Sunday, September 21, 2014

What Makes Jack Ma Tick - And How He Built Alibaba

Alibaba’s successful IPO in New York brings back memories of interviewing founder Jack Ma in his hometown Hangzhou in 2006 long before his name was universally recognized – but well after he had saved Alibaba from failing in 2001.
Silicon Dragon author interviewing
Alibaba founder Jack Ma (circa 2006)
in his hometown Hangzhou
I learned a lot about Ma as an entrepreneur during that first interview for my book Silicon Dragon.  One of Ma’s more memorable quotes resonates today: ”When I am myself, I am happy, and have a good result.” Certainly true!
I also recall Ma telling me how he learned to think independently, at an early age. In 1985, he was invited by an Australian family he had become friends with in Hangzhou to spend a month in Australia with them on a summer vacation. It was an eye-opening experience. “Before I left China, I was educated that China was the richest, happiest country in the world. So when I arrived Australia, I thought, oh my god, everything is different from what I was told. Since then,” Ma told me,  ”I started to think differently.”
Keep reading post at Forbes: What Makes Jack Ma Tick