In the elite circle of global billionaires, Elon Musk's search for allies may prove challenging, but one notable figure who stands by his side more often than not is Shark Tank star, Mark Cuban.
In the past couple of years Cuban, founder of CostPlusDrugs.com, has been a critical friend to Musk, supporting his purchase of Twitter—now known as X—but also frequently offering suggestions on how the platform could improve.
The pair have found themselves in spats on the platform before over vaccines, verification fees, and marketing strategies, but have steered away from the personal confrontations Musk has become known for.
Cuban, himself the founder of interactive engagement platform Fireside, has remained a prominent figure on X despite acknowledging its faults.
The Dallas Mavericks owner believes Musk has potentially done something "genius" in buying X, saying he's been "pleasantly surprised" by some of the improvements to the social media site.
"While the features fail every now and then, like any technology platform, I think Discover is much better. I think he’s on the right track to make it a good business," Cuban told GQ in an interview released this week.
However, like many other critics of Musk, Cuban fears the person likely to "f*** it up" is Musk himself with his controversial posts.
"He’s his own worst enemy. It’s his platform. He gets to do whatever he wants," Cuban told GQ's Alex Kantrowitz.
Cuban mused the site could reach a "whole nother level" if Musk curbed some of his more salacious posts, hinting at the fact that advertisers might be more inclined to return to X if the man in charge of the platform was less controversial.
"[Musk] really has got a unique chance to do some really incredible things with it if he can get out of his own way," Cuban, estimated to be worth $6.55 billion, concluded.
The advice will hardly come as a shock to the X owner, who previously admitted he "shouldn't post after 3 a.m." after landing himself in hot water with Tesla investors over posts that boosted and then sank the stock price of his EV manufacturer.
“Have I shot myself in the foot with tweets multiple times? Yes. I need bulletproof shoes at this point,” Musk said in April.
Committing to the grind
Where Cuban and Musk may disagree on some of the policies at X, the pair seem to be on the same page about the value of hard work.
Musk has earned a reputation for his tireless work ethic, which has been evident throughout his career.
He's been known to sleep on sofas during his tenure at X, spend nights under his desk at Tesla, and has openly expressed concerns about his well-being as he juggles numerous responsibilities at all his companies.
The richest man on the planet has also been a fierce critic of people working remotely, or in a hybrid setting, claiming it's "morally wrong."
Cuban, who is similarly pulled between various commitments—such as filming Shark Tank, growing CostPlusDrugs, and keeping up with his Dallas Mavericks basketball team—has a slightly more positive approach.
He told GQ he hadn't been hung up on retiring at 35, as he had planned, simply because he enjoys the feeling of competing: "I’m super-competitive. And business is super-competitive. It’s the ultimate sport.
"It’s not about working more. It’s about spending more time doing the things I love."
He added: "People say, 'Well, why do you keep on working? Why do you keep on starting companies?' For the exact same reason I still play pickup basketball. I’m just competitive. You’re not old until you act old."