Mark Cuban on the value of professional basketball

With technological possibilities expanding rapidly, Mark Cuban offers an important lesson on business fundamentals.  He keeps his eye on what creates value for fans of professional basketball:

I can’t think of a bigger mistake then trying to integrate smartphones just because you can. The last thing I want is someone looking down at their phone to see a replay. The last thing I want is someone thinking that its a good idea to disconnect from the unique elements of a game to look at replays or update their fantasy standings or concentrate on trying to predict what will happen next in the game. There is a huge value to everyone collectively holding their breath during a replay, or responding to a great play or a missed call and then spontaneously reacting to what they see. You lose that if people are looking down at their handhelds. The fan experience is about looking up, not looking down. If you let them look down, they might as well stay at home, the screen is always going to be better there.

Fan value in professional basketball is not primarily about winning.  Cuban points out that it’s mainly about simultaneous, inclusive, emotional relations — the experience of a great wedding.  More generally, personal value involves subtle sensory effects, such as the accessibility of a good, the form of a text, and coloring.  Thinking carefully about value creation is a key business fundamental.

Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks and a highly successful businessperson, writes his own blog.  It’s well worth reading for keen insight into technology and business.

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