That advice might be surprising given Musk's headline-making behavior in recent months, actions some have called "erratic." But Cuban's simple words remind anyone what sets true innovators apart from traditional businesspeople — and what they need to do to succeed.
2018 has been a tough year for Musk. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has described the past year as "excruciating" and admitted to sleeping at the office to meet production deadlines. Some claims he made on social media have raised eyebrows and even led to allegations of fraud from the SEC. (Musk did not admit or deny any wrongdoing and that case was settled earlier this month).
Musk's actions have had their share of critics. That said, many still admire the founder for his ability to take big risks. This admiration prompted Cuban and about a dozen other writers, editors and entrepreneurs to share their support for Musk in a recent Popular Mechanics article.
While some of his supporters in the article admired Musk's dedication to companies such as SpaceX during the financial crisis or simply wanted a chance to one day see Mars, Cuban focused on Musk's rare role in business.
Cuban likened Musk to personal computing pioneer Alan Kay who once said: "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
An inventor's vision — combined with passion — sets entrepreneurs apart from other leaders. "When you invest in a company run by an entrepreneur like Elon, you are investing in the mindset and approach that an entrepreneur brings to the table as much as you are valuing the net present value of future cash flows," said Cuban.