贝索斯致股东信(2000)

qimoe 发布于 2 个月前

致我们的股东:

额……今年对于很多股民尤其是Amazon.com的股东们是极为惨淡的一年……我们的股票和去年同期相比缩水了80%……但是,不论从什么指标来看,Amazon.com都处在比以往任何时候更强势的位置。

回顾2000年

* 我们在2000年服务了2000万用户,比99年提高了140万

* 销售额从16.4亿美金增至27.6亿美金

* 经营亏损从1999年Q4的26%降至2000年同期的6%

* 美国的经营亏损从1999年Q4的24%降至2000年同期的2%

* 2000年平均每个客户消费的金额是134美金,增长了19%

* 毛利润从2.91亿美金增至6.56亿美金,涨了125%

* 在2000年Q4约36%的美国用户曾在我们的“非图书音乐视频”专区(non-BMV stores)购物,比如电子、工具和厨具

* 全球营业额从1.68亿美金增至3.81亿美金

* 我们在Q4帮助我们的合作伙伴玩具反斗城卖了超过1.25亿美金的玩具和电子游戏

* 我们在年末拥有11亿现金保障,而去年是7.06亿美金。这主要归功于2000年初的融资

* 以及,最最重要的是我们埋头服务客户使得我们在全美消费者满意指数中获得了84的高分。这个成绩再任何领域都算是前无来者,一骑绝尘。

所以,既然公司明明比去年状况更好了,为什么股价还在缩水呢?正如著名投资专家本杰明·格雷厄姆所说:“短期来看,股票市场就是个投票机;但长期来看,它是个体重计。”显然,在99年股价的飙升中,我们被大量“投票”而不是“称重”。我们是一个希望上秤的公司,而我也相信,从长期来看,所有公司都和我们想法一样。而于此同时,我们埋头工作,为的就是让我们的公司变得更胖、更重、更结实。

你们中的大多数都对我们公司做出的“大胆的下注”有所耳闻,我们也会继续这样做下去——这些赌注涵盖了我们从对数字和无线技术领域的投资到对小型电商公司的投资(尤其是living.com和pets.com)。然而这两个公司在2000年都熄火了,而我们是重要股东之一,因此我们也损失了一大笔。

我们投了这两家公司因为我们知道短期亚马逊不会进军这两个行业,但我们深信互联网行业“抢滩登陆”的重要性。事实上这个思维从1994年至今,对我们的很多决策都做出了引导,但是这种“占座”行为的效应过去几年间在不断减弱。通过我们的反思,我们发现自己大大低估了进军这些产业所需要的时间和这种单一品类电商公司想把规模做大的难度。

在线销售,相比于传统零售,是一桩固定成本很高、浮动成本很低的生意。所以对于中小型电商公司来说,这会很困难。如果融资跑道更长,或许Pets.com和living.com能获取足够的用户来达到需要的规模。但是当资本市场向互联网公司关上大门的时候,这些公司没办法也就只能都关门大吉了。我们不得不忍痛割爱,因为如果用我们自己的血输给这些公司将会是更大的错误。

未来:房地产行业可没有什么“摩尔定律”

让我们来展望一下未来,为什么你依然要对电子商务和Amazon.com保持信心?

产业发展和新用户的加入将会促使未来网购行业用户体验的野蛮提升。这种提升和创新是受技术发展所驱动的,尤其是可用带宽的提高、硬盘空间的提升和处理器性能的提升,所有的这些都变得越快越便宜。

相同价格衡量下的处理器性能大约每18个月翻一番(摩尔定律),而对于存储器是12个月,对于带宽来说是9个月。即使基于翻番最慢的带宽,每五年Amazon.com用户的可用带宽将会提升60倍,而且还是不增加任何额外投入的情况下(译者注:这就是赤裸裸的技术红利)。同理,硬盘存储和处理器性能的提升也能为我们赋能,比如说,我们或许能为客户实时提供更好的个性化网页。

在现实世界中,传统零售业者确实会不断利用技术来降低成本,但是他们不可能像我们这样颠覆用户体验。我们同样利用新技术来降低成本,但是技术的作用于我们而言更多的是驱动用户量和收入的提升。我们依旧坚信大约15%的零售商业应该会被永远移上网了。

虽然这些还不是既成事实,有很多还需要我们来向大家证明,但Amazon.com是一个独一无二的企业。我们有品牌,有和客户紧密的联系,有技术,有基础设施,有金融资本,有人力资源,最重要的是我们有决心来继续扩展我们在这个新兴市场的领军地位,并且建立一家能够跨越周期、经久不衰的伟大公司——一切的一切,如我们反复强调,都会是“用户优先”。(译者注:我想再摘录一遍原文 We have the brand, the customer relationships, the technology, the fulfillment infrastructure, the financial strength, the people, and the determination to extend our leadership in this infant industry and to build an important and lasting company. And we will do so by keeping the customer first.)

2001年将会是我们发展中很重要的一年。正如2000年,今年我们会更加专注、更加注重执行。首先,我们已经为第四季度确立了一个预估营业利润目标。尽管我们还有一大堆事要做,并且我们完全无法保证能够达成目标,但我们还是打算冲击这个业绩,这也是我们这一年的重中之重。亚马逊的每一个员工都下定决心要帮助我们完成这个目标。我期待明年跟你们汇报我们的进展。

正如我之前所做的,我附上了1997年的第一封致股东信(译者注:而你可以翻我的笔记找到之前的每一封)。一年年过去了,我们发现有意思的是我们确实初心不改。我尤其希望你去读一下标题为“一切围绕着长期价值展开”的那个部分。

我代表Amazon.com感谢客户给我们的信任,感谢我的同僚们的努力工作,以及感谢股东对我们的鼓励和支持。非常,非常,感谢。

Jeffrey P. Bezos


英文原文

To our shareholders:

Ouch. It’s been a brutal year for many in the capital markets and certainly for Amazon.com shareholders. As of this writing, our shares are down more than 80% from when I wrote you last year. Nevertheless, by almost any measure, Amazon.com the company is in a stronger position now than at any time in its past.

