We are all social creatures always looking for fantasy in real life to trigger our thought process and seek inspiration from them. On a daily basis we come across a lot of strangers but we seek inspiration from only a few of them, and what sets them apart is the stories that they have to tell.
So today, we have a story. The story of a man who almost single-handedly had an everlasting impact on the entire Chinese economy and internet industry. This is the story of a man who never gave up and wasn’t afraid to dream. This is the story of Jack Ma.
Who is Jack Ma?
- Simply put, he is a rich man. The richest in China in fact. Well, he wasn’t always rich. So how did he get there? We’ll get to that in a bit.
- Ma Yun, aged 53and known professionally as Jack Ma, is a Chinese business magnate who is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of successful Internet-based businesses.4
- He is now officially the richest man in China with an estimated net worth of $25 Billion, on the back of the recent world record $150 Billion IPO filing of his company. ( :O ) Like most self-made billionaires, he had a very humble beginning.
In the last 90’s, he had heard about the internet and started visiting the US frequently back then to learn more about it(Problem Trump?). He was aghast when he couldn’t find a single Chinese website on the internet. He and his friends decided to create a very rough Chinese website and in a couple of hours he started receiving calls enquiring about the website. After raising $20,000 with help from his wife, he started a company whose sole purpose was making websites for companies in China and had amassed over 800,000 USD in less than 3 years. Not bad huh?
From 1998 to 1999, Ma headed an information technology company established by the China International Electronic Commerce Center, a department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.
After stepping down from his responsibilities in 1999, Jack founded a company named ‘Alibaba’ along with many other friends. The intention was to create a website which is more like a one stop shop for business to business transactions.
During 1999-2000, the company received a financial backing of $25 million, which significantly helped in the growth of the company. The company’s business soon expanded to around 240 different nations.
Ma wanted to improve the global e-commerce system and from 2003 he founded Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama and Lynx. After the rapid rise of Taobao, eBay offered to purchase the company. However, Ma rejected their offer, instead garnering support from Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang with a $1 billion investment.
In 2014, Alibaba became one of the most valuable tech companies in the world after raising $25 billion, the largest initial public offering in US financial history. Ma now serves as executive chairman of Alibaba Group, which is a holding company with nine major subsidiaries: Alibaba.com, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan, 1688.com, AliExpress.com and Alipay.
Wow. That escalated quickly. Or did it? Entrepreneurship is never easy. Especially when you have people telling you you can’t make it. Let me quote Leonardo DiCaprio from The Wolf of Wall Street(Great movie btw). The only thing standing between you and your goal is the b******t story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.
Here’s a quick look at Jack Ma’s 10 points to success.
Now, that was inspiring right? So go on, start your own company. For all you know, your IPO could raise $100 Billion.