One afternoon in 2006, this should be an afternoon remembered by history.

Mr. Ye Maozhong smoked a cigar and chatted with three big men - If more people had heard this conversation, there would have been more billionaires in China.

Ye always said: "This is an era when space value is maximized. There are three things that will greatly appreciate. Which one do you choose to invest in, houses, billboards, calligraphy and painting?"

Two big shots chose the house, and one chose the billboard. Ye always said, "Then I choose calligraphy and painting."

The result is clear.

Now playing back the moment of more than ten years, we will feel that Ye has great foresight. The prices of all three things he said soared. In 2006, the average price of houses in Beijing and Shanghai was only six or seven thousand, which is lower than that in many counties now, and it has increased ten times in ten years. However, the price of hundreds of millions of well-known paintings has increased 200 times, but only worth a few hundred thousand at that time.

This is simply God's perspective.

Magic? Of course, it's amazing! Guess wildly? Of course, there is luck, but there is a more critical factor.

That is an accurate judgment of an era.

In the above words, if you only remember the words "house, billboard, calligraphy and painting", then you will always have to hit your head against the wall and say: "why didn't I ..."

If you remember another sentence, you will benefit for life"This is an era when space value is maximized".

All sentient beings fear results and the bodhisattva fears causes. All sentient beings see ‘soaring prices of houses and billboards’, but Bodhisattva sees ‘an era when space value is maximized’.

The dividend of the times is the greatest dividend in this society.

We always like to say "an era has come to an end" and "an era is coming up". However, our judgment of the times always goes with the tide and we always turn a blind eye to the symbolic events of the changes of the times.

Laona, the most famous self-media man in the field of FMCG, said: "Everyone had chicken soup and said that the era had abandoned you and they didn't bother to say hello. The era wanted to say, how didn't I say hello to you? I have expressed and hinted you over and over again, but you are ungrateful. What can I do? It's not that I didn't say hello, but my throat was broken and you ignored me. So I walked away, you had nothing, but said I abandoned you without saying hello."


I used to tell enterprises that the 2008 Beijing Olympics was an important landmark event, marking the arrival of the era of decentralization.

Before 2008 it was the golden age of TV media - when advertisements vocalized, money was accumulated; when CCTV shows up, it was easy to attract investment, the terminal was easy to speak to, even the bull market looked at you a few times. In those days, as long as you are on CCTV, you will have achieved success or staged success.

Niu Gensheng said at that time: "The only factor related to sales is advertising."

At that time, there were also many experts who believed "advertising burns money" and "bidding king is harmful".

But at that time, persuading people not to vote in advertisements was the same as persuading people not to buy houses, which hindered many enterprises’ development.

Based on an accurate judgment of the times, Ye Maozhong was the most determined ‘advertisement bonus’ critic at that time. As long as the enterprise conditions permit, he will encourage enterprises to invest in CCTV or satellite TV, helping a large number of enterprises to achieve rapid success. At that time, Ye Maozhong was at its peak.

On one occasion, Ye was so daring that he pointed to the commercial being shown and said to us, ‘we shot half of the commercial shown in the CCTV tender section.’ When he said this, the five-pointed star on his hat seemed to shine.

However, a strange thing happened in the 2008 Olympics.

I remember there was such a publicity advertisement before the Beijing Olympics to the effect that if the Tokyo Olympics made Sony Toyota and the Seoul Olympics made Samsung, who would the Beijing Olympics make?

It is hard to believe now. At that time, the consensus of the business community was that, as a grand gathering that has attracted much attention and is even unprecedented, this Olympics-related sponsorship or promotion is very important and may have the effect of laying down or overturning the industrial structure.

I remember that the Olympic sponsors of the two companies we served at that time, were taken away by their direct competitors. Both companies were nervous and jittery, and felt like a catastrophe.

But after the Olympics, after a storm comes a calm, the end of the world hasn't come. Consumers don't even remember whether the sponsor of milk is Yili or Mengniu, the sponsor of sports shoes is Nike or Adidas, or Li Ning lighting the torch in the air.

