1. When the Alibaba Group starts trading on the New York
Stock Exchange as "BABA" on Friday, many ATCA 5000 distinguished
members may ask: “Ali who?”
How many chief executives would dress up in leather, a Mohican wig,
put on lipstick and a nose ring and sing Elton John's "Can you Feel the
Love Tonight?" to their employees?
2. The world's largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) on
Thursday, valued Alibaba at USD 168 billion and raised nearly USD 22
billion. Can one imagine the enormous quantum of wealth that is being
generated via this IPO?
3. In a time of economic rebalancing, when few big
companies are growing strongly, a Chinese business like Alibaba -- named
after a fabled, poor woodsman who discovers a thieves' den full of
treasures -- stands out brightly;
4. Alibaba’s marketplaces sold USD 296 billion worth of
goods in the 12 months through the end of June, which is estimated to be
more than Amazon and eBay combined;
5. As the Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba starts trading
on Friday, Hangzhou city in China will freshly mint thousands of
Internet millionaires in a single day;
6. Already at the top globally in eCommerce, Alibaba is
now taking on China’s banks. Mutual funds, hedge funds and pensions are
rushing to back Alibaba;
7. Rise of Alibaba and its colourful founder, Jack Ma,
now China's richest man worth USD 13+ billion, has proved instructive
for a generation of young technology entrepreneurs -- not just as a road
map to riches, but as a lesson in entrepreneurial individualism;
8. Jack Ma, celebrating his 50th birthday recently, said
Alibaba will last 102 years so the Internet empire he founded in 1999
can span three centuries;
9. Ma's Outlandish ideas earned him the nickname "Crazy
Jack Ma!" No one thinks he's mad now, even when dressing in wild wigs
and lipstick for his annual meeting where he serenaded a stadium full of
10. Ma's readiness to make fun of himself, and speak his
mind, stands in contrast to China's often conservative corporate
barons. Charismatic and energetic, this former teacher has become an
inspiration to millions across the world and not just in China;
11. Started in 1999 in the founder's apartment, with a
very small initial investment of USD 60,000, Alibaba follows the model
of Microsoft, Google and other American technology companies, generously
handing out stock to all levels of workers, from senior executives to
12. Thousands of young people across the world are
creating start-ups of their own, driven by visions of what they might do
if they, too, strike it big like Alibaba;
13. Alibaba money has helped spur a constellation of Internet companies in China and elsewhere;
14. Over the last decade, one-time Alibaba employees
have helped start 130 Internet businesses, more than any other Chinese
15. Alibaba is a company that gives its workers a sense of purpose and a belief that anything is possible.
I. Can Alibaba, the company which today dominates Chinese eCommerce, fend off competition forever?
II. What about its odd corporate structure?
III. Who, exactly, is checking the company’s books?
IV. Why did Alibaba recently spend more than a quarter’s
worth of cash flow on what seemed like a land grab of ragtag
There is no question that the technology sector offers the greatest
avenue for wealth creation in our interconnected world. Where Alibaba's
IPO stands today, in the never-ending wave of internet start-ups,
tomorrow there may be gigantic and unprecedented IPOs dedicated to the
nascent trillion dollar Quantum Technology 2.0 (QT2) industry in Quantum
Computing, Quantum Cryptography, Quantum Communications, Quantum Energy
Devices and Quantum Medical Applications. The main reason investors
appear breathless about the 15-year old Alibaba is very simple: it
offers an investment vehicle that taps into China's burgeoning middle
class. Alibaba is a testimony to the success of its colourful founder
Jack Ma's craziness! This reminds ATCA 5000 of the famous Apple
campaign: "Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The
troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see
things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect
for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or
vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because
they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore.
They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they
have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a
work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been
written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make
tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they
can change the world, are the ones who do!"
What are your thoughts, observations and views? We are keen to listen and to learn.
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