The Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium of De La Salle University (DLSU) was packed in the morning of Oct. 25 for a forum, “A Conversation with Students,” with special guest Jack Ma.
The Chinese billionaire— who founded the Alibaba Group, a conglomerate of internet-based businesses—received an honorary doctorate degree in technopreneurship from DLSU.
In his speech that touched on technology, dreams and perseverance, Ma drew laughter when he recounted checking the internet speed in Manila upon arrival: “It’s no good.”
The event was organized by the DLSU student government led by its president Mikee de Vega. After delivering his speech, Ma and Go Negosyo president Joey Concepcion fielded questions from the students.
Among the highlights of his speech:
On the upside of having zero budget: “You will never make big mistakes where you don’t have money.”
On technology: “I believe it is not the technology that changes the world, but the dream behind that technology.”
On having high EQ (emotional intelligence): “If you want to be successful, have great EQ, because EQ knows how to work with people… No matter how smart you are, if you don’t know how to work with people, your dreams will just be dreams.”
On one’s attitude toward problems: “If you complain, you have to have a solution. If you don’t have a solution, don’t complain.
On aging: “When you are 20 to 30 years old, find a good boss. When you’re 30 to 40, try something you want to do for yourself. When you’re 40 to 50, do something you are good at. When you’re 50 to 60, focus on helping other people. When you’re over 60, spend time with your grandchildren.”
On getting help: “Don’t be discouraged when people don’t help you. You should earn the right to be helped.”
On Filipinos: “Philippines has the best heart of service in the world. It takes generations to build and Filipinos have great capabilities no one in the world has.”
On uniqueness: “There are seven billion people in the world but there is only one you.”
On preparing for the future: “If your time is not spent on the things that are important, or the things you love, you are not spending that time for the future.”
On assembling your team: “You should not find the best people, you should find the right people. Make the right people the best people.”
On dreams: “If you really believe in it, it’s a great dream. Believe in something you are passionate about. If you have a crazy dream, it is very important that you… find people who believe.”
On standing out: “If a lot of people like it, I don’t like it. If a lot of people don’t like it, I’ll think about it.”
On perseverance: “Be simple. Stay foolish. No matter what, just continue. Do not complain about others. Complain only about yourself.”
On the youth: “Young people are never scared of the future. If they’re scared, they never have the future for themselves.” —CONTRIBUTED