The enormous e-commerce company Alibaba will be going public later this year. 

At its helm is founder Jack Ma, a charismatic leader who started the company with 18 friends out of his small apartment in 1999. Although Ma is no longer CEO of Alibaba, he's still the face of the company.

Ma has succeeded because he is relentless, and some of his more memorable quotes — "Today is cruel, tomorrow is crueler" —  illustrate how that relentlessness has formed his thinking.

On not giving up: "Today is cruel. Tomorrow is crueler. And the day after tomorrow is beautiful."


On past mistakes from "the dark days at Alibaba": "If you don't give up, you still have a chance. And, when you are small, you have to be very focused and rely on your brain, not your strength."


On teamwork: "If we are a good team and known what we want to do, one of us can defeat ten of them."


On having a larger mission: "It doesn't matter if I failed. At least I passed the concept on to others. Even if I don't succeed, someone will succeed."


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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