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双语:一位CEO的管理秘诀——边做边学

2014-09-11    来源:FORTUNE    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语:一位CEO的管理秘诀——边做边学

在房地产信息网站Zillow公司,领导人会先说“我不知道”——然后坚持不懈地去寻找答案。CEO斯宾塞•拉斯科夫今年38岁,其最出彩的管理方式在于,他承认他和公司仍需要学习很多东西。

双语阅读:

Spencer Rascoff is the rare chief executive who relishes not having all the answers.
斯宾塞•拉斯科夫是一位另类CEO,他不仅承认自己并非无所不知,似乎还很享受这个事实。

Briefly a journalist and then an investment banker, the CEO of the real estate information site Zillow has fashioned himself into the epitome of the self-improvement boss. He has cultivated a network to help his management team learn about everything from TV advertising to analyzing data to public relations. He’s even had the presence of mind to turn to true experts on social media—summer interns—to find out what he needs to know in that realm.
在成为房地产信息网站Zillow的CEO之前,拉斯科夫曾做过一段时间记者,后来还从事过投资银行业务。现在,拉斯科夫已经将自己塑造成自我完善型老板的典范。他培育了一个网络,帮助管理团队学习电视广告、数据分析、公共关系等技能。为了了解社交媒体,他甚至曾经镇定自若地向真正的社交媒体专家(暑假实习生)请教过。

Rascoff has plenty to show for his learning-on-the-job experimentation. Zillow’s got a hot stock, up seven-fold from its 2011 IPO. It is also in the process of gobbling up rival Truliafor more than $3 billion.
拉斯科夫“边做边学”的实验法可圈可点。Zillow的股票颇受追捧,自2011年上市以来已经上涨了7倍。目前,该公司正计划以30亿美元吞并竞争对手Trulia。

What’s fascinating about 38-year-old Rascoff’s approach is how much he recognizes he and his company still have to learn. Starting with a network of personal relationships with other CEOs, many of whom have appeared at a Zillow-hosted speaker series in Seattle, Rascoff has built out a formal and informal system of sharing ideas and best practices among his peers. The companies include LinkedIn (Rascoff confesses to having a “man crush” on CEO Jeff Weiner), Expedia (which Zillow chairman Rich Barton founded), Yelp, Twitter, TrueCar, Shutterstock, and two companies where Rascoff is on the board, Zulily and TripAdvisor. Rascoff says he and his people are constantly in touch with their counterparts at these companies.
拉斯科夫今年38岁,其最出彩的管理方式在于,他承认他和公司仍需要学习很多东西。首先,他与其他公司的CEO们建立了一张个人关系网,形成了一个同行之间分享想法和最佳实践的半正式系统。其中许多CEO都出席了Zillow在西雅图举办的演讲活动。这些公司包括社交网络LinkedIn(拉斯科夫承认他对LinkedIn公司 CEO杰夫•韦纳尔有一种“男人之间的欣赏”)、在线旅游公司Expedia(由Zillow公司董事长里奇•巴顿创建)、点评网站Yelp、Twitter、汽车网站TrueCar、图片网站Shutterstock、团购网站Zulily和旅游点评网站TripAdvisor。拉斯科夫同时在最后两家公司担任董事。拉斯科夫表示,他和公司员工一直与其他公司的同行保持联系。

The foundation of the network speaks to a common concern of technology companies outside Silicon Valley. “I did this because we’re in Seattle,” Rascoff told me over lunch in San Francisco last week. “I’ve had to sort of manually create this thing that happens more naturally for companies in the Valley.” For example, Zillow trades ideas on business intelligence and customer personalization with Zulily, which sells children’s clothing to moms. The two companies aren’t competitive, and Rascoff find that the lessons of personalizing messages about children’s apparel translates well for homes. (Zillow provides pricing information about homes across the U.S. and makes most of its revenue, more than $300 million this year, selling ads to real estate agents hawking their services.) It has compared notes with LinkedIn and TripAdvisoron matters relating to investor relations. Zillow is planning an entire day of executive-to-executive meetings with TrueCar, a site that provides pricing information to consumers gleaned from collecting auto leasing data. “They know a lot about direct response from TV advertising,” Rascoff says. “We’re just starting to learn about this.”
从这家网络的建立可以看出,硅谷之外的科技公司普遍存在一种焦虑感。上周,在旧金山共进午餐期间,拉斯科夫告诉我:“我之所以这么做,是因为我们在西雅图。硅谷的公司可能会自然而然地建立起这样的网络,但我必须主动去创建这样的网络。”例如,Zillow与婴儿用品网站Zulily交换商业智能和客户个性化方方面的创意。这两家公司不存在竞争关系,但拉斯科夫发现,从儿童服装信息个性化得出的经验,非常适合房屋出售。(Zillow提供美国住房的价格信息,大多数收入来自出售给房地产中介商的广告,今年的收入超过3亿美元。)该公司还曾就投资者关系等问题与LinkedIn和TripAdvisor进行讨论。Zillow计划与TrueCar召开为期一整天的高层会议。TrueCar网站通过收集汽车租赁数据,为消费者提供汽车价格信息。拉斯科夫表示:“他们非常了解电视广告的直接反应。我们才刚刚开始学习这方面的知识。”

