If you have not read Ayn Rand’s, Fountainhead (Review) then you may want to skip this post, go buy the book, and then come back. If you have (and you know about Mark Cuban), then you may be experiencing an, “Oh yea, I can see that,” moment. Regardless, the more I learn about Cuban, the more similarities I discover between him and the rogue architect character, Howard Roark.
Roark was an extremely talented, extremely focused, individual who never steered away from his morals, despite the monstrous influences that surrounded him. He was eccentric, but organic in his work and never considered failure as an option, while maintaining inflexibility with his vision; it was his way or no way (and if you messed with his vision, he destroyed it, with Dynamite!). While most everyone (characters in the book) around him saw this as ego, Ayn Rand was able to show the readers that it was pure genius. See, Roark’s mission was to create functional buildings, nothing more, nothing less. But, it was his innate genius that orchestrated solutions that no other architect was able to recreate; he had a deeper vision of functionality, which in the grand scheme of things is most-important.
Cuban too is an extremely talented, extremely focused individual. I cannot say that he has never steered from his vision, because, as Roark is a fictional character, Cuban is not, I am sure that he has bent a few times in his life. But, Cuban is seemingly inflexible in his vision and displays a willingness and know-how to create solutions for everything he touches (just look at the Dallas Mavericks, great case study). To say that Cuban is a genius, perhaps a test can prove that, but from what I have seen, the dude is smart. Mark Cuban went from selling trash bags door-to-door, to becoming a billionaire from his ability create viable solutions in the marketplace, sports, or otherwise.
The Bridge between the Two
The biggest similarity I see is that both Roark and Cuban are big picture people (I know Roark is a character). Band-Aids do not exist in their minds, only grand solutions for the betterment of business. With that, it is essential to measure the character of the man against his craft. I will let the dice roll how they may, but my bet is on Cuban, the Howard Roark of professional sports; building franchises (hopefully the Cubs) on function.