Every great idea is likely to have a few detractors at some point. Startups that have become multi-billion dollar companies are no exception.
Take Broadcast.com, the leading podcast company that made Mark Cuban a billionaire, for example. When Cobain and his friend Todd Wagner He took over the company in 1995was one of the first streaming platforms around, paving the way for today’s biggest streaming players, from Netflix to Spotify.
Being one of the first of its kind meant that it was met with a level of skepticism in the early days of the Internet. “There was nobody doing it. Nobody,” Cuban said for “Sunday Morning” on CBS newly. “People thought I was an idiot.”
In 1995, it was Cuban Living on nearly 2 million dollars in the proceeds from the sale of his first technology company, MicroSolutions. Together, he and Wagner decided to invest in a broadcasting company called AudioNet—which soon became Broadcast.com—because they wanted to listen online to the Indiana University basketball team’s live radio broadcasts.
company It received its audio content via satellite, and we digitized it before distributing it online. Eventually, Broadcast.com expanded its offering to include audio from other live events, such as talk radio and rock concerts.
It took just four years for Cuban and Wagner’s investment to be validated: Yahoo acquired the start-up for $5.7 billion in stock in 1999. It was bad timing for Yahoo, right before the dotcom bubble burst—and the company eventually stopped broadcasting. service after a few years.
Regardless of the service’s eventual demise, the high-profile deal helped put digital broadcasting on the map. “[It’s] The origin story of broadcasting,” Cuban told CBS.
Looking back, skepticism about the idea of broadcasting audio and video over the Internet was fairly common at the time. In 1995, the same year Cuban launched his company, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates tried to explain the promise of the Internet on CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman,” only to be laughed at by the comedian.
“I heard you can watch a baseball game live on the Internet and I said, Does the radio ring a bell?” Letterman joked to Gates in a 1995 episode.
Cuban received similar reactions from The Naysayers in the mid-1990s Who could not have imagined the huge role that the fledgling Internet, let alone streaming media, would one day play in our daily lives.
“When I tell people about the vision [for the company]They say: You are crazy. I’ll just turn on my TV. I’m just going to turn on the radio,” Cuban said on a 2021 episodes From the Beginning of Greatness podcast.
“People were making fun of me,” he added. “[But] I had no doubt that the idea was a ‘winner’.
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