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双语:经营一家公司需要付出什么

2014-12-22    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语:经营一家公司需要付出什么

OpenTable创始人查克•坦普尔顿表示,创业如同在南极洲爬山——成功的攀登者关注的是接下来的20英尺,而不是峰顶。

双语:

Undoubtedly, as an entrepreneur, you’re going to get a lot of advice from a multitude of sources—friends, partners, mentors, and investors—about what it takes to run a business. Some of it will be useful and some of it won’t. Knowing who and what to listen to can be tricky not to mention overwhelming. I experienced this confusion firsthand while founding OpenTable, and I see how it affects the entrepreneurs I mentor today. So here’s my best advice for navigating the information tug of war that inevitably happens when you start a business.
经营一家公司需要付出什么?对于这个问题,创业者一定会收到来自各方的建议——朋友、合伙人、导师和投资者等。有些建议是有用的,但有些却没有价值。我们应该听从哪个人的哪条建议?这个问题非常棘手,创业者往往很难弄明白。我在最初创建网上订餐平台OpenTable时就曾经历过这种困惑。现在我也经常看到我指导的创业者们为这个问题所困扰。以下是我的一些建议,希望能帮助创业者们在难以回避的信息拉锯战中,找准自己的方向。

It’s a marathon, not a sprint
创业是一场马拉松,而不是短跑

The goal is to increase your chances of success. Being an entrepreneur is hard. It takes sacrifice. There are no overnight successes (well, maybe one or two), but for most successes out there, the real backstory is much more tumultuous. Success is almost never linear. Sometimes there are ups and downs, rights and lefts, forwards and backwards. OpenTable took 11 years to go public. The goal is to take one or two steps forward every day, with the understanding that there will be setbacks. My favorite analogy is comparing entrepreneurship to mountain climbing in Antarctica. Successful climbers don’t dwell on the peak; they focus on the next 20 feet, and then the next, and then the next. Building a business takes time. You need to be able to weather the storms and take advantage of serendipity.
你的目标在于增加成功的机会。创业之路异常的艰难。创业者必须做出牺牲。不要梦想着一夜成功(或许会有一两个这样的情况),大多数成功者背后的故事,都要比我们想象的更加跌宕起伏。成功不会一蹴而就。有时候,创业者会经历上下起伏,会产生左右摇摆,会有前进也会有后退。OpenTable用了11年时间才成功上市。你的目标应该是每天前进一两步,并清楚你会遭遇挫折。我最喜欢的一种说法,是将创业比喻成在南极爬山。成功的攀登者不会去想峰顶;他们只关注接下来的20英尺,就这样一步步地向上攀登。创业需要时间。你必须能够经受住暴风骤雨的考验,并抓住偶然间降临的好运气。

There’s no such thing as an expert
不要迷信专家

Listen to what mentors have to say, but remember that you are the only one building this business at this particular point in time. No example before you is an exact replica of your business. And just because something worked in the past, or didn’t work in the past, doesn’t mean that it will or won’t now. I don’t believe in experts. The idea that anyone (including me) is an expert is silly. There are people that know more than others about a particular topic, but often times the mentors you will encounter have a worldview that fits a particular time and business in history. But once things change, their view, which used to be insightful, will likely be obsolete. To me, many “experts” are a product of a time. With that said, there’s obviously things you can learn from mentors, but their word is not gospel.
要听听导师们怎么说,但你要记住,你是唯一一个在这个特殊的时间点创建这家公司的人。此前的例证都不能完全复制到你的公司。而且,以前有效的做法并不意味着现在依旧有效,反之亦然。我从不相信专家。认为某个人(包括我)是专家,是愚蠢的想法。在某些方面,确实有的人知道的比其他人多,但通常情况下,你将遇到的导师们的世界观,只适合某家处于特定历史时期的公司。一旦情势改变,他们那些曾经颇有见地的观点,将会被淘汰。我认为,许多“专家”都是某一个时期的产物。当然,你从导师身上还是能学到许多知识,但不要把他们的只言片语奉为真理。

Don’t be a ping pong ball
不要做“乒乓球”

