Mark Cuban built his fortune in the tech world. That doesn’t mean he worships Silicon Valley.
The billionaire star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” makes a conscious effort to keep his investments outside of the California tech hub, he told Bill Maher on a recent episode of the “Club Random” podcast. California has higher taxes and stricter regulations than Texas, where Cuban is based.
But Cuban said he also can’t stand the culture of Silicon Valley’s “tech bros.”
“[It’s] pretentious as f—k. The attitudes, it’s just like … ‘Of course we’re smarter. We went to Harvard, we went to MIT, we’re in tech,'” Cuban said, adding: “I do all I can not to let any of my investments work out of Silicon Valley.”
Cuban, who has a $6.25 billion net worth according to Bloomberg, built his own tech fortune in Texas. His computer consulting company MicroSolutions, which sold to CompuServe for $6 million in 1990, was based in Dallas.
His second company, internet radio platform Broadcast.com, was also based in Dallas before getting acquired by Yahoo for $5.7 billion in stock in 1999.
Today, Cuban doesn’t deny the success of Bay Area tech companies like Apple, Meta, Alphabet and PayPal. Rather, he considers the allure of Silicon Valley — and the attitude that comes with it — overrated.
“There’s a lot of capital there, so people follow the money,” Cuban said. “But the pretentiousness and the attitude and the expectations and the arrogance — like, it’s just a business. You can be good anywhere in the world.”
Cuban’s viewpoint isn’t new: In a 2019 episode of the “Recode Decode” podcast, he argued that it’s actually beneficial for entrepreneurs to build tech companies outside of Silicon Valley, so they don’t have to compete for resources.
He isn’t only billionaire who wants new tech outside of the Bay Area, either. Melinda French Gates, for example, wants to use her investment firm Pivotal Ventures specifically to help women start businesses that can thrive independently from Silicon Valley, she told Fortune last year.
“To re-create Silicon Valley or to change it would be incredibly hard,” said French Gates, who has a net worth of $6.6 billion, according to Forbes. “But when you’re starting fresh and new, if you start with a model in this perspective, then I don’t think you’ll replicate the old one we had in Silicon Valley.”
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”
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