A blind man riding on the back of a blind tiger

wakaba

Member
Japanese
Hi,
I'm trying to find out what the phrase above actually means.
This is a quote by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group (China's biggest e-commerce company).
He called himself "a blind man riding on the back of a blind tiger."

I have read some English websites to understand his words, but I'm still not sure about it.
It means like "he started from little knowledge about the Internet business, but he's tried hard anything he could," I suppose.

At an award ceremony held in New York, 2014, he said,
“I’ve described myself as ‘a blind man riding on the back of a blind tiger’ but those experts riding horses all fell. We survived because we worried about the future and we believed in the future and we changed ourselves.”
For your reference : Jack Ma Honored With Asia Society's First Asia Game Changer Award | Alizila.com

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    I read the Chinese response, wakaba, which is certainly interesting.

    Of course, we don't have these idioms in English, but I would certainly understand the words to mean that he 'didn't know what he was doing/getting into' (a blind man); and the situation he was in was very risky/dangerous (like riding a tiger). To me, adding that the tiger was also 'blind' just adds to the sense of danger/ignorance. He was plunging headlong into an industry he knew nothing about and, being a new industry, it was totally unknown and untested and therefore it was altogether a crazy, risky thing to do. But he came out OK in the end!
     

    wakaba

    Member
    Japanese
    Thank you so much for your comment!

    This helps me to understand how the phrase sounds like in English.

    I'd like to use both your idea and the one I've got in Chinese Forum.
    Thank you again !
     
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