Jack Ma’s vision for Alibaba

Jack Ma’s Original Sales Pitch in 1999

English Transcript

Today, we are all here to discuss what we should do in the next five to ten years. So, what will Alibaba become in the future? Since we were working on China Pages, I’ve always said our competitors are not domestic websites, but overseas websites. Our competitors are not in China, but in America’s Silicon Valley.

So first, we should position Alibaba as a global website, not just a domestic website. Second, we need to learn the hard working spirit of Silicon Valley. If we go to work at 8am and go home at 5pm, this is not a high tech company, and Alibaba will never be successful. If we have that kind of 8am-to-5pm spirit, then we should just go and do something else.

Americans are strong at hardware and systems. But on information and software, Chinese brains are just as good as theirs. All of our brains are just as good as theirs. This is the reason we dare to compete with Americans. If we are a good team and know what we want to do, one of us can defeat ten of them. We can beat government agencies and big famous companies because of our innovative spirit. Otherwise, what is the difference between us and them?

Everybody knows the Internet is a bubble that keeps getting bigger and bigger. But when will it burst? Yahoo’s stock will fall and eBay’s stock will rise and maybe after eBay’s stock rises, Alibaba’s stock will rise. So don’t worry. The dream of the Internet won’t burst. We will have to pay painful price in the next 3 to 5 years. It is the only way we can succeed. So, the goal is Alibaba will IPO in 2002.

Chinese Transcript

而今天我想把大家请过来,跟大家共同探讨以后至少五年十年我们要做的事情。那么阿里巴巴我们将做成什么样? 我想从黄页的时候我就提过,黄页所要瞄准的对象不是国内站而是国际站,我们所有的竞争对手不在于中国,而在美国的硅谷。

如果说第一,我们把阿里巴巴定位就把它作为国际站点,我们不要把它定位国内站点。第二个呢我想就是我们要学会硅谷的那种拼劲,如果我们是早上八点钟上 班,五点钟下班,这个不是搞高科技,这个绝对不是我们阿里巴巴的精神,如果说我们以这种精神反正我上班八点钟上班,五点钟就下班了,赶紧去其他地方。

人家美国人强就强在硬件,强就强在他的系统就是这个这方面确实比我们高,但是玩信息玩软的,中国脑袋决不比别人差。我们在座的所有人的脑袋绝不比任 何人差。这就是我们敢跟美国人斗的机会,我们绝对敢斗,如果我们是好的Team好的团队,我们自己知道我们想做什么,我们想干点什么的时候,我相信我们是 可以一当十的。我们能够赢政府机构,我们能够赢其他很多的民营企业,大的企业的时候,凭的我们的精神,我们一手的创新概念,以及我们这种拼劲才能去斗,否则的话,跟他们什么区别呢?

谁都知道Internet是个泡沫,我刚才讲的危机感,就是Internet这个泡沫就越来越大,什么时候破,雅虎的股票掉了,eBay的股票会涨,有一天eBay的股票涨了后,阿里巴巴的胜出的股票涨,所以不要担心。我觉得Internet这个梦不会破,这个泡沫不会破,我们为后面的三五年所付出的代价是非常惨痛。只有这样惨痛的代价,才会赢得我们未来的取得成功,那么目标是2002年,阿里巴巴上市。

See Related:
Advice from Jack Ma on Life and Entrepreneurship
Jack Ma advice on how to be successful in Life
The Value of Honour – Jack Ma

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