• We served 20 million customers in 2000, up from 14 million in 1999.

• Sales grew to $2.76 billion in 2000 from $1.64 billion in 1999.

• Pro forma operating loss shrank to 6% of sales in Q4 2000, from 26% of sales in Q4 1999.

• Pro forma operating loss in the U.S. shrank to 2% of sales in Q4 2000, from 24% of sales in Q4 1999.

• Average spend per customer in 2000 was $134, up 19%.

• Gross profit grew to $656 million in 2000, from $291 million in 1999, up 125%.

• Almost 36% of Q4 2000 U.S. customers purchased from one of our ‘‘non-BMV’’ stores such as electronics, tools, and kitchen.

• International sales grew to $381 million in 2000, from $168 million in 1999.

• We helped our partner Toysrus.com sell more than $125 million of toys and video games in Q4 2000.

• We ended 2000 with cash and marketable securities of $1.1 billion, up from $706 million at the end of 1999, thanks to our early 2000 euroconvert financing.

• And, most importantly, our heads-down focus on the customer was reflected in a score of 84 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. We are told this is the highest score ever recorded for a service company in any industry.

So, if the company is better positioned today than it was a year ago, why is the stock price so much lower than it was a year ago? As the famed investor Benjamin Graham said, ‘‘In the short term, the stock market is a voting machine; in the long term, it’s a weighing machine.’’ Clearly there was a lot of voting going on in the boom year of ’99—and much less weighing. We’re a company that wants to be weighed, and over time, we will be—over the long term, all companies are. In the meantime, we have our heads down working to build a heavier and heavier company.

Many of you have heard me talk about the ‘‘bold bets’’ that we as a company have made and will continue to make—these bold bets have included everything from our investment in digital and wireless technologies, to our decision to invest in smaller e-commerce companies, including living.com and Pets.com, both of which shut down operations in 2000. We were significant shareholders in both and lost a significant amount of money on both.

We made these investments because we knew we wouldn’t ourselves be entering these particular categories any time soon, and we believed passionately in the ‘‘land rush’’ metaphor for the Internet. Indeed, that metaphor was an extraordinarily useful decision aid for several years starting in 1994, but we now believe its usefulness largely faded away over the last couple of years. In retrospect, we significantly underestimated how much time would be available to enter these categories and underestimated how difficult it would be for single-category e-commerce companies to achieve the scale necessary to succeed.

Online selling (relative to traditional retailing) is a scale business characterized by high fixed costs and relatively low variable costs. This makes it difficult to be a medium-sized e-commerce company. With a long

enough financing runway, Pets.com and living.com may have been able to acquire enough customers to achieve the needed scale. But when the capital markets closed the door on financing Internet companies, these companies simply had no choice but to close their doors. As painful as that was, the alternative—investing more of our own capital in these companies to keep them afloat—would have been an even bigger mistake.

Future: Real Estate Doesn’t Obey Moore’s Law.

Let’s move to the future. Why should you be optimistic about the future of e-commerce and the future of Amazon.com?

Industry growth and new customer adoption will be driven over the coming years by relentless improvements in the customer experience of online shopping. These improvements in customer experience will be driven by innovations made possible by dramatic increases in available bandwidth, disk space, and processing power, all of which are getting cheap fast.

Price performance of processing power is doubling about every 18 months (Moore’s Law), price performance of disk space is doubling about every 12 months, and price performance of bandwidth is doubling about every 9 months. Given that last doubling rate, Amazon.com will be able to use 60 times as much bandwidth per customer 5 years from now while holding our bandwidth cost per customer constant. Similarly, price performance improvements in disk space and processing power will allow us to, for example, do ever more and better real-time personalization of our Web site.

In the physical world, retailers will continue to use technology to reduce costs, but not to transform the customer experience. We too will use technology to reduce costs, but the bigger effect will be using technology to drive adoption and revenue. We still believe that some 15% of retail commerce may ultimately move online.

While there are no foregone conclusions, and we still have much to prove, Amazon.com today is a unique asset. We have the brand, the customer relationships, the technology, the fulfillment infrastructure, the financial strength, the people, and the determination to extend our leadership in this infant industry and to build an important and lasting company. And we will do so by keeping the customer first.

The year 2001 will be an important one in our development. Like 2000, this year will be a year of focus and execution. As a first step, we’ve set the goal of achieving a pro forma operating profit in the fourth quarter. While we have a tremendous amount of work to do and there can be no guarantees, we have a plan to get there, it’s our top priority, and every person in this company is committed to helping with that goal. I look forward to reporting to you our progress in the coming year.

As I usually do, I’ve appended our 1997 letter, our first letter to shareholders. It gets more interesting every year that goes by, in part because so little has changed. I especially draw your attention to the section entitled ‘‘It’s All About the Long Term.’’

We at Amazon.com remain 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. Many, many thanks.

Jeffrey P. Bezos

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Amazon.com, Inc.