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1. What did Jack Ma do that was so different from other company leaders?

Firstly, Jack Ma did was so different from other company leaders is he did not simple
take risks. He dared to challenge the status quo. Status quo is the existing state of affairs,
especially regarding social or political issues. The status quo is supported by many years of
conventional wisdom about business and competition in the digital age. Secondly, to clear a new
path for the creative and innovative entrepreneurs, Jack Ma defied conventional wisdom and
longstanding corporate governance practices. Susquehanna Financial Groups Brian Nowak
noted that Alibaba effectively controls the Chinese e-commerce market as people go in and out
of it. How could they make it? The answer is they controlled the retail platform, Tmall and the
online setting, Taobao, and disallowing indexing of Taobao. Beside that, Jack Ma has captured
huge market share. He sticked to its strategy of locking in shoppers at the beginning and the end
of their excursions. Next, Jack Ma remarked that shareholders are his third concern. He put
limited investors above those who started the enterprise. Once Jack Ma failed to reach a deal
with those in charge of the Hong Kong exchange, he make the decision to open on the New York
Stock Exchange. Jack Ma got his way. He strucked a sweetheart deal with Jay Ritter, an IPO
expert. Lastly, Jack Ma is honest and direct. He is competing at a time when there are new
markets and new corporate players.


2. What is conventional wisdom, and why is it necessary to challenge it?

Conventional wisdom refers to something as true or correct or proper, that has been
widely accepted by the people or the expert in a particular fields, and nearly no one would argue
about. In this context, Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba, take the risk and challenge the status quo,
supported by many years of conventional wisdom about business and competition in the digital
From the case study, it related to the conventional wisdom is when the company founder
putting limited investors to those who started the enterprise, while a company that relegates
customers to third-tier status will have public relations problems and putting customers first
might not be the best thing a company can do for its shareholders. So, the society accept the idea
that company who put the customers to third-tier will face relation problems and put customer
first is not a good idea for their shareholders. Then, all the public agree with the ideas. Ma also
stick to his strategy where he locking in shoppers at the beginning and the end of their
excursions. The result, Ma has captured huge market share. It is mean that conventional wisdom
is not always true but when one person has success, so the public will accept the ideas or
It is necessary to challenge the conventional wisdom as taking calculated risks can lead to
innovation, process improvement, and perhaps transformation. Jack Mas is a perfect example
which take the risk and are able to make a huge improvement for his business and company. If he
didnt decide to make a change and step out from the comfort zone, Alibaba can never be this
successful. A company needs to always be innovative and creative to take risk and challenge
something new in order to stay competitive.


It is important to understand that the idea that has not been generally accepted by the
public is not necessarily meant to be the wrong idea. There is no a right or wrong, it depends on
what perspective you are looking at. The most important thing is to always follow the law and
make sure the welfare of society been taken into consideration.


3. Why did so many people criticize Ma and Alibaba?

There were lots of people who criticized Jack Ma and Alibaba which were competitors,
analysts and academics. This was because of the actions and remarks of Alibabas founder, Jack
Ma, who defied conventional wisdom and longstanding corporate governance practices to clear a
new path for creative, innovative entrepreneurs.

Besides, analysts and television personalities had heaped scorn on Ma just because he
remarked that shareholders are his third concern after the major owners and his customers.
Moreover, Jay Ritter, an IPO expert, cautioned that even if Alibaba grows much richer, this
might happen without investors receiving their fair share because of its dual-class structure
which Ritter termed a sweetheart deal struck by Ma. In essence, Jay Ritters complaint was
that too much control remains in the hands of Ma and his close associates. He only owned 10%
of the shares which was different with other company leaders who were normally a major
shareholder in a company.

Furthermore, a Chinese regulatory agency said that most of the goods sold on the Chinese
website Alibaba are counterfeit. That means the products are not made by the company that is
claimed to be the maker. SAIC (Chinas State Administration of Industry and Commerce)
released a report saying the company had not done enough to stop selling illegal goods in
internet. The SAIC report said that Alibaba employees took bribes and permitted merchants to
sell illegal wine, handbags and other goods without the required license. It also said that an
investigation showed that many of the samples on theTaobao retail website were not licensed
products. The agency also claimed that the company had violated marketing rules and had a poor


consumer rating system.