From then on, what I told most to the enterprise was to say goodbye to the indoctrination advertisement (the word ‘decentralization’ was not popular at that time), marketing equals to communication, so we needed to understand the various elements of marketing with communication thinking, involve communication into various marketing elements, and integrated marketing communication. I have refined Mr Schultz's integrated marketing communication theory into four keywords, which are now the consensus in the marketing field:

Unify interaction, information flow, all contact points and communication.

Similarly, many consumer goods companies reached their peak almost simultaneously in 2013.

On the surface, the deep distribution mode has come to an end, but behind it is the end of the consumption era of ‘one product trying to satisfy the vast majority of people’, and the arrival of the era of niche products classified by values resonance and personal labelling. These are exactly the embodiment of the marketing revolution 3.0 thought put forward by Mr Kotler.
Over the years, the popularity of niche products, fashion brands, internet celebrities, traffic stars and communities has proved this point in practice.


In 2019, a bigger landmark event is taking place in the countdown. That is the retirement of Jack Ma.

Jack Ma's retirement is not only a matter for Ali, but also a weathervane for the whole society.

In the past ten years, Jack Ma is the most shining star entrepreneur and a godfather of the enterprise.

His curtain call is also not only a personal choice, but also a choice of the times.

Our magic market definitely needs a god. Sailing on the sea depends on the helmsman, everything grows on the sun, and the famous song from neighbouring countries sings well: "we cannot live without you."

However, the formation of each deity is not only due to his personal and corporate achievements, but also a product of the times.

The godfathers of China's first generation of enterprises are the star entrepreneurs like Zhang Ruimin and Liu Chuanzhi. They are basically in the manufacturing industry, which is the product of the ‘Made in China’ era.

When we saw Liu Chuanzhi win the route dispute with Ni Guangnan, what did we hesitate? Industry and trade are more important than scientific research, so just extend arms to make and sell products - this is the signal given to us by the times.

The second generation of star entrepreneurs are Zhang Chaoyang, Ding Lei, Shen Nanpeng, Zhu Xiaohu, Wang Jianlin and Pan Shiyi, who have shown us the power of capital, the power of new things and the power of 'maximizing space value'.

In the past ten years, the most powerful entrepreneurs are all in Internet companies. Even hardware manufacturers like Xiaomi have to label themselves with Internet labels. Among them, Jack Ma is the godfather, although Tencent and Ali have almost the same influence and scale.


One of the most critical words influencing this decade is called 'platform'.

Why? This goes on to say about the Beijing Olympics. Because the centralized media, channels and terminals have been eliminated or greatly weakened, the market urgently needs new decentralized centres, which need new infrastructure and basic services, and the ‘platform’ is to build these infrastructure and basic services.

The word ‘platform’ has become a bit obscure over the years, and it is always ‘empowering’ or something. Let's talk about the platform first.

I have seen an interview with Yu Qian. He told me that when he and Guo Degang went to the countryside to perform crosstalk, the conditions were very poor and there was no stage. So two tractors were used to split upside down, and once the baffle was put down, it was a stage. The two men put on coats outside their military overcoats and climbed onto the tractors to perform crosstalk.

By the way, these two tractors are platforms, and the products and services that provide values are Guo Degang and Yu Qian. Do you think Guo Degang is important or tractors? It's really hard to say. Guo Degang is usually important, but tractors have been more important in recent ten years.

Because all the old tractors go wrong, everyone is in a hurry to find a new tractor to perform crosstalk and sing opera.

Therefore, the big crocodiles that have arisen over the years are all platform-based. Trading and information are the two most critical factors in business, so Ali and Tencent have become the two largest, most important and most conspicuous tractors. Compared with Tencent, Ali's platform is more thorough.

Mr Ma has a famous saying, which sounds very deceptive at first sight, but in fact, it is true:

"Ali is not an e-commerce company. We provide services to e-commerce companies. We want to cultivate more e-commerce companies like Jingdong."

