第五封信: 降价和afford

第五封信中英文对照:

To our shareholders:
致我们的股东:

In July of last year, http://Amazon.com reached an important way station. After four years of single-minded focus on growth, and then just under two years spent almost exclusively on lowering costs, we reached a point where we could afford to balance growth and cost improvement, dedicating resources and staffed projects to both. Our major price reduction in July, moving to discount books over $20 by 30% off list, marked this change.
去年7月,Amazon达到重要的里程碑。四年聚焦增长,两年努力降低成本,我们达到一个平衡点,能够兼顾增长和成本改善,将资源和人员妥善配置于两者。这一点体现在价格上,我们在7月时,将超过20美元的书降价百分之三十。

This balance began to pay off in the fourth quarter, when we both significantly exceeded our own goals on the bottom line and simultaneously reaccelerated growth in our business. We lowered prices again in January when we offered a new class of shipping that is free (year-round) on orders over $99. Focus on cost improvement makes it possible for us to afford to lower prices, which drives growth. Growth spreads fixed costs across more sales, reducing cost per unit, which makes possible more price reductions. Customers like this, and it’s good for shareholders. Please expect us to repeat this loop.
当我们大幅超过底线目标,并加快业务增长的速度时,这种平衡就在第四季度开始得到回报。我们在一月份再次降价,提供一种新的运送服务,只要订单金额超过99美元即可免费运送,时长一年。专注于成本改善,使我们有能力降低价格,从而驱动增长。增长将固定成本分配在订单中,从而降低了单位成本,从而有可能进一步降低价格。客户喜欢降价,而且对股东也有利。你可以期待的是,我们将会不断重复降价循环。

As I mentioned, we exceeded our goals for the fourth quarter with pro forma operating profit of $59 million and pro forma net profit of $35 million. Thousands of http://Amazon.com employees around the world worked hard to achieve that goal; they are, and should be, proud of the accomplishment. More highlights from a notable year:
正如我前面提到的,我们在第四季度超出预期目标,预计利润为5900万美元,预计净利润为3500万美元。世界上成千上万Amazon员工都在努力达成这个目标,他们为此成就感到骄傲。更多重要的成果包括:

• Sales grew 13% from $2.76 billion in 2000 to $3.12 billion in 2001; we achieved our first billion-dollar quarter on reaccelerated sales and 23% year-over-year unit growth in Q4.
• 销售额从2000年的27.6亿美元,提升至2001年的31.2亿美元,实现13%增长。我们在第四季度达成销售额增长的第一个10亿元目标,单位销量同比增长23%。

• We served 25 million customer accounts in 2001, compared to 20 million in 2000 and 14 million in 1999.
• 2001年,我们为2500万名客户提供服务。这个数字在2000年和1999年分别为2000万和1400万。

• International sales grew 74% in 2001, and more than one-quarter of sales came from outside the U.S. The U.K. and Germany, our largest international markets, had a combined pro forma operating profit for the first time in Q4. Open only a year, Japan grew to a $100 million annual run rate in Q4.
• 2001年,国际销售额增加了74%,超过1/4的销售额来自美国以外的地方。我们最大的国际市场,英国站和德国站,在第四季度首次达成预估利润目标。日本站仅开放一年,在第四季度的年运行率即达到1亿美金。

• Hundreds of thousands of small businesses and individuals made money by selling new and used products to our customers directly from our highly trafficked product detail pages. These Marketplace orders grew to 15% of U.S. orders in Q4, far surpassing our expectations when we launched Marketplace in November 2000.
• 成千上万的小型企业和个人,透过我们的产品详情页面,接触到很多流量,出售大量新产品和二手产品。这些来自第三方卖家平台Marketplace的订单,第四季度在美国地区成长了15%,远远超过我们在2001年11月推出时的预期。

• Inventory turns increased from 12 in 2000 to 16 in 2001.
• 2000年,Amazon的库存周转率为12次,2001年增加到16次。

• Most important, we stayed relentlessly focused on the customer, as reflected in a chart-topping score of 84 for the second year in a row on the widely followed American Customer Satisfaction Index conducted by the University of Michigan. We are told this is the highest score ever recorded–not just for any retailer, but for any service company.
• 最重要的是,我们一直持续不断的专注于用户,这一点反映在密歇根大学的美国客户满意度调查,Amazon连续两年获得最高分84分。这样的成绩,不仅对于零售商来说是最高分,对于任何服务公司来说也是最高分。

Obsess over customers: our commitment continues
我们承诺,将会继续实现顾客至上

Until July, http://Amazon.com had been primarily built on two pillars of customer experience: selection and convenience. In July, as I already discussed, we added a third customer experience pillar: relentlessly lowering prices. You should know that our commitment to the first two pillars remains as strong as ever.
直到今年七月,Amazon一直把核心业务建立在两个客户体验的支柱上:选择和便利。正如我所说过的,七月份我们将增加第三个客户体验支柱:持续降价。同时,我们对于前两个支柱的承诺一如既往地有效。

