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十年前的乔布斯打开了一个怎样的世界?(上)

2017-08-23    来源:FT中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

2007年,只有微软能够跻身全球最具价值的10大公司之列,那时人们很难想象,一家科技企业蕴藏的潜能会有多大。

Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, was prone to hyperbole but his eulogy for the iPhone as he launched it 10 years ago was accurate: “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”
苹果公司(Apple)联合创始人史蒂夫•乔布斯(Steve Jobs)喜欢使用夸张的修辞手法,但10年前当他推出第一代iPhone时,他对它的颂词是准确的:“每隔一段时间,就会出现一种革命性的产品,它将改变一切。”

Google was just an internet search engine then, but one of its offspring unveiled plans this week to make an entire platform — software and hardware — for driverless cars. Without the iPhone revolution, it is hard to imagine a technology company entering the transport industry, or designing a device that can steer cars around while receiving and transmitting streams of data.
当时的谷歌(Google)还只是一家互联网搜索引擎,但从它拆分出的一家公司本周公布了为无人驾驶汽车打造完整平台——软件及硬件——的计划。若没有iPhone带来的变革,很难想象一家科技公司可以进入运输业、或设计出可以驾驶汽车四处行驶同时接发数据流的设备。

steve
For a long time, Jobs was a lone voice in the wilderness in preaching the power of uniting hardware and software, while Microsoft made a fortune by dominating software alone. Even he did not predict the potential of integrating everything from software and mobile hardware to data storage and artificial intelligence. Yet this is his legacy: the omniscient tech company.
在很长一段时间里,乔布斯都是倡导硬件和软件结合的旷野上孤独的声音,而微软(Microsoft)通过只主导软件就赚得了巨额财富。就连他当时也未预测到将从软件和手机硬件、到数据存储和人工智能的一切事物结合起来所激发的潜力。不过,这是他的遗产:全知型科技公司。

It was difficult in 2007 to imagine what such an enterprise could be worth. Only Microsoft was among the world’s 10 most valuable companies, not Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google. The latter ranked 51st in the FT Global 500 in the first quarter of 2007; Apple was 85th, Amazon did not make the list and Facebook was still five years away from its initial public offering.
在2007年,很难想象这样一家企业的价值有多高。当时只有微软在全世界最具价值的10大公司之列,亚马逊(Amazon)、苹果、Facebook和谷歌都不在其中。在2007年第一季度英国《金融时报》全球500强排行榜(FT Global 500)中,谷歌位列第51位;苹果排名第85位,亚马逊没进入榜单,而那时Facebook距离首次公开发行(IPO)还有5年之久。

These five companies, with Google renamed Alphabet, are all in the top 10 now. Information technology has become the dominant source of corporate value, displacing finance, telecoms, and energy. “Mastery of data is like the steam engine of our age,” says Annabelle Gawer, professor of digital economy at the University of Surrey.
这5家公司(谷歌已更名为Alphabet)如今都在市值最高的10大公司之列。信息技术已经取代金融、电信和能源,成为了公司价值的主要来源。“掌握信息就像是掌握了我们时代的蒸汽机,”萨里大学(University of Surrey)数字经济学教授安娜贝勒•加韦(Annabelle Gawer)表示。

Its impact on other industries is obvious in transport. Carmaking was once vertically integrated: Henry Ford controlled the raw materials that went into his cars, along with their assembly and distribution. The industry’s scope has since narrowed, and technology is steadily dismantling it.
信息技术对其他行业的影响,在运输行业表现得十分明显。汽车制造业曾经是纵向一体化的行业:亨利•福特(Henry Ford)控制着制造汽车的原材料、以及装配和分销。自那以来,汽车业的范围已经收窄,技术逐渐拆解了这个行业。

The impact is also clear in retailing. Amazon’s relentless rise — its market capitalisation has grown from $16bn at the time of the iPhone launch to $380bn — is squeezing bricks-and-mortar retailers.
这种影响在零售业也很明显。亚马逊无情的崛起——其市值从iPhone面市时的160亿美元增长到了3800亿美元——正不断挤压着实体店零售商的生存空间。


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