Painting by Maxfield Parrish (1909)
Jack Ma, CEO of the Chinese company Alibaba has a more recent creation story. “One day I was in San Francisco in a coffee shop, and I was thinking Alibaba is a good name. I asked a waitress, "Do you know about Alibaba?" And she said yes, “as in the forty thieves”… Then I went onto the street and found 30 people and asked them, "Do you know Alibaba?" People from India, people from Germany, people from Tokyo and China … they all knew about Alibaba. Alibaba is a kind, smart business person, and it’s easy to spell. Alibaba opens sesame for small- to medium-sized companies. We also registered the name "Alimama", in case someone wants to marry us!"
Thieves, relatives and retailers beware. Here comes Ali Baba.
(C) David J. Katz, 2014