第十八封信:理想的商业产品

第十八封信中英文对照:

To our shareowners:

致我们的股东:

A dreamy business offering has at least four characteristics. Customers love it, it can grow to very large size, it has strong returns on capital, and it’s durable in time – with the potential to endure for decades. When you find one of these, don’t just swipe right, get married

理想的商业产品至少具有四种特征。第一是客户喜欢它,第二是它可以成长至很大的规模,第三是具有够高的资本回报率,第四是不随时间变化-有可能持续增长数十年。当你找到商业产品具备任一种特征时,千万别向右滑(交友App上的拒绝手势),选择它就对了!

Well, I’m pleased to report that Amazon hasn’t been monogamous in this regard. After two decades of risk taking and teamwork, and with generous helpings of good fortune all along the way, we are now happily wed to what I believe are three such life partners: Marketplace, Prime, and AWS. Each of these offerings was a bold bet at first, and sensible people worried (often!) that they could not work. But at this point, it’s become pretty clear how special they are and how lucky we are to have them. It’s also clear that there are no sinecures in business. We know it’s our job to always nourish and fortify them.

我很高兴地跟大家报告,Amazon在寻找商业机会上并不遵守「一夫一妻制」。经过二十多年的冒险与团队合作,加上一路走来的好运,我们很高兴地宣布Amazon已经拥有3个很棒的产品:第三方卖家平台Marketplace、Prime会员服务和Amazon网络服务AWS。这些产品都曾是大胆的赌注,不少明智的人曾很担心无法成功。现在,我们已经很清楚它们的特殊性,也很幸运地把它们成功做好。我们很清楚,商业世界没有不劳而获的轻松事。我们很清楚,不断优化它们是我们的职责。

We’ll approach the job with our usual tools: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, heartfelt passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and a willingness to think long-term. With good execution and a bit of continuing good luck, Marketplace, Prime, and AWS can be serving customers and earning financial returns for many years to come.

我们将会透过一贯的做法来优化产品。关注顾客,而不是关注竞争对手。对发明创新充满热情,对卓越许下承诺,并且总是长期思考。良好的执行加上一点运气,Marketplace、Prime和AWS可以为客户提供服务,并在未来很多年内获得财务回报。

Marketplace

第三方卖家平台Marketplace

Marketplace’s early days were not easy. First, we launched Amazon Auctions. I think seven people came, if you count my parents and siblings. Auctions transformed into zShops, which was basically a fixed price version of Auctions. Again, no customers. But then we morphed zShops into Marketplace. Internally, Marketplace was known as SDP for Single Detail Page. The idea was to take our most valuable retail real estate – our product detail pages – and let third-party sellers compete against our own retail category managers. It was more convenient for customers, and within a year, it accounted for 5% of units. Today, more than 40% of our units are sold by more than two million third-party sellers worldwide. Customers ordered more than two billion units from sellers in 2014.

在早期,Marketplace并不容易。首先,我们推出了Amazon Auction。把我的父母和兄弟姊妹都算上,一共就七个人使用吧!接着,Auction转变为zShops,zShops基本上就是一个固定价格版的Auction。结果和Auction一样,没有人使用zShops。于是,我们将zShops转变为Marketplace。在Amazon内部,Marketplace被称为「单页式详细信息页」。我们的想法是将Amazon最有价值的资产,也就是产品详细信息页提供给第三方卖家,让第三方卖家跟我们自己的零售经理竞争。这么做对于消费者来说更加方便,在一年内提升5%销量。如今,超过40%的销量来自全球200万个第三方卖家,消费者向他们购买超过20亿个产品。

The success of this hybrid model accelerated the Amazon flywheel. Customers were initially drawn by our fast-growing selection of Amazon-sold products at great prices with a great customer experience. By then allowing third parties to offer products side-by-side, we became more attractive to customers, which drew even more sellers. This also added to our economies of scale, which we passed along by lowering prices and eliminating shipping fees for qualifying orders. Having introduced these programs in the U.S., we rolled them out as quickly as we could to our other geographies. The result was a marketplace that became seamlessly integrated with all of our global websites.

