3 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Jack Ma, Founder Alibaba Group

Jack Ma Alibaba CEO

Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group, a Chinese eCommerce multinational conglomerate.

From the beginning of Alibaba, Jack Ma was always full of ideas. He overcame many odds before creating a hugely successful business. As if growing up poor in communist China was not enough, he also failed multiple entrance exams. He was rejected from Harvard on multiple occasions but he never threw away his vision because of this. His first two internet companies were complete failures, in spite of this he went on to create Alibaba, which took off at an alarming rate. His company went on to compete with world leaders like Amazon and eBay. He took it further and listed the company on the New York Stock Exchange and his IPO was record-breaking. Today, he is one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of over $30 billion. Entrepreneurs can learn these 3 some important lessons from Jack Ma’s story.

1. Create a business centred around improving the lives of people

Jack Ma’s vision for his business from the beginning was to improve the lives of his customers and employees alike. He created a business model that at first was intended to get local factory products to other parts of the world. He made sure the focus of the business was helping buyers and sellers across boarders find themselves. Most businesses think of making profits first but Jack endeavoured to create something with real value first. He believed making money would come as a result of this.

Suggested reading: 10 steps to turning your idea into a profitable business

2. Allow your vision of the future to get you past rough times

Starting small or going through a rough start should not discourage you. After Alibaba took off in the late ’90s, going into the next decade was very rough. In 2001, Alibaba was in serious trouble and plaudits were saying the company was going to fail. The company had to hold off and take a step back for a while. After some time had passed Jack called a meeting between the top people in the company made them promise to cut off from the outside world. They were not even supposed to tell their loved ones, they just huddled together in a room until they could figure out a way to get out of that bad situation.

 Consider reading: Business Innovation 101: Separating Your Business Through Innovation

3. Don’t give up when you fail, learn and take advantage of new opportunities

Going by his life, one only fails when they give up. Jack Ma only let failure spur him on. When he was younger he had to take a test to get a teaching license, he failed the test twice before he passed it on his third attempt. He created two internet companies that failed before he finally got the formula for the winning business. He was focused on creating a totally new kind of product until he took a cue from existing companies. Jack Ma found that there was a need for goods in large volume to enter the already existing eCommerce sector. Recognizing and taking advantage of this opportunity was the key to his success. Failing at a venture is just a lesson on how not to do it next time or how to improve on it on the next try.


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