Detroit Regional Chamber > Mackinac Policy Conference > Mark Cuban: ‘You Can Call it DEI, I Call it Good Business’

Mark Cuban: ‘You Can Call it DEI, I Call it Good Business’

May 29, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Your business representation should match the demographics of your customers and prospects.
  • Embrace and utilize AI before your competitor does.
  • Everyone is at least a little bit entrepreneurial; be proactive in implementing your ideas.

Entrepreneur and Cost Plus Drugs Co-founder Mark Cuban is known for his unapologetic attitude and his keen eye for successful business entities on and off the Shark Tank screen.

“I learned a lot of lessons on what not to do,” Cuban told moderator KC Crain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Crain Communications after sharing some stories from his early entrepreneurship days.

“The greatest lessons I’ve learned were from working for the people who were the least successful because I learned what not to do.”

Cuban also learned the importance of “the Power of &” when growing and scaling his businesses by focusing on the individual business’s needs — starting with having more diversity within the business.

“I think your business needs to match the demographics of your prospects and customers,” he said. “When you have the people who look like who you’re trying to sell to, there’s a better connection…you can call it [diversity, equity, and inclusion], I call it good business.”

The conversation then turned to COVID-19’s effects on entrepreneurship and consumers. For Cuban, he saw how much more comfortable people became with technology and online. He also defended artificial intelligence like ChatGPT, comparing today’s criticism to what was said about computers and smartphones before they became true societal staples.

“There are two types of companies in this country — those who are good at AI and everyone else,” he said. “You have to understand how to use AI for your business. Even though it seems like it’s a lot and complicated, you have to learn it because someone else will kick your butt [with it].”

In closing, Cuban urged the audience to use “the Power of &” to be proactive about their ideas, especially if it is related to entrepreneurship, adding his belief that everyone has “that little bit of entrepreneurship inside” of them to “change the game.”

“Every single thing that’s not organic that you look at — one day it didn’t exist, and then someone came up with the idea…and started business…why not you?” he said. “It’s the [Power of] ‘and’ when someone says, ‘…why can’t I be in any town of the state of Michigan and do something special AND watch it grow AND watch it change everything?’”

This Mackinac Policy Conference session was sponsored by Pistons Sports and Entertainment.