Why are we successful? Is it because we’re more hard-working? I don’t see it; we do work hard but there are a lot of people more hard-working than us in the world. Is it because we’re smarter? Not necessarily. Five years ago it was hard for us to hire people, but now we can just hire anyone off the street. We’re not hard-working or smart, but we’ve become wealthy, why?
Because we had good luck. Actually, we’re kind of dumb. Seven or eight years ago, lots of people joined Alibaba. But the smart ones felt the company didn’t offer enough opportunity, so they were poached by other companies or left to do startups, and their incomes went up. Those of us left weren’t smart, so no one was poaching us. But in the end, looking back from five years later, we somehow became rich.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
I like the way Ma concedes luck was a factor.
How unlike the techies of Silicon Valley who believe their success was entirely of their own making.