The Ma, the Myth, the Legend. Billionaire Jack Ma recently attended a business summit at the UN, to which I had the pleasure of obtaining an invaluable answer to a question that has caused me much strife over the past few months.
As many have come to know, I am in my second year of operation with BUZZ COCOA, and I’m building the brand into a strong company. Recently, we’ve attained the #1 spot on Google for “caffeinated cocoa”, “caffeine cocoa”, and “caffeinated hot chocolate”. Our next goal is to be on the 1st page for “cocoa” and/or “hot cocoa”. My goal with BUZZ COCOA is pure domination – nothing less.
So over the past few months, I’ve been toiling with a question – a plague of the mind, really. And I had been waiting for the right time, the right person, to ask the following:
When heading into uncharted waters, creating a new market or industry of products, how does the young entrepreneur thrive?
Luckily enough, Mr. Ma had an entirely enlightening answer.
“Keep costs low and your business small. But also understand your supply chain. It must be tight and efficient, regardless if it is a durable good manufactured, or an intellectually skilled trade.”
His answer hit the nail right on the head. I found such comfort in his guidance, namely because his method has been my plan from the start: tight and efficient. Hell, I bootstrapped BUZZ COCOA for $300 (that’s a good story for another time). I’m all about making the best product for the lowest (most affordable) cost. Capitalism, baby!
Yet, that was not all the billionaire eCommerce mogul had to say. Instead, the part of his answer which caught me by total surprise was the simplest answer of them all.
“But remember, when you are first, you can create the rules. I created the rules for Chinese market and e-trade.”
When you are first, you create the rules. When your company – your idea – is the first successful pivot of its kind, you own the rights to distribution. You have the market by your fingertips. All that’s left is to devise the rules for how you want the game to be run, then implement strategic marketing methods to attract a larger consumer base. Rinse and repeat. Sounds simple, right?
Of course, none of this advice is outright simple. Otherwise, everyone would take this and be millionaires by next year. In fact, the hardest part about all of this is actually integrating Jack Ma’s billion dollar advice into the actual mission of the company. If your current corporate philosophy is “we’re creating something cool that might get downloads” or “we hope to continue our funding for the next several years until the ‘trends’ take off” – then STOP. You need to reevaluate your approach to the market and what you are trying to accomplish.
As I mentioned with BUZZ, my goal is pure domination. I want to own black & white, I want to own the chocolate emoji & the coffee emoji, I want to be the #1 lifestyle x energy company in the world. At least for cocoa, there exists no such company. Yet. The path I walk, I build, and I continue to write the story as it unfolds. Success is a mystery, and opportunity is your machine. Hard work & patience will oil the cogs of Opportunity, and reveal true Success.