混合第三方卖家和我们的商业模式,加速Amazon的「飞轮」转动速度。消费者最初是被我们的快速增加的商品数、优惠的价格及良好的客户体验吸引,接着我们开放第三方卖家平台,让消费者拥有更多选择,进而吸引更多卖家到Amazon贩卖商品。我们持续降价,并让符合条件的商品能够免除运费,进一步提升了我们的商业规模。最终的结果是,第三方卖家平台Marketplace和我们的网站无缝衔接。以上所提到的做法已经在美国实行,我们将会尽快推行到更多地方。

We work hard to reduce the workload for sellers and increase the success of their businesses. Through our Selling Coach program, we generate a steady stream of automated machine-learned “nudges” (more than 70 million in a typical week) – alerting sellers about opportunities to avoid going out-of-stock, add selection that’s selling, and sharpen their prices to be more competitive. These nudges translate to billions in increased sales to sellers.

我们致力于降低卖家的工作负担,提升卖家的业务量。透过Selling Coach计划,我们一周发出超过7千万次基于机器学习的自动化提醒,提醒卖家商品即将完售,或是给予建议让他们的商品价格更具竞争力。这些提醒帮助卖方增加销售额数十亿美元。

To further globalize Marketplace, we’re now helping sellers in each of our geographies – and in countries where we don’t have a presence – reach out to our customers in countries outside their home geographies. We hosted merchants from more than 100 different countries last year, and helped them connect with customers in 185 nations.

为了进一步扩大Marketplace的全球化范围,我们目前在各个区域帮助卖家,也积极在尚未开展业务的区域与客户联系。去年,我们服务了全球超过100个国家的卖家,帮助他们与全球185个国家的客户建立联系。

Almost one-fifth of our overall third-party sales now occur outside the sellers’ home countries, and our merchants’ cross-border sales nearly doubled last year. In the EU, sellers can open a single account, manage their business in multiple languages, and make products available across our five EU websites. More recently, we’ve started consolidating cross-border shipments for sellers and helping them obtain ocean shipping from Asia to Europe and North America at preferential, bulk rates.

现在,第三方卖家的销售额有近五分之一是产生于卖家所在国家以外的地方,卖家的销售额去年几乎翻了一倍。在欧盟,卖家只要开设一个账户,就可以在我们的五个欧盟国家的网站,以多国语言管理其业务。最近,我们开始为卖家合并订单进行跨境运输,帮助他们以更低的价格将货品从亚洲送到欧洲和北美。

Marketplace is the heart of our fast-growing operations in India, since all of our selection in India is offered by third-party sellers. http://Amazon.in now offers more selection than any other e-commerce site in India – with more than 20 million products offered from over 21,000 sellers. With our Easy Ship service, we pick up products from a seller and handle delivery all the way to the end customer. Building upon Easy Ship, the India team recently piloted Kirana Now, a service that delivers everyday essentials from local kirana (mom and pop) stores to customers in two to four hours, adding convenience for our customers and increasing sales for the stores participating in the service.

Marketplace是我们在印度快速增长的驱动核心,因为我们在印度的所有商品都是由第三方卖家提供,Amazon印度站目前是全印度品项最多的电子商务网站-由2.1万名卖家提供超过2000万种商品。我们提供Easy Ship服务,从卖家到买家的整个物流都由我们来处理。印度团队基于Easy Ship的基础上,最近开始了一项新业务Kirana Now。这项服务可在两到四个小时内,向消费者提供kirana商店的日常必需品。这为我们的顾客增加便利,并增加了kirana商店的销售额

Perhaps most important for sellers, we’ve created Fulfillment by Amazon. But I’ll save that for after we discuss Prime.

也许对第三方卖家来说,最重要的是Amazon物流服务。我会在Prime服务之后讨论它。

Amazon Prime

Prime服务

Ten years ago, we launched Amazon Prime, originally designed as an all-you-can-eat free and fast shipping program. We were told repeatedly that it was a risky move, and in some ways it was. In its first year, we gave up many millions of dollars in shipping revenue, and there was no simple math to show that it would be worth it. Our decision to go ahead was built on the positive results we’d seen earlier when we introduced Free Super Saver Shipping, and an intuition that customers would quickly grasp that they were being offered the best deal in the history of shopping. In addition, analysis told us that, if we achieved scale, we would be able to significantly lower the cost of fast shipping.

