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- Mark Cuban is the billionaire “Shark Tank” star who owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
- Cuban told Vanity Fair that he received 700 emails a day and had three smartphones.
- He said he would rather receive upward of 1,000 emails than sit through long, boring meetings.
- It’s a sentiment that other highly successful people have echoed.
A lot of people want to talk to Mark Cuban.
The billionaire “Shark Tank” star who owns the Dallas Mavericks told Vanity Fair that he received about 700 emails a day, which he said he checked on his three smartphones.
“Now, you may think that’s a lot,” Cuban told Vanity Fair in a video published earlier this month, “but I’d rather do 700, even 1,000 or more emails, than sit in long and tedious and boring meetings.”
It wasn’t Cuban’s first time speaking out against meetings. In 2010, he told Inc.: “Meetings are a waste of time unless you are closing a deal. There are so many ways to communicate in real time or asynchronously that any meeting you actually sit for should have a duration and set outcome before you agree to go.”
And in 2014, he told Inc.: “I’m not big on ‘Let’s go eat lunch’ meetings. The only way you’re going to get me for a meeting is if you’re writing me a check. Same with phone calls – they’re a waste of time.”
Other highly successful people feel similarly. Business Insider previously reported on Elon Musk’s productivity recommendations for Tesla employees, which include: “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”
The actor Jared Leto, who has invested in Snapchat, Spotify, and Reddit, said last year that his best productivity trick was “just f—ing working.” “I don’t do dinners,” he said, “I don’t do lunches, I don’t do breakfasts.”
Not all experts agree that most meetings should be replaced with email. Writing in the Harvard Business Review in 2015, David Burkus, an associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University, cited a study that found people could be overly confident in other people’s ability to intuit their meaning over email.
Also in the Harvard Business Review, the time-management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders used a decision tree to help readers determine whether it made more sense to hold a meeting or send an email. For example, if you think you need outside input to make progress, the next step is to figure out whether moving forward requires a real-time conversation.
As for Cuban, he’s even gone so far as to say, in an interview with Thrive Global, that he “loves” email and “lives on it.” Email “saves me hours and hours every day,” he said.