Episode#8 – Alibaba


by Duncan Clark


The book in one sentence

The life of Jack Ma and how he built Alibaba.


My personal opinion

The story of Jack Ma and Alibaba is amazing! Until I read this book,  I only recognised Alibaba as the Chinese version of Amazon.com. But reading the work of Duncan Clark I understood what Alibaba is about and which important part Jack Ma plays in this company.

Jack Ma is definitely a person I would be interested to meet to learn about his passion! There are many examples in the book where you can feel his commitment to his idea and vision. His discipline and consistency are very impressive!

It was also interesting to get insights about living in China and how life changed there during the last decades. At various parts Duncan Clark describes the differences between doing business in the western world and in China.


To whom I would recommend this book

Since the book is written in a very entertaining way I recommend it in general. During his life, Jack Ma had a lot of interesting situations e. g. how he started learning English, how he developed his first company, his experience during his first trip to the USA.

If you plan to build a platform business like Alibaba, it is a great book for you. You’ll get a pretty good understanding of what is necessary to found a company like Alibaba, starting with the self-discipline of a founder and ending with the knowledge about the financial structure of a company.


What I learned from this book

  • The most important asset of your business: the trust of your customers.
  • Emphasise teamwork above individual achievement – that’s why Alibaba provides tandems at their campus.
  • “Use your own mind to judge, to think.” – Jack Ma
  • Be the last man standing.
  • “Whatever is stronger than you, you have to learn and not hate it…” – Jack Ma
  • “If you own a hundred percent of the business that cannot operate, you own a hundred percent of zero.” – Joe Tsai


Want to read this book?

Check it out on Amazon.com – Alibaba by Duncan Clark



Thanks to the publisher for printing such a great book!

Harper Collins / Ecco