10年前,我们发布了Prime服务,最初是为了提供吃到饱的快速运送服务。我们被一再告知,这会有很大的风险。从某些层面来说,的确如此。最初的一年,我们因此牺牲了数百万的物流收入,而且无从证明这么做是有价值的。我们之所以选择继续实行,是因为我们看到先前的Free Super Saver Shipping得到的积极结果,因此直觉地认为顾客会迅速了解Prime服务有多么棒,能够提供他们有史以来最优惠的服务。此外,分析师告诉我们,如果我们形成规模经济,将能够大大降低物流的成本。

Our owned-inventory retail business was the foundation of Prime. In addition to creating retail teams to build each of our category-specific online “stores,” we have created large-scale systems to automate much of inventory replenishment, inventory placement, and product pricing. The precise delivery-date promise of Prime required operating our fulfillment centers in a new way, and pulling all of this together is one of the great accomplishments of our global operations team. Our worldwide network of fulfillment centers has expanded from 13 in 2005, when we launched Prime, to 109 this year. We are now on our eighth generation of fulfillment center design, employing proprietary software to manage receipt, stowing, picking, and shipment. Amazon Robotics, which began with our acquisition of Kiva in 2012, has now deployed more than 15,000 robots to support the stowing and retrieval of products at a higher density and lower cost than ever before. Our ownedinventory retail business remains our best customer-acquisition vehicle for Prime and a critical part of building out categories that attract traffic and third-party sellers.

我们既有的零售业务,正是Prime服务的基础。除了创建零售团队,建立我们在线各类别的商店外,我们也建立大型自动化系统,调节库存数量、库存商品放置和定价。由于Prime会员的商品需要在两天内送达,因此对我们配送中心的运营方式有更高的要求。将这些整合在一起,是我们的全球运营团队的一大成就。2005年刚推出Prime服务时,我们的全球配送网络只有13个配送中心,今年则扩展到109个。我们正在设计第8代配送中心,采用专门的软件来管理收货、存货、捡货和运送。Amazon机器人的发展,始于2012年我们对Kiva的收购,如今已经布署了1.5万个机器人,以更高的机器人密度和更低的成本支持库存商品的存放和捡取。我们卓越的零售业务,依然是帮助扩大Prime会员数的最佳利器,带来更多的流量,也吸引更多的第三方卖家。

Though fast delivery remains a core Prime benefit, we are finding new ways to pump energy into Prime. Two of the most important are digital and devices.

尽管快速到货仍然是Prime服务的核心优势,但我们正在寻找增强Prime服务的新方法。最重要的两件事分别是数字化和硬件装置。

In 2011 we added Prime Instant Video as a benefit, now with tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes available for unlimited streaming in the U.S., and we’ve started expanding the program into the U.K. and Germany as well. We’re investing a significant amount on this content, and it’s important that we monitor its impact. We ask ourselves, is it worth it? Is it driving Prime? Among other things, we watch Prime free trial starts, conversion to paid membership, renewal rates, and product purchase rates by members entering through this channel. We like what we see so far and plan to keep investing here.

2011年,我们新增了Prime Instant Video作为Prime服务的内容。现在,美国站有成千上万种电影和电视剧可供用户无限次数播放。我们也开始扩大英国站和德国站的Prime服务。我们大量投资于内容,并不断关注内容的影响力。我们会问自己:这么做是否值得?它能驱动Prime会员数增长吗?我们还观察了Prime的免费试用者数量、转换为付费用户的比率、续订率和购买率。目前为止,我们对此表现感到满意,并计划加大投资。

While most of our PIV spend is on licensed content, we’re also starting to develop original content. The team is off to a strong start. Our show Transparent became the first from a streaming service to win a Golden Globe for best series and Tumble Leaf won the Annie for best animated series for preschoolers. In addition to the critical acclaim, the numbers are promising. An advantage of our original programming is that its first run is on Prime – it hasn’t already appeared anywhere else. Together with the quality of the shows, that first run status appears to be one of the factors leading to the attractive numbers. We also like the fixed cost nature of original programming. We get to spread that fixed cost across our large membership base. Finally, our business model for original content is unique. I’m pretty sure we’re the first company to have figured out how to make winning a Golden Globe pay off in increased sales of power tools and baby wipes!

