Chronicle of Greatness: Jack Ma
A popular saying goes Jack of all trades, master of none. But for this man, he is a Jack of one trade, master of one.
Jack Ma, originally Ma Yun, (born September 10, 1964, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China), is a Chinese entrepreneur who is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate that comprised several of China’s most popular websites, including the business-to-business marketplace Alibaba.com and the shopping site Taobao.com. In addition, he co-founded Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm.
Ma became interested in the English Language as a young boy, and during his teens, he worked as a guide for foreign tourists to Hangzhou. Ma failed the entrance exam for Hangzhou Teachers College twice with Mathematics being his weak point. He was admitted on the third try and he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English in 1988. After graduation, he became a lecturer in English and international trade at Hangzhou Dianzi University. He also claims to have applied ten times to Harvard Business School and got rejected each time. In 1994, he founded his first company, the Haibo Translation Agency, which provided English translation and interpretation.
Jack Ma had his first encounter with the internet in 1995 on a trip to the United States. He saw the lack of Chinese websites as a great business opportunity and on his return, he founded China Pages, which created websites for Chinese businesses and was one of China’s first internet companies.
In 2003, Ma created a new company, the consumer-to-consumer online marketplace Taobao (Chinese: searching for treasure). At the time, eBay had a market share of 80% but Ma felt that their policy of charging users a transaction fee was a weakness. Taobao did not charge such a fee but made money from online adverts and the sale of additional services to users. Ma’s intuition proved correct, 4 years later, Taobao had a 67% market share, causing eBay to concede majority ownership to a Chinese company.
Ma is a global ambassador for Chinese businesses and is often listed as one of the world’s most powerful people, with Forbes ranking him 21st on it’s World’s Most Powerful People list. He also serves as a role model for startup businesses. In September 2018, he announced that he would retire from Alibaba and pursue educational work, philanthropy and environmental causes. He started the Jack Ma Foundation after that.
The 2 major lessons worth noting in Jack Ma’s life are as follows:
First, he kept knocking on the door of greatness: Ma applied for 30 different jobs and was rejected by all. He even went to KFC when it came to his city. 24 people applied for the job. 23 were accepted and he wasn’t. Still, he never stopped knocking and he is what he is today as a result of that.
Secondly, he exploited his competitor’s weakness: eBay was Taobao’s greatest opposition in its early days but Ma identified eBay’s policy of charging users a transaction fee and exploited it by making Taobao usable without a transaction fee, bringing himself a huge fortune.
Today, he is married to Zhang Ying and the union is blessed with 3 kids. He has an estimated net worth of $52.3billion. He is currently laying low and focusing on his hobbies after a saga with the Chinese government.
Conclusively, Jack Ma once said, “Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” Stay happy, big fam❤️
Enjoy the rest of the week, je t’aime mon ami🤗🤗🤗
Author: Joshua Fabiyi