The Jack Ma Effect

The Jack Ma Effect. When Chinese Internet billionaire Jack Ma – founder of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba – started out looking for work in life, he was rejected left right and centre by dozens of companies, including KFC, which had just entered China. “I went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy who didn’t get one,” said Ma in a Charlie Rose interview. Since then, he has become China’s richest person, raising a record $25 billion in Alibaba’s IPO in 2014 – setting a new record for the world’s largest public stock offering. And… in the ultimate twist of fate, has just become part owner of KFC in China. Priceless.

Making it as #8 on the Forbes 2016 ‘Richest People in Tech’ list is no small feat, and with a $29 billion net worth, he has done it with zeal (being the only Chinese entrepreneur to ever make its coveted cover.) And he hasn’t done it in one domain alone – he’s got tentacles everywhere. He’s invested in movies like Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, created a sports division, developed a cloud computing business, and formed an online portal with department store giant Macy’s, among many, many other big wins.

For a look into the brain of Jack Ma, check out British author Duncan Clark’s new book: Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built. “The book is really about two things: the Internet coming to China, the rise of the private sector. The combination is like an explosion, and Ma Yun is the guy with the match,” extols Clark. Have to say, it’s an enthralling read, with many “ah ha” moments, plot twists and astounding leaps of faith.

Why do I bring up Jack Ma, other than he is a vibrant character, trailblazing every moment of the day? Because Alibaba hasn’t been around for that long and it is already doing 5% of its business outside of China. Ma told Forbes that he sees that number rising to 40% in a decade from now, and in 20 years time, he sees the value of the merchandise handled by the site hitting $1 trillion. So keep your eyes on this staunch proponent of globalization and do a deeper dive into the world of Jack Ma with the links (and his book) below:

Fortune – Here’s What Jack Ma Thinks American Voters are Getting Wrong

“Globalization is good,” said the Alibaba founder. Jack Ma hears the message American voters are sending in this election, and he doesn’t like it.

Barron’s – When Martha Stewart Met Alibaba’s Jack Ma

The internet giant provides a way for big Western brands to tap China’s 100 million middle-class consumers.

Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built

An engrossing, insider’s account of how a teacher built one of the world’s most valuable companies—rivaling Walmart & Amazon—and forever reshaped the global economy.

Michael Chase, CMO
St. Joseph Communications

#MondayMashup >

Posted on September 26, 2016 in Leadership, Marketing, Technology, Trends

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About the Author

Michael Chase - a true hybrid – part strategist, part data monkey, part creative director, part global growth hacker (when you're doing bic pen tracheotomies you still have to think of EBITDA) and through and through an innovator.

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