall receive.” And I’ll be darned if Alain didn’t post his entire business plan, front to back.

Alain wasn’t the only one. Nearly three quarters of the people have floated some sort of an idea for Cuban (and the world) to peruse… and potentially pinch. Clearly, there’s no shortage of ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ when it comes to putting your ideas into the ether unprotected. The irony, of course, is that that the biggest ‘pro’ might also be the biggest ‘con.’ With a long history of showboating and grandstanding, the question has to have crossed the mind of every person who’s given Cuban a piece of their mind: “Is this just another platform for Mark to build the ‘Cuban’ brand?” Honestly, we probably won’t know until Cuban pulls the plug on the project. .But the fact that we’re talking about it ought to give some indication as to the answer.
 
But rather than second-guess his motives, why not use Cuban’s blog as a barometer to evaluate the entrepreneurial landscape in these precarious times. See what others are doing, then amend your idea— or come up with a new idea all together. Chances are it’ll probably be better than the first one, anyway. And no one says you have to give that one away.
 
If you like what Tom had to say, you might want to check out his blog at The Disgruntled Dylanologist
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Author: Kathleen Allen

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