Mark on Mark

There is unsurprisingly fun reading — for entrepreneurs, VCs, and media sorts alike — in the transcript of Mark Cuban’s appearance on C-Span’s Q&A show last weekend. I hardly know where to start, so just read it. A snippet:

LAMB: And do you notice that more people come after you for money?

CUBAN: Oh, yes, hundreds of times a day because my email is so readily available. I mean everything from, you know, shoes to braces to, you know, hair transplants. I mean it’s crazy the stuff.

LAMB: Just asking you to pay for them?

CUBAN: Every day. And you know, I — the way I look at it, I mean what a great problem to have on my end, right, because I’ve been on the other end. But you know, everybody — I don’t blame people for asking, you know, you never know until you try.

LAMB: Do you have somebody going through it? Do you do it all yourself?

CUBAN: Because there might be that one. I mean I’ve paid for things when I felt it was really, you know, there was a reason to — just from random emails. I’ve paid for a transplant just from somebody who sent me — and multiple times — people who have sent me an email.

You know you sit there and you read this email and someone is saying, “My son is going to die unless I get $250,000 to put him on a kidney transplant list.” What am I going to do, say no? You know it’s a lot of money but it’s not going to change my life but obviously — and so, you know, there is — you know I’ve thought about putting together organizations that deal with that but then it gets so complicated and it becomes a slippery slope. And, you know, people are tending to find me now, doctors are recommending that they find me and that’s OK, it works out better that way.


  1. I caught it on CSpan earlier in the week and thought it was fascinating. Given all the flak that Cuban has taken from the outside world for being an over-achiever and cashing out at the top of the market, it’s a surprise to hear him describe his generosity toward others, especially those facing a life-threatening situation. I don’t think he came across as fickle; I was genuinely impressed by his charity.

  2. Agreed Jon. I found him typically engaging, forthcoming, and frighteningly giving of time and money. And I’m sure he’ll get even more requests given his comments.

  3. Brent Buckner says:

    I’m surprised that such a smart guy who has run commercial enterprises chooses to allocate capital and time that way: being a one-person “make a wish” foundation.
    Perhaps my surprise says more about me than his choice says about him. 1/2 :-)

  4. I find that incredible too, but I have to say it fits with everything else he does. He walks the walk, more or less — whatever it is. It might be crazy, but he does it anyway, and more power to him.

  5. Giving away your money/resources to those who need it more than you is more satisfying (by tenfold) than making the money in first place.
    Don’t be suprised by his choice, try it out and you too will understand.

  6. Brent Buckner says:

    Zack, my surprise was at his choice of mechanism of philanthropy (serving as a one-person “make a wish” foundation) rather than his choice to give away money/resources. Whatever my philanthropic choices, I very much doubt that I’ll attempt that mechanism.

  7. One thing that shouldn’t go unnoticed about Mark: He is a “Hands-On” kinda guy:-)