贝索斯致股东信(1997)

qimoe 发布于 1 个月前

致我们的股东:

Amazon.com 今年跨过了不少坎儿:到年终,我们拥有了超过150万用户,达成了八倍多的增长,收益达到了1.47亿美金。在激烈的竞争环境中,我们依然扩大了市场。

但是我们认为今天才是Amazon.com的真正开始。如今,我们看到电子商务节约了客户的财务成本和时间成本;而未来,通过个性化的服务,电子商务将加速自身探索的过程。Amazon.com 通过互联网为客户创造真实的价值,即便这个大市场已经逐步形成,我们依然期待能够因此而持续领跑。

我们有机会窗口整合资源,在互联网上寻找机会,而与此同时,新晋的网上购物用户可以重新构建和商家的关系。我们的版图上,对手在快速崛起。很多大公司都把自己的服务搬上了网,并且倾注了大量资源来获得关注、流量和购买行为。我们的目标是快速巩固和扩张我们现有的位置,并同时寻求电子商务在其他领域的可能性。因为在这个市场中,我们看到了实打实的机会。然而,这个战略不是万无一失的,面对已经霸占市场的大公司们,我们需要做出关键的抉择和认真地投入。

一切都围绕长期价值展开(It’s All About Long Term)

我们坚信衡量我们成功的一个关键维度就是我们为股东带来的长期价值。这个价值将会是我们巩固并扩张现有位置带来的直接结果。我们引领市场的能力越强,我们的商业模式就越有力。对市场的引导可以直接转化为更高的收入、更高的利润、更快的周转率以及相应更有回报的资本投资。

我们的决策一直以来都反映着这个重点。我们通过关键的指数确定了亚马逊在市场中的领导地位,其中包括用户和收入的增长情况,客户回头率,以及我们的品牌声量。我们一直以来倾注了大量资源努力拓展我们的客户根基、提升品牌形象和巩固基础架构,以期能够在市场中建立持续性的领先。这一点我们也会在未来坚持做下去。

由于我们对长期价值的关注,我们决策权衡的方式可能和其他公司不同。所以,我们想向我们的股东朋友们分享我们的战略方向,并让你们确认这和我们的终极目标是一致的:

我们会不遗余力的关注在客户上。

我们会继续面向长期做出决策,而不是短期的股票收益。 我们会持续从我们的成功和失败中学习,通过认真的分析,放弃那些不能带来回报的项目,加码那些好项目的投入。 在极大可能扩大我们市场领先地位的机会面前,我们将会更加大胆的做出投资决定。无论成败,都会是对我们很好的教育。 如果我们必须在更好看的财报和最大化现金流两者中做出抉择,我们选择后者。 我们在做出重大决定时会与你们分享,这样你们就可以自己评估我们是否为长期发展做出了理智的投入。 我们会努力做到精打细算。我们知道在这个会带来净亏损的行业中,对代价的感知能力有多重要。 在增长中,我们会更加关注长期的盈利和资本的管理。在这个阶段,我们选择优先增长,因为我们相信规模效应。 我们会持续吸纳并保留优秀的人才。相比于固定工资,我们更青睐股权激励。因为我们深知成功将会决定于具有动力的团队,他们必须保持一条心,这也意味着他们必须成为企业的一部分。

我们不敢说上述的思维方式是“正确”的,但这就是我们的想法。如果我们不能确定一个清晰的发展方向,这就是我们的问题了。

基于此,我们来分析一下今年(1997)的发展情况和对未来的打算:

客户至上

从一开始,我们就力图持续给客户创造价值。我们发现Web从古至今一直是“万维等(World Wide Wait)”。所以,我们决定提供他们没法在别处获得的东西——书。我们为客户提供了他们在任何一家实体书店都不可能得到的海量选择(我们现在的图书仓储能装进6个足球场),并且,我们把这家“书店”开成了方便查找、方便浏览的24小时全年无休的书店。我们像狗一样顽固的关注于提升用户体验,在今年我们大大升级了我们的网上书店。现在我们提供礼品卡、一键购物的服务,并且有大量的书评、内容预览和推荐功能。我们把价格降到了不可思议的低,却提供了不断增长的价值。客户的口耳相传是我们最有力的资本,我们也因此非常感谢他们的支持。重复的购买和客户间的传播让Amazon.com成为了最牛逼的网上书城。

从很多维度看,Amazon.com今年都走得太远了: 销售额从去年的1570万美刀到如今的1.47亿美刀,丫838%的增长啊有木有! 用户数量从18万增长至151万,738%的增长 复购率从去年第四季度的46%到今年同期的58% 网站的访问量排名,我们从90名爬升至前20* 我们和很多大佬都搞好了关系,建立了战略性长期合作,包括美国在线,雅虎,Excite,网景,GeoCities,AltaVista,@Home和Prodigy

