创业公司:如何闪电扩张

投资帮导读: 原文来自HBR。我一度犹豫要不要翻译,因为文章很长。我还是花了两个晚上翻译整理出来了,原因很简单:霍夫曼是硅谷的人脉王,参与了Paypal、Facebook和Linkedin的创建和投资,他对早期公司扩张的见解值得研究。此外,Wish的创始人Danny大力给我推荐了这篇...

原文来自HBR。我一度犹豫要不要翻译,因为文章很长。我还是花了两个晚上翻译整理出来了,原因很简单:霍夫曼是硅谷的人脉王,参与了Paypal、Facebook和Linkedin的创建和投资,他对早期公司扩张的见解值得研究。此外,Wish的创始人Danny大力给我推荐了这篇文章,我想他也是深有体会。闪电扩张的逻辑是:对于很多平台业务,只有具有规模才有价值,只有接触客户才能拥有客户,因此一旦确定了市场机会和产品的契合,就应该不顾一切的扩张,在扩张中解决问题。

Reid Hoffman is one of Silicon Valley’s grown-ups. After helping to found PayPal, he moved on to found LinkedIn, in 2002, which has turned him into a billionaire. He was an early investor in Facebook and now serves as a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock. He’s written two books, The Start-Up of You (with Ben Casnocha) and The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age (with Casnocha and Chris Yeh). 

里德.霍夫曼是在硅谷长大的。在帮助创立PayPal之后,2002年他创立了LinkedIn,这个公司使他成为一名亿万富翁。他还是Facebook的早期投资者,现在是风险投资公司Greylock的合伙人。他写了两本书:“你的创业“ 和 “联盟:网络时代的人才管理”。

In the fall of 2015, Hoffman began teaching a computer science class called Technology-Enabled Blitzscaling at Stanford University, his alma mater, with John Lilly (a partner at Greylock and formerly the CEO of Mozilla), Allen Blue (cofounder of LinkedIn), and Chris Yeh (cofounder of Allied Talent). In this edited interview with Tim Sullivan, the editorial director of HBR Press, Hoffman talks about the challenges, risks, and payoffs of blitzscaling. 

2015年秋天,霍夫曼联合约翰(Greylock的合伙人,以前是Mozilla的首席执行官)、艾伦(LinkedIn的联合创始人)和克里斯(Allied Talent联合创始人)开始在他的母校斯坦福大学教授一门计算机课程:技术驱动的闪电扩张。在接受哈佛商业评论编辑Tim Sullivan的这篇采访中,霍夫曼讨论了闪电扩张的挑战、风险和回报。

HBR: Let’s start with the basics. What is blitzscaling?

哈佛商业评论: 我们从基础开始吧。什么是闪电扩张(blitzscaling)? 

Hoffman: Blitzscaling is what you do when you need to grow really, really quickly. It’s the science and art of rapidly building out a company to serve a large and usually global market, with the goal of becoming the first mover at scale. 

霍夫曼:闪电扩张就是当你需要真正的快速增长时你做的事情。快速建立一家公司,服务于巨大的市场,通常是全球市场,成为规模上的领跑者,这是门科学也是门艺术。 

This is high-impact entrepreneurship. These kinds of companies always create a lot of the jobs and industries of the future. For example, Amazon essentially invented e-commerce. Today, it has over 150,000 employees and has created countless jobs at Amazon sellers and partners. Google revolutionized how we find information—it has over 60,000 employees and has created many more jobs at its AdWords and AdSense partners. 

这种创业具有极大的影响力。这些公司创造了许多未来的工作和行业。例如,亚马逊本质上是发明了电子商务。今天,它有超过15万名员工,并为卖家和合作伙伴创造了无数工作。 Google彻底改变了我们如何找到信息 — 它有超过6万名员工,并为其AdWords和AdSense合作伙伴创造了更多的工作。

HBR:Why this focus on fast growth?

为什么重点放在快速增长?

We’re in a networked age. And I don’t mean only the internet. Globalization is a form of network. It adds networks of transport, commerce, payment, and information flows around the world. In such an environment, you have to move faster, because competition from anywhere on the globe may beat you to scale. 

我们处于网络时代。我说的并不只是互联网。全球化是网络的一种形式。它构建了全球的运输、商业、支付和信息流的网络。在这样的环境中,你必须更快地移动,因为全球任何地方的竞争都可能会击败你。 

Software has a natural affinity with blitzscaling, because the marginal costs of serving any size market are virtually zero. The more that software becomes integral to all industries, the faster things will move. Throw in AI machine learning, and the loops get even faster. So we’re going to see more blitzscaling. Not just a little more, but a lot more. 

软件天然和闪电扩张相关联,由于软件服务于任何大小的市场的边际成本几乎为零。软件越对任何行业适用,扩张速度就越快。加入AI机器学习,循环很更快。所以我们会看到更多的闪电扩张。不只是多一点点,而是多非常多。

HBR:How did you settle on the term “blitzscaling”? 

你如何找到“blitzscaling”这个术语的?

It has some interesting associations. I have obvious hesitations about the World War II association with the term “blitzkrieg.” However, the intellectual parallels are so close that it is very informative. Before blitzkrieg emerged as a military tactic, armies didn’t advance beyond their supply lines, which limited their speed. The theory of the blitzkrieg was that if you carried only what you absolutely needed, you could move very, very fast, surprise your enemies, and win. Once you got halfway to your destination, you had to decide whether to turn back or to abandon the lines and go on. Once you made the decision to move forward, you were all in. You won big or lost big. Blitzscaling adopts a similar perspective. If a start-up determines that it needs to move very fast, it will take on far more risk than a company going through the normal, rational process of scaling up. This kind of speed is necessary for offensive and defensive reasons. Offensively, your business may require a certain scale to be valuable. LinkedIn wasn’t valuable until millions of people joined our network. Marketplaces like eBay must have both buyers and sellers at scale. Payment businesses like PayPal and e-commerce businesses like Amazon have low margins, so they require very high volumes. Defensively, you want to scale faster than your competitors because the first to reach customers may own them, and the advantages of scale may lead you to a winner-takes-most position. And in a global environment, you may not necessarily be aware of who your competition really is. 


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