苹果亚马逊成功启示录:创造平台与生态系统

《福布斯》杂志网络版撰稿人海顿·萨乌夫尼斯(Haydn Shaughnessy)今日撰文称,苹果和亚马逊的成功让许多公司都竭力试图找出,到底是什么东西允许这两家公司无视管理理论的基本原理,却取得了巨大的成功。文章指出,如果企业想要变得象这两家公司那样成功,那么就需要改变理念,构建平台和生态系统,吸纳更多的人才。

英文全文地址:http://www.forbes.com/sites/haydnshaughnessy/2012/04/30/how-to-succeed-like-apple-and-amazon/

How To Succeed Like Apple and Amazon

Apple and Amazon are forcing analysts to rewrite the rule books. Neither conforms to the linear growth patterns of the past. Apple’s results seem barely believable, they are so far off the scale. And Amazon, a retailer, the disruptor of big box stores, stepping into own-device production and then growing an apps community, and a content production community…. companies are supposed to focus on their core competency not just pick and choose what they want to do.

Yesterday, I said the cornerstones are: Platform, ecosystem, connectors, Cloud, and a new form of leadership. Those five dynamics allow new things to happen. But what about the how-to? What are the essential lessons or the right steps to take for big or small companies? It’s complicated of course but here are some topline actions that challengers need to think about.

#1. Core competency is dead and if it isn’t kill it off

The idea of core competency grew in an era where enterprises wanted to be conglomerates. It was accompanied by plenty of evidence that once a company tries to step outside what it knows really well, once it tries to use skill-sets it has not mastered, it suffers. Today, and into the future, a company needs to manage interactions – and at huge scale. That’s the basic skill. Master it and Amazon-style adjacencies become possible.

Imagine these new facets of industrial/commercial economics that make it so.

a. Communications is now instantaneous and subject to huge surges, as people latch onto an idea, product, concept, personality. Wildly successful companies create platforms that allow them to manage these highly scaled, global, instantaneous communications. Examples? Siri and Kindle are interfaces to massively scaled interactions, as is Facebook (though we wait to see if Facebook has a commercial future without a device or interface innovation).

b. The ecosystem often creates the end-product. What consumers actually consume is an app or a book, an interaction. The wildly successful enterprise creates the platform on which these interactions take place, interactions that deliver to increasingly narrow bands of customer needs. The platform owner does not need to create the product or service, it needs only to enable it.

You could argue that the core competency is alive and well. We just need to call it the platform. But that would only disguise the massive shift in enterprise operating systems that has taken place. Challengers need to emulate or recreate that shift for themselves. They need a new sense of what the enterprise operating system consists of. It is not being good at customer care or invention or branding. It is the creation and management of platforms for highly scaled interaction.

# 2. Creating the platform

One of the questions executive teams began asking four years ago is: How come Apple can attract tens of thousands of developers to its platform? And get all that free labor? And those advocates? Many of the companies that saw it happen concluded: Apple has a design advantage that we can never replicate. Ecosystem business strategy is closed off to us.

Amazon of course has replicated it. It used its experience in developing a review community and it has now built an apps community as well as its vendor ecosystem and its writer community. To get it absolutely right Amazon also created a device that did what iTunes did, controlled digital rights management and made e-publishing a credible, low friction business.

So you might ask does it need a device and IPR management value chain to work? No. Google has a vibrant ecosystem around AdWords/AdSense. There is a vast global community of people who call themselves SEO experts, who have created an educational ecosystem around how Page Rank works. There are agencies who will create copy for you, content marketing strategies and thought leadership strategies, to get you attention on the Google returns pages. Google hired none of them and paid none of them. It created the opportunity.

Being able to create opportunity for vast numbers of micro-businesses, and a smaller number of larger businesses, seems to me the essence of the platform and ecosystem strategy. To create a successful platform strategy you need history – Apple had a developer community. Amazon had experience of seeding and developing its reviewer community. To grow an ecosystem you need to have experience of dealing with large groups of people in an anonymous way, through terms and conditions not contracts. Who has that? Every company with a register button on a public website.

The platform is essentially a set of rules for how people will interact around an economic opportunity – it supports highly scaled interaction, so it needs robustness; the best platforms are seamless and never fail, so it needs investment. But if you get to the essence of a platform it is a set of rules for doing business. It is, in a sense, the rules book for ther new enterprise and ecosystem OS.

