Jack Ma is the main founder of Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce business whose IPO may be one of the world’s largest this year if it finally happens. After failing to win Hong Kong regulatory support for a listing under its current shareholder structure last year, the company held off on an expected IPO that could value it at as much as $150 billion. Besides Ma and vice chairman Joseph Tsai both members of this year’s Forbes Billionaires list–key investors include Yahoo and Japan’s Softbank. Elfish Ma, an Internet icon for years, is a former English teacher and active philanthropist.[*]
In May 2009, Ma was honored by Time magazine with inclusion into the Time 100 list of the world’s 100 most influential people. In reporting Mr. Ma’s accomplishments, Adi Ignatius, former Time senior editor and editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review, said, “Meeting Jack Ma, you might be forgiven for thinking he’s still an English teacher. The Chinese Internet entrepreneur is soft-spoken and elflike — and he speaks really good English. But as founder and CEO of Alibaba.com, Ma, 44, runs one of the world’s biggest B2B online marketplaces, an eBay for companies doing international trade. Alibaba and Ma’s consumer-auction website, Taobao.com, did so well that in 2006, eBay shut down its own site in China.” He was also chosen as one of “China’s Most Powerful People” by BusinessWeek, and one of the “Top 10 Most Respected Entrepreneurs in China” by Forbes China in 2009. Ma received the “2009 CCTV Economic Person of the Year: Business Leaders of the Decade Award”.
In 2010, Ma was selected by Forbes Asia as one of “Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy” for his contribution to disaster relief and poverty.
It is clear that Jack has clearly found an algorithm of success that works. In addition he appears to seriously consider making it possible for his whole team to win as well.
Jack Ma isn’t a self obsessed silicon valley kid that is all about the money and personal fame. He seems to be looking beyond the cash and prizes and establishing real sustaining practices to build businesses, creating opportunities for employees to be happy at their jobs and developing products that are useful. [*]
Here are several quotes and ideas of Jack Ma:
v Customers should be number 1, Employees number 2, and then only your Shareholders come at number 3.
v Your attitude determines your altitude.
v Don’t make complaining and whining a habit
v A real businessman or entrepreneur has no enemies. Once he understands this, the sky’s the limit.
v Always let your employees come to work with a smile.
v Rather than having small smart tricks to get by, focus on holding on and persevering.
v You should find someone who has complementary skills to start a company with. You shouldn’t necessarily look for someone successful. Find the right people, not the best people
v A leader should have higher endurance and ability to accept and embrace failure
v Only fools use their mouth to speak. A smart man uses his brain, and a wise man uses his heart.[*]
Jack Ma’s advice to entrepreneurs
- The opportunities that everyone cannot see are the real opportunities.
- Always let your employees come to work with a smile.
- Customers should be number 1, Employees number 2, and then only your Shareholders come at number 3.
- Adopt and change before any major trends or changes.
- Forget the money; Forget about earning money.
- Rather than having small smart tricks to get by, focus on holding on and persevering.
- Your attitude determines your altitude. )[*]
Jack Ma on entrepreneurship
- A great opportunity is often hard to be explained clearly; things that can be explained clearly are often not the best opportunities.
- You should find someone who has complementary skills to start a company with. You shouldn’t necessarily look for someone successful. Find the right people, not the best people.
- The most unreliable thing in this world is human relationships.
- “Free” is the most expensive word.
- Today is cruel, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be beautiful.[*]
- 73Until this week, few Americans -- outside of tech and investment circles -- were overly familiar with Alibaba. But the Chinese company is fast becoming a household name as it prepares to launch an initial public offering that may be the largest in U.S. history. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. was…
- 70What's Alibaba? It's one of dozens of internet giants you haven't heard of. There's been a big stir this week, caused by the float of Alibaba.com, a website that most of us have never heard of, that is about to have a mammoth IPO on the New York stock exchange.…
- 52In 1990, Jack Ma was teaching English to a group of university students at Hangzhou Dianzi University. Who would have thought that, 24 years later, he would be China’s richest man? In that same year, Jeff Bezos was working at D.E. Shaw & Co., an investment management firm based…
- 51Alibaba’s recently announced $16 billion IPO has VentureBeat reporters scratching our collective head: Why weren’t more U.S. growth funds involved in Alibaba’s rise to domination? Alibaba has a hand in every game imaginable: Social networking, payments, travel, online commerce, and dozens more. Its own list of investments rivals that of any major…