Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba | The Brave Ones

Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba | The Brave Ones



When you do business,don't worry about competition.There's nowhere in this world where there's no competition.You have to get used to it.You cannot stop globalization.The world is getting so small. If you cannot stop it, improve it. Forget about the competition today. It's like a 10,000 meters running.For the first 200 meters, don't think that guy is the competitor; keep on running. 3000 meters later, you will know is a competitor. He's got that quality that I think unites so many people who are ultimately successful.
He is relentless.
The internet is opportunity for small business. He's sort of like the pied piper of the Internet in China.
Don't miss this chance.
First he attracted employees.
How are you doing?
How are you?
And then he attracted millions of businesses
to build their business on the platforms.
40 countries this year.
A hundred and seventy hours.
Forty... like forty
six.
We know that we have to be
humble, we have to serve our customers.
Jack Ma has done a phenomenal job
to create a business that is
second to none in the world.
He is the largest retailer.
Investors may not like us;
if customers like
us, we have the future.
I heard they call him crazy Jack Ma.
I think it takes a little bit of
craziness or madness
to achieve anything.
I was born in a very normal
family and poor family.
Six people share $7
a month.
We can only eat to one chicken a year.
Was terrible.
Nixon visited my city.
1972,
China USA sign the- Mao
Zedong and Nixon signed the agreement.
So China become open door.
My city Hangzhou was one of the
first cities that opened
to the west.
We got a lot of American tourists to visit
my city.
What he would do is he would befriend
foreign visitors who came to Hangzhou
to walk around the West Lake there.
And I learned English
by being a free guide for
tour guide.
No more than the language,
Jack was learning about the
culture.
The things I learned from books from China
are so different from the things I learn from the
American visitors.
So I started to think differently.
You know in China, for so many decades,
the kind of personal ambition
that he exemplifies was suppressed.
When Deng Xiaping came along
and sort of took the top off of things
and said, "It's OK to have your
private ambition to make something
of yourself, it won't get you in political
trouble," this was a kind of an invitation
from people like Jack Ma.
His goal was always
to create something
that would change China.
When I tried to be a Policeman - reject.
When I tried to be a KFC
person - reject.
I want to be a hotel waiter - rejected.
So I get used to it.
As entrepreneur,
one of the qualities I have is that
when I'm rejected by people,
I get used to that.
The road to wherever we all
end up is not always
perfect.
It's paved with lots of difficulty
and challenge
and failure and
you have to summon up some sort of strength
within you to believe in yourself.
Jack Ma grew up in relatively modest means
and then he became a teacher.
And by all accounts that's
sort of where he expected to be for quite
some time.
Then I came to America in 1995.
First a trip to the States.
And first time in my
life I touched to keep all the computers.
And he started searching things on
the Internet. When he searched China,
nothing came up in the search results.
So he said to himself,
"If I can
put Chinese companies on the Internet
and allow them to connect
with business people in the U.S.
and other countries,
I could create possibly a really powerful
business."
I called myself at that time like
a blind man riding on
the back of blind tigers.
Without knowing anything about technology
or computers, we started our the first
company.
He's gone against all convention.
He says that
he doesn't know anything about technology.
It's hard to believe.
When he started his first company,
called China pages,
he would go knocking on the doors
of government officials.
They would really just turn him away saying
that what he was doing
wasn't appropriate.
He should just go back to
maybe teaching English.
This was opening day for something called
Windows 95 that has something
to do with computers.
With Deng now gone,
China's future will be shaped by a
great power struggle.
Well, 1997 proved to be a watershed
year for Asia, the year when the Asian
economic miracle became a
thing of the past.
There seems to be no stopping the speeding
tech train; technology stocks keep climbing
into record territory.
2000 and when the internet
was starting to boom in China,
a friend told me that there was
a company trying to go global from
an apartment in Hangzhou.
Eighteen years ago,
in my apartment,
I told the 18 founders
that one day
we would build up a site.
This site would be the top 10 sites
of the world.
Very few people believed
that we would make it happen.
Jack's greatest strength is bringing together
ordinary people to do
these incredible things that they never
thought was possible.
Most of my colleagues
and 18 founders they were my students,
my friends.
None of them were very successful.
Among the 18 people,
there were only three people who
know something about computers.
Being first in China
was a key. You've got to remember there was not
great infrastructure for
even the telephone.
