Born: September 10, 1964
Country of Origin: China
Source of Wealth: Founder of Alibaba
Last Updated: 2018
Jack Ma is a Chinese entrepreneur, and founder of Alibaba Group, which owns a variety of online-businesses. Before founding Alibaba, Ma was faced with one rejection after another, and got used to being told he wasn’t good enough.
Today, Jack Ma’s net worth is estimated at $37.9 billion. And for a guy who was told he was never good enough, becoming one of the richest people in the world has proven them wrong.
Jack Ma was born on the 10th September, 1964, in Hangzhou, China. At a young age, Jack was very interested in learning English, and went to great lengths to improve his skills.
In fact, he would ride his bicycle 70 minutes a day and back to Hangzhou’s international hotel, in order to converse with tourists. Ma also started offering free tours around the city in exchange for English lessons.
When it came to college, Ma struggled to pass the entrance exams. They are only held once a year in China, and it took him a grand total of 4 years to pass. Eventually, he graduated from Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute and became an English teacher, where he was only paid a very small wage.
Jack Ma applied for many different jobs, however he got rejected from all of them. When KFC first came to China, 24 people applied for manager positions, and 23 were accepted. Ma was the only person who applied that was not accepted for the job.
He also applied 10 times to Harvard University, and was rejected every single time.
In 1995, Ma heard about the internet’s introduction when he was in the United States. He started doing some searching, and noticed that China’s web appearance was lacking in certain areas, in comparison to the rest of the world.
Which is when he created his first website with his friends, and got various people to invest in the venture. The site was very successful, and Jack knew he’s found his niche.
Jack Ma founded Alibaba in 1999, and asked 17 of his friends to invest in the venture. Since then it has become the biggest online marketplace in China, and has turned Jack Ma into one of the richest people in the world.
Here are some of the best highlights of Jack Ma’s career:
Offered city tours to foreign visitors in exchange for learning English
Graduated from Hangzhou’s Teacher’s Institute (1988)
Got rejected for many jobs including Manager’s position at KFC
Hired as English teacher at a local university, and made $12/month
Gather 17 friends in his apartment, asking them to invest in Alibaba
Yahoo invested $1 billion in Alibaba (2005)
Resigned as CEO (2013)
Favorite Jack Ma Quotes
“Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” – Jack Ma
“If you’ve never tried, how will you ever know if there’s any chance?” – Jack Ma
“Opportunities lie in the place where the complaints are.” – Jack Ma
“If we want to change the world, we change ourselves.” – Jack Ma
“Once in your life, try something, work hard at something. Try to change. Nothing bad can happen.” – Jack Ma