Who needs an entirely satisfying explanation ?? :)

Ive never been one to be overly creative. I have a decent feel for what my strengths and weaknesses are. Putting aside my far too numerous to mention weaknesses, one area I have always had a strength in was recognizing and calibrating business opportunityand risk.

I can drill down to the core issue of just about any business that Im familiar with relatively quickly and decide whether or not its worth it to act. Even so, I was just as shocked as the New York Times Magazine to find myself the originator of, or involved with 3 of their 91 ideas for 2005.

Or as they put it

“For instance, we do not yet have an entirely satisfying explanation for how Mark Cuban, the outspoken Internet mogul and N.B.A. owner, came to be connected with three of the year’s most notable ideas (“Collapsing the Distribution Window,” “Scientific Free-Throw Distraction” and “Splogs”). That was just one surprising discovery we made in the course of assembling the issue”

The Collapsed Windows concept was mine. Of course, like any idea, thinking of it was the easy part. It took forward thinkers like Jason and Joanna Kliot at HDNet Films , Enron – The Smartest Guys in the Room director extrodinaire Alex Gibneyand my “no way i can do any of this shit without him” partner Todd Wagner to run with the idea. Then Todd put the icing on thecake bybringing in the brilliant Steven Soderbergh.

Steven is one of the few unique talents in the world who byhimselfcan help change how an industry does business. Of course, no less valuable and probably even more so areeach and every employee ofLandmark Theaters, Magnolia Pictures and Home Entertainment, HDNet Films and HDNet.

The best of this idea is yet to come. We are working on data that identifies towns with 1 or fewer theaters, not within 90 miles of multiplex. Why ? Because there are towns that just dont get first run movies. There is no good reason, not even from the big theater chains, why small towns shouldnt get King Kong the same day as big cities. Even if its for $34.95 on a DVD. It will happen as the first shot across the bow from the big studios. If the theater chains were smart, they would support this on a limited distribution basis and ask for a percentage of the sales. If they are smart.

And btw, did anyone notice Universal selling a “behind the scenes/Making of DVD” the day and date of King Kongs release ? Thats one BRILLIANT way to skin the cat.

As far as the Free Throw Distraction. The article wasnt 100pct correct. Daniel provided the idea. I ran with it. It worked the first couple games. But dont tell anyone, but we didnt abandon it….The problem however is in getting everyone behind the basket to work in unison. Too many years of waiving bricks haphazardly I guess. But we are working on it. And for the record, for those who email me about how hard it would make it on the Free Throw shooter if the arena were dead silent. If we cant get them to waive a sign in unison, how are we going to get 20k fans to shut up ?

Finally, the splog idea has been well discussed and documented in my blogs posts and by others. The fun, sad, stupid part of it was. My wife was there as i was writing it, and I specifically said to her: “Im going to come up with a stupid word that i think may stick. How crazy would it be if it caught on and became widely used.”

We both cracked up when Newsweek picked up on splogs and headlined a full page article with it.

Its a crazy world. You just never know !

22 thoughts on “Who needs an entirely satisfying explanation ?? :)

  1. I’ve often taken my car through one of those automated car washes. You know, the kind where you pull your car inside, put the car in park, and all of the work is done for you….

    Comment by runescape money -

  2. I always want to order things off the internet, but there is no way I am giving them my credit card number, and I don’t want to deal with PayPal. Why can’t there be just some gift card that you can buy at Krogers [for example]-displayed in the giftcard rack, that is a sort of a temporary credit card, containing very little or no personal info, linked to the card.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  3. Though you can’t get 20000 fans to be silent, you could probably get 1000 fans to yell in a low-to-high-pitch Sine Wave, at, say, 2 or 3 Hz. That might throw off the throwers rhythm — or make them want to throw up. It could also give the visual wavers something to synchronize with.

    Comment by Liudvikas Bukys -

  4. MarkyMark ! What do you think ?

    Jackson Takes A Swipe At Cuban
    “Phil Jackson, asked about the Lakers’ 4-5 record in Staples Center, took a swipe at the Dallas Mavericks and their owner, Mark Cuban. ‘Staples is a shared arena with the Clippers, it’s a familiar arena with NBA players. It’s not what you would consider a place like Dallas, where the owner runs around, pumps up the volume, intimidates the referees and has announcers as hired cheerleaders, which is an intimidating force.'” — Los Angeles Times

    Comment by Shake -

  5. Mark-

    The next big thing in media will be real-time rendering of video…meaning that you can deliver unencoded video streams to the home and then customize them on the fly, based on the audience. Let me know if you want to discuss how to do this.

