Mark Cuban: How To Outplay Your Competitor’s Startup
Mark Cuban is a serial and highly successful Entrepreneur. He has built many startups throughout his career and actively invest in rising startups as seen on Shark Tank. The success for Mark did not happen overnight. Mark worked extremely hard for every startup he built and has some words of wisdom for everyone looking to outplay their competitor’s startup.
It’s ok to fail
Mark Cuban always say that it is ok to fail. Mark stats that, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail, you only have to do it right once to be an overnight success.” He believes that entrepreneurs should focus and work harder than anyone else in their field. If you do happen to fail, take it as a lesson and make sure each time you fail you learn something from the failure. That way you improve and the same mistake does not occur.
This is probably one of the most debatable topic in the startup/entrepreneur world. Should you do it for the passion or money? Mark believes that you must have passion for what you do. You have to have more than just passion, you must be obsessed with your business. The reason behind this is because passion is what drives people. If you do not have passion for your product, you won’t be putting as much effort into it. Who wants to wake up feeling like they have to work? With passion you don’t need to feel a day of stressful work. Mark mentions that you must find something you are passionate about before even thinking about starting that business. General rule is that you will be dedicating 5-7 years of your future life in building the business, so make sure it is something you have passion about.
Outlearn Your Competitors
When Mark was building Microsolutions, he spend all his time reading tech magazine, books, manuals, and attended every conference he could so that people knew his company was out there. Shortly after clients started rolling in by themselves. Mark Cuban believes that the first step to beating your competitor’s startup is to outlearn them. You have to know more than them and fill in the holes that they are missing in your own business. Learn every possible thing about your competitor and your field.
Don’t worry about an exit strategy
Mark Cuban says that you should never worry about having an exit strategy. He believes that if you love your business and product, you should focus on how to grow it instead of thinking about how to exit. Most venture capitalist require that you have an exit strategy in your business plan, but Mark Cuban believes that this isn’t necessary. If you spend your time thinking about how to sell your startup, your not getting anywhere. He believes that success will come with hard work and exit will happen eventually by itself when the opportunity occurs.
Outperform Your Competitors
Mark Cuban does not believe in excuses. You should never have an excuse for yourself to not outperform your competitors. If a product is already out there in your niche, then make it better. Find a hole in your competitor’s startup and ensure that the hole does not occur in your business. He believes that you must get yourself out there and let people know you exist. Although a lot of people won’t agree, but Mark Cuban believes that it’s not about your connections, money, or loans. To him, those are all nothing but excuses. His philosophy is to get yourself out there, attend all the conferences possible, go to meetups and most importantly let everyone know what you are doing and that your startup exist.
Know Your Sales
Think about how your competitor’s startup is making money. Then think about how you can do better than them. Sales is the most important thing in a business. If you cannot make sales, you won’t generate revenue. Mark Cuban believes that it is ok to bootstrap, but you must have a strong sales plan that can grow and show results. You have to have an overview of how your business will expand the sales plan so that you can grow in different fields.
Reward your employees
Mark Cuban recalls that when his business did well in sales, he would go around handing the sales people free 100 dollar bills. He knew he was happy about the business’s result, but he wanted to share the love with everyone that sweat for him. As the startup grows, the talent base grows, this is the philosophy that Google and a lot of modern startups use. Make your employees feel good about working for you, so that they don’t leave and go to one of your competitors startups.
Do Not Waste Money On PR Firms
Mark says that hiring a PR firm is stupid because all the PR firms do is send out emails and call the publishers that you already know. It is much better to actually pick up the phone yourself or send an email yourself introducing yourself and your startup. Using a 3rd party service will screw you over. “Whenever you consume any information related to your field, get the email of the person publishing it and send them a message introducing yourself and the company. Their job is to find new stuff. They will welcome hearing from the founder instead of some PR flack. Once you establish communication with that person, make yourself available to answer their questions about the industry and be a source for them. If you are smart, they will use you.”
Follow Mark Cuban on twitter @mcuban