尽管我们的支出多用于授权内容,但我们也开始推出我们的原创内容。团队开局表现不错。我们的节目《Transparent》是流媒体服务中第一个获得金球奖(Golden Globe)的系列影集,而《Tumble Leaf》则获得了安妮奖(Annie)学龄前儿童最佳动画片奖。除了广受好评外,数据表现也很亮眼。原创内容的一个优点是,它在其他地方都没出现过,首次开播就是在Prime上进行。加上节目的质量很好,首次开播似乎是吸引观众的原因之一。我们还喜欢原创内容的「固定成本」特性。我们将固定成本分摊至我们的广大会员基础上。最后,我们原创内容的商业模式是独一无二的。我敢肯定,我们是第一家找到如何透过增加电动工具和婴儿湿巾的销售额来赢得金球奖的公司!

Amazon designed and manufactured devices – from Kindle to Fire TV to Echo – also pump energy into Prime services such as Prime Instant Video and Prime Music, and generally drive higher engagement with every element of the Amazon ecosystem. And there’s more to come – our device team has a strong and exciting roadmap ahead.

Amazon设计和制造的设备-从Kindle到Fire TV再到Echo,也将能量注入Prime服务。例如Prime Instant Video和Prime Music,驱动Amazon生态系统各个要素的彼此相连。未来将会更加精采可期-我们的硬件团队拥有强大而令人兴奋的发展计划。

Prime isn’t done improving on its original fast and free shipping promise either. The recently launched Prime Now offers Prime members free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items or one-hour delivery for a $7.99 fee. Lots of early reviews read like this one, “In the past six weeks my husband and I have made an embarrassing number of orders through Amazon Prime Now. It’s cheap, easy, and insanely fast.” We’ve launched in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Miami, Baltimore, Dallas, Atlanta, and Austin, and more cities are coming soon.

Prime没有违背其最初的快速免费送货承诺。最近,我们推出Prime Now。只要7.99美元,Prime会员可以在1小时内收到商品。若你可以接受2小时内收获,那将不用收取额外费用。先前的评论都是这样写的:「过去六周,我和我的丈夫透过Amazon Prime Now下了许多订单订单。这项服务便宜、方便、快捷。」我们已经在曼哈顿、布鲁克林、迈阿密、巴尔的摩、达拉斯、亚特兰大和奥斯汀推出这项服务,并且很快就会推展到更多城市。

Now, I’d like to talk about Fulfillment by Amazon. FBA is so important because it is glue that inextricably links Marketplace and Prime. Thanks to FBA, Marketplace and Prime are no longer two things. In fact, at this point, I can’t really think about them separately. Their economics and customer experiences are now happily and deeply intertwined.

现在,我想谈谈Amazon配送服务。它之所以如此重要,是因为它将第三方卖家平台Marketplace与Prime紧密联系在一起。有了Amazon配送服务,Marketplace和Prime不再是两件不同的事。实际上,此刻我无法把它们分开思考。现在,它们的商业价值和客户体验已深深地交织在一起。

FBA is a service for Marketplace sellers. When a seller decides to use FBA, they stow their inventory in our fulfillment centers. We take on all logistics, customer service, and product returns. If a customer orders an FBA item and an Amazon owned-inventory item, we can ship both items to the customer in one box – a huge efficiency gain. But even more important, when a seller joins FBA, their items can become Prime eligible.

Amazon配送服务是针对第三方卖家的服务。当卖家决定使用Amazon配送服务时,他们会将库存商品放在我们的库存中心。我们负责所有物流、客服和退货服务。如果顾客订购的商品分别是Amazon自有商品和第三方卖家的商品,我们可以将两件商品装在同一个盒子寄给客户-这样极大地提高效率。更重要的是,当卖家加入Amazon配送服务时,他们的商品对Prime会员更有吸引力。

Maintaining a firm grasp of the obvious is more difficult than one would think it should be. But it’s useful to try. If you ask, what do sellers want? The correct (and obvious) answer is: they want more sales. So, what happens when sellers join FBA and their items become Prime eligible? They get more sales.

即使一件事情的价值很明显,但要持续坚持自己的想法,并不是一件很容易的事。但是,坚持过后你会发现这么做很有价值。如果你问,卖家想要什么?正确且显而易见的答案是:他们想要更多的销售额。那么,当卖家加入Amazon配送服务后,在他们的商品成为Prime会员可购买的免运商品时会发生什么事?他们如愿获得更多的销售额。

Notice also what happens from a Prime member’s point of view. Every time a seller joins FBA, Prime members get more Prime eligible selection. The value of membership goes up. This is powerful for our flywheel. FBA completes the circle: Marketplace pumps energy into Prime, and Prime pumps energy into Marketplace.

