Bored in a poor family, not marrying a rich wife, laboriously got the offer after twice failing the national college entrance exam, and rejected by a hotel and KFC just because his not good looking, Jack Ma did not have any obvious success factors when he decided to start his first business at 1991. 23 years later, Jack Ma has successfully launched the largest initial public offering of Alibaba in US stock market history. Every time when he was asked about the reasons of his success, Ma would always say that it’s luck and persistence. Learn more from his speech at Stanford University.
Actually, Alibaba is Ma’s the fourth attempt of starting a business. Even though the first two companies had failed for some reasons, Ma’s third try was very successful indeed, that was a government project, trying to establish a B2B network to support the fast growing export industry at that time. Ma joined the government owned company as a ebusiness expert–this reputation was gained through his second company, running an online yellow pages service, beaten and merged by another state-owned company– and worked as the general manager. Ma and his team worked very hardly and made a great amount of profit about 3 millions RMB at the first years and still fast-growing. When everyone thought that Ma had finally found his position and would continually do this job to achieve his biggest success, out of the blue, Ma made a decision to quit the company and start all over again. Many years later, Ma had talked about the reason in an inner speech.
I had known that, at that time, our opinions (about the future of online business) were different, even our relationship are still very good today, we couldn’t work together any longer. The strategy that support companies to do business online is totally different between big enterprises and small and middle entities.
You are my boss, so my only choice is leaving, I still don’t regret the decision today. He still doesn’t succeed today, because the path is wrong. From the first day, Alibaba insists on providing services to the middle and small-sized enterprises and helping them to make value from the Internet, not controlling them, which are our missions.
In your personal growth, you will face many choices, some of them would happen in your tough time, which are painful but not hard to make the choice–most of the time you don’t have too many choices in the bad time–and some of them would appear in your temporary good time, whether you choose to stick to your gun like Jack Ma, it depends on how confident are you in your belief.Just like the frog would jump out of hot water and survive but would die in the increasing warm water.
If you want to know more about Jack Ma, here is one in English from Calum MacLeod on www.smh.com.au. If you have anything to share, please comment here.
Photo Credit: http://business.sohu.com/
Video Credit: Stanford Graduate School of Business