Two years ago, by a chance, I attended a screening at Stanford to watch a film called Crocodile in the Yangtze. Don't get confused by this name. The movie has nothing to do with crocodiles. It is a documentary that captured the emotional ups and downs of a Chinese startup company named-Alibaba.
The movie draws on 200 hours of archival footage filmed by over 35 sources between 1995 and 2009. It recorded Alibaba's growth. The movie shows how Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, leads his team to achieve their big dream.
It has been a while since I watched the movie, but I still remember the entire story about how Alibaba gets stronger and bigger, and how it became a successful company from nothing.
One thing I learned from the movie is never judge people by their appearance. Jack Ma is not tall, standing a little over 5'4. He is neither handsome nor athletic. Actually many people laughed at, even discriminated against him because of his gollum-like appearance. However, if you did so, you must fully regret now. Facts prove that Ma is a passionate, creative, and spiritual leader- brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he can change the world, and talented enough to do it. Ma is indeed the richest person in China now with net worth more than 25 billion US dollars.
Stay passionate, dream big and work hard. It sounds a hackneyed saying, but that is what Jack Ma has followed. Crocodile in the Yangtze filmed the time when Jack Ma just founded Alibaba. He gathered a team in his small apartment in Hangzhou China, working day and night on this seemingly unrealistic e-commence idea. In 1999, He knew that his competitors were not in China, but in the US: specifically, in Silicon Valley. He believed his team members have the intelligence to develop an e-commence platform to compete with US companies. At that time, Internet access was limited in China, so people were not heavily exposed to the IT industry. They had a hard time understanding Ma’s idea, and doubted his potential to lead the firm to success. Some Chinese people are still challenging his ability today, though the general public regards him as highly successful.
Crocodile in the Yangtze tells us some unknown stories of Alibaba and Jack Ma. It is both entertaining and inspiring. The audiences will get motivated to do or achieve something after watching it. I was deeply impressed by Ma's words, "We are young,we will make it, and we will never give up!"