A company founded in China, not really famous around the world to the general Internet surfers, but still one of the best in connecting Chinese businesses with the markets abroad – Alibaba! It is now the largest eCommerce service in China, and the market cap of Alibaba now is about 160 billion dollars. eBay, one of the largest online stores is not even half of that value.
How did all this happen? The biggest credit should be to the founder of Alibaba – Jack Ma. He has his own determination, goals and ideas behind this, and although he didn’t receive much support from people around, he stuck to his ideas and here it is – one of the highest valued companies globally.
The struggle about Internet since 1995
Jack Ma visited one of his friends place in Seattle, back in 1995, when he was introduced to the World Wide Web. He tried to search for a few words, like “beer” and found no results from China. He then decided to change this, and bring Internet to China. Initially, it was China Pages, and later he founded Alibaba.
He was not a coder, but a high-school teacher
You don’t always need to have the skills. You should know how to use the skills of others, as well. Jack Ma was trained to become a high school teacher, and he knew little about technology. “I was trained to be a high school teacher. I know nothing about technology,”. He still uses the Internet rarely, only for sending and receiving mails. His colleagues help him download any TV shows or movies if he wanted, from the Internet.
He targeted Silicon Valley, not China
While delivering the original pitch about Alibaba to his employees in 1999, Jack Ma said that it is not China but America who should be taken as a competition. “Our competitors are not in China, but in America’s Silicon Valley … We need to learn the hardworking spirit of Silicon Valley.”
Ma is now the richest person in China
Out of 1.366 billion people in China, the richest man now is Jack Ma. Once earning $15 a month working as a teacher, Ma now has a net worth of $21.9 billion. If this isn’t enough, he is one of the 50 richest people in the world.
Jack Ma isn’t totally business-minded, after all
He retired as the CEO of Alibaba last year, and although he is one of the largest shareholders in the company and looks after a lot of activities as the executive chairman, he is focusing on causes related to education and environment. “In China, because of problems in water, air and food safety, in 10 or 20 years, we will face a lot of health problems, like increased cancer,” he told The Financial Times . “So that is one area where I will invest my money and time.”
One can draw a lot of inspiration from this person, who once started his career as a high school teacher, planned to do something big on the Internet, and whose idea was rejected by almost everyone whom he pitched it to, but in the end did what he desired to make one of the largest companies in the world, connected markets and businesses across the globe.