Alibaba Book Summary – Struggle to Be Successful

Author: Duncan Clark

Alibaba (2016) shares the story of the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, to motivate readers and big company owners to struggle to be successful. Moreover, the book shares the mantra of Jack Ma i.e, customer first, employee second, and shareholders third.
alibaba book

“Alibaba is playing a central role in the restructuring of the Chinese economy. […] More than any other, Jack is the face of this new China. Already considered a popular hero, he symbolizes the two new Chinese religions: consumerism and entrepreneurship.”

Detailed Summary

The book is written by Duncan Clark, an American working in China. In his book, he has revealed how Alibaba became one of the most famous multinational technology companies, and today it is also known as the Amazon of China.

Every famous company or brand we see now has a story, and its founder struggles to achieve their dreams. Just like that, the founder and the CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma, struggled and worked really hard to reach his goals.

And this is what the author has shared in his book. He tells us how Jack Ma started his career as an English teacher, but one day, his fellow teacher and his life made him realize that this was not what he wanted. He wanted to do something out of the box, so he quit that job and began working on his dream and so built Alibaba, which is well-known by everyone around the World.

Shoppers visit Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao sites for legit everything. It won’t be wrong to say that Alibaba has more customers than US citizens.

Alibaba Book Key Points

The following key points will help you to set your belt and take you to your destiny. Yes, the book enlights how to succeed in life by adopting the strategies below.

“It doesn’t matter how wealthy or powerful you are, if you can’t enjoy the sunshine, you can’t be truly happy.”
― Duncan Clark

Be persistent

Working in a province where many people had never heard of the term “online,” Jack persisted in his efforts to educate people about the Internet. As we know, when Jack built Alibaba, Technology was new.

China Pages were one of the earliest companies in China to focus only on the Internet. When Jack tried to grow the firm, he ran through a lot of obstacles, but after they were signed to host a Formula 1 event, things started to look good.

However, there was one huge issue: Hangzhou did not have Internet connectivity. Jack was undeterred, so he asked many companies to identify themselves and then submitted the translated content to Seattle, where it would be posted online.

Jack returned to Hangzhou after his trip to Seattle, but as soon as he recognized that his future as a teacher couldn’t give him the future he desired, he quit. He now had a broader dream that didn’t entail teaching or interpreting. He sought to create an online English index to assist Chinese businesses in gaining international clients.

Despite the fact that many people told him his plan wouldn’t work, he developed the China pages, an online portal where he collected information about Chinese companies and uploaded it to the Internet.

Customer care should be the top priority of every Brand

The book teaches that Alibaba focused on customer care and considered it a top priority. Because of that, it gained a huge number of customers and hence success. Alibaba has a fantastic customer support team as well.

Customer service representatives are referred to as “servants” by the company. Just like if you want your business to grow, focus on customer care. It requires dedication and hard effort to serve your clients, and that is exactly what Jack does. His leadership and business strategy are defined by his drive to look after them.

Moreover, Alibaba has a mantra: “Customers first, employees second, and shareholders third.”

Employees are treated well by the company as well. Jack is a firm believer in motivation and loyalty. Many staff have worked for the company for years and have no intention of leaving. Alibaba provides small businesses and merchants with a free online marketplace to sell their goods.

Over 9 million small enterprises use Alibaba’s website to do just that. Besides this, Merchants who wish to have their products advertised on the site can do so for a fee. Not just this, but Alibaba makes money by bringing together merchants and customers. 

You can also read the summary of the book The Last Lecture Summary.

You find your True Potential when coming in contact with the Greatest Challenge

Another great lesson the book teaches us is that if you want to grow, you must beat your opponents. And when you do that, you will be able to find your true potential. This is precisely what occurred in Alibaba’s case.

The corporation is still striving to build a name for itself in the retail industry in the early 2000s. However, their “enemy” turned out to be eBay, who ultimately assisted them in their victory.

With its large presence in the United States, eBay is a force to be reckoned with. Their first move was to purchase the firm that controlled 90% of China’s internet consumer-to-consumer market. They were ready after rebranding it to EachNet.

On the other hand, they grossly underestimated the underdog they were facing. His first success came when he founded Taobao. Ma’s poker face would deal the strength of Ma’s opponent a deadly blow.

In the first four months after its inception, he managed to keep Alibaba’s ownership of Taobao a secret. Ma sealed the deal by employing his trump card of understanding what attracted the Chinese market and leveraging clustered displays and visuals on his website. eBay’s downfall was the westernization of the pages. In 2004, they relocated the service to a US host, which was the end.

Who would I recommend Alibaba Book to?

The book is recommended to young entrepreneurs who focus on their staff and investors more than their customer service. Moreover, all the users of Alibaba should read this book to know its backstory of it.