Posted on : May 20, 2017
Views : 1200
Category : Startup
How Did ‘Alibaba’ Jack Do It.. In 1995 Jack was riding his bike to work in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. In the darkness he saw to guys trying to steal a manhole cover from the street. He did not know Kung-fu and he was very thin and he knew that he could not fight the two guys. Therefore, he rode his bike around looking for a policeman, but he could not find one. He was concerned because a few days earlier a child had fallen into a sewer (without a manhole cover) and had died.
- Put The Manhole Back
On that night Jack thought ‘somebody has to stop those guys’. So he returned to the two guys and told them, ‘you guys put the manhole back’. They looked at Jack, and he was ready to run if they came after him. Jack still does not know where he got the courage to tell those guys to put the manhole back. Then someone else showed up on the scene and asked what was going on. Jack was happy to see that person (he thought he would receive help). So, he told the person that these guys are robbing the manhole and that they should put it back. Jack was all excited, and then he realized there was a camera in the had of the person who had just showed up.
- The Manhole Test
It turn out that the person was from a local TV station and that this was a test to see how people would react to someone stealing a manhole. Later on Jack found out that he was the only person that night in Hangzhou who had passed the manhole test. Jack thinks that the incident was pretty interesting, because as the world changes, nothing will happen if you don’t act. Furthermore, if you act, you may benefit from that action. Later the TV station aired that episode, most of the viewers though Jack looked more like a thief than the bad guys. That was the first time Jack was on TV.
The second time he was on TV it was an appearance on CCTV’s Oriental Times program. The program featured the lives of ordinary people. In that program he talked about how he had been visiting government ministries advocating for the adoption of the Internet and how he kept getting rejected. When that episode was finished, the producer reviewed it and said ‘we can’t use this’ as the Internet was a sensitive topic and because Jack Ma looked like a bad guy. During all that time, Jack was never told that he was capable, smart or that he would be successful some day. In late 1994 he started working on the Internet. He must have been the first person in China doing that (at least 6 months before his earliest competitors). Jack had only 50,000 RMB ($7,800). He knew then that ‘as long as I was the last person to die, I would have a chance’.
- Silicon Valley
Today, Jack is thankful for everything that has happened and all the friends he has made in the journey. He is especially thankful for all the inspiration he received in Silicon Valley. Jack felt lonely when he started working on the Internet business in China around 1995. Nobody believed in him, he knew nothing about computer technology. Every time Jack came to Silicon Valley he saw the parking lots full (even on the weekends). Everyone in the Valley was hopeful of the future and their minds were filled with new ideas. After he returned to China, he always asked himself ‘what should we do to catch up? With time he became more fearless. In 2001 he was invited to speak at Harvard he thought he had made it). Looking back on that he feels so naive. ‘The ignorant are not afraid’.
- Secret To Alibaba Success?
Jack told the Harvard Professors and students that there were three reasons for the success of Alibaba.
- They had no money
- They did not understand technology
- They never planned
Jack feels says that ‘if things do not change, nobody has a chance’. Change creates opportunities, as long as you are willing to try. The key is whether you can do something and do it well. Sometimes Jack feels embarrassed, because he really didn’t do anything. All he did was follow a mission ‘change people’s lives’. ‘If you are afraid, you should not go into business. Nobody can guarantee that you’ll succeed and nobody can guarantee that you’ll fail. Don’t leave it to fate. Once in your life, try something. Nothing bad can happen. If you haven’t crossed the river, there’s always something to worry about.’
- ‘you guys put the manhole back’
Nothing will change if you don’t act! That is the philosophy that made Jack Ma succeeded.
- “Well, you can fairly claim the day hasn’t been wasted, if something’s been learned”