Mark "407th richest man in the world" Cuban has a plan to jump-start our flagging economy, and it doesn't involve Tim Geithner or $838 billion. It...
Mark "407th richest man in the world" Cuban has a plan to jump-start our flagging economy, and it doesn't involve Tim Geithner or $838 billion. It is, however, totally awesome, and classically Cuban. He starts with the premise that entrepreneurs will lead us out of the colossal financial mess in which we find ourselves, and goes on to explain that a major hurdle to starting a small business-the kind of businesses that will stimulate the economy and provide new jobs-is simply an initial outlay of capital.That's where he comes in. Cuban is willing to fund any business he thinks is viable-with no limits on how little or how much he'll invest-provided it meets with the 13 admittedly strict rules he outlines on his blog. The most interesting of those rules: "You must post your business plan here on my blog where I expect other people can and will comment on it. I also expect that other people will steal the idea and use it elsewhere. That is the idea. Call this an open source funding environment." Meritocratic, transparent, entrepreneurial, and ballsy. It is, in a word, American.Where this experiment turns from curious to fascinating is when Cuban starts responding to individual business proposals as they're posted in the comments of his original post. Most businesses are ignored, some are dismissed, a few are derided, and-as of this posting-two have merited a personal follow up e-mail from the maverick himself (and I imagine he went to bed before he could comment on some of the newer posts). There are some genuinely interesting business ideas peppered among a bunch of desperate pleas, half-baked money pits, and even some classic Nigerian scam bait. But as Cuban says, "Hopefully I will invest in quite a few businesses that will lead to something more." I hope so too, if only as a validation of Cuban's creativity.Sadly for us, our business is dependent on revenue from advertising, a clear violation of rule number two, and thus rendering our business ineligible for the Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan.Photo by JD Lasica / SocialMedia.biz