5 failures Jack Ma had to face in life which helped him succeed in the long run

Jack Ma, the 52 year old successful entrepreneur prefers considering himself to be an artist. The founder of the popular e-commerce platform, Alibaba, has had to face some major failures in his life which helped him succeed in the long run.

Here are the greatest failures/lessons of Jack Ma’s life:

1. He failed in school

Far from being the brightest student, he almost didn’t make it to middle school because he flunked too many subjects. However, he didn’t let this deter him and just like other successful men who weren’t the brightest in school like Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein etc, he went on to carve a niche for himself.

“I failed a key primary school test two times, I failed the middle school test three times, I failed the college entrance exam two times.”

2. He scored less than 1% in Mathematics

Jack Ma has also had the misfortune of scoring 1 out of 120 in the math portion of his college entrance. Despite not having heard of the term “computer” in his childhood or acing maths or management or any required subject, he managed to get past the weaknesses and succeed in building the e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

“I am not good at math, have never studied management, and still cannot read accounting reports.”

Related Post: Lessons entrepreneurs can learn from Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma



3. Rejection from Harvard

It was Ma’s dream to study in Harvard which never worked out as he was rejected ten times. Even though he never made it to Harvard, this failure gives us a glimpse of his persistence and determination.

4. The only candidate who got rejected by KFC

After being turned down by almost 30 companies, Ma applied to KFC and he was the only one out of 24 candidates who didn’t get the job. Ma believes that he didn’t get the job only because he was short in stature and not good looking compared to the other applicants. This was a huge setback for him but he didn’t take it too personally and went on to do greater things.

Related Post: 6 ways in which Alibaba is altering the internet for the better

5. Initial issues related to Alibaba

He suffered a dearth of failures in the initial days of Alibaba as well. it wasn’t profitable, he couldn’t find Venture Capitalists for the company and the company almost went bankrupt after the dot-com bubble burst. He was relentless which is why the company still exists today.



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Author: OOS Team

Explaining bits and bytes of startups and entrepreneurship.

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