In September 2014, a Chinese company that most Americans had never heard of held the largest IPO in history - bigger than Google, Facebook, and Twitter combined. Alibaba, now the world's largest ecommerce company, mostly escaped Western notice for over 10 years, while building a customer base larger than Amazon's and handling the bulk of ecommerce transactions in China. How did it happen? And what was it like to be along for such a revolutionary ride?
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.
©2015 Porter Erisman (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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.
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.
It does a great job of showing the various facets of birthing and sustaining a startup, it is authentic and provides a real look behind the scenes to show that entrepreneurs don't always have it all figured out even when they are running a global company.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is a story about Alibaba, and its relationship with EBay, Yahoo and Google and the Chinese bureaucracy. Erisman provides an insider view and information about the world’s largest e-commerce site. From its start in Hong Kong to its present day dominance of the online China trade. Erisman went to work for Alibaba in its early days. Erisman was a Chinese speaking American public relation expert. Erisman tells the story of Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and how he built the company into the giant it is today.
The book is well written and is written in an engaging style making it easy to read. The book is well researched and will probably find its way onto the book shelf of the average college business student. George Newbern did a good job narrating the book.
A look behind the scenes from someone who was there. I really enjoyed Mr. Erisman's personal perspective and, while it's obvious that he thinks quite favorably of his former employer, he also shares the warts too.
I really enjoyed this book. it flowed nicely. there wasn't too much filler. more enjoyable, potter provides a wonderful summary of Alibaba's business.
I really liked this book. Good story with good narration. If you want to see how a grade school teacher with no formal business or technology training builds the largest e-commerce platform in the world, read this.
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