The Great Men’s Cross 1: Jack Ma

Jack Ma

Man’s days are short and full of troubles’ – Job (excerpts from the Bible). Truly, man’s days are full of troubles and more like ‘the more your exams, the greater you can become, and the more your troubles the higher you can go’. This has gingered the idea of studying the lives of the common great men in our contemporary society and the problems they faced while growing up. One way or the other, almost everyone if not all has heard of Carl Brashear, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma, Ben Carson, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and many more. Despite the odds against these men, despite starting small, they were still able to make headway out of their challenges to conquer and rule the world.
Check this: How to buy Time
We will take time to study them and it will be in series starting from Jack Ma, the popular Chinese Moneybag and owner of Alibaba.

Is life truly fair or unfair? In the film 3Idiots, “Viru”, the Director of Imperial College of Engineering (ICE), says “All is fair in love and war”. Is it that some pass through bigger problems than others. Jack Ma, the owner of Alibaba passed through a lot to come up with the establishment of the multibillion empire. He started rough, got no job after several applications, applied to Harvard ten times and rejected, yet he found a way out of problems. Let us learn from Jack Ma……..

Owner of Alibaba: I applied to Harvard 10 times, applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected...The man called Jack Ma
Jack Ma, a Chinese business magnate, philanthropist and investor was born on 15 October, 1964 in Hangzhou, China. He is currently the co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, a technological company. He is one of the richest men in China with a net worth of US$38.6 billion as of August 2018.

He couldn’t speak English when he was young and he had to ride tens of miles to meet tourist so he can learn the English language from them, and one had to nickname him ‘Jack’ because he couldn’t pronounce his Chinese name.
When Ma was young, he found it difficult to attend college. The Chinese entrance exams are known to occur yearly and it took Jack Ma four years to pass the exam. Ma then attended the Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute, where he graduated in 1988 with a B.A. in English. At 30 different times, Ma applied for different jobs, he got rejected by all of them.

He reportedly said he went for a job with the police and they said he is not good for it. He also went for an interview with the KFC when they got to his city, out of the twenty-four that applied for the job, only twenty-three were accepted and he only was rejected. Also, Jack Ma applied to Harvard Business School (HBS) ten times and still got rejected.

There is a problem around you, solve it
So in 1994, he heard about the internet. He then went to the US with his friends who later introduced him to the internet. He said he found information about beer in other countries but none was available in his own country China. He also sought information on China and found none. He and his friend then started a website that gives information on China. He got emails from Chinese investors the day he started the website and then he knew the internet is the future of the world. In April 1995, Jack Ma with his wife and friend raised US$20,000 and started their own company which was known to create website for Chinese companies which they named ‘Chinese Pages’. In three years, the company made about US$800,000.

In one of Ma’s interviews at a conference in 2010, Ma disclosed that he has never written a line of code nor made a sale to a customer and he acquired the computer at 33….

Ma worked for the government between 1998 and 1999 and he quit the job in 1999 to establish Alibaba with his team of 18 friends in Hangzhou.
Don’t sell your Idea, don’t sell your dream
Ma decided to improve the global e-commerce system and decided to found Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama and Lynx in 2003. Taobao rose so fast and eBay offered to buy it. Ma instead rejected the offer and reinforced his investments through the support of Jerry Yang (co-founder of Yahoo) with $1 billion.

Chase Success, Money will come
In September 2014, Alibaba became one of the most valuable technological companies and currently, Ma is the executive chairman of Alibaba with nine major subsidiaries:, Juhuasuan,,, Alipay, Taobao Marketplace, eTao, Tpay and Alibaba Cloud Computing. Alibaba’s online transaction. Alibaba’s online transaction exceeded one trillion yuan in November 2012.

Leave when the ovation is loudest
On the 10th of September, he decided and announced that he will retire from Alibaba so that he can face his educational charity work.

Give back to those that made you
The Alibaba group after the announcement of Ma began to earmark 0.3% of annual revenue to environmental protection, most especially water and air quality projects since 2010.
Never stop Dreaming
When asked about the future of Alibaba, Ma said that the challenge they have is how to help more people make healthy money, ‘sustainable money’. This is the type of money that is not only good for the owner, but also for the society and this is the transformation we are aiming to make.

A minute's success pays the failure of years.’ - Robert Browning
Credit: Wikipedia

Jack Ma

"Life is truly fair. We may not have it all, but we can have all what we need. Go and change your world, only you know your boundaries, break them. Make a name for yourself, break beyond your emotions, achieve more than what the world expected of you, yes, you can do itYou don’t need to chase success, chase value. Make yourself valuable. Let people miss you and know how important you are. Success will come. Success is possible".

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The Great Men's Cross 2: Albert Einstein
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