The presentation you’re about to see was made especially for our clients at the Importing Empire Jumpstart Group. Porter Erisman, the former VP of Alibaba and author of Alibaba’s World, gave an insider’s look at how Alibaba was started, how it’s grown, and where it’s going.
The video was never meant for a wider audience but we had to share it with you. The content is just too important.
Alibaba’s IPO in 2014 was the biggest in history. The company is worth $217.66 billion and probably the most important company in e-commerce today.
You may not have heard of it unless you’re starting or running an importing company, but you’ve almost definitely used a product sourced on Alibaba today.
If Porter’s presentation interests you, you’ll love his book, Alibaba’s World, where he covers the story in even more depth and gives a lot of valuable strategic advice for entrepreneurs doing business today.
I enjoyed digging through his book over the last week and put together highlights for you here:
Oh yeah, we’re also giving away 20 copies of Alibaba’s World! All you have to do is enter here: Alibaba’s World Below the video you’ll find:
- Timestamps to help navigate to the most relevant pieces of the video.
- Porter’s top 10 tips for entrepreneurs.
- Jack Ma’s first speech to the team at Alibaba.
- A short excerpt from Jack Ma’s speech after their first IPO in 2008
Without further ado, Porter Erisman, former Alibaba VP:
- 06:50 Alibaba: The Inside Story
- 16:35 How it All Started
- 27:50 War on eBay
- 34:30 The Alibaba Ecosystem
- 38:25 Porter’s Lessons for Entrepreneurs
- 45:35 Q&A Begins
- 49:30 Hurdles with Government Corruption
- 52:30 When Headed to the Canton Fair…
- 54:40 Lemons to Lemonade
- 60:00 Porter’s Reading Recommendations
- 64:00 Hiring Hungry Talent
- 66:15 Key Character Traits that Built Alibaba
- 71:45 Tips for Chinese Negotiations
- 82:30 Porter’s Closing Advice
Porter Erisman’s Top 40 Tips for Entrepreneurs:
- Never underestimate yourself.
- Never overestimate the competition.
- Build a team, not a collection of all-stars.
- Be fast as a rabbit, patient as a turtle.
- The bigger the problem, the greater the opportunity.
- It’s more important to be best than first.
- Entrepreneurs don’t complain about problems, they solve them.
- Find opportunity in crisis.
- Don’t judge a company by a snapshot, look at the overall trend.
- Dream big, really big.
Porter expands on each of these at 38:25 in the video above. If you want the other 30 tips, get the book or grab the free notes I put together for you here:
Jack Ma’s First Speech at Alibaba:
Jack Ma’s Speech to Alibaba After the 2008 IPO:
Notice that Jack is thinking HUGE on one hand (“bigger than Walmart”) while remaining realistic (winter is coming!) on the other.
We need to be looking out ten years. In ten years people won’t be talking about “the Internet” or “e-commerce.” It will be a part of our daily lives. We have only ten years to make Alibaba great, because in ten years the infrastructure for e-commerce will already be built. After that it will be too late. …
We need to be bigger than Walmart someday. Some of you think that is crazy. But one thing is for sure: if you don’t imagine it, it will never happen. …
Why did we go public last year? Because we sense that a winter is coming and we have to prepare. In 2008 Alibaba is going to lie low and prepare for a new winter. And during this winter we have to remember our goals from long ago—to be the last man standing. No matter what, we must be the last man standing.
You’re going to want to read the whole book, and we’ve got 20 copies to give you for FREE! Enter here (it takes less than a minute): Alibaba’s World