The 1.5m tall Alibaba founder and executive chairman was clearly the main draw at the two-day event in Kuala Lumpur, with the who’s who of Malaysian industries glued to their seats in anticipation of what he had to say.
Ma is an entrepreneur for the ages. He’s a fluid, if charmingly unpolished, English speaker; a visionary; at times a flamethrower; and quite frequently a bridge between China and the Western world he has grown to know so well.
I think this century is tailor-made. Everything should be tailor-made and smart-made.
Today, if your industry is based on assembly line, standard, large scale, low cost, low value and low price, you have no future.
In the first technology revolution, the energy was coal. In the second technology revolution, the energy was oil. What is the energy of this century or the next century? That is data. Without data, nothing can be done.
In Asia, we lost our chance in the IT boom time. Today we are in the DT (data technology) time. From IT to DT, the concept is totally different. IT is to make yourself strong, to enable yourself. DT is to enable others.
In the future, if you want to compete with machine to see who is knowledgeable, you have no chance to win. So how should we compete with a machine? I think we should teach our kids culture and value. These are the things that humans can always win machines.
To my understanding, entrepreneur is a social scientist plus artist. You have to be a social scientist, and you need to understand the human being, their behaviors and needs. You have to change yourself. You should be very artistic.
In the next 30 years, it will not be a world of internet companies, but a world of companies that use Internet better.
It’s not the money that makes the difference. If money can make the difference, there’s no chance for us.
Most of the companies died at the bubble period not because they didn’t have money, but because they had too much money.
If your company is not ready, but you hire some multinational professionals, then you’re killing yourself. Don’t do that. It’s just like, if you put a Boeing 747 engine in a poor tractor, it’s going to destroy your tractor.
A lot of people love to spend money on equipment and machines, but not on people. Spending money on people, training them, giving them opportunities and sharing with them the mistakes, listening to their mistakes, working together, that will be really good.
If you want to be successful, you should have EQ. If you do not want to lose, you should have IQ. If you want to be respected, you should have LQ, the Q of love. So these three Qs are very, very important for anybody who wants to be successful: IQ, EQ, LQ.
Women care about other people much more than men. Men care about their own power, promotion and pay. But women care for children, parents and husbands. And they know how to change themselves to make sure other people perform better. If you have that quality, you have a chance to win. So I think women leaders in the 21st century are going to be like that.
I strongly believe that, if you want your company to be sustainable, hire more women.
For the Internet and for e-commerce in the next 30-40 years, if you want to make your business help others, then the business world is going to be inclusive, the business world is going to be sustainable, and make people happy and healthy. That’s the future. And your business will be great. So happiness and health are the Double H strategy.