Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, is definitely the most inspirational role model for China’s start up generation. He created Alibaba, the online marketplace that has transformed China, and the payment system - Alipay, which promoted a cashless society. On September 10, 2018, he announced to step down from his role as executive chairman at Alibaba Group, the most valuable company in Asia, one year later. Here is one of Jack Ma’s speeches in 2017, which still brought us a lot of thinking about his business philosophy.
At gateway 17 held in Detroit on 21st June, Jack Ma shared five tips for entrepreneurs and how these helped Alibaba survive in the fierce competition.
Firstly, have a vision for the future. Jack Ma said: “we need to believe in the future; we need to love what we do; we need to care for our customers. With a shared vision of the future, the whole team can be united, and its power boundless. Remember to hire people with determination to fight for a future of common hopes, rather than those who only work.”
“Secondly, build a good team, which is not the same as a star team. Do not look for people who have been successful, but the right ones for the job. Otherwise, placing a perfect employee in an ill-suited position could be like installing an engine of Boeing 747 on an antique vehicle, which makes it impossible for both to play a role. No staff are regarded as “the best” in this ever-changing market; if they are, you train them.”
Thirdly, focus on turning your products into service. Ma said that he was actually a layman to technology, and even hated high technology. “But this is not a fatal defect, because I understand what 80% of global users want - to acquire things they need in the fastest and most convenient way,” Ma explained. “Whenever a software is developed, I will be part of the product-experience team. I believe that if I can use it, 80% of people also can. “
Fourthly, customers first, employees second, shareholders third. It is customers that are paying you, and all the employees exerting their creativity and imagination to meet the needs of customers. “Honestly, I don’t like to put shareholders in the first place, in which case, people are less likely to lie.”
Finally, stay dedicated. Ma gave an example of catching rabbits. You saw nine rabbits on the ground and wanted to catch one. You were so anxious that you kept changing your targets during the process, and unfortunately harvested nothing in the end. Keep changing your goals can never help; however, transforming yourself through the renewal of mind can make a difference.
Nearly 40,000 Alibaba employees gathered for the 18th anniversary celebration in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province on September 8th, 2017. Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma said he had spent 870 hours on fl...
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