另一个值得关注的是,从Prime会员的角度来看这会形成循环。每当卖家加入Amazon配送服务,Prime会员都会获得更多可使用Prime的品项,Prime会员的价值上升。这对于我们的飞轮而言很有帮助,Amazon配送服务完成了这一循环:Marketplace将能量注入Prime,Prime也将能量注入Marketplace。

In a 2014 survey of U.S. sellers, 71% of FBA merchants reported more than a 20% increase in unit sales after joining FBA. In the holiday period, worldwide FBA units shipped grew 50% over the prior year and represented more than 40% of paid third-party units. Paid Prime memberships grew more than 50% in the U.S. last year and 53% worldwide. FBA is a win for customers and a win for sellers.

2014年,在一个对美国的第三方卖家调查显示,加入Amazon配送服务之后,71%的卖家表示单位销售量增长20%以上。在假期期间,全球范围的Amazon配送服务运送量比上一年增长50%,占第三方卖家发货量的40%以上。去年美国的Prime会员数量增长了50%以上,全球会员则增长了53%。Amazon配送服务对客户和卖家而言都是双赢。

Amazon Web Services

Amazon云端运算服务

A radical idea when it was launched nine years ago, Amazon Web Services is now big and growing fast. Startups were the early adopters. On-demand, pay-as-you-go cloud storage and compute resources dramatically increased the speed of starting a new business. Companies like Pinterest, Dropbox, and Airbnb all used AWS services and remain customers today.

九年前推出AWS时,这是一个激进的想法。如今,AWS已经发展壮大并发展迅速。初创公司是最早采用的客户。按需购买,用多少付多少的云存储和计算资源,极大提高了新业务的开展速度。诸如Pinterest、Dropbox和Airbnb等公司,都使用AWS服务,而且今天还是我们的客户。

Since then, large enterprises have been coming on board as well, and they’re choosing to use AWS for the same primary reason the startups did: speed and agility. Having lower IT cost is attractive, and sometimes the absolute cost savings can be enormous. But cost savings alone could never overcome deficiencies in performance or functionality. Enterprises are dependent on IT – it’s mission critical. So, the proposition, “I can save you a significant amount on your annual IT bill and my service is almost as good as what you have now,” won’t get too many customers. What customers really want in this arena is “better and faster,” and if “better and faster” can come with a side dish of cost savings, terrific. But the cost savings is the gravy, not the steak.

自那时起,大型企业也逐渐成为我们的客户,他们选择使用AWS的原因与初创企业相同:速度和弹性。IT成本较低是一件很有吸引力的事,有时省下来的成本非常可观。但是,仅凭降低成本,并不能克服性能或功能上的不足。AWS所牵涉的是至关重要的任务-因为企业仰赖IT。因此,「我可以为你节省大笔IT账单,而我们提供的服务几乎和你现在使用的服务一样好」的主张并不能吸引足够多的客户。客户真正想要的是「更快、更好」的服务,而这样的服务如果可以带来「成本上的优势」,那就太棒了。节省成本是附带的肉汁,而不是牛排本身。

IT is so high leverage. You don’t want to imagine a competitor whose IT department is more nimble than yours. Every company has a list of technology projects that the business would like to see implemented as soon as possible. The painful reality is that tough triage decisions are always made, and many projects never get done. Even those that get resourced are often delivered late or with incomplete functionality. If an IT department can figure out how to deliver a larger number of business-enabling technology projects faster, they’ll be creating significant and real value for their organization.

IT的杠杆率很高。你不会想看到竞争对手的IT部门比你的更敏捷。每家公司都有一份技术项目列表,企业希望尽快实现的技术项目列表。然而,资源有限带来的现实是必须取舍,总会有许多项目无法完成。即使是那些投入资源的项目,往往也无法准时交付,或者功能并不完整。如果IT部门能够找到更高效地交付技术项目的方法,那么他们将为组织创造巨大的价值。

These are the main reasons AWS is growing so quickly. IT departments are recognizing that when they adopt AWS, they get more done. They spend less time on low value-add activities like managing datacenters, networking, operating system patches, capacity planning, database scaling, and so on and so on. Just as important, they get access to powerful APIs and tools that dramatically simplify building scalable, secure, robust, high-performance systems. And those APIs and tools are continuously and seamlessly upgraded behind the scenes, without customer effort.

