Billionaire entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban gives out plenty of public advice, from his musings on ABC’s “Shark Tank” to his own TikTok account.
Now, you can ask him questions directly — and get responses — through “The MCC Network” on Fireside, a streaming platform Cuban co-founded with CEO Falon Fatemi in 2021. The network is a portal on Fireside’s platform that will host virtual networking happy hours and weekly interactive live streams, led by Cuban and founders of companies in his investment portfolio.
It’s primarily intended for entrepreneurs who want advice: Cuban initially created it just for his portfolio companies before realizing its broader appeal, he says.
“I love helping entrepreneurs,” Cuban, 65, tells CNBC Make It. “I know how scary it can be to start a company. I know what it’s like to be broke and have everything riding on how your company does.”
That’s not an exaggeration: When he was in his 20s, Cuban lived in a three-bedroom apartment with five roommates in Dallas. He worked as a bartender, got a job selling computer software and was fired after nine months. At that point, he decided to start his own software company called MicroSolutions, he wrote in a 2004 blog post.
The business was fragile in its early days. At age 27, he plugged his PIN in an ATM machine to find that his secretary had stolen $82,000, effectively wiping out his business’s account and nearly making him personally broke, he recently told TikToker Bobbi Althoff’s “The Really Good Podcast.”
Five years later, Cuban sold MicroSolutions to CompuServe, a now-defunct internet company, for $6 million. He later co-founded audio streaming service Broadcast.com, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1999 for $5.7 billion. He currently has an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion, according to Forbes.
Cuban’s advice network, which currently requires a free subscription to join, streamed its first show on Wednesday. Its next piece of programming, hosted by Ansley Carlisle — one of Cuban’s investment partners — is set to premiere on October 3.
As for Cuban’s approach to giving advice, when he doesn’t know much about the topic at hand, he researches it intensively — reading “everything I can find,” he says.
He hopes the advice network will introduce him to new ideas, too. “There are so many unique cliques of people these days,” says Cuban. “I want them to open my eyes to things I haven’t seen yet.”
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the advice network’s first piece of programming streamed on Sept. 27, 2023.
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