Mark Cuban on Shark Tank is a relatively new recruit, joining the show as a guest in Season 2 before appearing as a regular in Season 3. His freewheeling style and pursuit of high-dollar deals have made quite a splash with viewers as well as the other Sharks.
Leveraging technology is a business strategy that has served many sharks well, and Mark Cuban is no exception. He got his start selling software in 1980s Texas, eventually launching his own company and selling it to industry giant CompuServe in 1990.
He would go on to launch Audionet, the forerunner to Broadcast.com, in the mid-’90s. At the end of that decade, Cuban would cash in again, selling the venture to Internet player Yahoo! for $5.8 billion.
Cuban diversified his earnings in the new century, but continued to focus most of his efforts on entertainment. His companies include 2929 Entertainment, the Landmark Theatres chain of movie houses, production company Magnolia Pictures and the cable/satellite TV services HDNet and HDNet Movies.
His political philosophy is partially inspired by Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and he actively donates to political candidates of both parties. His Mark Cuban Foundation established a Fallen Patriot Fund to support families of servicemen and women killed in Iraq.
He is also the majority owner of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks basketball team and has expressed interest in several other major sports properties. An avid sports fan, he has been a proponent of wrestling and mixed martial arts, even serving as guest host on WWE Raw in 2009.
Cuban is a big proponent of creative Internet startup companies and has invested in several of these ventures in the last decade. And his financial status has put him in the spotlight, leading to appearances in movies and TV shows, including Entourage, Like Mike 2: Streetball, and Dancing with the Stars.
In his visits to the Shark Tank so far, Cuban has invested in Hy-Conn, a fire hydrant tool, and Toygaroo, a toys by mail service.