This is the second part of an in-depth interview with former Alibaba VP Porter Erisman, who has devoted his time to writing books and advising internet companies after leaving the Chinese tech giant.
His second book Six Billion Shoppers released a little over a month ago.
While the first book Alibaba’s World provided an insider’s view of the growth of Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma from their formative years of ecommerce in China in 2000, Six Billion Shoppers draws upon Erisman’s travels in emerging ecommerce markets across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Amazon, I think, is really going to start looking at Southeast Asia in a serious way because it’s very well set up to sell cross-border into these emerging markets.
“Sorting out the irrigation routes required the co-ordination of the entire village.”
Later he came across a 2014 study in the journal Science that presented a “rice theory of culture.” The researchers’ hypothesis was that the standing water required for rice cultivation fosters a more collectivist view than wheat farming that just needs rain.