Cuban – “Rules” for Startups

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Mark Cuban – blogger, professional sports team owner, and full-of-himself entrepreneur displays his entrepreneurial prowess in his article A Couple of My Rules for Startups  Cuban offers basic, common-sense, by-the-book business ideas. Revolutionary? Probably not. And I kind of take exception to his Rule #10:

NEVER EVER EVER buy swag. A sure sign of failure for a startup is when someone sends me logo polo shirts. If your people are at shows and in public, its ok to buy for your own folks, but if you really think someone is going to wear your polo you sent them in public, you are mistaken and have no idea how to spend your money   

Horsefeathers! Imprinted promotional products are the PERFECT vehicle for start-ups. They’re a whole lot cheaper for the marketer than broadcast, print or internet advertising.If a prospect receives an imprinted promotional product from somebody he’s never heard of, he’ll probably check them out. If he likes what they’re selling, he’ll buy it. But he’ll surely use whatever that item is, whether he buys from them or not. Remember, it’s not about simply getting that logo on something for ONE person to see, but for many many people to see. A 2″ x 2″ pad of 50 sticky notes displays a logo or message 1000s of times. And a Logo Polo is appreciated by the wearer, and seen by everyone he sees.  If Cuban thinks that simply exposing the audience to the brand’s logo and marketing message is a foolish idea, he’d better not tell that to Dr. Pepper, Taco Bueno, Dave & Buster’s, or any of the gazillions of sponsors that display their logos at his games.Mark, send me your shirt size.

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Rich Graham

Purveyor of branded swag and merch. Host to 3 kidneys. Uncredited contributor at @nbcsnl Chief Imagination Officer at @bigpromotions. Podcaster at
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