38 quotes by Jack Ma on work, technology, women, and philanthropy

Ma, who was worth $34.2 billion last year, is now worth a mammoth $38.4 billion. Here are 38 quotes by the Chinese entrepreneur for your dose of weekend inspiration.

17th Nov 2019
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Born into a family of traditional musician-storytellers in Hangzhou, China, 55-year-old Jack Ma started Alibaba from his Hangzhou apartment in 1999. With a vision to start an e-marketplace for information, he went onto becoming the richest person in China.


In August this year, Ma stepped down from his role as Chairman of Alibaba Group, and CEO Daniel Zhang took on the mantle. The teacher-turned-entrepreneur is now spending his time on environment, philanthropy, and education.


Jack Ma

Alibaba Founder Jack Ma

Even as the Founder steps away, Alibaba is doing great, with Singles Day 2019, the 24-hour shopping bonanza concluded recently, creating a new record with a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $38.4 billion, overtaking the 2018 number of $30.8 billion.


In a parallel scenario, Jack Ma has become the richest man in China for the second consecutive year, as revealed by Forbes. Here are 38 quotes by the Chinese entrepreneur for your dose of weekend inspiration:


On failures

1. "You have got to keep trying, and if it doesn’t work, you always can revert back to what you were doing before."


2. "It doesn’t matter if I failed. At least I passed the concept on to others. Even if I don’t succeed, someone will succeed."

On happiness

3. "It doesn’t matter how wealthy or powerful you are, if you can’t enjoy the sunshine, you can’t be truly happy."


4. "I try to make myself happy because I know that if I’m not happy, my colleagues are not happy and my shareholders are not happy and my customers are not happy."


Jack Ma Vs Elon Musk


On leadership

5. "A good boss is better than a good company."


6. "A leader should have higher grit and tenacity, and be able to endure what the employees can’t."


7. "Leadership is your instinct, then it's your training. Leaders are always positive, they never complain."


8. "When people think too highly of you, you have the responsibility to calm down and be yourself."

9. "On the path to success, you will notice that the successful ones are not whiners, nor do they complain often."

On money

10. "When we have money, we start making mistakes."


11. "Today, making money is very simple. But making sustainable money while being responsible to the society and improving the world is very difficult."


12. "I don’t care about revenues."

On opportunities

13. "The opportunities that everyone cannot see are the real opportunities."


14. "Opportunity lies in the place where the complaints are."


Jack Ma


On not giving up

15. "Today is hard, tomorrow is harder, but the day after tomorrow is beautiful."


16. "Let me ask everyone, if you don’t put out more time and energy than others, how can you achieve the success you want?"


17. "No matter how tough the chase is, you should always have the dream you saw on the first day. It’ll keep you motivated and rescue you from any weak thoughts."


18. "If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure."


Melinda Gates and Jack Ma

Melinda Gates, Antonio Guterres, and Jack Ma

On teams

19. "If we are a good team and know what we want to do, one of us can defeat ten of them."


20. "Try to find the right people, not the best people."


21. "You’ve got to make your team have value, innovation, and vision."


22. "Help young people. Help small guys. Because small guys will be big. Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world."


23. "Don’t hire the most qualified, hire the craziest."


24. "If young people have awe for the future, act conscientiously towards the present, and be thankful for the past, they will have opportunities."


25. The best way to promote your company is through your product or services, or employees.



On women

26. "One of the secret sauce of Alibaba's success is that we have a lot of women."


27. "Out of the 18 founders in Alibaba, six of them are women, accounting for one-third of the total number of founders in Alibaba."


28. "In the age of AI, women’s attention to experience and detail can outperform machine learning, whereas men’s traits of rational thinking will be challenged by machines."


29. "If you want to your company to operate with wisdom and care, then women are best."
Jack Ma


On technology

30. "I believe it's not the technology that changes the world. It's the dreams behind the technology that change the world."


31. "I'm not a technology person, but I'm a believer that technology is great for human beings."


32. "If we don’t align together, human beings are going to fight each other, because each technological revolution makes the world unbalanced."

On philanthropy

33. "To do philanthropy well, you need to use commercial means. While bearing a philanthropic heart, do not use philanthropic means and bear a commercial heart."


34. "Philanthropy is not about helping others, it is about helping yourself. When you change, the world will change."

On competition

35. "You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die."


36. "Forget about your competitors. Just focus on your customers."


On consumerism

37. "You’ve to make consumers smart. An ecommerce portal doesn’t sell a product at cheaper rates, instead an offline shop sells it at a costlier prices."


38. "If the customer loves you, the government will have to love you."



(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)


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