I first met Mark Cuban at an Infocomm show in Orlando in the late 90's. We had each finished our talks in the conference room there and the pressure was off for a moment. At the time I had just helped produced BP's first worldwide webcasts over their intranet. We were just starting to work with Mark's company, Broadcast.com, to expand our work for BP webcasting via other technologies. We had developed our own tools, but were impressed with what he had put together as a packaged service. We were not alone.
Mark was welcoming and focused. He told me he'd love to talk, but he was heading to the gym, and would I like to join him there for a workout. At the time, I had another appointment to get to and had to decline, but made plans to visit his offices in Dallas and he gave me his contact info. Mark was notorious for responding to emails (back then) and for that I was appreciative.
In Dallas, Mark had a cubicle, just like everyone else in their large work space. Well, I think Mark's cube was bigger than the others, but I was struck by his accessibility and openness. Eventually I left with my prized Broadcast.com denim shirt, something of a uniform there at the time. Within a couple of years, Mark sold the company for a reported $5.7 billion and went on to buy the Mavs.
Last night, Mark went on the air with CNN to talk about our new world. He is a great role model. I was struck by the fact that the guy who effectively invented video over IP was on screen with crappy lighting and virtually no thought to his backdrop (no green screen here). The information was in the audio, and there was no need to impress or create the notion he was anywhere else but on vacation with his family and taking a moment to speak to the nation.
There is a time and place for production value, but it is more important to deliver the message than it is to wait until conditions are perfect, with makeup and pro lighting. In this situation, the sound was clear and the message was delivered.
Consider your audience. Sometimes they just need real talk. If you have something important to say, let your voice be heard!