When Alibhai we got started
and when I joined the company,
trying to sell businesses in China
the Internet was like trying to sell
magic beans to someone.
I mean they couldn't see it,
they couldn't touch it,
and here was this guy - this kind
of interesting looking English teacher -
coming door to door to try
and tell people they should spend
their money,
several thousands of dollars,
to put their company on this thing called
the Internet.
What it really was was a
opportunity for
corporations really
in other parts of the world to try
to source manufacturing
in China via the
web.
In the past eighteen years when
I do Internet in China,
we got a criticism every day.
You know something where you believe it,
a lot of people criticize it.
But if you really believe,
continue to do it.
Improve it.
We were rejected by more than 30
venture capitalists
but we are very optimistic.
We believe in the future.
We believe in Internet.
And we believe that if
we do not succeed,
somebody will.
The big investment came when Masayoshi
Son of Softbank met
with Jack.
And the story is that Masayoshi
Son was in Beijing meeting
with a number of
Internet entrepreneurs who presented very
detailed business plans,
but Jack got Jack Ma got up
with no presentation
and just a story - a vision of
what he wanted to do,
what he wanted to Alibaba to become -
and the Masayoshi Son got so
excited about it that he
pledged to invest as much as
40 million dollars in the company.
And Jack turned it down
and said you know what,
we only need 20 million at this time.
Masa obviously gave capital to Jack
Ma that he desperately needed.
And also
made the single greatest investment one can
argue, ever.
Period.
Jack Ma's played a very
key role in sort of the development
of the Internet in China
but not as we originally imagined
the Internet would develop.
He has used it as a vector
for commerce.
So it started with some roadshows
with just maybe 100 people,
then 200,
then thousands
and more - thousands more -
where finally Jack turned this into
a mass movement across
China where he educated small
businesses about why they
needed to use the Internet.
And he really created a revolution by
educating his customers one person
at a time.
This is such a big monster.
It is something that never happened in the
history before.
So we think we are
changing China.
We're helping China to the second
level.
He understood what technology
could do for the Chinese people
in terms of affording them access
to the worlds of
product.
And he's done it.
Alibaba went from this sort
of optimistic expansion
phase to to this somewhat depressing
phase of cutting back
and I think for just a moment in
time he even wondered if the company
would survive.
The ecosystem of Africa,
the lives is not designed by
lion,
tiger
and elephants.
Life is designed by the minor
insects.
For us,
consumers,
small business are the key.
If we can serve these consumers
and small businesses well,
big companies will get involved.
They will start to see it coming.
So if you keep good sides
of shrimps,
all the sharks will come.
Big fish will come.
When we
started Alibaba B2B, we are helping small
business selling things
across the board.
So we think: "Which
country has the best technologies
on the Internet?" We say USA.
So we decided to
build up a huge office
in San Francisco.
But what happened was it
created a disaster inside the company.
We had a division where half the team
was in the US, half the team was in China
and there was a lot of friction between the management.
So we did know something wrong we say
we have to shut down the office.
And it was at a time in 2000
when the Internet bust had hit
us really hard
and we were laying off staff around the
world.
A lot of analysts think the Internet bubble
is ready to burst
and by this time next year
a huge number of those dot coms
might be dot gone.
And Alibaba went from this sort of
optimistic expansion phase
to this somewhat depressing phase
of cutting back.
That was the only time I ever saw him doubt
himself is when he was laying off
people and I think for just a moment in time
he even wondered if the company would survive.
And from that moment on he realized
that being a CEO is different
from being an English teacher.
Being a CEO means making the tough
decisions
and sometimes cutting back in
order to allow the company to survive.
So from that moment on,
I never saw Jack doubt himself
again.
I watched a wonderful movie
called Forrest Gump.
I was touched. He said: "Life's
like a box of chocolates,
you know what you get.
He really does love Forrest Gump.
But if you keep on getting,
you will get a good chocolate.
He just sees it,
in some way,
as a corollary for
the American dream
and all the things
you can potentially do in life.
And I find that Forrest Gump made a fortune
by catch shrimps not
catch whales.
So helping small business
will make me like a Forrest Gump.
Forrest Gump just to keep on running.
Be simple,
serve the people.
He can try to compare himself to Forrest
Gump, he can't ever be Forrest Gump;
he is right out there,
right in front,
doing everything that
he thinks will be
in a pioneering spirit.
He is a pioneer much more than
Forrest Gump was.
