The glorious failure of Mark Cuban
There’s an old adage in sports that suggests that you have to lose before you can win. What it suggests is that the lessons of an unsuccessful season or competition are what will propel you forward to be more successful in the future.
You can see real world examples of this all the time. The great NBA star Michael Jordan has openly talked about how unprepared he was to excel in the playoffs during his rookie season in 1985 and how, in turn, he would learn from each playoff loss he had in the rest of the 80s.
This culminated in a pair of series 12 months apart with the Bad Boy Pistons, then World Champions. In 1989, Jordan and his Bulls came up short in the seventh game of their best-of-seven Conference Finals series.
Flashforward 12 months and it wasn’t close. Jordan and the Bulls took the lessons learned from the champions and swept them aside, winning the series 4-0.
The rest is history, with the Bulls winning six of the next eight championships, only losing in the years where Jordan was taking a break from basketball to pursue a career in baseball.
It’s arguably among the greatest runs in pro sports history and it all had its origins in failure.
Sports is wonderful for its ability to demonstrate these lessons in that it’s black or white. You either are champions or you are not.
It’s not quite as obvious in the world of investing, but the idea remains the same. Even failure in investment can benefit you if you are willing to take the lesson from it. The latter is key, of course, whether you are in sports or investing. If you stubbornly keep banging your heads against the wall in the same way that has failed before, all you’re going to end up with is a headache.
This is a lesson that Mark Cuban seems to understand. As a basketball owner — where the Mavs 2011 championship came at the end of a 10 year run of results that each contributed to the desired result — and on the investing side where he continues to both take risk, but learn as much from what didn’t work out as from what did.
A concrete example of that is paying out right now, where he was the highest profile investor to get caught up in the TITAN token crash last week, which saw the value go from nearly $60 USD to close to worthless literally overnight.
I don’t want to get caught up in the hows and whys of that crash here — things happen, There’s risk in investment. However, the reaction of Cuban — one of crypto’s biggest advocates — is what tells the story here and what should excite, not concern, anyone that’s interested in the crypto or DeFi space.
Rather than rant and rave about the unfairness of it all, Cuban held up his hand and admitted that he should have looked at his investment more closely. He’s pointed out some things he’s like to see in the DeFi space moving forward, but isn’t being hysterical about it
He’s learning and suggesting that he’ll go back into his next investment better informed and more likely to succeed.
We all don’t have Cuban’s money, which is why you should only invest what you can afford to lose, but we can all follow his advice.
Fail gloriously and learn is a good way to invest, or run a professional basketball team.