Mark Cuban On Capitalism, Being Rich, and the Future of Work

The ‘Shark Tank’ Judge and Dallas Mavericks owner has no shortage of big ideas.

Billionaire Mark Cuban is known for a few things: his “Shark Tank” investments, his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, and his ongoing thoughts on cryptocurrency.

However, his ever-so-humbly named Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company might be the thing that he’s best known for as of late. It’s easy to see why, too. Launched in January 2022 with co-founder Dr. Alexander Oshmyansky, the company’s concept was based on a single idea that aimed to disrupt the prescription drug industry.

“We started Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company because every American should have access to safe, affordable medicines. If you don’t have insurance or have a high deductible plan, you know that even the most basic medications can cost a fortune. Many people are spending crazy amounts of money each month just to stay healthy. No American should have to suffer or worse – because they can’t afford basic prescription medications,” the company’s website says.

Since its January launch, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company has drawn 88,000 Twitter followers, many of them absolutely overjoyed that the service gives them access to the medications they previously were in need of but could not afford.

Cuban Has More Big Ideas

In a recent podcast, Cuban did with podcaster and organizational psychologist Alan Grant, the “Shark Tank” entrepreneur shared a wide variety of thoughts across several topics, including the pharma industry, the future of work, and on the worst career advice he’s ever heard.

When asked by Grant about the concept of free agency and how it would affect the future of the working world, Cuban’s take was that jobs are “an arbitrage in your time.”

“I’ve been saying that for years, you know, where it’s effectively, how much can I get paid per hour per job, whatever it may be. And then how can I effectively use that money to, and arbitrate that money to get people to do things for me that cost less so I have the most time fungible time available to myself. That’s effectively what we try to do in our lives,” Cuban said.

“You know how what’s going be the sweet spot for my earnings that I need in order to be able to free myself off, to do the things I love to do so that I get fulfillment in my life. It’s an equation at some level. It’s an arbitrage on your earnings versus your time. Maybe part of it is okay. So I want some consistency. I wanna reduce my risk. So I don’t have uncertainty in my earnings. Some people want an annuity in their earnings. Some people are willing to take the risk, to value their time more. That’s the arbitrage.”

Cuban also weighed in on mistakes startup founders make when they pitch their companies to potential investors.

“They think about what everybody else is doing and they try to connect to what’s happening in the market,” Cuban said.  “If someone’s pitching to me, I don’t care what so and so is investing somewhere else. I don’t care on the valuation of some other company that you think is a comp cause I’m not investing in them. You only survive with cashflow. I don’t want to hear about your revenues, right? Cause revenues don’t matter. I wanna hear about your gross margin dollars, your available gross margin dollars to pay your bills, and your cash.”

And when it comes to bad career advice, Cuban says “follow your passions” is among the worst out there.

“No, not at all,” he said. “Follow your efforts. No one quits anything they’re good at. If I followed my passions, I’d be still trying to play professional basketball.”

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