Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Rant: Billionaire Mark Cuban Has Some Money Making Advice For The Young Uns

I haven't done a Friday Rant in awhile, so hopefully I'm not out of practice. For those of you who don't follow the NBA, Mark Cuban is the owner of the world champion Dallas Mavericks. His net worth is in the billions of dollars, and apparently he is a flaming asshole to boot. That's the only explanation I can come up with for what compelled him to write the article below for Business Insider:
Every kid needs to make some money, right? You want a job. You can’t get a job. You need experience. You got no experience. High School and College kid problems.

But fear not. Not every job has to be a career. Money plays. You don’t need brilliant ideas. Sometimes you just need to make some money for the summer. Or to pay for your braces. Or to pay for the phone bill your parents killed you on. Whatever you need cash for, it's always a problem that needs solving.

To solve your big money problems, sometimes you only need to solve simple problems. Sometimes you just need to be creative. I’m going to give you 2 ideas any student going to any school can do to make more than minimum wage.

1. Shoelaces.

Say what? Shoelaces. I said it.

I guarantee you that if you go to the parking lot of any high school or college football game with a bunch of shoelaces in team colors that you bought for 2 bucks a pop, and put up a sign and 2 chairs, you can make money. Not football season? Go to where ever there are people in your community. Flea Market. Basketball Game. Dance recital. Wherever people who go to your school show up, you show up. You set up your sign and your chairs.

On the sign you put something like ”Get in the YOUR-SCHOOL spirit.” I will re-lace your shoes with “YOUR-SCHOOL” color laces for $10 (small schools), $20 bucks (big schools with more drunk alums or lots of rich people). If you want to make it even more fun, you can add “I will lace them in 5 minutes or they are free”. If you are really enterprising, you can put up on the poster about 5 different ways to lace the shoes and charge a premium for anything but “Missionary” lacing.
Easy money. Guaranteed.

2. Become an expert in programming All-in-one T.V. remote controls. People are buying a single remote control to replace all the remotes they have. No one really wants to take the time to figure out all the options. No one wants to take the time to learn how to program the stupid remote. In fact it pisses them off that it takes far more time than they have to do something they bought the stupid remote to do.

To help solve everyone’s problem, go to a local electronics store and find out what remotes they sell. Go to the local Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc, etc. if the grocery store sells remotes go there too. Find out what the most popular sellers are. How do you find out which are the most popular? You ask someone.

Then, you become an expert in programming those remote controls. The worlds best expert. Once you know your shit, go back to the store with business cards with your email/cell phone number on it and the following:

Your Name
I will program any Remote Control for $20
I Have a Phd In Remote Control Programming
Cell #/Email/Website

Then you go to all the stores and tell them that their customers will be far happier if they send them to you to program the remote. You will program it exactly like they want it, connecting to any and all devices. All the store has to do is let you put up a stack of cards next to the remote control; maybe a little sign. Then you give a sheepish grin to the manager of the electronics or remote control section of the store and tell them how this is really important to you and how you will do a great job, you promise. Then every couple days you go back to the store and talk to the salespeople who work there and remind them about your PHD in Remote Control Programming and how if they send you enough business, you might be able to spiff them a commission.

Then you damn well do a great job or some other kid is going to steal your remote control programming business.

There you go. Easy breezy money. Nothing fancy. Nothing complicated. Just some hard work, some customer service and the ability to be nice to people and thank them when they pay you and tip you.
I don't think I have ever in my life read such an arrogant, condescending pile of fucking rubbish. Shoelaces and universal remotes? That's this psychopath's advice to young people who need to raise tens of thousands of dollars just to be able to afford a college tuition these days? It sounds like something a bitter, dried up old prune confined in an assisted living facility might say right before they serve him his tapioca pudding, but according to his Wikipedia page, Cuban himself is only 53 years old.

I'm not saying it is bad advice for young people to be industrious or entrepreneurial, but could Cuban have picked two more inane supposed money making schemes for his article? How much of a fucking market could their possibly be for colored shoelaces at a sporting event? Great, let's get 'em started early peddling cheap shit people don't need. That's how we got into this fucking mess in the first place.

And exactly how would you react if some kid you don't know handed you a business card saying he could program your remote control for $20? Even if you are so inept that you can't follow the instructions, would you trust him to come to your house? Or would you more likely suspect that he might be wanting to case the joint so he could rob you later?