A preliminary requirement of platform and ecosystem growth is a different kind of human capability.

#3. Take the wide view of capability

When the X-Box Kinect came out one of the first things that happened to it was adaptation. Surgeons began using it to simulate operations. Animators and film makers like Bryan Robbins at Spotless Films got a hold of it and created motion capture capabilities.

Humans are more capable that we give ourselves credit for. We are trapped into a modular mindset. Work, 9-5, objectives, instructions.

The most potent invention of the past fifty years, the World Wide Web, which we all use everyday, was created by an individual in his spare time.

One of the most profound changes around us today is a well educated, intelligent, capable but highly frustrated population. Legions of talent have to sit through the 9-5 everyday, and do the obligatory additional hours to show willing. But they want a life.

Apple let coders seek new opportunities. Amazon does it for writers. But look around. MapMyFitness does it for people whose priority is health. Forbes does it for people who want to be opinion formers. Banks could do it for people who want to achieve financial control – if only banks would think about their customers’ capabilities, and how to truly enhance them.

The fact is technology is facilitating much broader expression of creativity and capability and that’s how new ecosystems will grow. Companies that want to adopt paltform and ecosystem strategies have to ask: what capabilities do I unleash, which frustrated creative groups will I attract, where is the economy killing initiative that I can liberate?

#4. Creating the ecosystem

When GE launched its healthymagination program it was explicit about its purpose – to grow a new ecosystem in cancer diagnosis, care and cure. They are pouring $100 million into breast cancer, just to grow the ecosystem. Why? Because GE acknowledges that the problems it tackles are now to big for any one company. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of their approach. I hope it illustrates the present and future of ecosystems.

GE’s first round of funding has gone to five worthy organizations and giant GE is partnering with each of them – at seed funding. Big companies don’t do that but GE is trying to be different.

Strengths: humility, seeking knowledge, looking for new partnerships

Weakness: not seeing the consequences of what I call paradigm completion.

GE’s move is the most explicit statement that many large companies have run their course. Their paradigm is complete. Time to move on. But what GE is not doing is realizing the power of the ecosystem. Its investment are by and large within the existing breast cancer paradigm.

So here is an ecosystem approach. GE has created five new partnership. It might need 50,000. It needs to scale its interactions with many thousands of organizations, all of whom need an incentive of some kind to become involved in solving large problems. The way to do that is to invest in Citizen Science or DIY Biology because Citizen Science and DIY Biology represents latent creativity, suppressed education and intelligence, capability we need to draw on.

When GE can scale its interactions to 50,000 biologists we will see, I believe, immediate progress that will shatter existing paradigms of diagnosis and cure. That is an ecosystem approach.

It is possible for companies to create these vast ecosystems in entertainment (Google/YouTube) though it could be more widely adopted; content (Amazon and Forbes) and here too it could spread; applications software (Apple, Android) where it now dominates; and in pharmaceuticals and health care (even though the will is lacking); and in manufacturing through 3D printing.

As technology enables more people, the ecosystem approach will help overturn more paradigms. Large companies will become channels through which innovation flows, managed on platforms that enable hugely scaled interaction. The platform and ecosystem should force us to rethink work and the role of talent. In fact it already has. We’re just waiting for the challenger companies to catch up.

以下是这篇文章的全文翻译:

苹果和亚马逊正在强迫分析师改写规则手册。在过去,这两家公司都未遵守线性增长模式。苹果的业绩看起来几乎令人无法置信,远远超出了人们能够衡量的范畴;而身为实体零售商“破坏者”的亚马逊则已经涉足生产自己的设备,随后发展出了一个应用社区和一个内容制作社区。

传统的理念是,公司应把重点放在自身的核心竞争力上,而不仅仅是选择自己希望做的事情。但是,这两家美国企业中的翘楚正在为我们指示另一条道路,它们所取得的成功让许多公司都竭力试图找出,到底是什么东西允许这两家公司无视管理理论的基本原理,却取得了巨大的成功。

