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Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Jack Ma: Alibaba Will Be Bigger Than Microsoft & Walmart


There was a great interview of Jack Ma on Charlie Rose — Ma is the Founder and Chairman of the leading Chinese Internet company Alibaba.

Ma is clearly an evolved thinker. Here are some highlights:

An Internet CEO Does Not Need To Be Technical

  • Jack Ma doesn’t know how to code
  • He says he uses the Web primarily to send and receive email and browse the Web

The Core Competency of Alibaba is Culture

  • Grew from 18 to 20,000 people. We believe the customer is #1, employee #2 and shareholders #3
  • Average age of employees is 26
  • “It’s the customer that pays us the money.”
  • “It’s the employee who drives the innovation.”
  • Shareholders come and go (I’m paraphrasing).

What Types of Customers Does Alibaba Target?

  • Focus is small and medium-sized businesses.

“I’ve seen people make a fortune catching shrimps (small customers) but never make a fortune catching sharks and whales (big customers).”

  • Has 2 Million Small & Medium Sized Businesses In The U.S. Already

What Ideas Excite Jack Ma

“To be a great company, think about what social problem you can solve.”
“Anything happening in the USA will happen in China (cloud computing, mobile).”

Should US Businesses Be Excited About China Market?

  • USA should be optimistic about China market…1.3 billion people…huge demand.
  • This should continue for another 20 oe 30 years at least

How Big Can Alibaba Get?

“We should surpass Microsoft and Walmart (in size)”

“I would regret if we can’t be bigger than Walmart”…because Taobao and Alibaba goes after both businesses and consumers (while Walmart sold only to consumers).

On What Do Do With Wealth Creation

“I’ve never thought the money I have belongs to me…it belongs to society.”

“You have a couple of million you’re a rich guy” (I think he’s saying that you don’t need any more than that for yourself)

“You have $20 to 30 millionĀ  it’s capital” (presumably for a business)

“You have $100 million, it’s a social responsibility.” (i.e. you should give it back)

He certainly speaks like a true leader.

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