Take this tripe for what it is, an attempt by someone who is looking to morally justify why he has billions of dollars while others are destitute. "Hey, I gave 'em some advice as to how they can work hard and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, so what the fuck else do they want from me?"

Actually, I have a better idea, Mark. How about we tax the living fuck out of rich pricks like you so that maybe young people won't have to become debt slaves just getting a college degree or going to a trade school? After all, those who are the most successful in any society should have an obligation to give the most back to that society that enabled them to have such success. I'd really like to put that proposal to a vote in a free and fair election in which you and your 0.00000001% billionaire buddies are prevented from financing political attack ads against it.

Yep, "let 'em sell shoelaces" has become the new "let 'em eat cake," with the difference being that the latter is an unfair smear against the person who supposedly said it. We can always hope that someday billionaire asshole extraordinaire Mark Cuban will share the fate of the unfortunate French Queen.

Bonus: Turning Kirsten Dunst into Marie Antoinette (soundtrack by New Order)


  1. I have wished I could just set up a table anywhere with actually useful stuff I've made, such as reusable table napkins, but what stopped me was thinking I would get in trouble for it. I've seen news of kids get tickets for having lemonade stands.

  2. Another thing for the rich to remember -
    "Louis XVI had good security too."
    ---Ted Rall

  3. As I recall from meeting him a few times in the 90's, Mark's a former small-time broadcast radio DJ who registered the internet domain "" in 1994, started streaming radio stations without regard to BMI/ASCAP (which at that point didn't know streaming existed) and then sold it all out to Yahoo for a billion dollars in 1997. (BMI and ASCAP then noticed, and the domain went away shortly thereafter in the dotcom bust.) What do you expect? "Let them tie shoes!" Life's easy when you hit the lottery.

    1. Interesting. The fact that he was once little people and has that attitude makes it even more infuriating.

    2. Bill, I haven't seen him in since the NAB in 1997, but Mark was a nice guy. He was funny - A radio guy at heart, which means, he'll say anything. That's what radio people did in the 80's and 90's, when there were still people working at the stations and everything wasn't a network feed provided by some "talent" - who will still say anything for numbers and money. And Mark - unlike many lottery winners - won big enough and was also smart/lucky enough that he didn't lose it all - his successes have continued to outnumber his errors - so he feels entitled to talk. Like Ross Perot did, in a way. Perot was the first guy to sell aftermarket software for IBM heavy iron mainframes. Made a fortune, though most everything else he did after that(remember when he bought GM?) was a total washout. Didn't stop Ross from running for president (SNL said his slogan should be "Take a Chance on a Nutcase")

      As someone who was a tiny, infinitesimally small player in the dotcom era, I've watched a lot of people who cashed out go on to lose a lot in follow-on attempts at greatness, since they didn't realize they were lucky, in the right place at the right time, supported by exceptionally good teams (even if it was just a few people) who, in that era, often summed up to far more than simply math would have accounted for. Those who survived that mindset, due to luck, smarts or sheer numbers (its hard to lost a billion dollars as an individual) think they're really good! :)

  4. OMG! 40 cans of Klorane dry shampoo to powder Kristen Dunst's extensions and the extra's wigs at the Vogue shoot!

    The list price is $20 a can. $800 for powdering hair at the Vogue shoot.

  5. Mr.Mark Cuban,will you PLEASE read my book "MY LITTLE SECRETS" author Belinda Davis,I know this book can make money and make a GREAT MOVIE!If I just had the right resource!To help me tell the world about this wonderful story!My book is, a love story that happen in the south long time ago! A lot of secrets was kept hided back then,but in my book all them will be unveil! A lot of walking by faith and not by sight! No matter what they went through they kept their faith through good times or bad! Mr.Cuban, in my story you will meet Mr.A.Lincoln, Mr.GEN.Lee and Mrs.H.Tubman and so on!!!!Mr.Cuban, my book will make you think of "GONE WITH THE WIND" and "COLOR PURPLE"! Mr.Cuban, iF you will like to read this wonderful book PLEASE go to OR Amazon online!PLEASE HELP ME TELL THE WORLD ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL story! Thank You!

  6. Belinda dear,

    If you can't even write ONE sentence without a grammatical error, then why in the world would you expect your book would sell, let alone get published in the first place?