We now have more than 45,000 items in our electronics store (about seven times the selection you’re likely to find in a big-box electronics store), we’ve tripled our kitchen selection (you’ll find all the best brands), we’ve launched computer and magazine subscriptions stores, and we’ve added selection with strategic partners such as Target and Circuit City.
现在,我们的电子产品商店中有超过4万5千种商品(约为大型电子产品实体店中商品数量的7倍),厨房商品的选择数量提升了3倍(你能找到所有最好的品牌), 开设了计算机和杂志订阅商店,并与Target、Circuit City等成为战略合作伙伴。

We’ve improved convenience with features like Instant Order Update, which warns you if you’re about to buy the same item twice (people are busy–they forget that they’ve already bought it!).
我们透过实时订单更新等功能提高了便利性,该功能会在您再次购买同一商品时发出警告(人们很忙-他们会忘记自己已经买了!)。

We’ve dramatically improved customer self-service capabilities. Customers can now easily find, cancel, or modify their own orders. To find an order, just make sure you are signed in and recognized by the site, and do a regular search on any product in your order. When you get to that product’s detail page, a link to your order will be at the top of the page.
我们大大改善自助服务功能。现在用户可以轻易查找、取消或修改自己的订单。只要你登入,就可以查找过去订单中的任何商品。当你找到商品的明细页,该页面的顶部会有你的订单链接。

We built a new feature called Look Inside the Book. Customers can view large highresolution images of not only the front cover of a book, but also the back cover, index, table of contents, and a reasonable sample of the inside pages. They can Look Inside the Book before making a buying decision. It’s available on over 200,000 of our millions of titles (as a point of comparison, a typical book superstore would carries about 100,000 titles).
我们打造了新功能-书中查找。用户不仅可以查看书的封面,还可以浏览高分辨率的封底、索引、目录和一定比例的内页。用户可以先看过书籍的内容,再决定是否要购买。在我们数以百万计的书中,有20万本可以使用此功能(相较之下,一间大型实体书店约有近10万本书)。

As my last example, I’ll just point out that one of the most important things we’ve done to improve convenience and experience for customers also happens to be a huge driver of variable cost productivity: eliminating mistakes and errors at their root. Every year that’s gone by since Amazon.com’s founding, we’ve done a better and better job of eliminating errors, and this past year was our best ever. Eliminating the root causes of errors saves us money and saves customers time.
我将以提高便利性和用户体验,作为最后一个案例。这件事之所以重要,是因为它能大大提升生产率,从根本上消除错误。自Amazon成立以来的每一年,我们在根除错误这条路上,做得越来越好,过去一年是有史以来最好的一年。根除发生错误的原因,可以降低成本,也节省用户的时间。

Our consumer franchise is our most valuable asset, and we will nourish it with innovation and hard work.
消费者对我们的偏爱,是我们最宝贵的资产。我们将会透过创新和努力,持续滋养它。

An investment framework
我们的投资框架

In every annual letter (including this one), we attach a copy of our original 1997 letter to shareholders to help investors decide if http://Amazon.com is the right kind of investment for them, and to help us determine if we have remained true to our original goals and values. I think we have.
在每一封年度信件(包含现在这封),我们会附上1997年最初始的那一封致股东信,让股东们能够更确定Amazon确实是自己想投资的公司。同时,这能够帮助我们判断Amazon是否忠实于自己最初的目标和价值观。在这一点上,我想我们有做到。

In that 1997 letter, we wrote, “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.”
我们在1997年的那封信中写道:「当我们被迫在优化GAAP会计报表和最大化未来现金流量的现值之间做出选择时,我们将选择后者。」

Why focus on cash flows? Because a share of stock is a share of a company’s future cash flows, and, as a result, cash flows more than any other single variable seem to do the best job of explaining a company’s stock price over the long term.
为什么要聚焦于现金流?公司未来的现金流影响公司的股价,因此现金流相较其他单一变量,更适合用于解释公司的长期股价。

If you could know for certain just two things–a company’s future cash flows and its future number of shares outstanding–you would have an excellent idea of the fair value of a share of that company’s stock today. (You’d also need to know appropriate discount rates, but if you knew the future cash flows for certain, it would also be reasonably easy to know which discount rates to use.) It’s not easy, but you can make an informed forecast of future cash flows by examining a company’s performance in the past and by looking at factors such as the leverage points and scalability in that company’s model. Estimating the number of shares outstanding in the future requires you to forecast items such as option grants to employees or other potential capital transactions. Ultimately, your determination of cash flow per share will be a strong indicator of the price you might be willing to pay for a share of ownership in any company.
如果你用未来现金流和股票数量来了解一间公司,你会对它当下的股价有很好的理解。(折现率也有助于判断股价。不过,若能预估未来现金流,那也很容易判断折现率。)要判断股价并不容易,但你可以透过公司商业模式中的杠杆点和可扩展性,来判读公司过去的表现,进而预测未来现金流。要想预估未来发行的股票数量,需要考虑员工期权、潜在资产交易等项目。最终,你对每股现金流的预测,将反映你对每股所有权的愿意出的价格。

