On this day, September 10 in the year 1964, one of the world’s most successful internet entrepreneurs was born in Hangzhou, China. His name is Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba.com, one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world. According to forbes.com as of September 2020, his net worth was $50.5 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world.
Jack Ma was the son of a couple of modest means. His family was persecuted by the Communists because his grandparents were members of the opposing Nationalist Party. In 1988, he finished B.A. in English from the Hangzhou Teachers Institute. After graduation, he sent many job application letters but he only got rejection replies. Finally, he got a job as a university instructor. In 2006, he received his MBA from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) in Beijing.
Jack Ma started making websites in 1995 right after his travel to the United States where he got enamored with computers and the internet. With initial funding of $20,000 which he collected from friends, he launched China Yellow Pages. In 3 years, the company made $800,000. In 1998, along with 17 friends, he launched alibaba.com. The following year, it received funding of $5 million from Goldman Sachs and $20 million from SoftBank. In 2005, Yahoo! invested $1 billion. The year 2014 saw the company going public in a $150 billion IPO, the largest in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.
Jack Ma had always been claiming that his life is a tale of failures and rejection. He had said in many interviews and forums that he failed in many examinations when he was a student, that he was rejected by Harvard 10 times, that he failed to enlist in the police force and that he got rejected by KFC when he applied for a job there. Yet, what made him overcome all these initial failures was his desire to succeed.