True to form, Mark Cuban has his fingers in many exciting projects at the moment. Some are techy new ways to reward basketball fans, while others aim to tackle Americans’ genuine struggle with affordable medicine. From his latest take on the Metaverse to his investment choices on Shark Tank, everyone wants to know what’s on this business mogul’s radar.
The Mavericks are using NFTs to reward fans for going to gamesCuban believes the Metaverse and VR present a few challengesHis online pharmacy is helping people access affordable medication
Who is Mark Cuban?
Mark Cuban’s first business venture was at the age of twelve in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He sold garbage bags to afford an expensive pair of sneakers and moved on to peddle stamps and coins for extra cash in high school.
After college, he eventually landed in Texas, where he started a successful software reseller and system integration business, MicroSolutions, which he sold for $6 million in 1990. He is now a billionaire entrepreneur, a member of the Forbes 400, and one of the most famous “sharks” on TV, as he has been a permanent Shark Tank cast member since its third season.
Cuban’s Innovative Style
One great success followed another when Cuban and his friend Todd Wagner came up with a way to listen to their favorite Indiana basketball games in Texas. In 1995 they invented an over-the-internet streaming audio service called Broadcast.com. They sold it to Yahoo for $5.6 billion four short years later.
In 2000 he acquired the Dallas Mavericks, and in 2011, his team won the NBA world championship. That same year he made his first appearance on Shark Tank and became a mainstay on the ever-popular show. These days he’s still investing in innovative ideas on television and off the air.
The Mavs and NFTs
The Mavericks are one of the first teams to use NFTs as an added perk for fans who attend games. Cuban says in an interview with Forty-Eight Minutes that the idea is not to try to sell (the NFTs) and try to make some money off them but rather to reward fans for attending games.
For fans to claim their minted NFT, they scan their ticket at the stadium before the end of the first quarter. That ensures only those who are physically at a game can participate. Once fans claim their NFTs, they can visit the Mavericks’ trading platform, where they can sell or trade their tokens. Cuban explained:
The people that are actually there and scan in are the ones that are going to get the NFT commemorating that game. And we’ll do something special for anything that happens in that game, and the fan can hold it as a collectible, or they can sell it somewhere else.
The Challenges with VR and the Metaverse
The buzz around the Metaverse and virtual reality seem inescapable lately, and it’s no surprise Mark Cuban is involved in the conversation. Although he recently invested $5 million in the Metaverse platform, Oorbit, he has some concerns about the future of this landscape. In an interview with Boardroom, he states:
So metaverses succeed when there are enough people in a community to create a real economy. And so that’s kind of a catch-22. If there’s nobody there and if you don’t build a big enough economy, then there are 20 people who dominate it.
Cuban’s Views on the Metaverse
Cuban also feels that while virtual reality has excellent entertainment value, it may not be enough to sustain daily usage in the Metaverse.
He thinks that people might enjoy it once or twice, and try some games and exercises, but nowadays there’s no reason to use it every day. Until there is, he considers it a challenge to try to base the Metaverse on VR. It seems Cuban is cautiously optimistic about these technologies for the time being.
How is Mark Cuban Approaching Affordable Medicine?
It’s no question that Americans desperately need access to low-cost medicine, and Cuban’s goal in this sector is to bring transparency and affordability to the drug pricing market.
In January 2022, he launched a pharmaceutical wholesaler called the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company (MCCPDC). They cut costs by purchasing drugs directly from manufacturers allowing them to pass the savings onto customers.
For example, Albendazole, a standard antiparasitic treatment for worms, is typically priced at $437.68 for two tablets, but MCCPDC can provide the drug at just $33 for both pills. One of the cornerstones of MCCPDC is transparency, and users can see the formula for how they calculate prices on their website. They currently have around 100 other generic medications available and hope to grow that list by the thousands.
What’s Next for Mark Cuban?
It’s always exciting to pry into Mark Cuban’s creative and innovative ventures. He is changing the way fans interact with the Mavericks. He is altering the landscape of American medicine and setting an important precedent. And while he is more enthusiastic about NFTs, he keeps an eye on the Metaverse and subsequent virtual reality, albeit with a bit of caution.
So what’s next for this unstoppable man? With so many investments in vastly differing areas, the future of Cuban’s enterprise seems limitless. At the very least, there’s no question that his next move will undoubtedly be enthralling.