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In Alibaba's World, author Porter Erisman, one of Alibaba's first Western employees and its head of international marketing from 2000 to 2008, shows how Jack Ma, a Chinese schoolteacher who twice failed his college entrance exams, rose from obscurity to found Alibaba and lead it from struggling startup to the world's most dominant ecommerce player. He shares stories of weathering the dotcom crash, facing down eBay and Google, negotiating with the unpredictable Chinese government, and enduring the misguided advice of foreign experts, all to build the behemoth that's poised to sweep the ecommerce world today. And he analyzes Alibaba's role as a harbinger of the new global business landscape - with its focus on the East rather than the West, emerging markets over developed ones, and the nimble entrepreneur over the industry titan. As we face this near future, the story of Alibaba - and its inevitable descendants - is both essential and instructive.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Daniel on 09-12-15
Look, it was an OK book. The topic was important, the inside insights were interesting. The character of Jack Ma came across well, and I came away with a good sense of what makes a China-based global internet company such a fascinating thing in the world today. I just don't think that former (or current) company employees are ever the best people to write books about a company. There was just none of the cutting objectivity I would hope for in a book like this. If you're going to make it a book about "my years at Alibaba", do that. And tell us all about your round-the-world trip and your personal life while you're at it. I'd actually be really interested. But if you're pretending to write an objective history, just leave it to someone else. There were just a few too many platitudes and not enough critical distance in here for me.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Skipp on 10-23-15
Jack Ma is interesting.
This is more about the journey of Jack Ma and the author then the business itself. That said, it is a good book and in the end the author gives a good description of the company.
Overall it's worth reading.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful