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2014年亚马逊CEO致股东信(Jeff Bezos’ Shareholder Letter 2014)

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亚马逊CEO杰夫·贝佐斯(Jeff Bezos)4月10日发布了最新年度致股东信(点击下载贝佐斯1997-2014历年致股东信),在其中回顾了亚马逊的众多项目,并对今后进行了展望。

  以下为信件全文(英文全文附后):

致所有股东:

过去一年,亚马逊团队为用户做出的贡献令我倍感骄傲。世界各地的亚马逊人精心打磨了产品和服务,结果远超预期和要求。在此过程中,他们目光远大,打破常规,引得客户阵阵欢呼。

我想带领大家回顾一下我们其中的一小部分项目,从金牌服务(Prime)到亚马逊微笑(Amazon Smile),再到Mayday。之所以这么做,是为了让你们了解亚马逊的整体进展,了解这些项目是多么鼓舞人心。如此多样的项目之所以能够成功,是因为 我们在各个层面都拥有数量庞大的一流人才,他们每天都在凭借自己的优异判断制定决策,而且不停地问着同一个问题:如何才能精益求精?

来吧,下面就开始这趟旅程。

  金牌服务

用户都喜欢“金牌服务”。仅去年12月,就有超过100万用户成为金牌会员,总数目前已经达到数千万。从每个用户来看,金牌会员比以前订购的商 品更多,涉及的种类更广。即使是在内部,我们也很容易忘记一件事情:在9年前刚刚诞生的时候,金牌服务还是一个全新的,而且未经验证的概念(有人甚至说它 “有勇无谋”)。用户只需要缴纳固定数额的年费,便可享受两日送达服务。

最初,符合金牌服务配送要求的产品只有100万种,今年则超过了2000万种,我们还将继续扩大覆盖范围。我们还在借助其他方式改善金牌服务, 增加数字服务的种类——包括Kindle用户的借阅图书馆(Lending Library)和Prime Instant Video流媒体服务。革命尚未成功,同志仍需努力。我们还有很多想法可以进一步提升金牌服务的品质。

  读者与作者

我们为读者投入了巨大资金。我们推出的全新Kindle Paperwhite阅读器具备高清、高对比度的屏幕,获得了外界的一致好评。我们还在Kindle中整合了令人难忘的Goodreads,并针对 Kindle推出了FreeTime,还在印度、墨西哥和澳大利亚发布了Kindle。为了让旅客尽情娱乐,美国联邦航空管理局(FAA)批准在飞机起降 时使用电子设备。在各方盟友的帮助下,我们的公共政策团队为此耐心奋斗了4年,甚至曾经在一架测试飞机上使用了150台处于开启状态的Kindle。没 错,测试结果一切正常!

除了CreateSpace、Kindle Singles、Kindle Direct Publishing外,我们还推出了Kindle Worlds、Day One和另外8种全新的亚马逊出版印记,并在英国和德国推出了亚马逊出版服务。已经有成千上万的作者使用这些服务来发展写作生涯。很多作者写信告诉我们, 这些服务帮助他们把孩子送进了大学,支付了医药费,甚至购买了新房。我们是阅读的传教士,而这些故事也启迪和鼓舞着我们不断创新,不仅为作者,也为读者。

  Prime Instant Video

Prime Instant Video(以下简称“PIV”)的各项指标都在经历高速增长,包括新用户、重复使用率、视频播放数量等。这些都是输出指标,表明我们现状不错,而且找对了输入方向。其中两项关键输入指标是内容的增长和视频吸引力。

我们2011年推出PIV时的电影和电视剧总量只有5000部(集),现在已经超过4万部(集)——所有金牌会员均可免费观看。PIV拥有很多 独家剧集,包括《唐顿庄园》(Downton Abbey)、《穹顶之下》(Under the Dome)、《美国谍梦》(The Americans)、《火线警探》(Justified)、《格林》(Grimm)、《黑色孤儿》(Orphan Black)和《诉讼双雄》(Suits)等,以及《海绵宝宝》(SpongeBob SquarePants)、《爱探险的朵拉》(Dora the Explorer)和《蓝色斑点狗》(Blue’s Clues)。

另外,我们的亚马逊工作室(Amazon Studios)团队也在努力投资自制剧。加里·特鲁多(Gary Trudeau)的《阿尔法屋》(Alpha House)已于去年上映,这部由约翰·古德曼(John Goodman)出演的电视剧很快就成为亚马逊观看次数最多的剧集。我们最近还推出了6部自制剧,例如迈克尔·康纳利(Michael Connelly)出演的《Bosch》、《X档案》导演克里斯·卡特(Chris Carter)执导的《The After》、罗曼·科波拉(Roman Coppola)和贾森·舒瓦茨曼(Jason Schwartzman)执导的《Mozart in the Jungle》,以及吉尔·索洛韦(Jill Soloway)执导的《Transparent》等。其中一些已经被视作多年来的最佳尝试。

我们很看好这些模式,并在英国和德国推出PIV时延续了这些做法。这些国家初期的用户反馈很积极,超出了我们的预期。

  Fire TV

就在上周,我们的硬件团队经过了两年的努力工作后,终于发布了Fire TV。它不仅是观看亚马逊视频的最佳渠道,还可以提供亚马逊之外的内容服务,例如Netflix、Hulu Plus、VEVO、WatchESPN等等。这一领域之前的硬件配置普遍较低,但FireTV的硬件配置却很高。它不仅运行速度块,而且播放流程。我们的ASAP技术会提前预测你可能观看的内容,并预先进行缓冲,所以当你选定节目后,便可立刻播放。我们的团队还在遥控器上安装了一个麦克风。按住遥控器上的麦克风按钮,便可说出你的搜索项,而不必手动输入。这支团队做出了卓越的贡献——语音搜索效果真的不错。

除了PIV外,Fire TV还能通过菜单为你提供超过20万部(集)电影和电视剧,包括芯片《地心引力》、《为奴十二载》、《达拉斯买家俱乐部》和《冰雪奇缘》等。除此之 外,Fire TV还可以让你在客厅里运行质优价廉的游戏,我们希望你能试试看,试过之后请把想法告知我们。我们的团队会悉心倾听您的反馈。

  亚马逊游戏工作室

22世纪初,地球受到外星物种Ne’ahtu的威胁。这些外星人用一种电脑病毒感染了地球的电网,使得地球的防御网络失效。在他们发动攻击前, 电脑奇才阿米·拉马努詹(Amy Ramanujan)清除了外星病毒,拯救了地球。现在,Ne’ahtu又卷土重来,拉马努詹博士必须阻止他们入侵地球。她需要你的帮助。

这是亚马逊游戏工作室为Fire TV打造的第一款独家游戏的开头,游戏名叫《Sev Zero》。该团队将塔防与射击元素结合到一起,创造了一种合作模式,一个玩家可以用游戏手柄在地面战斗,而另外一名玩家则可以用平板电脑提供空中支援。 我可以向你保证,你肯定会在一些紧张时刻对恰到好处的空中支援心怀感激。当你看到这款游戏效果后,一定会感到惊讶:这么好的游戏竟然可以在如此廉价的流媒 体机顶盒上运行。我们还将展开更多的创新,为Fire平板电脑和Fire TV推出更多画质一流的游戏,《Sev Zero》只是个开始。

  亚马逊应用商店

亚马逊应用商店目前已经为接近200个国家或地区的用户提供服务,它提供的来自世界一流开发商的应用和游戏已经超过20万款,过去一年增长了将 近两倍。我们推出了亚马逊币,这种虚拟币可以为用户节约10%的应用购买或应用内购成本。我们的Whispersync for Games技术可以让你在一台设备上启动一款游戏,然后在不丢失进度的情况下,到另外一台设备上继续运行。

开发者可以使用Mobile Associates项目,在他们的应用内部提供数百万种实体产品,并在用户购买这些产品后赚取推荐费。我们还推出了“应用商店开发者精选”,这个营销项 目可以在Kindle Fire平板电脑和亚马逊的移动广告网络上推广新应用和游戏。我们开发了Analytics和A/B测试服务,这些免费服务可以让开发者时刻追踪用户的互 动性,然后对iOS、Android和Fire OS中的应用进行优化。同样是在今年,我们还接纳了HTML5网页应用开发者,他们同样可以通过亚马逊应用商店在Kindle Fire上提供应用。

  有声读物

对全球最大有声读物制造商Audible来说,2013年是一个里程碑。Audible可以在你不方便阅读时为你朗诵内容。已经有数以百万的用 户从Audible下载了数以亿计的有声读物,和其他有声程序。Audible的用户2013年下载的有声读物时长接近6亿小时。

感谢Audible工作室,那些开车上班的人得以听到凯特·温丝莱特(Kate Winslet)、科林·弗尔斯(Colin Firth)、安妮·海瑟薇(Anne Hathaway)等明星的朗读。2013年的一部热门作品是杰克·吉伦哈尔(Jake Gyllenhaal)朗读的《了不起的盖茨比》,销量已经超过10万份。

Whispersync for Voice可以将用户在不同设备间的阅读体验无缝衔接起来:首先在Kindle上开始一本书的阅读,然后再用智能手机接着收听同一本书的有声读物。《华尔 街日报》就将Whispersync for Voice称作是“亚马逊最新的杀手级图书应用”。如果你还没有用过,我推荐你试试看——这项服务不仅有趣,而且有可能帮助你增加阅读时间。

  生鲜杂货

在西雅图试点了5年后(没人指责我们缺乏耐心),我们将“亚马逊生鲜”(Amazon Fresh)扩张到洛杉矶和旧金山。金牌生鲜会员每年支付299美元,便可享受当日送达和早间配送服务,不仅包括生鲜杂货,还涵盖从玩具到电子产品和家居用品的50万个品类。

我们还与颇受青睐的本地商家(比弗利山庄的Cheese Store、Pike Place Fish Market和旧金山红酒贸易公司等)合作,针对各种各样的预制食品和特制食品提供同样便利的送货上门服务。我们还将继续探索这一模式,评估和改进亚马逊 生鲜,希望逐渐将这项不可思议的服务推向更多城市。

  AWS

AWS已经诞生8年了,但该团队的创新速度不但没有降低,反而在加快。2010年,我们推出了61款重要的服务和功能,2011年的这一数字达 到82款,2012年则是159款,2013年更是达到280款。我们还在扩大地域触角。我们目前在全球拥有10个AWS大区,包括美国东海岸、西海岸的 两个大区、欧洲、新加坡、东京、悉尼、巴西、中国,以及一个单独面向政府的GovGloud大区。

我们的内容分发网络在这些大区中拥有26个子区和51边缘位置。开发团队直接与客户合作,根据他们了解的情况展开设计和开发,并推出产品。我们 不断改进,当一项功能和改进准备就绪后,我们便会对外推出,并立刻对所有人开放。这种方式很快,效率很高,而且以客户为中心——这让我们在过去8年内将价 格降低了40多次——他们不准备放慢速度。

  员工授权

我们激励自己不仅要对外开发优秀的功能,还要对内改善流程,提升运营效率,令世界各地的成千上万员工从中受益。

我们启动了一项名为“职业选择”的项目,为员工预付95%的课程费,让他们在有需要的领域就读各种课程,例如飞机机械或护理。无论这些技能是否 与他们在亚马逊的工作相关,都可以获得我们的支持。这个项目就是为了给员工提供更多选择。我们知道,对订单履行中心的一些员工来说,亚马逊是他们的职业。 但对其他人来说,亚马逊或许只是他们踏上其他岗位的一个阶梯——而新的岗位或许需要新的技能。所以,适当的培训可以起到效果,我们愿意提供帮助。

第二个项目名叫“离职金”。这个项目是Zappos发明的,亚马逊订单履行中心借鉴了这种做法。“离职金”的模式很简单,我们每年都会为员工提 供一次机会,让他们可以在离职时拿到一笔钱。第一年为2000美元,之后每一年增加1000美元,最高为5000美元。其实,这个项目还附带一个标题: “请不要接受。”我们希望员工不要拿这笔钱,因为我们希望他们留下。可为什么还要推出这个项目呢?目的就是鼓励员工利用这个机会思考一下自己真正想要的东 西。从长期来看,如果员工勉强留在公司,不仅对他自己不好,对公司同样不利。

第三项创新是“虚拟联络中心”。这是几年前的一个创意,我们随后不断发展,并且取得了不俗的效果。根据该项目,员工可以在家里为亚马逊和 Kindle用户提供客服支持,这对于很多员工来说,都是一种灵活的方案,例如家中有孩子或是因为其他原因不能或不愿到公司上班的人。“虚拟联络中心”是 我们在美国增长最快的一个“联络站”,目前已经在美国的10多个州运行。这一增长还将持续,预计到2014年的触角将扩大一倍。

  聘用退伍老兵

我们希望寻找敢创新、有胆量、重行动,而且能满足客户要求的领导者。这些原则与军人十分符合,我们发现,他们的军旅生涯对我们快节奏的工作环境 来说是无价之宝。我们是Joining Forces和100,000 Jobs Mission项目的成员,这两个全国性的项目都在鼓励各大企业为退伍军人及其家人提供就业机会。

我们的军事人才团队去年参加了50多场招聘活动,帮助很多老兵在亚马逊找到了工作。2013年,我们聘用了超过1900名老兵。一旦老兵加入我 们的团队,我们将提供多个项目帮助他们简化过度流程,更好地适应民用领域的工作,并帮助他们与内部的老兵团体取得联系,以便获得指导和支持。这些项目为我 们赢得了认可,并成为了《G.I. Jobs》、《U.S. Veterans》、《Military Spouse》等杂志评选的最佳雇主。随着规模的壮大,我们还将投入更多资源来聘用退伍老兵。

  订单履行创新

19年前,我每天晚上都会开着自己的雪佛兰Blazer把包裹运送到邮局。我那时的梦想很简单,只希望有朝一日能有一辆叉车。岁月流转,我们如 今已经拥有96个订单履行中心,设计方案也已经发展到第7代。我们的运营团队能力非凡,既有条理,又善于创新。借助Kaizen项目(这个日语单词的意思 是“改善”),员工们组建了各种小组来简化流程,降低损耗和浪费。我们的Earth Kaizen团队设定了节能减排、循环利用和其他绿色目标。2013年,超过4700名同仁参与了1100个Kaizen小组。

复杂的软件对我们的订单履行中心至关重要。今年,我们在订单履行中心网络中推出了280项重大的软件升级。我们的目标是在设计、布局、技术和运 营上继续迭代和改进,确保每个新的设施都能够较上一代有所提升。我邀请你们亲自参观我们的设施,我们会启动订单履行中心的公共开放日,6岁或6岁以上的人 均可参加。你可以到www.amazon.com/fctours上查找相关信息。我每次参观订单履行中心都感到十分振奋,希望你们也能前来参观,相信一 定会给你们留下深刻的印象。

  市内园区

2013年,我们在西雅图新建了42万平方英尺(约合3.9万平方米)的总部,还在四个街区破土动工,将新建数百万平方英尺的办公地点。如果在郊区建设,我们本可以节约很多资金,但对我们来说,留在市中心却有着重要意义。

市内园区更加绿色环保。我们的员工可以充分利用现有的社区和公交设施,从而降低对私家车的依赖。我们还投资修建了自行专用道,从而提供了安全、 零排放的方式,为员工的上下班提供便利。我们很多员工都住在公司附近,可以直接步行上班,完全免去了通勤的烦恼。尽管我不能证明,但我相信,把总部设在市 区可以帮助亚马逊保持活力,吸引更多人才,而且对员工和整个西雅图都有利。

  快递业务

与美国邮政局合作后,我们首次尝试在部分城市提供周日送货服务。周日送货对亚马逊的用户很有好处,我们还计划在2014年进一步推广这项服务。我们已经在英国建立了自己的“最后一公里”快递网络,弥补了快递公司的不足,对我们的高峰期的配送业务提供了重要支持。

在印度和中国等配送基础设施尚不成熟的地方,亚马逊的自行车快递员会穿梭在各大城市配送包裹。我们今后还将展开更多创新。“金牌空运”团队开始测试我们的第5代和第6代无人机,我们正在设计第7代和第8代产品。

  不断尝试

我们拥有自己的内部实验平台Weblab,可以用于评估网站和产品的改进效果。2013年,我们在全球拥有1976个Weblab,2012年 为1092个,2011年仅为546个。我们近期取得的一项成功是一个名为“询问老用户”(Ask an owner)的新功能。很多年前,我们首先开创了在线用户评论功能——用户可以针对一款产品分享自己的评价,帮助其他用户更好地制定购买决策。

“询问老用户”也有着相同的传统。用户可以直接在产品页面上向老用户提出与产品相关的问题。比如,这款产品能否与我的电视/音响/PC兼容?是 否容易组装?电池续航多久?我们之后便会将问题转发给这些产品的老用户。与评论功能一样,很多人都愿意分享自己的观点,从而为其他用户提供帮助。目前已经 有数以百万的问题得到了解答。