基础设施

97年,我们非常努力的扩充我们的平台来适应高速的增长: 亚马逊员工从158人扩展到614人,并且我们尤其加强了管理团队 分拣中心容量从5万平方公尺扩张到28万平方公尺,包括我们在西雅图的仓库70%的扩建和11月在Delaware新建的仓库。 存货到年终增长了20万册,让我们能更好的服务客户 计入5月IPO的进账和我们7500万的贷款,我们的资产达到了12.5亿,这让我们有很强的战略弹性。

员工们

这一年的成功全仰赖我们聪明机智又努力的员工团队,我有幸成为他们中的一员。招人的高标准也将一直是我们成功的重要保障。

在我们这工作并不容易(面试的时候我会说,你可以工作很久,很努力,或很聪明,但是在亚马逊你必须全部做到这三点),但是我们在做一件很重要的事情,是那种我们可以向儿孙炫耀的事情。这件事有多难可不是闹着玩的。我们特别庆幸能有这么一个有激情又肯自我牺牲的团队。

明年目标

在学习如何通过电子商务为客户创造价值的道路上,我们还差得很远。我们的目标继续保持在持续扩张品牌和用户量。这将要求我们持续在基础设施方面做出投入。我们还认为我们有很多空间可以更好的服务海外用户,诸如减少快递时间,打磨用户体验等。诚然,扩张我们服务的方式很多,最重要的是确立他们的优先级。

相较于Amazon.com刚刚成立时,我们对电子商务了解的更深了,但是我们还是要持续学习。居安思危,在我们走向长期发展的道路上有很多拦路虎:强力的竞争;增长的挑战和决策的风险;产品和地理版图的扩张以及扩大市场所需要的持续投入。不过无论如何,正如我们之前所说,在线图书销售和网上购物已经被证明是个很大的机会,我们很有可能会看到一大批干这个差事的公司飞黄腾达。我们觉得我们到现在为止干的还不错,而且对于我们对未来能干成的事情,想想还真有点小兴奋呢!

97年真丫可以的!感谢客户的信任与支持,感谢认真工作的同事,感谢各位股东的支持和鼓励

杰夫·P·贝佐斯(Vinchent翻译)


英文原文:

To our shareholders:  

  

 Amazon.com passed many milestones in 1997: by year-end, we had served more  than 1.5 million customers, yielding 838% revenue growth to $147.8 million, and  extended our market leadership despite aggressive competitive entry.    

 But this is Day 1 for the Internet and, if we execute well, for Amazon.com. Today,  online commerce saves customers money and precious time. Tomorrow, through  personalization, online commerce will accelerate the very process of discovery.  Amazon.com uses the Internet to create real value for its customers and, by doing so,  hopes to create an enduring franchise, even in established and large markets.    

 We have a window of opportunity as larger players marshal the resources to pursue  the online opportunity and as customers, new to purchasing online, are receptive to  forming new relationships. The competitive landscape has continued to evolve at a fast  pace. Many large players have moved online with credible offerings and have devoted  substantial energy and resources to building awareness, traffic, and sales. Our goal is to  move quickly to solidify and extend our current position while we begin to pursue the  online commerce opportunities in other areas. We see substantial opportunity in the large  markets we are targeting. This strategy is not without risk: it requires serious investment  and crisp execution against established franchise leaders.  

  

 It's All About the Long Term  

  

 We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value  we create over the long term. This value will be a direct result of our ability to extend and  solidify our current market leadership position. The stronger our market leadership, the  more powerful our economic model. Market leadership can translate directly to higher  revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity, and correspondingly stronger  returns on invested capital.  

  

 Our decisions have consistently reflected this focus. We first measure ourselves in  terms of the metrics most indicative of our market leadership: customer and revenue  growth, the degree to which our customers continue to purchase from us on a repeat  basis, and the strength of our brand. We have invested and will continue to invest  aggressively to expand and leverage our customer base, brand, and infrastructure as we  move to establish an enduring franchise.  

 

 Because of our emphasis on the long term, we may make decisions and weigh  tradeoffs differently than some companies. Accordingly, we want to share with you our  fundamental management and decision-making approach so that you, our shareholders,  may confirm that it is consistent with your investment philosophy:  

  

We will continue to focus relentlessly on our customers.  

  

• We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market  leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or  short-term Wall Street reactions.  

  

• We will continue to measure our programs and the effectiveness of our  investments analytically, to jettison those that do not provide acceptable  returns, and to step up our investment in those that work best. We will  continue to learn from both our successes and our failures.  

  

• We will make bold rather than timid investment decisions where we see a  sufficient probability of gaining market leadership advantages. Some of these  investments will pay off, others will not, and we will have learned another  valuable lesson in either case.  

  

• When forced to choose between optimizing the appearance of our GAAP  accounting and maximizing the present value of future cash flows, we'll take  the cash flows.  

  

• We will share our strategic thought processes with you when we make bold  choices (to the extent competitive pressures allow), so that you may evaluate  for yourselves whether we are making rational long-term leadership  investments.  

  

• We will work hard to spend wisely and maintain our lean culture. We  understand the importance of continually reinforcing a cost-conscious culture,  particularly in a business incurring net losses.  