我在昨天说过,其基石在于平台、生态系统、连接器(如RSS和API等)、云和新的领导形式,这五种动量允许新的事物发生和出现。但是,它们是如何做到这一点的呢?无论对大公司还是小公司来说,需要吸取哪些根本性的教训或是采取哪些正确的措施呢?这当然是个很复杂的问题,但以下是挑战者需要优先考虑采取的行动。

1、核心竞争力理念已经死亡;如果没有的话,那么就杀死它。

核心竞争力的理念是在企业希望成为综合性大企业集团的时代中成长起来的,这种理念发展的过程伴随着大量的证据,证明一旦一家公司试图走出自己真正了解的领域以外,一旦试图利用自身尚未掌握的技能,那么就会蒙受痛苦。无论是今天还是未来都好,一家公司都需要对交互活动进行管理,而且需要大规模地管理,这是基本的技能。掌握了这种技能以后,亚马逊式的成功就会变成可能。

想象一下,是那些新的工业/商业经济学平面带来了这种改变呢?

a.今日的通信是即时进行的,其间蕴含着庞大的信息,而人们正致力于创造想法、产品、概念和个性。 取得巨大成功的公司都创造出了自己的平台,这种平台允许其有能力管理这些大规模的、全球化的以及即时性的通信。至于具体的例子,Siri和Kindle都是大规模交互活动的界面,Facebook也是如此(但在没有设备或界面创新的情况下,Facebook是否能拥有商业化的未来还有待观察)。

b.生态系统经常都能创造出终端产品。消费者实际上消费的东西是一个应用或是一本书,又或是一种交互活动。取得巨大成功的公司都创造出了自己的平台,使得这些交互活动能在平台上发生,而交互活动则可以越来越多地缩窄客户需要的品牌。平台的所有者不需要创造产品或是服务,需要做的仅仅是让平台能发挥作用。

你可能会说,核心竞争力仍旧活得很好,我们只需要为其找到一个平台即可。但是,这样做只是假装已经发生的企业经营体系重大转变尚未发生,而苹果和亚马逊的挑战者们需要做的事情是,模仿或是自己重新创造这种转变。在企业经营体系包含什么内容的问题上,它们需要一种新的感觉,而核心竞争力在客户关怀或发明或品牌化等方面并不擅长。只有为大规模的交互活动创造和管理平台才能做到这一点。

2.创造平台

高管团队从四年前就开始希望解答的问题之一就是,苹果是如何将数十万名开发者吸引到自身平台上去的?是如何获得这些免费劳动的?又是如何获得那些拥护者的?许多目睹了这一切发生的公司作出的结论是:苹果拥有设计上的优势,而这种优势是我们无法复制的。

生态系统业务战略已经将我们拒之门外。

当然,亚马逊复制了这种优势。这家公司利用了开发一个评论社区的经验,现在已经建立起了一个应用社区以及自身的销售商生态系统和作者生态系统。确切地说,亚马逊还已经创造出了一种设备,能象iTunes那样控制数字版权管理,让电子出版成为一种可靠的、低摩擦力的业务。

那么你可能会问,是否需要一种设备和数字版权管理价值链条才能运作这一切呢?答案是否定的。围绕着AdWords/AdSense,谷歌拥有一个充满生气的生态系统。在全球范围内存在一个庞大的社区,这个社区中的人将自己称为SEO(搜索引擎优化)专家,他们已经围绕着PR(Page Rank)创造了一个教育性的生态系统。有一些机构将会为你创造拷贝、内容营销策略和思想领导策略,使你的注意力集中在谷歌返回页面上。谷歌并未聘用其中任何人,也根本不向其付钱。它不过是创造了一个机会。

在我看来,有能力为大量小型企业和数量较少的较大型企业创造机会,这就是平台和生态系统战略的精髓。为了创造一个成功的平台战略,你需要的是历史——苹果已经拥有一个开发者社区。亚马逊则拥有播种和开发其评论社区的经验。为了培育一个生态系统,则你需要的是拥有以匿名的方式与更多人群相处的经验,但这种相处并非通过合同,而是通过各种条款。谁拥有这种能力呢?每一家在公共网站上拥有一个注册按钮的公司都可以。

在人们将如何围绕着一个经济机会来展开互动的问题上,这种平台是最根本的一套规则——它支持规模很大的互动,因此需要稳健性;最好的平台是无缝的、永远不会出故障的,因此它需要投资。但是,从一个平台的本质来看,它是一套做生意的规则。从某种意义上来说,它是公司新的企业和生态系统操作系统的规则手册。