  服饰与鞋履

“亚马逊时尚”正在快速发展。高端品牌意识到,他们可以利用亚马逊接触到关注时尚和新生事物的用户,而用户则可以享受到多样的选择、免费退货、 详细的照片和视频,以便在模特行走和转身的过程中,了解服装的动态效果。我们在布鲁克林新开了4万平方英尺(约合3716平方米)的摄影工作室,在该工作 室的28个场景中每天平均拍摄10,413张照片。

为了庆祝工作室的开张,我们举办了一场设计竞赛,邀请Pratt、Parsons、纽约视觉艺术学院和纽约时装技术学院的学生参加,并邀请括史 蒂文·科尔布(Steven Kolb)、陈娟、林健诚、特蕾西·里斯(Tracy Reese)和史蒂文·艾伦(Steven Alan)等著名设计师担任评委。

  简约包装

我们反对任何用铁丝或塑料制作的恼人包装。这个项目始于5年前,想法很简单,那就是不能让用户在打开电子产品或玩具的包装时,冒着身体受伤的风 险。该项目的覆盖范围已经超过20万款产品。这些产品的包装都很容易打开,而且易于回收,可以减轻人们在打开包装时产生的愤怒,并提高环保程度。

我们的简约包装项目吸引了2000多家制造商的参与,包括费雪、美泰、联合利华(44.19, 0.54, 1.23%)、 贝尔金、维氏瑞士军表、罗技等。我们现在向175个国家或地区发送数以百万的简约包装产品。我们还降低了浪费,迄今为止已经省去了3300万磅(约合 1500千克)的包装。这充分体现了我们对用户的重视。通过艰苦努力和不断尝试,这个理念从最初的19款产品扩大到如今的数十万款产品,惠及的用户更是以 百万计。

  亚马逊订单履行服务

使用亚马逊订单履行服务(以下简称“FBA”)的买家去年增幅超过65%。对于一款规模如此之大的服务而言,这样的增长十分罕见。FBA拥有很 多独特之处。这一个项目可以取悦两类客户。卖家可以将产品储存在我们的订单履行中心,我们则负责提货、包装、配送和客服。卖家可以使用当今世界上最先进的 订单履行网络,轻易做大规模,接触数以百万的客户,而不仅仅是金牌会员。

FBA产品有资格享受两天免费送达服务。用户可以受益于更多选择——他们的金牌会员资格更有价值了。意料之中的是,卖家在加入FBA后实现了销量的增长。在2013年的调查中,我们有四分之三FBA卖家在亚马逊网站上的销量增幅超过20%。这是一个双赢的项目。

“FBA是我最好的员工……一天早晨,我起床后发现,FBA已经卖出了50件产品。当我意识到可以在睡觉时继续卖东西后,便毫不犹豫选择了这款服务。”——Action Sports公司的桑尼·舒克(Thanny Schuck)。

“我们起初默默无闻,很难找到愿意销售我们产品的零售商。但亚马逊却没有这种障碍。它的魅力在于,只要有人想创业,都可以到亚马逊开店。你不用 租店,最初甚至连员工都不用请。你只需要亲力亲为即可。我就是这么做的。”——YogaRat公司的温德尔·莫瑞斯(Wendell Morris)说。

  第三方登录和支付服务

近几年来,我们推出了一项服务,允许用户在Kickstarter、SmugMug和Cogo Inflight等第三方网站上完成支付时,直接使用存储在亚马逊账号里的信用卡信息和配送地址。今年,我们还将这一功能进一步扩大,允许用户使用亚马逊 的账号直接登录第三方网站,从而免去了另外注册账号和密码的繁琐程序。这对用户和商家来说都很便利。

在线家具零售商Cymax Stores已经通过我们的第三方登录和支付服务实现了巨大的成功。该公司目前有20%的订单来自这项服务,其新账号注册量也增长了两倍,在项目启动的头 三个月,还将其购买转化率提升了3.15%。这并非个例,我们已经看到很多合作伙伴取得了类似的业绩,我们的团队也深受鼓舞。2014年应该可以取得更大 的成就。

  亚马逊微笑

2013年,我们推出了亚马逊微笑服务,用户可以在每次购物时支持他们喜欢的慈善组织。当你在smile.amazon.com上购物时,亚马 逊就可以将一定比例的购物金额捐献给你选定的慈善组织。无论是商品选择、价格、配送选项还是金牌会员的资格,smile.amazon.com都与 amazon.com别无二致,你甚至可以看到同样的购物车和心愿单。除了全国性的大型慈善组织外,你还可以捐献给自己所在地区的儿童医院、你学校的家庭 教师协会,或者其他任何慈善组织。我们提供了将近100万家慈善组织供你选择,希望你能在其中找到自己喜欢的一家。

  Mayday按钮

“不仅设备本身一流,Mayday功能更是了不起!Kindle团队干得太漂亮了。”

“刚刚在HDX上试了试Mayday按钮。响应时间只有15秒,亚马逊又做到了。难忘至极。”

在亚马逊,没有什么能比“打破常规”更令我们开心的事情。我们可以通过各种发明取悦用户,并重塑他们的预期。Mayday给设备内置的技术支持 服务带来了一场革命。点击Mayday按钮,就会有一位亚马逊专家出现在你的Fire HDX上,手把手交给你各种功能,还可以直接在你的屏幕上演示,或者帮助你完成某项功能,一切都遵循你的意愿。Mayday全年无休,只需15秒即可响 应。我们实现了这个目标——即使是在最繁忙的圣诞节当天,平均响应时间也只有9秒。

Mayday有时还会出现一些很有趣的事情。Mayday技术顾问收到过35次来自客户的求婚,有475位客户希望与我们在电视广告中的宣传角 色艾米(Amy)交谈。还有109次Mayday请求是希望我们的技术顾问为其订购匹萨。从订单来看,必胜客较Domino’s略胜一筹。还有44 次,Mayday的技术顾问被要求为顾客唱《生日歌》,658次唱《小夜曲》。另有3人要求他们讲睡前的故事。真是太有意思了。

我希望这可以让你大致了解到我们的机会和项目,以及我们的创造精神和对一流品质的不懈追求。我要再次强调,这只是其中的很小一部分。还有很多项目没有在这封信中提及,但它们同样潜力巨大、意义非凡、令人关注。

我们有幸组建了一支庞大而有创造力的团队,他们不仅有耐心、敢创新,而且始终以客户为中心。我们每天都在公司的各个层面,为用户进行着或大或小 的创新。这种分散式的创造模式——不仅限于高层领导者——是实现更多、更好的创新的唯一方式。我们正在不断挑战,并从中获得乐趣。我们在为未来奋斗。

创新的过程中难免经历失败,这是无法避免的。我们很早就理解失败的意义,而且相信失败所能带来的收获,所以才会不断尝试,直至成功。这种模式的 确起到了效果,使得我们把失败控制在较小的规模上(多数尝试都从小规模开始),当我们真正能够服务于客户时,便会加倍下注,希望取得更大的成功。然而,并 非每次都能够看到如此清晰的道路。发明创造是件繁琐的事情,而且随着时间的推移,我们难免会在一些大的项目上遭遇失败。

我想在信的最后缅怀一下乔伊·康威(Joy Covey)。乔伊在早年间担任亚马逊CFO,她在公司身上打下了不可磨灭的烙印。乔伊才华横溢、热情奔放、幽默感十足。她经常笑容满面,她总是睁大眼 睛,不会漏掉任何事情。她不局限于眼前利益,总是思考长远问题。她很稳重,但并不欠缺胆识。她对整个亚马逊的高管团队和公司的整体文化都产生了深刻影响。 她的精神永远与我们同在,让我们始终关注细节,留心周围的世界,总是怀着快乐的心情面对一切。

能成为亚马逊的一份子,我深感荣幸。与以往一样,我还是会附上我们1997年的第一封股东信。我们的理念始终如故,每一天都是第一天。

杰夫·贝佐斯

亚马逊创始人兼CEO

2014年4月

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To our shareowners:

I’m so proud of what all the teams here at Amazon have accomplished on behalf of customers this past year. Amazonians around the world are polishing products and services to a degree that is beyond what’s expected or required, taking the long view, reinventing normal, and getting customers to say “Wow.”

I’d like to take you on a tour that samples a small subset of our various initiatives, ranging from Prime to Amazon Smile to Mayday. The goal is to give you a sense for how much is going on across Amazon and how exciting it is to work on these programs. This broad array of initiatives is only possible because a large team of talented people at every level are exercising their good judgment every day and always asking, how do we make this better?

Ok, let’s get started on the tour.

Prime

Customers love Prime. More than one million customers joined Prime in the third week of December alone, and there are now tens of millions of Prime members worldwide. On a per customer basis, Prime members are ordering more items, across more categories, than ever before. Even internally, it’s easy for us to forget that Prime was a new, unproven (some even said foolhardy) concept when we launched it nine years ago: all-you-can-eat, two-day shipping for a flat annual fee. At that time, we had one million eligible Prime products. This year, we passed 20 million eligible products, and we continue to add more. We’ve made Prime better in other ways too, adding new digital benefits – including the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Prime Instant Video. And we’re not done. We have many ideas for how to make Prime even better.

Readers & Authors

We’re investing heavily on behalf of readers. The all-new, high-resolution, high-contrast Kindle Paperwhite launched to rave reviews. We integrated the very impressive Goodreads into Kindle, introduced FreeTime for Kindle, and launched Kindle in India, Mexico, and Australia. Bringing joy to air travelers, the FAA approved the use of electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Our public policy team, with the help of many allies, worked patiently for four years on this, at one point loading a test plane with 150 active Kindles. Yes, it all worked fine!

Joining CreateSpace, Kindle Singles, and Kindle Direct Publishing, is the new service Kindle Worlds, the literary journal Day One, eight new Amazon Publishing imprints, and the launch of Amazon Publishing in the UK and Germany. Thousands of authors are already using these services to build fulfilling writing careers. Many write and tell us how we have helped them send their children to college, pay off medical bills, or purchase a home. We are missionaries for reading and these stories inspire and encourage us to keep inventing on behalf of writers and readers.


Prime Instant Video

Prime Instant Video is experiencing tremendous growth across all metrics – including new customers, repeat usage, and total number of streams. These are output metrics and they suggest we are on a good path, focusing on the right inputs. Two of the key inputs are the growth of selection and the desirability of that selection. Since we launched PIV in 2011 with 5,000 titles, we’ve grown selection to more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes – all included in your Prime membership. PIV has exclusives on hundreds of sought after TV seasons including Downton Abbey, the ratings blockbuster Under the Dome, The Americans, Justified, Grimm, Orphan Black, Suits, and kids programs such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Blue’s Clues. In addition, our Amazon Studios team continues to invest heavily in original content. Gary Trudeau’s Alpha House, starring John Goodman, debuted last year and quickly became the most-watched show on Amazon. We recently greenlit six more originals, including Bosch, by Michael Connelly, The After, from Chris Carter of The X-Files, Mozart in the Jungle, from Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, and Jill Soloway’s beautiful Transparent, which some have called the best pilot in years. We like our approach and are replicating it with our recent rollout of PIV in both the UK and Germany. The early customer response in those countries has been terrific, surpassing our expectations.

Fire TV

Just this past week, after two years of hard work, our hardware team launched Fire TV. Not only is Fire TV the best way to watch Amazon’s video offerings, it also embraces non-Amazon content services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, VEVO, WatchESPN, and many more. Fire TV has big hardware specs in a category that’s previously been hardware-light. It shows. Fire TV is fast and fluid. And our ASAP technology predicts what you might want to watch and pre-buffers it, so shows start instantly. Our team also put a small microphone in the remote control. Hold down the mic button on the remote, and you can speak your search term rather than type it into an alphabet grid. The team has done a terrific job – the voice search actually works.

In addition to Prime Instant Video, Fire TV gives you instant access to over 200,000 movies and TV episodes available a la carte, including new releases like Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club, Frozen, and more. As a bonus, Fire TV also lets you play high-quality, inexpensive games on your living room TV. We hope you try it out. If you do, let us know what you think. The team would love to hear your feedback.

Amazon Game Studios

It’s early in the twenty-second century and Earth is threatened by an alien species, the Ne’ahtu. The aliens infected Earth’s energy grid with a computer virus to disable the planet’s defenses. Before they could strike, computer science prodigy Amy Ramanujan neutralized the alien virus and saved the planet. Now, the Ne’ahtu are back and Dr. Ramanujan must prevent them from launching an all-out invasion on Earth. She needs your help.

That’s how Sev Zero, the first Fire TV exclusive from Amazon Game Studios, begins. The team combined tower defense with shooter gameplay and created a co-op mode where one player leads on the ground with their gamepad controller while a second player provides air support from a tablet. I can assure you that there are some intense moments when you’ll appreciate a well-timed air-strike. When you see it, you may be surprised that this level of game play is possible on an inexpensive streaming media device. Sev Zero is only the first of a collection of innovative and graphically beautiful games we’re building from the ground up for Fire tablets and Fire TV.


Amazon Appstore

The Amazon Appstore now serves customers in almost 200 countries. Selection has grown to include over 200,000 apps and games from top developers around the globe – nearly tripling in size over the past year. We introduced Amazon Coins, a virtual currency that saves customers up to 10% on app and in-app purchases. Our Whispersync for Games technology lets you start a game on one device and continue it on another without losing your progress. Developers can use the Mobile Associates program to offer millions of physical products from Amazon inside their apps, and earn referral fees when customers buy those items. We introduced Appstore Developer Select, a marketing program that promotes new apps and games on Kindle Fire tablets and on Amazon’s Mobile Ad Network. We created Analytics and A/B Testing services – free services that empower developers to track user engagement and optimize their apps for iOS, Android, and Fire OS. Also this year, we embraced HTML5 web app developers. They too can now offer their apps on Kindle Fire and through the Amazon Appstore.

Spoken Word Audio

2013 was a landmark year for Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of audiobooks. Audible makes it possible for you to read when your eyes are busy. Millions of customers download hundreds of millions of audiobooks and other spoken-word programming from Audible. Audible customers downloaded close to 600 million listening hours in 2013. Thanks to Audible Studios, people drive to work listening to Kate Winslet, Colin Firth, Anne Hathaway, and many other stars. One big hit in 2013 was Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance of The Great Gatsby, which has already sold 100,000 copies. Whispersync for Voice allows customers to switch seamlessly back and forth between reading a book on their Kindle and listening to the corresponding Audible book on their smart phone. The Wall Street Journal called Whispersync for Voice “Amazon’s new killer app for books.” If you haven’t already, I recommend you give it a try – it’s fun and expands the amount of time you have available to read.

Fresh Grocery

After trialing the service for five years in Seattle (no one accuses us of a lack of patience), we expanded Amazon Fresh to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Prime Fresh members pay $299 a year and receive same-day and early morning delivery not only on fresh grocery items but also on over 500,000 other items ranging from toys to electronics to household goods. We’re also partnering with favorite local merchants (the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, Pike Place Fish Market, San Francisco Wine Trading Company, and many more) to provide the same convenient home delivery on a great selection of prepared foods and specialty items. We’ll continue our methodical approach – measuring and refining Amazon Fresh – with the goal of bringing this incredible service to more cities over time.

Amazon Web Services

AWS is eight years old, and the team’s pace of innovation is actually accelerating. In 2010, we launched 61 significant services and features. In 2011, that number was 82. In 2012, it was 159. In 2013: 280. We’re also expanding our geographic footprint. We now have 10 AWS regions around the world, including the East Coast of the U.S., two on the West Coast, Europe, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Brazil, China, and a government-only region called GovCloud. We have 26 availability zones across regions and 51 edge locations for our content distribution network. The development teams work directly with customers and are empowered to design, build, and launch based on what they learn. We iterate continuously, and when a feature or enhancement is ready, we push it out and make it instantly available to all. This approach is fast, customer-centric, and efficient – it’s allowed us to reduce prices more than 40 times in the past 8 years – and the teams have no plans to slow down.


Employee Empowerment

We challenge ourselves to not only invent outward facing features, but also to find better ways to do things internally – things that will both make us more effective and benefit our thousands of employees around the world.

Career Choice is a program where we pre-pay 95% of tuition for our employees to take courses for in-demand fields, such as airplane mechanic or nursing, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. The goal is to enable choice. We know that for some of our fulfillment center employees, Amazon will be a career. For others, Amazon might be a stepping stone on the way to a job somewhere else – a job that may require new skills. If the right training can make the difference, we want to help.

The second program is called Pay to Quit. It was invented by the clever people at Zappos, and the Amazon fulfillment centers have been iterating on it. Pay to Quit is pretty simple. Once a year, we offer to pay our associates to quit. The first year the offer is made, it’s for $2,000. Then it goes up one thousand dollars a year until it reaches $5,000. The headline on the offer is “Please Don’t Take This Offer.” We hope they don’t take the offer; we want them to stay. Why do we make this offer? The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.

