Mark Cuban is doing something awesome. He started The Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan – Open Source Funding, where he has decided to help stimulate the economy by investing in ideas and companies that he believes in. He’s still accepting requests via comments on that original post (almost 2k comments and counting!), but today he unveiled some of the first companies that are getting money from him. While I LOVE the idea and hope to someday be able to emulate it myself, I found the first part of his post today more interesting. He mentions that he’s learned 2 things by doing this:
The first is that 95pct of people are dreamers who really don’t want to do the work. They would like to think they have the “next big thing”, but don’t realize that the “next big thing” that impacts their potential success is preparation and effort.
The 2nd reinforced belief is that the American Dream is still alive and well, even in these tough economic times. There are still many, many of you that know that success can be defined in many ways, but that it’s earned through preparation, hard work, love of what you are doing and a thirst to be the absolute best at what you do. It’s not only refreshing, its exciting to learn more about some of the companies that have been presented.
Let’s tackle one at a time.
The first is something I’ve talked about a few times with Adam Gilbert. It seems as if the culmination of the “I want it now” epidemic in our culture (you know, the same one that causes people to run up credit card debt and buy cars and houses they cannot afford) is that everyone wants to achieve great things, but very few are willing to put in the work necessary to attain that goal, whether it’s losing weight or starting a business or just about anything else. That gives a huge advantage to people who are simply willing to work hard. As everyone who regularly reads this blog knows, I’m a huge advocate of minimizing work and being as efficient as possible. Don’t mistake that for a lack of work ethic though. Challenging the status quo for more efficient solutions is part of being a (good) entrepreneur. So is hard work.
We’re working about as long and as hard as we ever have right now. The combination of trying to do a major re-launch of Detailed Image by Spring while still growing fast (February was one of our best months ever) isn’t easy. But we have a plan, each one of us knows what we need to do, and we’ll do it and do it well. No excuses. No short cuts. We’re putting things in place now that will help us for years to come, so it’s easy to put the hard work in perspective. Work hard now so that it will benefit us in the future. I’d like to think that everyone would do the same, but just surmising from the people around me (not named Mike, George or Greg), I know that this isn’t true for most.
As far as the second comment, I’m glad that Mark feels that way. I hope that anyone considering entrepreneurship feels the same way and sees these down economic times as an opportunity. Since it sucks to be an employee, why not at least try starting a company? Hopefully enough people who otherwise would have been at cushy jobs will create the companies that turn our economy around.