Ripping up the rules of management

Meet Business 2.0 Magazine's contrarians, 11 business leaders who achieved success by zigging while the rest of the world zagged.

"If everyone agrees with you, it's a waste of time" -- Mark Cuban, co-founder, HDNet
Few people know more about being a maverick than the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Internet billionaire Mark Cuban, who bought the team in 2000, has since cemented a reputation as the biggest mouth in the NBA. His courtside outbursts have cost him more than $1.6 million in fines, but he couldn't care less. "I base my decisions on what I think is right," he says, "without regard to what others may think about me."

It's an outlook that's worked well for Cuban. When the PC was hot in the 1980s, Cuban decided that the big money was in getting the machines hooked together -- a bet that netted him $2 million when he sold his first company, Micro Solutions, to CompuServe. In 1995, when the Web was just taking off, Cuban started streaming college sports online. He sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo (YHOO) in 1999 for $5 billion in stock, which he promptly diversified, predicting -- correctly -- that tech stocks were over-valued. And in 2001, when the future of high-definition television in America was still murky at best, he launched all-high-def, all-the-time network HDNet, which now boasts about 4 million subscribers.

So does Cuban deliberately tilt against the prevailing wind? "Absolutely," he says. "If other people are coming to the same conclusion as I am, I think, 'This is a business I shouldn't waste my time with.'"

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.