A third inward innovation is our Virtual Contact Center. It’s an idea we started a few years back and have continued to grow with terrific results. Under this program, employees provide customer service support for Amazon and Kindle customers while working from home. This flexibility is ideal for many employees who, perhaps because they have young children or for another reason, either cannot or prefer not to work outside the home. Our Virtual Contact Center is our fastest growing “site” in the U.S., operating in more than ten states today. This growth will continue as we hope to double our state footprint in 2014.

Veteran Hiring

We seek leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action, and deliver results on behalf of customers. These principles look familiar to men and women who’ve served our country in the armed forces, and we find that their experience leading people is invaluable in our fast-paced work environment. We’re a member of Joining Forces and the 100,000 Jobs Mission – two national efforts that encourage businesses to offer service members and their families career opportunities and support. Our Military Talent team attended more than 50 recruiting events last year to help veterans find job opportunities at Amazon. In 2013, we hired more than 1,900 veterans. And once veterans join our team, we offer several programs that help them transition more easily into the civilian workforce and that connect them with our internal network of veterans for mentoring and support. These programs have earned us recognition as a top employer by G.I. Jobs Magazine, U.S. Veterans Magazine, and Military Spouse Magazine, and we’ll continue to invest in military veteran hiring as we grow.


Fulfillment Innovation

Nineteen years ago, I drove the Amazon packages to the post office every evening in the back of my Chevy Blazer. My vision extended so far that I dreamed we might one day get a forklift. Fast-forward to today and we have 96 fulfillment centers and are on our 7th generation of fulfillment center design. Our operations team is extraordinary – methodical and ingenious. Through our Kaizen program, named for the Japanese term “change for the better,” employees work in small teams to streamline processes and reduce defects and waste. Our Earth Kaizens set energy reduction, recycling, and other green goals. In 2013, more than 4,700 associates participated in 1,100 Kaizens.

Sophisticated software is key in our FCs. This year, we rolled out 280 major software improvements across the FC network. Our goal is to continue to iterate and improve on the design, layout, technology, and operations in these buildings, ensuring that each new facility we build is better than the last. I invite you to come see one for yourself. We offer fulfillment center tours open to the public, ages six and above. You can find info on the available tours at http://www.amazon.com/fctours. I’m always amazed when I visit one of our FCs, and I hope you’ll arrange a tour. I think you’ll be impressed.

Urban Campus

In 2013, we added 420,000 square feet of new headquarters space in Seattle and broke ground on what will become four city blocks and several million square feet of new construction. It is a fact that we could have saved money by instead building in the suburbs, but for us, it was important to stay in the city. Urban campuses are much greener. Our employees are able to take advantage of existing communities and public transit infrastructure, with less dependence on cars. We’re investing in dedicated bike lanes to provide safe, pollution-free, easy access to our offices. Many of our employees can live nearby, skip the commute altogether, and walk to work. Though I can’t prove it, I also believe an urban headquarters will help keep Amazon vibrant, attract the right talent, and be great for the health and wellbeing of our employees and the city of Seattle.

Fast Delivery

In partnership with the United States Postal Service, we’ve begun for the first time to offer Sunday delivery to select cities. Sunday delivery is a win for Amazon customers, and we plan to roll it out to a large portion of the U.S. population throughout 2014. We’ve created our own fast, last-mile delivery networks in the UK where commercial carriers couldn’t support our peak volumes. In India and China, where delivery infrastructure isn’t yet mature, you can see Amazon bike couriers delivering packages throughout the major cities. And there is more invention to come. The Prime Air team is already flight testing our 5th and 6th generation aerial vehicles, and we are in the design phase on generations 7 and 8.


Experiments and More Experiments

We have our own internal experimentation platform called “Weblab” that we use to evaluate improvements to our websites and products. In 2013, we ran 1,976 Weblabs worldwide, up from 1,092 in 2012, and 546 in 2011. One recent success is our new feature called “Ask an owner”. It was many years ago that we pioneered the idea of online customer reviews – customers sharing their opinion on a product to help other customers make an informed purchase decision. “Ask” is in that same tradition. From a product page, customers can ask any question related to the product. Is the product compatible with my TV/Stereo/PC? Is it easy to assemble? How long does the battery last? We then route these questions to owners of the product. As is the case with reviews, customers are happy to share their knowledge to directly help other customers. Millions of questions have already been asked and answered.

Apparel and Shoes

Amazon Fashion is booming. Premium brands are recognizing that they can use Amazon to reach fashion-conscious, high-demo customers, and customers are enjoying the selection, free returns, detailed photos, and video clips that let them see how clothes move and drape as the models walk and turn. We opened a new 40,000 square foot photo studio in Brooklyn and now shoot an average of 10,413 photos every day in the studio’s 28 bays. To celebrate the opening, we hosted a design contest with students from Pratt, Parsons, School of Visual Arts, and the Fashion Institute of Technology that was judged by a panel of industry leaders including Steven Kolb, Eva Chen, Derek Lam, Tracy Reese, and Steven Alan. Kudos to Parsons who took home the top prize.

Frustration-Free Packaging

Our battle against annoying wire ties and plastic clamshells rages on. An initiative that began five years ago with a simple idea that you shouldn’t have to risk bodily injury opening your new electronics or toys, has now grown to over 200,000 products, all available in easy-to-open, recyclable packaging designed to alleviate “wrap rage” and help the planet by reducing packaging waste. We have over 2,000 manufacturers in our Frustration-Free Packaging program, including Fisher-Price, Mattel, Unilever, Belkin, Victorinox Swiss Army, Logitech, and many more. We’ve now shipped many millions of Frustration-Free items to 175 countries. We are also reducing waste for customers – eliminating 33 million pounds of excess packaging to date. This program is a perfect example of a missionary team staying heads-down focused on serving customers. Through hard work and perseverance, an idea that started with only 19 products is now available on hundreds of thousands and benefiting millions of customers.

