Not long ago, I was reading a Facebook post from Guy Kawasaki. If you don’t know, Guy was the first evangelist at Apple and has gone on to do many other cool things in tech. He is an author and one-time venture capitalist. And that’s when it hit me, for no apparent reason. Why isn’t Guy Kawasaki on Shark Tank? Guy is very smart, is good on camera, and has a great personality. It’s so obvious, it’s ridiculous. So I asked Guy in the Facebook post, “Guy, why aren’t you on Shark Tank?”. He said he has never been asked but would do it in a second. Ok, no problem. I’m sure Mark Cuban knows Guy and would see the obvious upside to having Guy on the show. Buy how do I get a message to Mark Cuban? Find his email? Maybe, and send off a message among hundreds that will come in that day. My chances of success would be very low. Tweet him? Probably better odds, but I’m sure he also gets a ton a Twitter traffic directed at him as well. Then it hit me.
Mark is an investor in Cyber Dust, an app like Snap Chat that only keeps messages for 24 hours and then they are deleted. Cyber Dust does more than just pictures, though, it supports all kinds of media, including simple text. Mark is constantly referencing Cyber Dust when he speaks, so I imagine he spends a good amount of time on it. Further, since it is still not wildly popular, his traffic is probably lower. If I am going to have a shot at getting a message to Mark Cuban, Cyber Dust is the way. So I install the app and send off a “dust” to Mark telling him he should get Guy on Shark Tank. Not only was I successful in reaching Mark, he send back a reply within 2 hours. Kudos and thanks to Mr. Cuban for taking the time. I’m a nobody of no real significance to him, other than being a fan of the show, yet he did take the time to respond. Now it wasn’t much of a response and not what I wanted to hear. He said “Not my call”. Three words, but that’s three more words that have ever been said to me before by a billionaire.
Before the Internet, I would never have had access to someone like Mark Cuban. Oh, you could write a traditional letter, but that’s a little like writing a letter to Santa. But these days, just about everybody is online in some form or another. That’s not to say it’s easy to get to anyone, but you’ve got a shot if you can get creative.