For a billionaire owner of a high-profile basketball team, Mark Cuban is often underestimated. Perhaps it's because he made his fortune selling a dot.com to another dot.com in the bubble days. Or perhaps it's his fratboy persona, which is mostly due to his boyish haircut and sports nut antics at Mavs games. But in person, Mark is smart, geeky in a good way, and on the right side of most issues. That's why we profiled him in this month's Wired, in a great piece by Xeni Jardin that went live this morning.
Here are ten reasons why Mark Cuban is today's Long Tail hero:
- He's retrofitting all the Landmark cinemas, which he owns, for digital projection. This not only dramatically lowers the costs of getting films into theaters and ups their projection quality, but will also potentially open that distribution channel to independents who can't afford to print hundreds of huge rolls of acetate and truck them around.
- He's promoting HDTV the right way, by commissioning and distributing content.
- He's funding the Grokster defense.
- He's a real blogger, warts and all.
- He says that he won't use the broadcast flag.
- He got the idea of reinventing TV a decade ago, and his work lives on in Yahoo!'s excellent video search and music video services.
- He doesn't believe the RIAA.
- He sent a team to cover the Iraq elections, live, in high-def.
He has a successful reality TV show.
- He really gets the Long Tail: "Popular items are just that, popular. My guess however is that in absolute numbers, the long tail of the download distribution curves, both in terms of number of songs and in number of songs downloaded, overwhelm the number of copyrighted songs illegally being downloaded."