这就是AWS快速发展的主因。IT部门了解到,当他们采用AWS时,他们能做更多事情。他们将较少的时间花在低附加价值的事情上,例如管理数据中心、建立网络、修复操作系统补丁、扩容、数据库扩展等等。同样重要的是,他们可以使用强大的API和工具,将构建可扩展、安全、强大的高性能系统的过程大大简化。这些API和工具由我们持续升级,无需客户耗费心力。

Today, AWS has more than a million active customers as companies and organizations of all sizes use AWS in every imaginable business segment. AWS usage grew by approximately 90% in the fourth quarter of 2014 versus the prior year. Companies like GE, Major League Baseball, Tata Motors, and Qantas are building new applications on AWS – these range from apps for crowdsourcing and personalized healthcare to mobile apps for managing fleets of trucks. Other customers, like NTT DOCOMO, the Financial Times, and the Securities and Exchange Commission are using AWS to analyze and take action on vast amounts of data. And many customers like Conde´ Nast, Kellogg’s, and News Corp are migrating legacy critical applications and, in some cases, entire datacenters to AWS.

如今,随着各种规模的公司和组织,在各个领域中使用AWS,AWS拥有超过一百万名活跃客户。2014年第四季度,AWS使用量同比增长了约90%。通用电气、美国职业棒球大联盟、塔塔汽车和澳洲航空等公司,正在AWS上建构新应用-从众包、个性化医疗到管理卡车车队的新应用。NTT DOCOMO、金融时报和证券交易委员会,正在使用AWS来分析大量数据并以此采取行动。Conde´ Nast,Kellogg’s和News Corp等客户,正在将旧应用迁移至AWS,有些客户甚至将整个数据中心迁移至AWS。

We’ve increased our pace of innovation as we’ve gone along – from nearly 160 new features and services in 2012, to 280 in 2013, and 516 last year. There are many that would be interesting to talk about – from WorkDocs and WorkMail to AWS Lambda and the EC2 Container Service to the AWS Marketplace – but for purposes of brevity, I’m going to limit myself to one: our recently introduced Amazon Aurora. We hope Aurora will offer customers a new normal for a very important (but also very problematic) technology that is a critical underpinning of many applications: the relational database. Aurora is a MySQL-compatible database engine that offers the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost effectiveness of open source databases. Aurora’s performance is up to 5x better than typical MySQL databases, at one-tenth the cost of commercial database packages. Relational databases is an arena that’s been a pain point for organizations and developers for a long time, and we’re very excited about Aurora.

我们一直不断创新。2012年,AWS包含近160种新功能和服务,到2013年这个数字是280种,到2014年则变成516种。这中间有很多有趣的话题-从WorkDocs、WorkMail到AWS Lambda,从EC2 Container Service到AWS Marketplace。为了篇幅简洁起见,我将只提及一项:我们最近推出的Amazon Aurora。我们希望Aurora为客户提供一项非常重要(但经常是个问题)的技术方案,提供很多应用的关键基础-关系数据库。Aurora是与MySQL兼容的数据库引擎,可提供高端商业数据库所需的速度及可用性,并兼具开源数据库的易用性和低成本。Aurora的性能比典型的MySQL数据库高出5倍,价格却是商业数据库的十分之一。关系数据库是解决长期困扰组织和开发人员痛点的起点,我们对Aurora的前景感到无比兴奋。

I believe AWS is one of those dreamy business offerings that can be serving customers and earning financial returns for many years into the future. Why am I optimistic? For one thing, the size of the opportunity is big, ultimately encompassing global spend on servers, networking, datacenters, infrastructure software, databases, data warehouses, and more. Similar to the way I think about Amazon retail, for all practical purposes, I believe AWS is market-size unconstrained.

我相信AWS将在未来很多年为客户提供服务,并获得财务回报的梦幻产品。为什么我如此乐观?AWS面向的商业规模巨大,涵盖了全球的服务器、网络、数据中心、基础架构软件、数据库等方面。用我对Amazon零售业务的思考方式来看,我相信AWS的市场规模将不受限制。

Second, its current leadership position (which is significant) is a strong ongoing advantage. We work hard – very hard – to make AWS as easy to use as possible. Even so, it’s still a necessarily complex set of tools with rich functionality and a non-trivial learning curve. Once you’ve become proficient at building complex systems with AWS, you do not want to have to learn a new set of tools and APIs assuming the set you already understand works for you. This is in no way something we can rest on, but if we continue to serve our customers in a truly outstanding way, they will have a rational preference to stick with us.