    Comment by Rob Thomas -

  6. Mark,

    I honestly think that one of your best recent accomplishments was tricking the Wall Street Journal into thinking that you really were considering beginning a sports gambling investment fund. They loved that one, and had several pieces on it.

    Of course, alternately, one could argue that the idea itself is a great one, and it should have cracked the NYT’s top 100 list.


    Comment by Stefan Beck -

  7. “…why small towns shouldnt get King Kong the same day as big cities.”

    Does this mean that the mission of Landmark Theatres will be to open more theaters that play big budget first-run films? Or is this just in relation to the DVD sales somehow? Is it just advice to other chain owners?

    Comment by lauren -

  8. Why not coin a word like “betaitis” to describe all the beta versions that Google has. Unless, it’s not a bad thing. So far there are only 16 results on Google. Let the word coinage commence.

    Comment by Mike -

  9. to Mark
    I started reading your blog a few weeks ago, and I’ve enjoyed very much. I’ve just now read about your 3 notable ideas.

    To the article about “Collapsing the distribution” I have a sugestion. Today the most marking entertainment experience a person are concerts. And since all of the are taped it would be good to sell the concerts dvd in the (if it were possible), or selling a different dvd in every state/country were a band tour has stopped.

    You should compile your blog and make a book.

    to Debbie Haake and to Mark
    There is such a system in my country,Portugal. In the ATM machines you have an option called service payment. This can be used to charge cards for later use or the seller can give you a reference and you pay them directly. This works without any extra fees because we’ve got a unified ATM system for all banks.
    ATM machines do other things like sell concert,train and other types of tickets. And you can pay all sorts of services in an atm. Cable, water,phone bills, etc.

    Comment by Daniel Santos -

  10. Mark,

    I would suggest that a “entirely satisfying explanation” for why you are listed is because “you got bucks, you are a smart dude, and you speak the plain unvarnished truth without Corporate BS” – my two cents.

    BTW, today’s (Tuesday, December 13th) Wall Street Journal on page C3 has an article about your latest investment … in toilet seats! 😉

    I noticed the “in an Email interview” which you’ve commented is your preferred approach. And loved the last line “People tend to approach technology the same way, whether it’s in front of them, or behind them” – hilarious!

    Care to comment on all this along with how well it was reported?

    Comment by alek -

  11. Splog may be a dumb word, but it’s better then blog 😉

    Comment by Chris -

  12. What I want to know is, what are you doing about collapsing the DVD window? “Bubble” played at the Toronto Film Festival back in September. So why should I have to wait until January to watch it?

    You said that you were all about giving the customer what they want. Well, I’m a customer, and I want to watch “Bubble” now, not when you think I should watch it.

    The idea that I should have to wait to watch a movie is old-school thinking. So come on, Mark, give me what I want, and let me rent “Bubble” from Netflix right now.

    Comment by future_of_film -

  13. what is sblog?

    Comment by wirefly -

  14. Mark’s thinking good again kids,, thats good, instead of those ideas like putting a URL on a newspaper add. 😉 😉

    I still can’t believe why somebody who has more or less told the world what he enjoys in the biz world and life in general who has the GLUE and is as media savvy as can be , hasn’t taken one of the most advertisement dollar generating media industries head on and capitlalized on it.Especially since it blends right in with what he already has. MY OH MY

    BTW Mark , keep your humility.. ,,XXXLLL $$$$ guys like you that have some is RARE.

    Also , IF you need the best ever free throw distractor for the MAV’s playoffs . I know a 300lb er that has a tatoo on his XXXXXLLLL beer belly which he FLASHES while the guys on the FT line .. ):^))
    it’s got a huge ROI ;)…cost cheap 2 playoff tickets. I don’t own the tatoo ..I’m the agent. lol

    Comment by Ron D -

  15. Here’s an idea for you. And don’t laugh at me if it’s already been done-which it probably has-ironically I was just thinking yesterday, that you would be the one to find someone to make this work.

