Alibaba by Duncan Clark : Book Review

Media describes him as an “Imp of a man” with sunken cheekbones, tussled hair and a mischievous grin. A masterful public speaker , rejected multiple times by Harvard ,his favorite movie is Forrest Gump , his surname “Ma”  is the same as the Chinese word for horse. Yes you got it right its Jack Ma. Duncan Clark’s engaging biography  is about Jack Ma as much as it is about Alibaba; indeed you can’t mention one without thinking of the other.

Born in 1964 to a photographer and a factory worker, Ma grew up a mediocre student in the city of Hangzhou. About the only thing that set Ma apart was learning English, which he would practice by speaking to tourists passing through his hometown. One of these tourists, a vacationing Australian Communist, became a generous benefactor and that changed the life of Jack Ma.

The book covers Jack’s key business relationships in detail, how he along with investors companies like SoftBank, Goldman Sachs  and Yahoo built Alibaba. How he moved along with government on the internet revolution. His famous quote “Never, ever do business with government. Love them. Don’t marry them. “.

In the most fascinating chapter of the book, we read about Alibaba’s battle with eBay. ” Ebay may be a shark in the ocean, but I’m a crocodile in the Yangtze River. If we fight in the ocean, we lose, but if we fight in the river, we win” , that is Jack Ma’s view on this battle. EBay goes on to make one tactical blunder after another and that is clearly depicted in the book. Ebays China adventure , lasting from 2003 to 2006, is today a case study in how not to go about managing a business in a distant market.

All in all, for a sense of how, and how impactful China and Alibaba have become, and for a true lesson in entrepreneurship, read this book.


Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Ecco
0062413406 (ISBN13: 9780062413406)
Edition Language

Movie List of 2018


Must Watch

  1. Denial(2016) – Courtroom movie based  on WW2 concentration camp
  2. The case for Christ(2017) – An atheist trying to prove resurrection was folly
  3. Fracture(2007) – Crime thriller
  4. Glory (1989)– War Movie
  5. 3 billboards outside ebbing Missouri(2017) – Oscar movie
  6. Dragon Blade (2015) – John Cusak and Jackie Chan Chinese war movie
  7. Matchstick Men (2007 ) – The original movie of Bluff master
  8. All the money in the world (2017) – A mothers fight to get her son ransom from her rich father-in-law
  9. Midnight Runner  (2017- Korean Movie)  –  Story of two Military trainee trying to solve a kidnapping case
  10. The Post (2017) –  True event based story. Tom Hanks at his best.
  11. The Zoo Keepers Wife (2017)  – True event based story during WWRII
  12. Darkest Hours (2017) – True event based movie on Winston Churchill
  13. The Disaster Artist (2017) – Two new guys try to make a movie.
  14. The Accountant ( 2016) – Ben Affleck Thriller
  15. Spotlight (2015) – True even based Journalist story bringing out  the story of Child Molestation by priests.
  16. The Ghost Writer (2010) – Thriller on Former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan), trying to write his memoirs.
  17. Gifted (2017) – A little girl who is a genius in Mathematics gets into a legal battle for her possession.
  18. Zodiac (2007) -A thriller trying to solve a murder mystery
  19. Borg vs McEnroe (2017) – Sports drama movie on the rivalry  between famous tennis players Björn Borg and John McEnroe .
  20. In Bruges (2008) – A climax which you can never forget. Collin Ferral at his best.
  21. State of Play (2009) -Journlist movie . Rare combination of Russel Crowe and Ben Affleck.
  22. Rocknrolla (2008)  – A crime thriller from Gerard Butler


  1. Drive (2011)
  2. Dens of Thieves (2018) – Heist movie
  3. Unlocked (2017) –  Thriller movie
  4. Murder on the Orient Express (2017) –  Crime Investigation on Train
  5. The Ballad of Lefty Brown – Cowboy movie



Must Watch

  1. Sudani from Nigeria
  2. Hey Jude
  3. Aadu 2 – Some good comedy
  4. Vikadakumaran

Time Pass

  1. Shikari Shambhu
  2. Diwanjimoola
  3. Captain


  1. Queen



Must watch

  1. Qarib Qarib Single Single
  2. Newton


  1. Shaadi main zaroor aana


  1. Fukrey Returns
  2. Aiyaary