Be open to feedback. Learn, but don’t be a ping pong ball. I prefer to work with entrepreneurs that have what I consider humble confidence. I like entrepreneurs that are somewhat self-effacing. They take feedback well and realize that while they are smart, they can’t do it alone. (And that some luck plays into everything.) With that said, entrepreneurs must evoke confidence. Again, they take feedback well but don’t bounce around on ideas. They have a point of view and they own. It’s their unique take on the world, and they are building their business around it.
要以宽广的胸怀对待他人的反馈意见。要从中总结经验教训,但不要变成没有立场的“乒乓球”。我喜欢与谦虚自信的创业者合作。我喜欢有自知之明的创业者。他们能够接受反馈,并且认识到虽然自己聪明,但仅靠自己不可能成功。(任何事情的成功都有一定的运气成分。)此外,创业者必须激发出自信心。再强调一下,他们能够接受反馈,但不会一听到别人的不同想法,就像乒乓球那样跳来跳去,失去自己的立场。他们有自己的观点。这是他们对这个世界的理解,他们将围绕这种理解来打造自己的公司。

Get out of the building
走出办公室

Always be action-oriented. Building a business isn’t about sitting around a white board and hypothesizing about what customers might want and how to grow your business. It’s about getting “out of the building” and interacting with customers. What do your customers actually want? How should you sell to them? If the problem or pain is big enough, they will buy an imperfect product. So get to a minimum viable product ASAP and find out who will pay and how much they will pay. Get your product into the wild and learn from your customers.
始终以行动为导向。创建公司并不是坐在白板前面,设想客户的需求和公司的发展大计。创业者要“走出办公楼”,与客户互动。客户真正想要什么?你应该如何向他们推销?如果客户面临的问题或痛苦足够大,他们会愿意购买不完美的产品。所以,创业者应该尽快开发出一款具有最低限度可用性的产品,然后去弄清楚谁愿意花费多少钱购买这款产品。将你的产品放到市场当中,去向你的客户学习。

Be maniacally focused
保持高度专注

I say this so often that one of Impact Engine’s portfolio companies made me a shirt with this slogan on it. I like startups that are extremely focused on a single revenue model, a single customer segment, and a single solution, to start. Once you’re bigger, you can divert resources to more than one initiative, but in the beginning, it should be all about figuring out your revenue model and growth model. How do you make money: revenue model. How do you scale that money: growth model. I’ve seen several startups fail because they are trying to scale multiple sales models to multiple customer types.
我经常说这句话,所以创业加速器Impact Engine投资的一家公司,还专门为我做了一件印有这句话的T恤衫。我喜欢在最开始非常专注于一种盈利模式、一个客户群体和一种解决方案的初创公司。随着公司规模的扩大,你可以将资源分配到更多项目,但在最开始,创业者首先应该确定如何赚钱(即盈利模式),以及如何利用赚来的钱扩大规模(即增长模式)。许多初创公司之所以失败,正是因为他们试图根据多种客户类型扩展多个销售模式。

Don’t worry, be scrappy
不要担心,保持斗志

Get as many “at bats” as possible. Most entrepreneurial efforts fail. And most of your ideas will also fail. The best way to increase your chances of success is to be alive as long as possible. The best way to do that is to be frugal. Benjamin Franklin talked about being frugal and industrious. So be wise with your money, but not in a way that suffocates growth. The longer you can stretch your runway, the more chances you have at bat. And hopefully one of those chances leads to a hit. My friend and entrepreneur Chris Gladwin says it so well, “to be in business you have to be in business.” Once you have the revenue model and growth model figured out and there is arbitrage in the business, then you can invest aggressively. Businesses have a natural rate of growth that capital can help accelerate, but at some point the marginal capital is wasted and inefficient.
尽可能争取足够多的“上场击球”(译注:棒球术语)次数。大多数创业努力会失败。你的大多数想法也会失败。要增加成功的机会,最可靠的方法是保持尽可能长的生存时间。而要实现这个目标,最好的方式是节俭。本杰明•富兰克林曾谈论过节俭与勤奋。要审慎花钱,但不能采用一种抑制增长的方式。你的经营时间越久,获得“上场击球”的机会也就越多。但愿你能够抓住其中的一次机会,一鸣惊人。我的朋友、创业家克里斯•格拉德温说得好:“要想经营你的生意,首先你必须留在商界。”一旦确定了盈利模式和增长模式,并且业内有套利机会,你便可以大胆投资。任何公司都有一种自然增长率,而资本可以帮助加快这一速度,但在某些情况下,边际资本会被浪费,无法发挥作用。

