You may know who Mark Cuban is. He rose to prominence as the co-founder of broadcast.com, an internet radio company acquired by Yahoo for just under $6 billion dollars (he is purported to be worth 2.3 billion). He spent a cool $285 million to buy majority ownership in the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, a role that thrust him into the collective consciousness.
It turns out that Cuban is the perfect storm of a technology CEO who is engrossed in social media and who has the courage to tell it like it is. And he’s got a pretty strong opinion on the current state of social media.
Acknowledging a certain type of courage
This week when embroiled in a Twitter spat with some Lakers fans, he said something so awesome that it changed my lexicon forever:
“There is just more Twitter courage in Southern California than probably any other part of the world.”
Just by the numbers, there probably is more Twitter courage on the east coast…. but ignore that aspect of his statement. “Twitter courage” is the perfect description for the affliction that causes some people to post wildly inappropriate or disturbing things on Twitter that they otherwise would never dare to say.
I share this not only because it was entertaining but also because it led me to a bigger insight.
Facebook as a huge time suck
As I researched more about Cuban’s statement, I found a blog post where he also made some critical and valid remarks about Facebook’s self-awareness. Here are a few excerpts:
“FB is an alternative to boredom. FB is far more like TV than it is Google Search”
“…for some reason FB doesn’t seem to want to accept that it’s best purpose in life is as a huge time suck platform that we use to keep up with friends, interests and stuff. I think that they are over thinking what their network is all about .”
“IMHO, FB really risks screwing up something that is special in our lives as a time waster by thinking they have to make it more engaging and efficient.”
“FB is over complicating a simple issue. A user can govern his/her newsfeed far better by hitting unlike than an algorithm like EdgeRank ever can.”
When Cuban says that he is “de-emphasizing” Facebook for his businesses, that’s an important insight. When he articulates the problems that Edgerank presents both personally and professionally, those are important insights. And the next insight he publishes will be worth listening to as well.
It certainly doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything that he says, but he brings a unique and necessary insight to the conversation.
What do you think about Cuban’s insights about Facebook? Do you think Facebook is self-aware or do they suffer from severe blind spots? And how much Twitter courage do you feel today?