Of course, this can also be changed to say that the e-commerce platform is actually an advertising company plus an online real estate company, which collects booth fees and advertising fees.

When the infrastructure was built, tractors were everywhere, and the most important thing will be Guo Degang and Yu Qian. After all, people came here to watch the crosstalk, plays, performances and actors.

When you make tractors spacious, build sheds, install air conditioners and microphones, this will be really conducive to the success. People listen to crosstalk comfortably. This is called improving the consumption experience.

However, the role of the platform has retreated from a dominant role to a second one. You can't go back to the first hero even if you embroider flowers all around the tractor.


A landmark event of platform abdication and value appearance was a serious setback of Mr Ma's new retail business. To paraphrase Mr Ma's words:

"It's not the new retail that is failing, it's the new retail of Mr Ma that is failing."

Mr Ma's ‘new retail’ - whether it is ‘reconstruction of the goods markets’ or ‘providing consumers with more values and services than expected all the time’, is still ‘platform thinking’ rather than ‘value thinking’ in the first few years.

Once you go to the opposite side of the trend, even if you are the biggest monster, you will still hit the rocks, and soon be defeated.

In contrast, Costo has opened in Shanghai (I plan to open a membership card in two months. The current boom in the opening is a bubble. Some of the shortcomings of the experience may be the naivety to be rectified, which cannot be explained by looking at any problems). At present, it is not clear whether it will succeed. However, from the perspective of the trend, this is a real new retail, which can solve the most critical problem of the lack of retail entities. It provides values and services for customers, instead of setting up a platform for suppliers to play games: no matter what you lose or gain, the platform will not lose.

The truly decisive landmark events are: from the beginning of 2019, Jack Ma's C position as an entrepreneur in the market has been replaced by another entrepreneur who has been low-key for many years but whose strength is not allowed. Yes, he is Ren Zhengfei.

Due to the trade war and US sanctions, the old entrepreneur was pushed to the front desk. Under the spotlight, his management wisdom and philosophy were quickly accepted and won many praises.

This is also the choice of the times. even if Jack Ma does not retire, his era is over.

If Jack Ma represents a platform, who integrates resources and encircles fields, then Ren Zhengfei serves as the chief representative of values, technological creation and industrial rejuvenation.


The past decade has been the platform’s decade, Ma’s decade, and a spectacular decade for all major platforms to race around.

The next ten years will be a decade of value, a decade for Ren Zhengfei and other celebrities to show their magic powers.

The trend of the times is the development trend of the society as a whole. It is the decisive trend formed after various forces clash. It will not change quietly, but always wink at you and give you various signals. It may even be as conspicuous like the sudden appearance of an elephant in the room. What affects your judgment is only your inherent cognition and coloured glasses.

With the help of the dividend of the times, you can defeat your stronger opponents and see the underlying logic clearly. You can firmly walk in the right direction, very firmly and far away.

Ma has left and a new era has come. It is very good, and worth celebrating.


Finally, I would like to write an explanation, saying that I am afraid that I will not have a chance in the future: my friends in the business circle have a mixed reputation with Mr Ma. Many people think that I am a critic of Ma because I have criticized his new retail business and ridiculed his '996 reward theory'. Here I would like to make a special correction and try to offend all Ma's fans and critics at once.

In my opinion, Ma has a big mouth and likes to pour chicken soup. His word is often not so strict and there are many things to complain about. However, this does not hinder Ma, who is a temple-level entrepreneur, from proposing to "let the world have no difficult business" instead of making it easier to sell goods, but actually making it more convenient for people to shop. this is an epoch-making influence.

When we are enjoying such convenient mobile payments, common people's financial management such as Yu 'e Bao and the service changes of traditional banks, do not forget Ma's passionate cry:

"If the bank does not change, we will change the bank."

Jack Ma like this, is worthy of our memory.
Author: @老苗撕营销(Lao miao si ying xiao),数英Digialing