平台和生态系统增长的一个初步要求是一种不同类型的人类能力。

3.以广阔的视野来看待才能

在X-Box Kinect面世时,首先发生在它身上的事情之一就是适应性。外科医生开始使用它来模仿手术,动漫家和Spotless Films的布莱恩·罗宾斯(Bryan Robbins)等电影制作人则利用它创造出了动作捕捉性能。

与人类的自我称赞相比,实际上人类的能力还要更高一些。我们陷入了一种模式化的精神状态。工作,朝九晚五,目标,指令,诸如此类。

在过去50年时间里,最强大的发明就是互联网,而这种现在我们所有人每天都在使用的东西,在最初不过是由一个人在业务时间创造出来的。

当今我们身边最意义深远的改变之一是,人们正在接受良好的教育,聪明而又有能力,但却拥有高度的挫败感。大量的人才不得不每天朝九晚五的上下班,然后被强制性的工作更多时间来显示自己愿意这样做。但他们也想要自己的生活。

苹果让编码员能寻找新的机会,亚马逊则让作者们有此机会。但是再看看其他公司吧,MapMyFitness是那些优先考虑健康问题的人提供机会,福布斯是为那些希望成为观点创造者的人创造机会,银行能为想要实现财务控制的人们提供机会——如果银行会考虑其客户的能力以及如何真正提高这些能力,那该有多好。

事实是,科技正在促进创造力和能力能以更加广泛的方式表达出来,这也就是新的生态系统的成长方式。希望采用平台和生态系统策略的公司必须要问一些问题,那就是:我能释放什么样的才能,我将吸纳哪些被挫败但却具有创造力的人群,我能解放的“经济杀手”在哪里,诸如此类。

4.创造生态系统

在通用电气推出其健康创想(healthymagination)计划时,这家公司明确地说明了这项计划的用途,那就是在癌症诊断、护理和治疗领域中培育一个新的生态系统。通用电气曾投入1亿美元资金,目的是只是为治疗乳癌而培育一个生态系统。其原因何在?原因就是通用电气承认,就目前而言,该公司正在解决的问题对任何一家公司来说都太大了。下面是通用电气计划的优势和劣势,我希望能藉此说明生态系统的现况和未来。

通用电气的第一轮融资指向五个知名组织,而且该公司与每一个组织都在种子融资的问题上展开合作。大型公司通常不会这样做,但通用电气正在尝试一条不同的道路。

这样做的优势是:谦逊、寻求知识以及找寻新的合作伙伴。劣势则是:这项计划不会产生能被我认为是范例的结果。

通用电气的行动可以明确地表明,许多大型公司都有自己的道路。但通用电气没有去做的事情是实现生态系统的能量,它的投资大体上来说都局限在现有的乳癌领域中。

通用电气已经创造了5个新的合作伙伴,但可能需要5万个才能构建生态系统。通用电气需要与成千上万个组织进行按比例的互动,所有这些组织都需要某种类型的一项计划,来参与解决重大的问题。想要做到这一点,就需要对市民科学(Citizen Science)或DIY生物学(DIY Biology)进行投资,因为市民科学和DIY生物学代表着潜在的创造力、受抑制的教育以及我们需要利用的聪明才智和能力。

当通用电气能与5万名生物学家按比例地进行交互时,我相信,该公司马上就能取得进展,粉碎现有的诊断和治疗模式。这就是生态系统的构建。

在娱乐领域中,存在有公司(比如说谷歌/YouTube)创造这些庞大的生态系统的可能,但这种策略可能会被更加广泛地采纳。这种策略将会蔓延至内容领域(亚马逊和福布斯),应用软件(苹果、Android),以及医药和卫生保健等领域。

在科技让更多人变得有能力的情况下,构建生态系统将会帮助推翻更多范例。大型公司将会变成一种渠道,创新将在这些渠道中流动,在能让大规模互动成为可能的平台上得到管理。这种平台和生态系统应该会迫使我们重新考虑人才的工作和作用,事实上已经开始迫使我们这样做。我们正在等待挑战者公司门追赶上来。

翻译文章来源:腾讯科技 http://tech.qq.com/a/20120501/000006.htm

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