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Alibaba CEO’s Secret To Success: Hire Someone Smarter Than You

Chinese giant Alibaba is known for being one of the youngest companies to take over the world in terms of e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI, and technology. When it went on initial public offering (IPO) in 2014, Alibaba set the record for the world’s highest IPO at $231 billion. By 2017, its value topped $472.4 billion, briefly passing Amazon as world’s most valuable merchant.

Jack Ma, one of Alibaba’s founder and now the corporate’s executive chairman, has been instrumental to this incredible growth. In an interview with Chairman Ma at the recently held World Economic forum (WEF), he revealed two things that comprise his secret to success: one, to hire smart people; and two: to focus on getting these smart people to work together.

"At first, I knew nothing about technology. I knew nothing about management. But the thing is, you don't have to know a lot of things. You have to find the people who are smarter than you are. For so many years, I always tried to find the people smarter than I am. And when you find so many smart people, my job is to make sure the smart people can work together," Ma said.

Getting smart people is fairly easy, but smart people tend to be lone wolves, either too arrogant or too caught up in their own worlds to work with other people. This is why Ma’s secret lies in good management: bringing the people to work together.

Ma might not be the smartest person in his team, as he admitted, but he certainly has the most charims, the highest emotional intelligence, the longest patience, and the individual that his employees trust the most—and that has delivered the results.

Watch the video below for Ma’s interview at the WEF with Abi Ramanan Chief Executive Officer at ImpactVision.