How to Win at the Sport of Business by Mark Cuban [Book Summary – Review]


What do you know about Mark Cuban?

 As many people do, he comes to Dallas, Texas for the sunlight and the women. But he became one of those exceptional people who produce a lot out of a little. In particular, he started his own businesses, MicroSolutions and Broadcast.com, were worth multi-million dollars at the time and also became the owner of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Dallas Mavericks. Do you want to know how he succeeded?

Mark Cuban’s book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, provides us with his expertise and unique experience in the world of business. In the book, he gives us about how to build an efficient company and be good at the business.


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Chapter 1 – Mark Cuban has come a long way from sleeping on the ground to starting his own business.


When Mark Cuban, at the age of 24, came to Dallas, he had three things in his mind: sunlight, career, and ladies. With a run-down car and some outfits of poor quality, he found a place to sleep in the corner of a friend’s small flat.

Cuban worked at different jobs and viewed jobs as a career opportunity even if he got fired from several of them. He thought job opportunities provide an experience that can not be wasted and offer career chances so that he worked at many different jobs. People need to get an ideal job right after graduation from university and stick to it but this pattern might not help them to build a satisfying career for life in the future. Instead, it is crucial to gain experience and expertise in the world of business.

After Cuban graduated from college at an early age, he worked at Mellon Bank for a while and there he had information on computer systems. As a businessman of the future, he tried to start the company without asking his employer and then was fired from the job.

In Dallas, he found a new job at a company working on software systems. After getting a cheap computer for $99, he began to learn computer programming. Instead of going back to university, Cuban spent a great deal of his time on this new curiosity in the profession because he viewed it a chance to make money while learning programming at the same time.

These various short-term occupations thought him an important thing: It may not be always fitting in following other people’s footsteps and benefitting from the same experiences.



By working at different kinds of jobs, people notice themselves, their abilities, and their aspirations and also they can have more information about how employers make mistakes and things go wrong in the business world.

After realizing Cuban’s bosses do not care about their employees’ ideas, it was the best way to quit these jobs or be fired from them. Therefore, he quitted and started his own business company called MicroSolutions that sells PC software systems and structures computers.

MicroSolutions had some problems like share issues and even a secretary, who is an employee, took over all the money of the company. However, Cuban succeeded in turning the company into a valuable business that generated over 30 million in revenue.


Chapter 2 – Cuban founded his own small company and expanded his business to the desired sector over time.  


A few years after MicroSolutions was found, it was sold for $6 million.

We are usually prejudiced that setting up a small company will not yield a sufficient amount of earnings for the development. But Cuban proved any business is open to growth and development.

Cuban set up AudioNet company, later known as Broadcast.com after selling MicroSolutions. With Broadcast.com, which was an internet radio program, people were able to attend online NBA and NFL games. Broadcast.com finally caught the attention of Yahoo and Yahoo gained the company by purchasing it from Cuban and his partner Todd Wagner for $5.9 billion in 1999.

As Cuban did, you can invest in other areas where you are interested in the money you earn from your previous business. If there is an affection for doing something and have the money for investment, then what could be the obstacle to working and investing?



Cuban had a passion for basketball so he decided to invest in the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA with the money he received from the sale of Broadcast.com.

Thereafter, he made it necessary to make some changes in the way the team works. Cuban was aware of the significance of client pleasure thanks to his first experiences with several jobs he got in Dallas. Therefore, he decided to sell tickets to Mavericks’ matches for a small price, like $2. He often participated in the team’s games as an observer but preferred to sit amongst people instead of sitting in the front so that he would have a similar pleasure feeling as supporters of the team had.

Cuban’s spectacular enterprising abilities and definitive timing played an important role in his achievements. In the following chapters, we will learn more about his major career mantras and what did he experience during his business life and success.


Chapter 3 – Don’t stop trying different methods to make yourself and your business better.


In order to make his company, MicroSolution, successful, Cuban made great efforts on this goal and gained priceless experiences at his early age.

The learning process is among his most valued things. So he took lessons from learning experience gained in a number of job opportunities.

Do not miss any chance you can improve yourself. One of these opportunities is to constantly read about everything you are passionate about. You can able to access plenty of reading materials and read them. So you should read as much as you can even if other people do not think that reading is essential.



Cuban always preferred studying to zapping TV channels and hanging around with friends. He learned about computer programming, followed successful businessmen, and read software books. He did his best to succeed and keep yourself ahead of others.

Business is a race. It is important to seize your rival in order to be successful in business. Therefore, you have to focus on what you are trying to win and be slightly better than others.

Also, there would be someone trying to defeat you in the business world. Suppose that you are one of the most persistent competitive of yourself and you do everything to disqualify yourself. Which weak spot can provide others to beat you in the race of business? Discover these weak spots before other people took advantage of them.

You should manage your business as it will challenge the most successful companies. If Google is your top competitor, use all your energy to compete with it. This is also the best way to overcome less threatening companies.

In the business world, you should be slightly better than others. It is necessary to be willing to achieve, be the brightest and the most well-prepared than others. You must have the desire to give up your long pleasure times for success, keep your optimistic thoughts and be nice to the people around you.

