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Alifest – Party of the Year! – The Presenters

Taobao Field Guide = VIP

Laobanniang and I just got back from Alifest – a huge party in Hangzhou thrown by Alibaba (the company behind Taobao).   It is Alibaba’s 10th Anniversary, and they have a lot to celebrate. Besides being one of the biggest, most influential and innovative companies in China,  Alibaba has awesome friends. Let me introduce you to a few.

Bill Clinton

No joke — Bill Clinton is good friends with Taobao! He gave a talk on the challenges for small businesses in Asia.  No video for this one, but here he is at Alifest 2005 with Alibaba founder Jack Ma (more on Jack another day).

clinton with ma at alibaba 2005

These guys throw the best parties


Kobe Bryant

Kobe flew in at 3AM to have a chat with Jack Ma about success. This was a major theme throughout the show. Taobao wants to show its support to all their shops. Some are successful but are having trouble taking their business dreams to the next level. Some are struggling in their early stages. Kobe and Jack say don’t give up.

Kobe has a Chinese language blog, too

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

This one was my favorite. Howard Schultz shares some lessons about his struggles to fund his coffee dream and about opening the first Starbucks overseas (in Japan).

Jack Ma met with Starbucks about a possible cooperation last year


There were several other great presenters, leading up to the man himself, Jack Ma, who I will introduce you to in a few days. For now, check out what Jack and Howard had to say, and think about your own small business dreams.

One Comment »

  • KeLiSi said:

    Please would it be possible to provide a link which works for this bed? The hyperlink here takes me to the home taobao page. Moving to a new apartment this week and I’d really like to buy this bed.

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