He has always had the courage to live
with his decisions
and to move on
and to reinvent
and I think that
is the very definition
today of bravery.
In the early days,
a lot of people were trying to tell him to
change the way he talked,
to change the way he acted - it wasn't
CEO-like enough.
We should not,
you know, throw out the baby because
the baby is crying too much.
And I watched him that just
by being himself
and being authentic
and speaking with his own voice
was something that people found refreshing
and it was something that was easy for us
to get behind.
President Bush is continuing his Asian
tour.
The death toll has risen
and the mystery pneumonia like illness
gripping much of Asia.
China made history this morning,
launching its first astronaut into
orbit.
I first learned about Taobao
when it was still just a secret
project.
The ALibaba that we all know today
began as
Taobao which is the marketplace
by which people in China
could sell things to other people.
Jack Ma,
he pulled some of the key employees from
all Alibaba into his office
and he said: "Listen,
you're going to have to go back to the original
Alibaba apartment.
You're going to have to work in seclusion.
You can't tell your friends,
you can't tell your family.
You can't even tell the other Alibaba
employees about this."
So when we see something is
coming, you have to prepare now.
He realized that eBay,
sooner or later as it grew
in China,
would start coming after Alibaba's
customers.
Very interested in China right now,
it could be one of our biggest markets.
My belief is you have to repair
the roof while it is still sunshine.
Above started free
and I think by announcing we're going to be
free for three years put a lot of pressure
on eBay.
Point blank he said,
they're not going to succeed;
I'm going to get them.
And eBay's reaction put out a
press release saying 'free
is not a business model'
but in fact
we knew that because
we were getting so many people on
tp Taobao because we were free
in the early days,
ultimately we could make money.
I always believe one thing.
You lose only
when you give up.
And in the end,
as a surprise to
eBay,
Jack decided to do a deal
with Yahoo.
Yahoo agreed to purchase Alibaba's shares
for $1 billion in cash
which not only makes Yahoo the largest strategic
investor in Alibaba
but also helps it grow its
brand in China.
Jack's motivation for partnering
with Yahoo was really,
we can add that to the rest of
our businesses and become a sort of an
eBay plus a
Google plus Yahoo all
combined together.
One of the reasons many many multinational
companies that go to China.
They want to compete with local companies
instead of making customerse happy.
Jack Ma did a sort of a
minor miracle in beating eBay.
Another story out on eBay today
it's down 0.2 percent,
eBay talking about cutting off,
at some point in time in the future,
it's Chinese it's Chinese website.
eBay couldn't win there.
They just don't know what the hell they were doing.
When I'm going to succeed at something,
I feel excited;
I feel honored. Wow,
why I have the chance.
We saw that there is a huge opportunity
in China because in China the banking
is so inefficient we realized
if we could create a payment system,
it could grow to much more than a payment
system - it could become a financial institution.
And this opened of course a huge
door because it enabled
him to- there was no way to pay
for things online.
People didn't yet have credit cards so
with AliPay you added a
very important room on his house.
And that was the room of how do we
get payments made.
Being creative in business is a
whole other kind of creativity
but creativity nonetheless.
To be able envision different business
models, to be able to envision
how life can change.
This was a true revolution in China
both in consumerism
and in the Chinese economy.
This is huge.
The number of products on fun
Alibaba is
gigantic. I don't know the number
but it's phenomenal.
I don't think I could ever appreciate
the pressures that Jack Ma is under
to be a hard-charging
entrepreneur at the same time
as he's a part of a
communist system in some
way.
That takes people away.
Leaders of businesses can disappear.
I believe the three things
should not touch.
Power,
money,
the glory.
If you keep the power
in your office,
you're in trouble.
If you keep the money in
your own pocket you will be trouble.
If you put the glory on your head,
you'll be in trouble.
So when you have the money,
spend the money supporting more people.
When you have power, empower in
the others.
With the glory,
let the others have that hat.
Joe it's quite a mob here.
There are more than 130 press organizations
waiting here to see Jack Ma.
You felt like it was
The Oscars.
I was oohing
and ahing because you have to admire that kind of thing.
The IPO of Alibaba was the single largest
and biggest day
that I can remember.
It didn't disappoint.
It went up enormously at the time.
This is the beginning of
Alibaba.
It gave it a market value larger than that of
Wal-Mart on day one.
Ma himself has become China's richest man
just by the founding of Alibaba.
Today he is expected to be worth north
of twenty two billion dollars.