    I always want to order things off the internet, but there is no way I am giving them my credit card number, and I don’t want to deal with PayPal. Why can’t there be just some gift card that you can buy at Krogers [for example]-displayed in the giftcard rack, that is a sort of a temporary credit card, containing very little or no personal info, linked to the card. Call it the “Go Card” or something. You buy it like a Phone Card, go on the internet, type in the Go Card id number, the vendor pulls the balance off the card, and three days later you get your item you have been dreaming of -thru the mail, at your door. No credit card necessary. No ID theft possible, no risk at all, except for the $$ currently on the card.

    If they have not done this, they should. There are plenty of seniors or people who fear credit card disaster, who would love to get involved in internet commerce, but fear ID theft, so they stick with brick and mortar. There is a reason some people won’t shop online.

    I think there are prepaid credit cards at some drug stores, but this could be displayed on phone card displays, and known to one and all as the safe credit card, that you can use on the .com stores.


    Comment by Debbie Haake -

  16. Since we are talking about ideas here, I have a question to one of your most sucessful ideas “broadcast.com”.

    After Yahoo accquired broadcast.com, do you have any knowledge as to how it benefitted them from a company growth stand-point. I am asking this question trying to evaluate the recent buying spree of Yahoo (Flickr and upcoming.org)

    If we were to name a clear winner in the deal, would it be
    1. You and the employees of broadcast.com
    2. Yahoo

    I hope you will find the time to respond.

    Kay, TX

    Comment by Kay -

  17. still waiting for the enron dvd to come out. january right?

    p.s. good to see u at the game last nite! =) too bad it wasnt the outcome i was hoping for.

    Comment by cali -

  18. Is there an explanation somewhere why you got involved with IceRocket.com? Seems a bit off the track of your other ventures. Is it just because you started blogging and weren’t satisfied with the other blog search engines?

    Comment by Robert Oschler -

  19. I’m intrigued by the idea of “Scientific Free Throw Distraction”….

    Perhaps the Mavs could experiment with placing a group of select people in the seats directly behind the opposing team’s basket….People who understand the concept and who are willing to work together in a unified effort. (I don’t know if that idea would be feasible?) Otherwise, maybe staff members could hand out flyers to individuals who are in the FT shooter’s line of sight….The flyers would have to give a simple and understandable explanation of how and why “Scientific Free Throw Distraction” works….

    I don’t know if I’m completely correct, but here is my interpretation of how “Scientific Free Throw Distraction” affects….

    If all the people (behind the basket) in the free throw shooter’s line-of-sight move their “bricks” side to side, back and forth, slowly and in unison, it creates the illusion that the basket or the entire building is moving (From the perspective of the player standing at the free throw line.) The free throw shooter may even feel as if he is moving while attempting to shoot the free throw….

    Here are two examples of this “perceived movement” effect….

    I’ve often taken my car through one of those automated car washes. You know, the kind where you pull your car inside, put the car in park, and all of the work is done for you….Soapy water is sprayed from above as spinning cleaning brushes work their way across the top and sides of your vehicle….I don’t know how many times I’ve been parked in one of those car washes, and have looked down or reached into my glove box, only to feel that the car was moving as I looked back up. The cleaning brushes spinning and moving across the car gave my brain the sensation that my car was rolling, when in fact the vehicle was stationary….Only the objects around me were moving….(Still it tricked my brain!)

    Same concept when you’re walking through the shallow water on a beach as the tide flows in and out….You can be standing completely still, but the water movement all around you can trick your brain, giving the perception that you are moving as well….

    Maybe if people understand why they should waive their “bricks” in a particular unified way, they will be more willing to give the distraction method a try? Just my thoughts….

    Jim Parham
    Yuba City, CA

    Comment by StockMaverick -

  20. Mark, to your comment…

    “I can drill down to the core issue of just about any business that Im familiar with relatively quickly and decide whether or not its worth it to act.”

    … please post your process. Would love to know your methods and reasoning. Would make a great read, and would love to know your “lens” methodology. Thanks.

    Comment by Mike L. -

  21. Mark, how come they didn’t credit you with inventing podcasting? Maybe we need to start a Cubanpedia.

    Comment by Steve Rubel -

  22. I especially liked the part when you were referred to the “bad-boy” owner of the Mavericks. Living in Southern California, I have heard countless times how some the teams here, i.e. the Clippers, were owned by a “bad-boy” owner as yourself. And the free throw trick does work when you can convince the crowd to do it.

    Comment by James Askew -

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