The knowledge transfer goes both ways. Rascoff knows Niraj Shah, CEO of the online retailer Wayfair, which recently filed documents with regulators for an IPO. He called him up to offer assistance in the arduous going-public process.
这种知识传递是双向的。拉斯科夫认识在线零售商Wayfair公司CEO尼拉杰•沙赫,后者最近刚刚提交了上市申请。拉斯科夫主动向沙赫提出,他乐意帮助该公司完成繁琐的上市流程。

Amid all this learning and giving and sharing and ruminating, Rascoff also is running a business. Zillow has been battling Trulia for nine years. I asked him how it came to be that Zillow, whose shareholders will end up with two thirds of the combined company, became the gobbler rather than the gobbled. “We are broader, they are narrower,” he said, explaining that Trulia focuses on homes that are for sale while Zillow provides data on all homes, for sale and otherwise. So why buy Trulia at all? “The reason I want to own Trulia is that as a media company I want to own multiple brands,” he said. “We sell advertising, not homes,” he added, meaning that the more “shelf space” the better for Zillow to attract the attention of home buyers and, importantly, potential home buyers.
不断给予、分享、学习、反思的拉斯科夫,还是一家公司的经营者。Zillow与Trulia的竞争已经持续了9年。两家公司合并后,Zillow的股东将占新公司的三分之二。我曾问他为什么最后Zillow变成了“捕食者”,而不是“猎物”。他表示:“因为我们的业务范围更广,而对方的范围较为狭窄。”他解释称,Trulia的重点是待售房屋,而Zillow则提供所有房屋的数据,包括待售房屋和其他房屋。那么为什么要收购Trulia?他说道:“我之所以希望收购Trulia,是因为作为一家媒体公司,我希望拥有更多品牌。我们出售的是广告,而不是住房。”他的意思是说,“货架空间”越多,Zillow便能吸引更多购房者的关注,尤其是潜在购房者。

At the end of our conversation I asked Rascoff about his rabid embrace of Twitter. He is a frequent and open sharer on the social-media network, as well as a generous re-tweeter. His response speaks volumes about the CEO’s capacity for learning. It started, he said, when Benchmark investor Bill Gurley called Zillow Chairman Rich Barton to ask his opinion of Twitter. (Gurley later invested in Twitter; Barton has a longtime association with Benchmark.) Barton in turn asked Rascoff who in turn asked a particular summer intern who knew a lot about Twitter to teach him what she knew. “I spent two hours with her. Today she has a team of five people working for her.” And Twitter is critical to Zillow’s social-media strategy for both internal and external communications. “Nothing happens at the company without a social media strategy,” says Rascoff, citing companywide social events and quarterly earnings calls as two examples.
访谈即将结束时,我问他为什么会成为Twitter的疯狂粉丝。他经常在社交媒体上开放地分享自己的动态,也经常大方地转发其他人的信息。他的回答充分证明了作为一名CEO的学习能力。他说,风险投资公司Benchmark的投资人比尔•科尔利曾经致电Zillow公司董事长里奇•巴顿,询问他对Twitter的看法。(科尔利后来投资了Twitter;巴顿与Benchmark一直保持联系)。而巴顿则去询问拉斯科夫的意见。拉斯科夫向一位了解Twitter的实习生请教。这位实习生将自己对Twitter的看法告诉了拉斯科夫。“我与她交流了两个小时。现在她管理着一支5人团队。”Twitter对于Zillow内部与外部沟通的社交媒体策略至关重要。拉斯科夫说道:“如果没有一个社交媒体策略,公司什么也做不了。”他列举了公司社交活动和季度收入电话会议这两个例子。

So what’s next for Rascoff to learn? “I recently asked her to explain Instagram,” he says.
接下来,拉斯科夫想学习什么?他说道:“我最近向她打听过有关图片分享应用Instagram的情况。”(财富中文网)

译者:刘进龙/汪皓



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