This was a very big deal for China
not just for Alibaba.
Today what we've got is not the money.
What we've got is the trust
from the people.
You go to the headquarters,
it's very interesting.
It's all young people.
I didn't see- I don't think I saw anybody in the
headquarters over 30.
When we hire a lot of people,
I never see their diploma,
I just see whether they are optimistic,
whether they want to learn new things,
if they want to change things,
if they want to work in teamwork.
Those people were below 30-years-old.
They are the internet generation.
They are the generation going to change
the future.
We think data is
going to be so important
to human life in the future.
So now we just that we are
the first to runner.
Compared to tomorrow,
our data is nothing.
Jack Ma day-to-day is not running Alibaba.
He is the visionary,
he is the strategic
thinker about the big picture.
Next 30 years,
the technology is going to challenge
a lot of job opportunities.
People are already unhappy because a lot of machine
learning, artificial intelligence,
is killing a lot of the job.
People start to worry.
So I think the good thing is that
technology is improving
people's lives.
Jack Ma is someone who always dreams
big. I mean really big.
A lot of us have dreams
but Jack's dreams almost seem
unrealistic, they're so big.
Machine is good knowledge
but human beings are good at wisdom.
You have to stay relevant
but at the same time
you also have to be a risk taker
and have to shake things
up a little bit.
Well Alibaba what to do next 10-30
years is to enable
the innovation of traditional business,
transform the world,
transform all the traditional
retailer,
manufacturer,
financial sectors.
He's created one of the largest financial services
companies in the country on the back of,
in a sense, Alibaba.
We are enabling small
businesses and young people to
be able to reach financial
support.
They're the first private company
to become bank-approved
by the Chinese government.
I think it's monstrous.
I think it's very important
but I would think that it's also
probably nerve wracking.
It's great to be Goliath
if you're in a open society
and a free economy.
It can be very problematic to be a Goliath
when the other Goliath
is the Chinese Communist Party.
I don't think I could ever appreciate
the pressures that Jack was under
to be a hard-charging
entrepreneur at the same time
as he's part of
a communist system,
in some way,
that takes people away,
leaders of businesses,
and disappears them.
It takes a lot of- a
lot of fancy footwork to keep
on the right side of that.
So sometimes when I look at these
business people doing things,
I say: "Wow.
I'm not I don't do things like that."
He realized that although
the Chinese government didn't like
the Internet for political content
or for the ability for people to criticize
the government, what they did
like about the Internet was that
it could help create jobs
and help grow the economy.
Every day more than 200
million people are shopping
through a mobile phone on
our site.
You're seeing people in the middle of China
with their smartphone pressed a few buttons
and they can buy lobster from Maine
or cherries from Washington.
I would argue the growth of the mobile phone
was probably the single most important thing
that has helped Alibaba
become a giant it is.
We have more than 10-20
million small businesses using
our platform
and 60 percent of them,
this business never exist
before Alibaba.
And
he is so enthusiastic about what he's
doing and what he's doing is pretty
simple.
It takes a genius to think of the simple.
One of the secret sauce for Alibaba
is that we have more than 48
per cent of
the people in the company -
they are women.
He's supporting women in an era
where,
you know there's still residue
of disrespect for women.
And I think for him to be able to bring that
to China is extraordinary.
I do everything to make sure
that I'm- my customer
happy, employee happy,
the society is good.
It's healthy.
Social responsibility is the
key.
For somebody who is sort of
preposterously unlikely to
have become what he's become,
he's more
or less stayed who is.
He is someone who
wants to do good not only
in business but in the world.
He has the power to inspire other people.
He has the ability to understand what he
doesn't understand,
but knows that he can find
people who can and will for
him.
I think he saw
the possibilities
of a new way of not
only doing business,
but of life.
He's focused on these bigger issues
and where are the company's going in
the broad sort of arc
of history.
If you were to ask Jack Ma what's his greatest accomplishment,
it would not be,
you know, becoming the richest man in China
or building a company worth
hundreds of billions of dollars.
I think he might measure his own
success by the impact
that he's created on China
rather than impact
he's created on just himself
and his own team.
It's always
scary looking far away.
Oh my God, that's a difficult place.
Go there.
Test.
Jump into it.
You never learn to swim until you're in
the water.
Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba | The Brave Ones Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba | The Brave Ones Reviewed by Bhaskar Raj on July 31, 2019 Rating: 5

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