Last but not least, perhaps much of the criticism of Ma and Alibaba stems from the simple
fact that he is challenging the corporate governance status quo.


4. Jack Mas sudden emergence rocked the boat in China and around the globe. Are lots
of other business leaders likely to follow his example, and challenge the status quo?
Alibabas founder and chairman Jack Mas sudden emergence rocked the boat in China
and around the globe because he defied the conventional wisdom and dared to challenge the
status quo. Jack Ma is now the richest person in China and ranks among the 50 richest people in
the world even though he applies a different way of management from other company. He
believes that putting customers first is the best thing a company can do for its shareholders.
Whenever people ask him, how is it that your face became so strange? This is because
the things I think about are more strange, day in and day out Im considering what might impede
my companys growth, what issues might turn cancerous and what might become colds,
answered Jack Ma. After discussion with the group members, we are unable to refute or deny the
way of doing of Jack Ma by putting the shareholders as their third concern after his employees
and customers. As he told Charlie Rose in an interview, investors sometimes flee when Alibaba
goes through a crisis, while customers and employees show more loyalty. Being a forprofit
company, the company or organization normally will maximize the profit and the dividend for
the shareholders as much as possible. So, the analysts and television personalities have heaped
scorn on him and the onslaught of critism from competitors as well as academics.
To survive, you must think carefully about three issues: the first is what you want to do,
the second is how to do it, the third is how long to do it for, said Jack Ma. Not many company
or other business leaders likely to follow his example because they are not a risk-taker in
challenging the status quo. High returns require high risks. The main reason is Jack Ma doesn't
exactly hold shareholders in the highest regard. This action makes a lot of shareholders feel
unsatisfied and conflict between two parties may occurred. Jack Ma believes that the only way


for Alibaba to create long-term value for shareholders is to create sustainable value for
customers. So customers must come first. Jack Ma dared to challenge the status quo, supported
by many years of conventional wisdom about business and competitors in the digital age.
Nowadays, a company that does not have satisfied employees will not have satisfied
customers, and without satisfied customers, we could not possibly have satisfied shareholders.
So from other side of view, lots of other business leaders are slowly accepted the management
style of Jack Ma after seeing the successful of him and his company. In this recent year, Jack Ma
has became role model of several young entrepreneurs.

Just like Jack Ma, these young

entrepreneurs are likely going against the status quo rather than follow the traditional ways of
management. The opportunities that everyone cannot see are the real opportunities. This is to
encourage the business leaders to be more creative and innovative by breaking the management
rules and formed your own as Jack Ma did.
Through this case study, we have learnt that business leaders or entrepreneurs should
have the characteristic of risk-taker. We learn from mistakes. If you success all the times, you
have learned nothing. Jack Ma was born on October 15, 1964, in Hangzhou, located in the south
eastern part of China. He and his siblings grew up poor in communist China, he failed his college
entrance exam twice, was knocked down by Harvard University for a total of 10 times and was
rejected from dozens of jobs, including one at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) where 24 people
applied and everyone were hired except him, before finding success with his third internet
company, Alibaba. These are some obstacles and hardship face by Jack Ma. Giving up is the
greatest failure, said Jack Ma.
In short, not all the business leaders or entrepreneurs follow management ways of Jack
Ma. Jack Ma has became their motivation and role model of being brave in taking risk in their


business and going against the status quo. For examples, Jack Mas advice to entrepreneurs make
sure that always let your employees come to work with a smile, adopt and change before any
major trends or changes, rather than having small smart tricks to get by, focus on holding on and
persevering and your attitude determines your altitude. Last but not least, Jack Ma always
emphasis that customers should be number 1, employees number 2, and then only your
shareholders come at number 3.