Alibaba - The House JAck Ma Built by Duncan Clark


Duncan Clark

  Alibaba, Leadership, Startup

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Everything about Jack Ma and the rise of Alibaba


Alibaba is bigger than you think:

  • Alibaba had its humble beginnings from founder Jack Ma's apartment. 
  • Alibaba is now a global giant which raised in 2014 raised $25 billion in its initial public offering on the NYSE. 
  • Behind only Google, it became the 2nd most valuable internet firm in the entire world.
  • 400 million customers buy goods from Alibaba each year and is the biggest retailer in China.


Its Different Than Amazon:

  • The one main thing that differentiates it from Amazon is its business model. For one, they don't keep any inventory. 
  • Buyers and sellers don't pay any type of fee. Display ads or paid listings are purchased by merchants.
  • Alibaba also hosts a payment service similar to Paypal called Alipay. They manage millions of dollars and also holds deposits which makes them competitors of state banks in China.


Jack Ma:

  • Jack Ma was born in 1964, in a city called Hangzhou, 180 km from Shanghai.
  • Ma's father is a factory worker, and his mother a photographer. Surprisingly enough, Jack was never really a tech person and also struggled at math. 
  • He always was fascinated with the English language and literature. 
  • From the start, he was a very charismatic person and was a local tour guide during his adolescence.
  • In 1988 he studied at Hangzhou Teachers College and became an assistant professor at the Hangzhou Institute of Electronic Engineering. 
  • In earlier years, entrepreneurship was illegal in China, but once the country relaxed such restrictions, Ma went on to launch a translation company in 1994. 


China Pages, his first internet company:

  • In 1995 Ma started his first Internet venture called China Pages. His idea was to create an index of Chinese companies looking to do business abroad. 
  • Ma gathered and complied data about Chinese companies and translated them into English. 
  • As China's Internet access expanded, China Pages became partners with Zhejiang Telecom. 


Alibaba’s Six Veins of Success:

  1. Customer-first: Alibaba's rivals hire mostly technical workers, but Alibaba seeks sales employees, indicating its focus on customers.
  2. Teamwork: Alibaba workers are all about unity. They play games and join group outings. Alibaba regards people’s efforts over their outcomes. Goals are met by breaking them down into smaller steps. 
  3. Embrace change: Generally Chinese culture teaches that failure is a “shameful” thing, but Alibaba encourages employees to accept failure as a component of life.
  4. Integrity: To preserve integrity, Alibaba rotates workers regularly to prevent them from building “alternative centers of power.”
  5. Passion: Hard work and dedication is a must for employees at Alibaba.
  6. Commitment: Alibaba focuses on employees bond with the company and the work they do. They make sure to reinforce the spirit of commitment regularly.


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