其次,AWS目前的市场领先地位将持续带给我们优势。我们努力工作,非常努力地使AWS尽可能易于使用。即便如此,出于它自身的特质,它依然是复杂的一套工具组。AWS具备丰富的功能,因此学习起来也很复杂。然而,一旦你精通使用AWS构建系统后,你就不会想再学习一套新的工具和API。你将对这套工具产生依赖,但这绝不是我们可以懈怠的理由。我们相信若我们继续以出色的方式为客户提供服务,出于理性他们将会持续支持我们。

In addition, also because of our leadership position, we now have thousands of what are effectively AWS ambassadors roaming the world. Software developers changing jobs, moving from one company to another, become our best sales people: “We used AWS where I used to work, and we should consider it here. I think we’d get more done.” It’s a good sign that proficiency with AWS and its services is already something software developers are adding to their resumes.

此外,由于我们具备市场领先地位,我们现在拥有成千上万名、遍及全球的AWS宣传大使。当软件开发人员从一家公司换到另一家公司,他们会成为我们最好的销售人员:「我以前工作过的地方使用AWS,我认为我们应该也考虑使用AWS。如此一来,我们能把更多事情做好。」这证明了「熟悉AWS及其服务」已成为软件开发人员能写上简历的内容。

Finally, I’m optimistic that AWS will have strong returns on capital. This is one we as a team examine because AWS is capital intensive. The good news is we like what we see when we do these analyses. Structurally, AWS is far less capital intensive than the mode it’s replacing – do-it-yourself datacenters – which have low utilization rates, almost always below 20%. Pooling of workloads across customers gives AWS much higher utilization rates, and correspondingly higher capital efficiency. Further, once again our leadership position helps: scale economies can provide us a relative advantage on capital efficiency. We’ll continue to watch and shape the business for good returns on capital.

最后,我对AWS将获得可观的资本回报感到乐观。由于AWS是资本密集的投资,因此我们团队曾对这项投资进行研究。好消息是,分析得到的结果是我们乐见的。从整体来看,AWS相较于其所取代的模式,也就是自己动手建立数据中心相比,其资本密集度低得多。后者的使用率较低,从头到尾几乎都低于20%。由于需服务多个不同客户,因此AWS的使用率更高,相应地提升了资本效率。此外,我们的市场领先地位也有助于形成规模经济,这可以提升我们在资本效率层面的相对优势。我们将继续关注和塑造AWS业务,以取得良好的资本回报。

AWS is young, and it is still growing and evolving. We think we can continue to lead if we continue to execute with our customers’ needs foremost in mind.

AWS还很年轻,还在不断发展和演进。我们认为,如果我们始终聚焦客户的需求,我们将持续保持市场领先地位。

Career Choice

职业选择计划

Before closing, I want to take a moment to update shareowners on something we’re excited about and proud of. Three years ago we launched an innovative employee benefit – the Career Choice program, where we pre-pay 95% of tuition for employees to take courses for in-demand fields, such as airplane mechanic or nursing, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. The idea was simple: enable choice.

在结束之前,我想花一点时间向股东们介绍一些我们感到兴奋和自豪的事。三年前,我们推出了一项创新的员工福利计划-职业选择计划(Career Choice)。此计划为员工预付95%的学费,供他们选修飞机修护或护理等领域的课程,无论该课程教授的技能是否与员工在Amazon的工作有关。这个计划背后的想法很简单:提供员工选择权。

We know that, for some of our fulfillment and customer service center employees, Amazon will be a career. For others, Amazon might be a stepping stone on the way to a job somewhere else – a job that may require new skills. If the right training can make the difference, we want to help, and so far we have been able to help over 2,000 employees who have participated in the program in eight different countries. There’s been so much interest that we are now building onsite classrooms so college and technical classes can be taught inside our fulfillment centers, making it even easier for associates to achieve these goals.

