贝索斯致股东信(2008)

qimoe 发布于 2 个月前

致我们的股东:

在这个波谲云诡的全球经济市场里,我们最基本的应对方法从来都是不变的。踏踏实实关注长期和用户。长线思维撬动我们现有的能力,让我们能够做那些平时想不到的创新;长线思考帮我们走过创新所必须经历的失败和周期;长线思考解放了我们的思维,让我们杀进未知的领域做一个先行者。如果追求即时回报,你会发现眼前人山人海。长线思考和用户至上的思维很合拍,如果我们发现了一个用户需求,并且我们认为这是一个我们能够做出改善的长期存在的痛点,我们的方法论让我们能耐心的花上几年时间好好解决这个问题,然后交付给用户。从用户需求出发的“向后工作(Working backwards)”正好可以和“技术向前(skills-forward)”想对应。“技术向前”的意思是就是,这项技术已经能用来解决A问题了,我们还能不能拿它解决别的问题呢?这是一个非常有用而且有红利的思考方法。可是如果仅仅是做这样的思考,那么公司永远没法驱动自己去开发新技术,最终现成的技术会过时。从用户需求出发“向后工作”常常要求我们获取新的能力,锻炼新的肌肉,无论走出的第一步多么令人不适,我们都会坚持下去。

Kindle就是我们的方法论最好的例证之一。四年多以前,我们从一个长线的视角出发:每一本书,无论什么语言,都要让它在一分钟之内入我彀中。我们所追求的这个用户体验让我们没法把Kindle的设备和Kindle的服务分开,这两者必须相互融合。Amazon从没有做过硬件设备,但我们没有就这样止步不前仅仅停留在自己的舒适区思考,而是雇了一个技术水平过硬还很有使命感的硬件团队。然后我们就开始学习这个全新的技能方向,以期能够为我们的读者朋友们更好的服务。

Kindle的销量远远超出了我们最乐观的预期,我们对此感到非常荣幸。在2月23号,我们开始卖kindle2了。如果你还没听说过,Kindle2在继承了Kindle所有的优点之后,变得更轻薄、更快、更大容量(越1500本书)、续航更久,还有新一代的屏幕。你可以在超过25万本的书库中自由选择最受欢迎的书籍报刊杂志。无线服务是免费的,你在一分钟就可以下载到任何你想读的书。我们收到了几千封关于Kindle的反馈邮件,令人惊喜的是26%的邮件里提到了“爱”这个字眼。

用户体验的顶梁柱

在我们的零售生意里,我们笃信客户需要更低价格更多选择以及更快更方便的运送服务,并且这些需求会恒久不变。我们很难想象十年之后用户们会要更高价格、更少选择和更慢的快递。正是因为我们相信这些需求(顶梁柱)的持久性,我们才愿意在这些方面不断投入。我们相信现在付出的这些在未来会持续带来回报。

我们的定价目标是博取用户的信任,而不是短期的盈利。我们深信只有出于这样的想法来定价才是积累财富的最佳手段。我们可能每件产品赚的少一点,但是长期来看我们会赢得用户的信任而卖出更多产品。所以我们在全品类实施了普遍低价,也处于同样目的,我们推出了免运费服务,其中包括Amazon Prime。客户是明智的,他们购买的时候会计算每一单的邮费。在过去的一年里,全球用户通过免邮费的服务薅了8亿美金的羊毛。

我们矢志不渝的在为用户提供更多选择,为此我们不但增加了已有品类的商品还增设新的品类。2007年我们就增加了28个门类。其中有一个快速增长并持续让我感到惊喜的业务就是我们在2007年推出的鞋店Endless.com

快速可靠的送达对我们的客户至关重要。2005年我们推出了Amazon Prime的服务。只需79美金一年,Prime会员就可以免费体验两日达的快递,而一日达只需3.99。在2007年,我们还推出了“亚马逊帮你存货(Fulfillment by Amazon,FBA)”服务,这项服务针对第三方卖家。他们可以把库存存放在我们的物流网络中,这样他们的商品也可以想亚马逊自营商品一样支持Amazon Prime和“超省钱快递(Super Saveer Shipping)”服务。于是,FBA既提升了用户体验,又提升了销量。在2008年四季度,我们通过FBA替我们的第三方商家送出了300万件商品,这对于消费者和商家是双赢。

锱铢必较

我们选择的用户至上道路要求我们必须有效控制成本结构。对我们股东来说,好消息是我们在这方面也发现了机遇。只要随处走走,我们就会发现到处都是垃圾。(在一个日本的仓储中心,一个改善专家(Kaizen expert)跟我问我:“我很喜欢在一个干净的仓储中心工作,可是你们干嘛打扫卫生呢?为什么不在源头阻断尘土呢?”,听了他的话我感觉自己就像个学空手道的小学生)。我觉得这个地方大有可为,让我充满干劲。我梦看到它的潜力,年复一年稳定的收益、更高的周转率和更少的资本支出。

我们主要的财务目标还是每股自由现金流,并通过高回报的资本投资达成这个目标。我们大力投入在AWS、针对第三方商家的工具、数字媒介、中国市场和新品类上。我们做出这样的投入是因为我们相信这能带给我们可观的回报。

在全世界牛逼创新又努力的亚马逊员工正全心全意为客户服务,我很荣幸成为他们中的一员。我们非常感谢我们的股东们,感谢你们的支持和鼓励,感谢和我们共赴旅程。

一如既往,我附了1997年的第一封致股东信。日新月异,但我们初心不改。

Jeffrey P. Bezos

(Vinchent翻译)