Don’t bend the map
不要自欺欺人

Balance lean startup methodologies with being unreasonable. You have to be unbiased about your business. Do you really see it working? In orienteering, they call it “bending the map.” When you come upon a hill during a hike, you mark it with your compass to find it later. But when you try to find it on the map you get disoriented, and you trick yourself into believing that the hill you see on the map is also the hill you see in front of you. But deep down, you know that it’s not. Entrepreneurs can get caught in that trap as well. They know something isn’t right but they fool themselves into believing things are working. While you shouldn’t give up on your dreams, you need to be incredibly honest with the results you are seeing and adjust accordingly.
要在精益创业法与不切实际之间找到平衡。你必须以公正的心态看待自己的公司。你真的认为一切顺利吗?在定向越野比赛中,人们将这种情况称为“折叠地图”。当你在越野过程中遇到一座山时,你会用指南针标记它的位置,以便以后找到它。但当你试图在地图上找到它时,你却会分不清方向,这时你会骗自己你在地图上看到的那座山就是你面前的这座山。但你内心很清楚,这并非事实。创业者也会落入这样的陷阱。他们知道公司存在问题,但他们欺骗自己,认为一切顺利。虽然你不应该放弃自己的梦想,但你应该诚实地对待自己看到的结果,并做出相应调整。

Look for the innovators
寻找创新者

Think about the Adoption Curve (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards). Look for the innovators in your space as the first (and possibly) most valuable customers. If their pain is big enough, they will take a suboptimal product, because for them, the problem is so painful that they need a solution immediately. They will be open and happy (for the short-term) with an MVP. They will also give you the benefit of the doubt as you continue to build out the product and bring on more (early adopters and early majority) customers. If you can’t find any innovators or early adopters that will use your MVP, then you are probably not solving a real problem.
参考一下创新采用曲线(创新者、早期采用者、早期采用人群、后期采用人群和迟缓者)。寻找你所在领域的创新者,将他们作为第一批(也可能是)最有价值的客户。如果他们的问题足够大,他们会愿意接受尚未达到完美的产品,因为对于他们而言,问题太过痛苦,他们需要立即找到一种解决方案。他们会欣然(短期内)接受具有最低限度可用性的产品。而随着你继续增加产品,吸引到更多消费者(早期采用者和早期采用人群),他们还会给予你最大的善意。如果你找不到愿意使用最低限度可用性产品的创新者或早期采用者,那可能说明你并没能解决真正的问题。

Luck goes both ways
运气是双向的

Luck is always involved in entrepreneurship. No matter how hard you work, there will be some (good and bad) luck in it. Yes, luck favors the prepared and it is not all about luck. But when it comes along, recognize it and take advantage of it. And when you have bad luck, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Embrace it and get back out there. There will be setbacks. The only question is: how will you respond? Will you sulk and think “why me?” or will you bounce back and find a way to persevere? And remember, luck goes both ways. So if something happens in your favor, be thankful and embrace it. And don’t pat your back too hard or you may bruise yourself.
创业从来都离不开运气。不论你工作多么努力,你在创业过程中总是会遇到(好的或坏的)运气。没错,运气会青睐有准备的人,而且运气也非决定成败的唯一因素。但当运气来临的时候,要识别并利用它。如果你的运气不佳,别为自己感到难过。接受它,并迅速从霉运的阴影中走出来。挫折在所难免。唯一的问题在于:你如何应对?你会就此沉沦,自怨自艾地问“为什么倒霉的总是我?”还是会奋起反击,想方设法坚持下去?要记住,运气是双向的。如果你交了好运,要心存感激并欣然接受它。但不要太得意忘形,否则你可能伤到自己。

The buck stops with you
你责无旁贷

This is your company. Mentors and investors are here to help, but ultimately it is your business. If you want or need something, don’t be afraid to ask your supporters for help. But remember, the buck stops with you.
这是你的公司。导师和投资者只是来为你提供帮助,但这终究是你自己的事业。如果你有什么需要,当然可以向你的支持者们寻求帮助。但要记住,这是你的责任,你责无旁贷。

Chuck Templeton is the founder of OpenTable. Templeton is currently the Chairman of Impact Engine, a startup accelerator helping for-profit businesses address societal and environmental problems.
本文作者查克•坦普尔顿为OpenTable的创始人。坦普尔顿目前还担任初创公司加速器Impact Engine的董事长,该公司的宗旨是帮助经营性公司解决社会和环境问题。(财富中文网)



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