Competition in the business world is a never-ending game. As long as you are in this world, competition is inevitable. Never be satisfied with what you did so far and do not suppose you are successful because there will always be companies trying to beat you in the business.


Chapter 4 – Use all the energy you have for success.


As a human, you cannot have the whole control over your company. But if you want to make it happen, you have to spend all the time you have.

In fact, you have to be ready to work hard without hesitation in order to succeed in the objectives. Sport and business investments always have some incalculable threats but you should have faith in your own power.

In business life, as you do in sports, you have to work until late hours, practice for a long time and constantly improve yourself. You should work with clients and prospective clients during the daytime and plan on what to do the next days at night.

This pattern, working hard during the day and planning the future at night, made Cuban to improve his MicroSolution company. Even if he has a famous and successful team, Maverick, he does not forget to work hard with this order and develop his achievement day by day.

An efficient working disciple alone does not make you successful. You should also know well which chances you will consider because not all of them benefit your business.



As your company develops, you will find many opportunities to think about it. Don’t try to take advantage of all opportunities because the chaos of opportunities makes you disoriented in the way of achieving goals and harms your company. For instance, there were some proposals within the NBA to bring the league to the international levels but Cuban did not accept it. He was aware that such an initiative would prevent focusing on the current situation of the team and what they should do for the improvement. Never give up what you really want to do.

Therefore, it is important to keep your objectives alive and be hard-working for achievement. However, one of the other most important things you need for success is money.


Chapter 5 – Set your speed and always think about your clients.


It is usual to expect financial support from investors when your small company goes into a financial crisis. However, financial support taking from the main stockholders can actually destroy you and your company.

In the beginning, venture investors can save you and your business from an economic crisis but then you will learn why these investors are usually known as vulture investors. When someone saves your business from collapsing, you became in control of that person. If you can’t fulfill your promises on time, you will be accused of everything. In fact, you can be kicked out of your own business.

It is safer to learn that slow growth is a positive development than relying on vulture investors. You don’t always need to show rapid development in your business- in fact, it can be desirable to slowly strengthen your company and complete your development with just a few couples of employees.

Initially, Cuban founded the company MicroSolutions with his friend Scott. Both were eager to learn computer software, spend most of their time finding clients, and making their companies known to everyone. They gradually expanded their company.



Never ignore your customers, which is the most important factor, when your business is in the development phase. People are often more prone to growth in the business but never forget that making your customers satisfied is the primary goal of every business. Although you have the best idea in the world, success is an award that comes with customer satisfaction.

When any customer complained about his dissatisfaction with the company, Cuban always wanted to know why. He preferred to answer these complainants individually even after becoming a successful billionaire; he has always aimed to make his companies customer-based.

The last chapter will cover important issues such as sales and enjoying what you do- and learn how complaining can be advantageous!


Chapter 6 – Some abilities can be beneficial for development- and complaining is one of them.


Complaining is not always an attractive behavior and can sometimes be insulting and embarrassing. But you shouldn’t be like that. Complaining is not always evil.

In reality, complaining has some benefits. It makes people focus on the wrong things and inspire them to solve the problems.

If there is a situation to complain, it means you encountered some difficulties and obstacles.ıf you are not afraid to complain, you can easily solve the problems you encounter. Otherwise, you will suffocate with these problems and complain even more.

For this reason, Mark Cuban is very enthusiastic about complaining. On the opening night of the Mavericks’ 1999 season, for example, he constantly whined about the gloom of the energetic atmosphere and lack of entertainment in the place. He thought he could provide a better ambiance for the show and later he became the owner of Mavericks.

However, of course, complaining alone is not enough. It is still required that you and your employees enjoy what you do and can find customers to buy your products.



Not only you but also everyone who works with you as a team should enjoy the work they do. If you are not really obsessed with the work you do, your team together with you cannot demonstrate the ability to overcome the difficulties they face. You will be wasted without ambition.

Therefore, you should choose your employees from people who are willing to be as passionate as you are. Strive to find teammates who are always open to growth and development.

Cuban preferred hiring Scott to work for MicroSolutions because Scott was also eager and motivated to improve the company like him. He gave up all the works he had done before to completely devote himself to MicroSolutions. Also, he spent all his time studying on different computer types and learning how to set up several software programs.

In conclusion, Cuban’s business life is a story of commitment and devotion to his goals. You can do it just as Mark Cuban has achieved success in the sport of business.


How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It by Mark Cuban Book Review


Anyone can make their dream come true although it takes a long time and requires hard work. Focus on achieving your goals, even if you have to sleep on the floor of a friend. Shape your dreams to realize something realistic, but never stop trying to make yourself better than before and set your speed. Remember that customers are the most crucial factor for any business to be successful. If you face a situation to whine about, do not refrain from complaining. You can do it as Mark Cuban did.


Always be ready for unpredictable opportunities.

It is not clear when the chance will come. Things you don’t know may scare you but always be ready for the possibility of something that can happen. In the business world, the game is never over. If you have an opportunity to do something perfectly, don’t let this opportunity disappear.


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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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