Since we expect to keep our fixed costs largely fixed, even at significantly higher unit volumes, we believe http://Amazon.com is poised over the coming years to generate meaningful, sustained, free cash flow. Our goal for 2002 reflects just that. As we said in January when we reported our fourth quarter results, we plan this year to generate positive operating cash flow, leading to free cash flow (the difference between the two is up to $75 million of planned capital expenditures). Our trailing twelve-month pro forma net income should, roughly but not perfectly, trend like trailing twelve-month cash flow.
即使大幅增加商品数量,我们希望能将固定成本保持不变。我们相信,Amazon有望在未来几年产生有意义的、可持续的现金流。我们对于2002年的目标,恰好反映了这一点。正如我们一月时针对第四季度的业绩报告所说的,我们计划今年可达成正向营运现金流,从而带来自由现金流(两者差距约为计划资本支出的7500万美金)。我们过去12个月的备考净收入(pro forma net income)应该大致和现金流趋势一致。

Limiting share count means more cash flow per share and more long-term value for owners. Our current objective is to target net dilution from employee stock options (grants net of cancellations) to an average of 3% per year over the next five years, although in any given year it might be higher or lower.
限制股票数量,意味着更多的每股现金流以及更长期的价值。我们现阶段的目标是,在未来5年内将员工的股票期权摊薄至每年平均3%。

Relentless commitment to long-term shareholder value
对股东价值的长期承诺

As I’ve discussed many times before, we are firm believers that the long-term interests of shareholders are tightly linked to the interests of our customers: if we do our jobs right, today’s customers will buy more tomorrow, we’ll add more customers in the process, and it will all add up to more cash flow and more long-term value for our shareholders. To that end, we are committed to extending our leadership in e-commerce in a way that benefits customers and therefore, inherently, investors–you can’t do one without the other.
如同我之前多次提到的,我们是长期主义的信仰者,我们坚信股东的长期利益和客户利益密切相关:如果我们做的对,今天的客户明天会买更多,我们会获得更多客户。这将为我们增加更多的现金流和股东长期价值。为此,我们使用对客户有利的方式,来拓展我们在电子商务上的领导地位。

As we kick off 2002, I am happy to report that I am as enthusiastic as ever about this business. There is more innovation ahead of us than behind us, we are close to demonstrating the operating leverage of our business model, and I get to work with this amazing team of Amazonians all over the world. I am lucky and grateful. We thank you, our owners, for your support, your encouragement, and for joining us on this adventure. If you’re a customer, we thank you again!

在2002年开始时,我很高兴能向你报告,我对电子商务这项业务有着一如既往的热情。我们未来的创新,将比起过去的创新还要多。我们将展示商业模式的营运杠杆,我将与遍及全球的Amazon团队一同工作。我很幸运,也很感激。Amazon的股东,我们感谢你的支持、鼓励和参与。如果你同时也是我们的客户,那我们对你双倍感谢!

Jeffrey P. Bezos
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Amazon.com, Inc.
杰夫·贝索斯
Amazon创始人暨CEO

我的观点

2001年,亚马逊的增长飞轮还在疯狂的运转。这期间亚马逊进行了一次大的降价,主要是针对书的折扣,还是就是超过一定金额的免运费。亚马逊正式把低价作为最重要的客户体验之一。

那亚马逊怎么才能持续低价呢?其实最重要的还是增长,增长是可以把固定的成本分摊,然后每个用户的成本就降低了,而用户又喜欢降价,这就变成了一个可以不断重复降价的循环。

亚马逊还把持续降价做了他们的第三个客户体验支柱,其他两个是选择和便利。

贝索斯还提到了afford这个词。

我的理解是,正向现金流,就是不用烧钱,不用外部融资也能继续增长和经营。

很多公司基本上都是从烧钱开始的,最重要的获客也是。亚马逊现在有了正循环之后,获客不需要烧钱。这种存在了正向的现金流商业模式是可以长久的,如果还可以持续产生自由现金流,那这个企业就获得了关键的成长因素。因为有了这种自由现金流,就可以去做投资,做战略性的部署,这对后面企业的发展非常的重要。

发表评论

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com 徽标

您正在使用您的 WordPress.com 账号评论。 注销 /  更改 )

Google photo

您正在使用您的 Google 账号评论。 注销 /  更改 )

Twitter picture

您正在使用您的 Twitter 账号评论。 注销 /  更改 )

Facebook photo

您正在使用您的 Facebook 账号评论。 注销 /  更改 )

Connecting to %s