Do you have a desire to solve a problem in an unconventional way? Are you ready to risk it all without the guarantee of success? Well, if you’re not tuned into the weekly ABC hit series, Shark Tank, you’re missing an opportunity to learn some pearls of wisdom from six super successful serial entrepreneurs. One of the most outspoken investors on the show, Mark Cuban, sits alongside five other investors waiting to be persuaded to fund the next new startup that promises to disrupt the industry.
Worth an estimated $2.7 billion, Cuban has made a career out of investing in startups. Not only does he own the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters, and Magnolia Pictures, chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV, he’s funded many start ups like Cyber Dust, The Zebra, and Beat Box Beverages, to name a few.
Differentiating between a small business and a start up can be a little confusing. “Warby Parker co-CEO Neil Blumenthal defines: a startup as a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed,” he told Forbes. Additionally, as Paul Graham explains, a startup is a company designed to scale very quickly. It is this focus on growth unconstrained by geography, which differentiates startups from small businesses. A restaurant in one town is not a startup, nor is a franchise a startup.”
As the CEO of a startup you’re leading a company into unchartered territory, learning as you go and embracing uncertainty along the way. Here are 12 start up tips from Mark Cuban to keep in mind:
1. Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love.
2. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.
3. Hire people you think will love working there.
4. Sales cure all.
5. Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them.
6. Lunch is a chance to get out of the office and talk.
7. No offices, there is nothing private in a startup.
8. As far as technology, go with what you know.
9. Keep the organization flat.
10. Never buy swag.
11. Never hire a PR firm.
12. Make the job fun for employees.