Jack Ma recalled when he was starting his company Alibaba at the innovation summit in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 25th, 2018. Alibaba, which is one of the biggest companies in the world right now, with a valuation of over $370 Billion has made Jack Ma the richest man in China. Jack Ma told the crowd of the early struggles of his company and how he despised Bill Gates, reports CNBC
Jack Ma thought at the time it was almost impossible for smaller companies to succeed. He attributed this belief to the idea that the bigger companies were charging too much for its technology.
“When I was young, I hated Bill Gates because I thought Microsoft took al the opportunities,” Jack Ma told the crowd in Tel Aviv. “IBM, Oracle, they take all the opportunities.”
However, Ma had a change of heart that made him the success that he is today. He had to change his own thinking if he wanted to compete. First, he had to stop blaming Bill Gates because he wasn’t the enemy. Second, he had to stop complaining and realize that he was the one holding himself back.
“Most people keep on complaining. But if you can solve the complaining, if you solve the problems, then that is the opportunity,” Ma said.
Jack Ma solved the problem by finding cheaper solutions that his platform Alibaba could use. “The cost of using this IT was too expensive for us, so we had to innovate. We had to design a technology that was simple enough,” he said.
“That’s it. We were forced,” Ma said.
To succeed, Jack Ma had to let go of the hate he had of other people’s success. Then he had to focus on the actual problem and not the perceived one. Finally, he applied three questions to ask himself if wants to complete a goal.
Now Jack Ma and Bill Gates are good friends. Jack Ma has stated before that he will never be richer than Bill Gates. However, he believes that he can do this one thing better than him, and that is retire earlier so that he can focus on his philanthropy.