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Alibaba And How To Open Sesame

One hopes that those leading horse racing clubs come down from their high horses and learn something from what Alibaba founder Jack Ma said recently in a fascinating podcast.

Not for the visionary Ma- and the strong team around him- was some meandering blog and relying on subsequent corporate speak and an industry built around gambling and on its last legs.

Wrote Ma, “There was nothing to fear from mistakes because nobody was error-free, but the ‘truly terrifying’ spectre was hubris and the refusal to change”. 

He affirmed “the admirable courage and wisdom” of executive chairman Joe Tsai and Alibaba’s CEO Eddie Wu in leading the change in the company and employees to embrace change and prepare for the AI revolution. 

“We made countless mistakes in the past 25 years and we will continue to make mistakes in the next 77 years” over the course of Alibaba’s aim to span three centuries. 

“Facing problems is not to deny the past, but to find the way responsibly to the future”. 

Instead of bamboozling its insignificant audience aided and abetted with fluffy stuff from a weak racing media, those who have made billions by selling gambling through racing clubs should think about this: Alibaba’s most fundamental change this year was to abandon the blind pursuit of performance indicators and focus instead on customer value.

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