我们很清楚,对于我们的某些配送中心和客服中心的员工而言,Amazon是他们的职业选择。对于其他人而言,Amazon可能是通往其他工作的垫脚石,而之后的工作可能需要新技能。如果经过适当的培训对员工有益处,我们乐于提供帮助。到目前为止,我们已经能够帮助8个国家的2000多名员工参加了该计划。员工们非常感兴趣,我们正在建立线下教室,以便可以在我们的配送中心内教授大学课程和技术课程,从而使员工更容易实现自己的职业目标。

There are now eight FCs offering 15 classes taught onsite in our purpose-built classrooms with high-end technology features, and designed with glass walls to inspire others to participate and generate encouragement from peers. We believe Career Choice is an innovative way to draw great talent to serve customers in our fulfillment and customer service centers. These jobs can become gateways to great careers with Amazon as we expand around the world or enable employees the opportunity to follow their passion in other in-demand technical fields, like our very first Career Choice graduate did when she started a new career as a nurse in her community.

目前在8个配送中心中,设有15间专用教室提供现场授课。这些教室采用玻璃墙设计,激励人们参与并与同侪互相鼓励。我们认为,职业选择计划是一种创新方案,可以吸引优秀人才到Amazon工作,为客户提供服务。随着我们在全球范围内的事业拓展,这些工作将为Amazon员工开启伟大的职业生涯,给予员工机会追寻他们在其他领域的热情。就像我们第一位职业选择计划的毕业生一样,她在小区开始了新的护理师职涯。

I would also like to invite you to come join the more than 24,000 people who have signed up so far to see the magic that happens after you click buy on http://Amazon.com by touring one of our fulfillment centers. In addition to U.S. tours, we are now offering tours at sites around the world, including Rugeley in the U.K. and Graben in Germany and continuing to expand. You can sign up for a tour at http://www.amazon.com/fctours.

我还想邀请你参观我们的配送中心,目前为止已有2万4千多人报名,以了解点击Amazon网站上的「购买」按钮之后会发生的事。除了美国站的导览,我们也在世界各站提供导览,包括英国的Rugeley和德国的Graben,开放参观的站点也会越来越多,你可以在http://www.amazon.com/fctours上报名参加。

Marketplace, Prime, and Amazon Web Services are three big ideas. We’re lucky to have them, and we’re determined to improve and nurture them – make them even better for customers. You can also count on us to work hard to find a fourth. We’ve already got a number of candidates in work, and as we promised some twenty years ago, we’ll continue to make bold bets. With the opportunities unfolding in front of us to serve customers better through invention, we assure you we won’t stop trying.

Marketplace、Prime和AWS是我们事业的三大支柱,我们非常幸运能拥有它们。我们决心优化它们,为顾客提供更好的产品。你也可以期待我们努力寻找下一个支柱,我们已经有很多候选方案了。正如我们二十年前所承诺的那样,我们将继续大胆押注。在我们面前,机会不断涌现。我们可以透过发明为客户提供更好的服务。我们向你保证,我们将继续努力。

As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter. Our approach remains the same, because it’s still Day 1.

如同往常,我把我们在1997年写的致股东信附在文末。我们的价值观依然不变,今天依旧是第一天。

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

贝索斯提到理想的商业产品至少有四种特征:

  1. 客户喜爱
  2. 市场规模很大
  3. 够高的资本回报率
  4. 增长周期长

你的商业产品如果有上面的任何一种,确实就算一个很好的产品。

贝索斯还提到,到现在亚马逊拥有三个很棒的产品:

  1. 第三方卖家平台
  2. Prime会员
  3. AWS

确实,上面的三个产品其实算是三个方向,每一个方向都有很多的竞争者,亚马逊都算做得做好的。

以前的时候,这三个产品都是比较大胆的赌注,但是成功了。

商业世界是没有不劳而获的轻松事情,要做就做难的事情,然后不断优化。

优化产品的过程,需要做到:

  1. 关注顾客,不是关注竞争对手
  2. 对发明创新充满激情
  3. 对卓越许下承诺
  4. 长期思考

亚马逊确实很牛,在上面的三个产品中,卖家平台和Prime,可能会想到。但是AWS确实算是非常有创新的,这也有了云计算,改变了现在的很多行业。

就是不知道,这些产品诞生的过程是怎么样的,为啥亚马逊会下定决心做这样的产品。

第十八封信:理想的商业产品”的一个响应

亚马逊致股东信解读 – Pxiaoer's Blog进行回复 取消回复

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