Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, made it to the 2016 shortlist for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Obviously, I was curious to find out what it was all about. As I was editing this issue of Hustle, it came as a pleasant surprise that our celebrity entrepreneur columnist, King Kaka, spoke about it. With that said, here’s what I learnt from Alibaba:
Stay hungry: As a child, Jack Ma always had a love for learning. To learn English, he started to guide tourists for free, who he waited for in front of hotels.
Work hard: In high school, Ma failed in Gaokao, China’s equivalent to SATs scoring 1/120 in the math test. But Ma never backed out, on his third try, he managed to get an 89 and got accepted in Hangzhou Teachers College.
Build relationships: When Ma was invited by the Morleys’ to take a vacation in Australia at their family home, his networking ability saw the family finance his college education, gifted about US$18,000, as a newlywed and get some of his colleagues in the university where he taught to work for him part-time and help him secure clients.