  

• We will balance our focus on growth with emphasis on long-term profitability  and capital management. At this stage, we choose to prioritize growth because  we believe that scale is central to achieving the potential of our business  model.  

  

• We will continue to focus on hiring and retaining versatile and talented  employees, and continue to weight their compensation to stock options rather  than cash. We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to  attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like,  and therefore must actually be, an owner.  

 

 We aren't so bold as to claim that the above is the "right" investment philosophy, but  it's ours, and we would be remiss if we weren't clear in the approach we have taken and  will continue to take.  

  

 With this foundation, we would like to turn to a review of our business focus, our  progress in 1997, and our outlook for the future.  

  

 Obsess Over Customers  

  

 From the beginning, our focus has been on offering our customers compelling value.  We realized that the Web was, and still is, the World Wide Wait. Therefore, we set out to  offer customers something they simply could not get any other way, and began serving  them with books. We brought them much more selection than was possible in a physical  store (our store would now occupy 6 football fields), and presented it in a useful, easy-to search, and easy-to-browse format in a store open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We  maintained a dogged focus on improving the shopping experience, and in 1997  substantially enhanced our store. We now offer customers gift certificates, 1-Click(SM)  shopping, and vastly more reviews, content, browsing options, and recommendation  features. We dramatically lowered prices, further increasing customer value. Word of  mouth remains the most powerful customer acquisition tool we have, and we are grateful  for the trust our customers have placed in us. Repeat purchases and word of mouth have  combined to make Amazon.com the market leader in online bookselling.    

 By many measures, Amazon.com came a long way in 1997:  

  

• Sales grew from $15.7 million in 1996 to $147.8 million -- an 838%  increase.  

  

• Cumulative customer accounts grew from 180,000 to 1,510,000 -- a 738%  increase.  

  

• The percentage of orders from repeat customers grew from over 46% in the  fourth quarter of 1996 to over 58% in the same period in 1997.  

  

• In terms of audience reach, per Media Metrix, our Web site went from a  rank of 90th to within the top 20.  

  

• We established long-term relationships with many important strategic  partners, including America Online, Yahoo!, Excite, Netscape, GeoCities,  AltaVista, @Home, and Prodigy.  

 

 Infrastructure  

  

 During 1997, we worked hard to expand our business infrastructure to  support these greatly increased traffic, sales, and service levels:  

  

• Amazon.com's employee base grew from 158 to 614, and we significantly  strengthened our management team.  

  

• Distribution center capacity grew from 50,000 to 285,000 square feet,  including a 70% expansion of our Seattle facilities and the launch of our  second distribution center in Delaware in November.  

  

• Inventories rose to over 200,000 titles at year-end, enabling us to  improve availability for our customers.  

• Our cash and investment balances at year-end were $125 million, thanks to  our initial public offering in May 1997 and our $75 million loan,  

affording us substantial strategic flexibility.  

  

 Our Employees  

  

 The past year's success is the product of a talented, smart, hard-working group, and I  take great pride in being a part of this team. Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring  has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element of Amazon.com's  success.  

  

 It's not easy to work here (when I interview people I tell them, “You can work long,  hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com you can't choose two out of three”), but we are  working to build something important, something that matters to our customers,  something that we can all tell our grandchildren about. Such things aren't meant to be  easy. We are incredibly fortunate to have this group of dedicated employees whose  sacrifices and passion build Amazon.com.  

  

 Goals for 1998  

  

 We are still in the early stages of learning how to bring new value to our customers  through Internet commerce and merchandising. Our goal remains to continue to solidify  and extend our brand and customer base. This requires sustained investment in systems  

and infrastructure to support outstanding customer convenience, selection, and service  while we grow. We are planning to add music to our product offering, and over time we  believe that other products may be prudent investments. We also believe there are  significant opportunities to better serve our customers overseas, such as reducing delivery  times and better tailoring the customer experience. To be certain, a big part of the  challenge for us will lie not in finding new ways to expand our business, but in  prioritizing our investments.  

 

 We now know vastly more about online commerce than when Amazon.com was  founded, but we still have so much to learn. Though we are optimistic, we must remain  vigilant and maintain a sense of urgency. The challenges and hurdles we will face to  make our long-term vision for Amazon.com a reality are several: aggressive, capable,  well-funded competition; considerable growth challenges and execution risk; the risks of  product and geographic expansion; and the need for large continuing investments to meet  an expanding market opportunity. However, as we've long said, online bookselling, and  online commerce in general, should prove to be a very large market, and it's likely that a  number of companies will see significant benefit. We feel good about what we've done,  and even more excited about what we want to do.  

  

 1997 was indeed an incredible year. We at Amazon.com are grateful to our customers  for their business and trust, to each other for our hard work, and to our shareholders for  their support and encouragement.  

  

 /s/ JEFFREY P. BEZOS  

 Jeffrey P. Bezos  

 Founder and Chief Executive Officer  

 Amazon.com, Inc.