Fulfillment by Amazon

The number of sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon grew more than 65% last year. Growth like that at such large scale is unusual. FBA is unique in many ways. It’s not often you get to delight two customer sets with one program. With FBA, sellers can store their products in our fulfillment centers, and we pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Sellers benefit from one of the most advanced fulfillment networks in the world, easily scaling their businesses to reach millions of customers. And not just any customers – Prime members. FBA products can be eligible for Prime free two-day shipping. Customers benefit from this additional selection – they get even more value out of their Prime membership. And, unsurprisingly, sellers see increased sales when they join FBA. In a 2013 survey, nearly three out of four FBA respondents reported that their unit sales increased on Amazon.com more than 20% after joining FBA. It’s a win-win.


“FBA is the best employee I have ever had. … One morning I woke up and realized FBA had shipped 50 units. As soon as I realized I could sell products while I sleep, it was a no-brainer.” – Thanny Schuck, Action Sports LLC

“Starting out as an unknown brand, it was difficult to find retailers willing to stock our goods. No such barriers existed at Amazon. The beauty of Amazon is that someone can say, ‘I want to start a business,’ and they can go on Amazon and really start a business. You don’t have to get a lease on a building or even have any employees at first. You can just do it on your own. And that’s what I did.” – Wendell Morris, YogaRat

Login and Pay with Amazon

For several years we’ve enabled Amazon customers to pay on other sites, such as Kickstarter, SmugMug, and Gogo Inflight, using the credit cards and shipping addresses already stored in their Amazon account. This year, we expanded that capability so customers can also sign in using their Amazon account credentials, saving them the annoyance of needing to remember yet another account name and password. It’s convenient for the customer and a business builder for the merchant. Cymax Stores, the online furniture retailer, has seen tremendous success with Login and Pay. It now accounts for 20% of their orders, tripling their new account registrations, and increasing purchase conversion 3.15% in the first three months. This example isn’t unusual. We are seeing results like these with many partners, and the team is excited and encouraged. You should look for more in 2014.

Amazon Smile

In 2013 we launched Amazon Smile – a simple way for customers to support their favorite charitable organizations every time they shop. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates a portion of the purchase price to the charity of your choice. You’ll find the same selection, prices, shipping options, and Prime eligibility on smile.amazon.com as you do on Amazon.com – you’ll even find your same shopping cart and wish lists. In addition to the large, national charities you would expect, you can also designate your local children’s hospital, your school’s PTA, or practically any other cause you might like. There are almost a million charities to choose from. I hope you’ll find your favorite on the list.

The Mayday Button

“Not only is the device awesome but the Mayday feature is absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!! The Kindle team has hit it out of the park with this one.”

“Just tried the mayday button on my hdx. 15 second response time…amazon has done it again. Thoroughly impressed.”

Nothing gives us more pleasure at Amazon than “reinventing normal” – creating inventions that customers love and resetting their expectations for what normal should be. Mayday reimagines and revolutionizes the idea of on-device tech support. Tap the Mayday button, and an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you – whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and our response time goal is 15 seconds or less. We beat that goal – with an average response time of only 9 seconds on our busiest day, Christmas.


A few of the Maydays have been amusing. Mayday Tech Advisors have received 35 marriage proposals from customers. 475 customers have asked to talk to Amy, our Mayday television personality. 109 Maydays have been customers asking for assistance with ordering a pizza. By a slim margin, Pizza Hut wins customer preference over Domino’s. There are 44 instances where the Mayday Tech Advisor has sung Happy Birthday to the customer. Mayday Tech Advisors have been serenaded by customers 648 times. And 3 customers have asked for a bedtime story. Pretty cool.

I hope that gives you some sense of the scope of our opportunity and initiatives, as well the inventive spirit and push for exceptional quality with which they’re undertaken. I should underscore again that this is a subset. There are many programs I’ve omitted in this letter that are just as promising, consequential, and interesting as those I’ve highlighted.

We have the good fortune of a large, inventive team and a patient, pioneering, customer-obsessed culture – great innovations, large and small, are happening everyday on behalf of customers, and at all levels throughout the company. This decentralized distribution of invention throughout the company – not limited to the company’s senior leaders – is the only way to get robust, high-throughput innovation. What we’re doing is challenging and fun – we get to work in the future.

Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right. When this process works, it means our failures are relatively small in size (most experiments can start small), and when we hit on something that is really working for customers, we double-down on it with hopes to turn it into an even bigger success. However, it’s not always as clean as that. Inventing is messy, and over time, it’s certain that we’ll fail at some big bets too.

I’d like to close by remembering Joy Covey. Joy was Amazon’s CFO in the early days, and she left an indelible mark on the company. Joy was brilliant, intense, and so fun. She smiled a lot and her eyes were always wide, missing nothing. She was substance over optics. She was a long-term thinker. She had a deep keel. Joy was bold. She had a profound impact on all of us on the senior team and on the company’s entire culture. Part of her will always be here, making sure we watch the details, see the world around us, and all have fun.

I feel super lucky to be a part of the Amazon team. As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter. Our approach remains the same, and it’s still Day 1.

 

LOGO

Jeffrey P. Bezos

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Amazon.com, Inc.

April 2014

 

中文原文链接:http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2014-04-11/14459313787.shtml
英文原文链接:http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1018724/000119312514137753/d702518dex991.htm

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