Book Giveaway #72: Alibaba’s World

Title: Alibaba’s World: How a Remarkable Company is Changing the Face of Global Business
Author(s): Porter Erisman

Alibaba.com. Revenues (US$56 billion, 2019)

Founder: Jack Ma, poor at Math, failed twice at university, finally managed to become (a very good) English Teacher – which opened doors for him to travel – traveled to USA – saw a computer connected to Internet. Became one of the first Internet commerce entrepreneurs in China and the rest is history.

Right person at the right time? Maybe. But then, WHAT MINDSET made Jack Ma the RIGHT PERSON among the many other MORE QUALIFIED people who were there at the right time. He himself clears the air:

“One of the reasons why Alibaba survived is because I know nothing about computers. I’m like a blind man riding on the back of a blind tiger”.

Is it? Well, when he speaks then likes of Jeff Bezos TAKE NOTES!

Jack Ma invited Porter Erisman (the author of this book) to join the fledgling startup few months before it was expected to go public. Erisman joined and stayed for 8 years and was part of the team that was responsible for scaling-up a company from scratch to a multi-billion dollar global company.

The Alibaba “secrets” are not so obvious. It did not have an organization structure for at least 2 years. The author says they were an “amorphous blob”. He shares:

Internal chaos was the price we were paying even as Jack boasted publicly, “Alibaba doesn’t plan.”

In initial years, there were bunk beds at the office (for 24*7 work), later removed by a (new and first) COO.

More such nuggets from an insider!

Here is wishing God Speed to your own Billion Dollar Dreams!

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