英文原文

To our shareowners:

In this turbulent global economy, our fundamental approach remains the same. Stay heads down, focused on the long term and obsessed over customers. Long-term thinking levers our existing abilities and lets us do new things we couldn’t otherwise contemplate. It supports the failure and iteration required for invention, and it frees us to pioneer in unexplored spaces. Seek instant gratification – or the elusive promise of it – and chances are you’ll find a crowd there ahead of you. Long-term orientation interacts well with customer obsession. If we can identify a customer need and if we can further develop conviction that that need is meaningful and durable, our approach permits us to work patiently for multiple years to deliver a solution. “Working backwards” from customer needs can be contrasted with a “skills-forward” approach where existing skills and competencies are used to drive business opportunities. The skills-forward approach says, “We are really good at X. What else can we do with X?” That’s a useful and rewarding business approach. However, if used exclusively, the company employing it will never be driven to develop fresh skills. Eventually the existing skills will become outmoded. Working backwards from customer needs often demands that we acquire new competencies and exercise new muscles, never mind how uncomfortable and awkward-feeling those first steps might be.

Kindle is a good example of our fundamental approach. More than four years ago, we began with a long-term vision: every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds. The customer experience we envisioned didn’t allow for any hard lines of demarcation between Kindle the device and Kindle the service – the two had to blend together seamlessly. Amazon had never designed or built a hardware device, but rather than change the vision to accommodate our then-existing skills, we hired a number of talented (and missionary!) hardware engineers and got started learning a new institutional skill, one that we needed to better serve readers in the future.

We’re grateful and excited that Kindle sales have exceeded our most optimistic expectations. On February 23, we began shipping Kindle 2. If you haven’t seen it, Kindle 2 is everything customers loved about the original Kindle, only thinner, faster, with a crisper display, and longer battery life, and capable of holding 1,500 books. You can choose from more than 250,000 of the most popular books, magazines, and newspapers. Wireless delivery is free, and you’ll have your book in less than 60 seconds. We’ve received thousands of feedback emails from customers about Kindle, and – remarkably – 26% of them contain the word “love.”

Customer Experience Pillars

In our retail business, we have strong conviction that customers value low prices, vast selection, and fast, convenient delivery and that these needs will remain stable over time. It is difficult for us to imagine that ten years from now, customers will want higher prices, less selection, or slower delivery. Our belief in the durability of these pillars is what gives us the confidence required to invest in strengthening them. We know that the energy we put in now will continue to pay dividends well into the future.

Our pricing objective is to earn customer trust, not to optimize short-term profit dollars. We take it as an article of faith that pricing in this manner is the best way to grow our aggregate profit dollars over the long term. We may make less per item, but by consistently earning trust we will sell many more items. Therefore, we offer low prices across our entire product range. For the same reason, we continue to invest in our free shipping programs, including Amazon Prime. Customers are well-informed and smart, and they evaluate the total cost, including delivery charges, when making their purchasing decisions. In the last 12 months, customers worldwide have saved more than $800 million by taking advantage of our free shipping offers.

We’re relentlessly focused on adding selection, both by increasing selection inside existing categories and by adding new categories. We’ve added 28 new categories since 2007. One business that is rapidly growing and continues to surprise me is our shoe store, Endless.com, which we launched in 2007.

Fast, reliable delivery is important to customers. In 2005, we launched Amazon Prime. For $79 per year,Prime(1) members get unlimited express two-day shipping for free and upgrades to one-day delivery for just $3.99. In 2007, we launched Fulfillment by Amazon, a new service for third-party sellers. With FBA, sellers warehouse their inventory in our global fulfillment network, and we pick, pack, and ship to the end customer on the sellers’ behalf. FBA items are eligible for Amazon Prime and Super Saver Shipping – just as if the items were Amazon owned inventory. As a result, FBA both improves the customer experience and drives seller sales. In the fourth quarter of 2008, we shipped more than 3 million units on behalf of sellers who use Fulfillment by Amazon, a win-win for customers and sellers.

Prudent Spending

The customer-experience path we’ve chosen requires us to have an efficient cost structure. The good news for shareowners is that we see much opportunity for improvement in that regard. Everywhere we look (and we all look), we find what experienced Japanese manufacturers would call “muda” or waste.(2) I find this incredibly energizing. I see it as potential – years and years of variable and fixed productivity gains and more efficient, higher velocity, more flexible capital expenditures.

Our primary financial goal remains maximizing long-term free cash flow and doing so with high rates of return on invested capital. We are investing heartily in Amazon Web Services, in tools for third-party sellers, in digital media, in China, and in new product categories. And we make these investments with the belief that they can be of meaningful scale and can clear our high bar for returns.

Around the world, amazing, inventive, and hard-working Amazonians are putting customers first. I take great pride in being part of this team. We thank you, our owners, for your support, for your encouragement, and for joining us on our continuing adventure.

As always, I attach our 1997 letter to shareowners. Even as the rate of change accelerates, we hope and believe our focus on what stays the same should serve us well.

Jeffrey P. Bezos

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Amazon.com, Inc.

April 2009

1、 Prime is a global program. ¥3,900 in Japan, £48 in the UK, €29 in Germany, and €49 in France.

2、 At a fulfillment center recently, one of our Kaizen experts asked me, “I’m in favor of a clean fulfillment center, but why are you cleaning? Why don’t you eliminate the source of dirt?” I felt like the Karate Kid.