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「服務他人是你住地球應該付出的租金。」– 穆罕默德‧阿里 (拳擊手)
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." -- Muhammad Ali, Boxer
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英語島Newsletter
天天閱讀英語島,在這裡感知世界,汲取英文的養分。
 
賣書起家的Amazon,現在不只是驚人的線上零售商、雲端運算巨頭,現在還率先推出智慧家庭助理進軍AI戰場,對美國人來說,無法想像沒有Aamzon.com的生活。在創辦人貝佐斯大動作收購華盛頓郵報、全美最大有機食品全食超市(Whole Foods Market)後,各界開始急於了解他思考的方式,而其成功的佈局就藏「貝氏語錄」之中。

Before you start

Jeff Bezos 傑夫·貝佐斯
1964年1月12日

WHO
貝佐斯從來不以「最賺錢」作為公司使命,「專注於長期、沉迷於顧客」(focused on the long term and obsessed over customers)是亞馬遜網路商店的兩大信念。員工眼裡的貝佐斯並不是一位和善的執行長,要求嚴格又事必躬親,招牌的特殊笑聲也常常讓員工嚇得發抖,因為你從無法預測他會有什麼出乎意料的決定。

WHAT
1994年,貝佐斯意外的在數據中發現,網路每年成長率高達2300%,毅然決然地辭去原在華爾街的工作,隔年以世界最長的河流之名成立亞馬遜。命名的原因一為企圖成為書店界的亞馬遜,另一個則是因為選擇A開頭的字母,往往可以最先出現在網站列表之中。

HIGHLIGHT
同理心並不是貝佐斯的天性,強悍嚴苛的行事風格常引發爭議,但他也會時常想起祖父的訓誡,就是此篇在母校普林斯頓大學演講的靈感來源。藉由說故事的方式,提醒畢業生與自己,學習在人生中做出全面性的選擇。

 

演講經典片段
As a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents on their ranch in Texas…On one particular trip, I was about 10 years old. My grandfather was driving. And my grandmother had the passenger seat. She smoked throughout these trips, and I hated the smell.
I’d been hearing an ad campaign about smoking. I can’t remember the details, but basically the ad said, every puff of a cigarette takes some number of minutes off of your life: I think it might have been two minutes per puff. At any rate, I decided to do the math for my grandmother.
小時候,我總是與祖父母在德州牧場共度暑假。在十歲那年的一次的旅行中,祖父開車,祖母坐在副駕駛上一路抽菸,我十分討厭菸味。
我曾經聽過一個關於抽菸的廣告,我已經不記得細節了,但大意是說每吸一口菸會減少幾分鐘的壽命,我想大概是吸一口菸減少兩分鐘的壽命。總之,我打算為祖母做個計算。

I estimated the number of cigarettes per days, estimated the number of puffs per cigarette and so on. When I was satisfied that I’d come up with a reasonable number, I poked my head into the front of the car, tapped my grandmother on the shoulder, and proudly proclaimed, “At two minutes per puff, you’ve taken nine years off your life!”
我估算祖母每天抽幾根菸,一根菸得吸幾口等等,當我非常滿意的算是一個合理的數字時,我將頭身向前座,拍拍祖母的肩膀,然後驕傲地宣布:「以抽一根菸會減少兩分鐘壽命來看,你將會減少九年可以活!」

I have a vivid memory of what happened, and it was not what I expected. …My grandmother burst into tears. I sat in the backseat and did not know what to do. While my grandmother sat crying, my grandfather, who had been driving in silence, pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway. He got out of the car and came around and opened my door and waited for me to follow.
We stopped beside the trailer. My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, “Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.”
我清楚地記得接下來發生的事情,完全出乎我的意料。祖母突然哭了出來,我坐在後座,不知道該怎麼辦。當祖母在哭時,祖父只是靜靜地繼續開車。他把車停在路肩,走下車,打開我的車門,等著我跟上他。
我們在拖車旁停下腳步,祖父注視著我,沉默片刻後,溫和而平靜地說:「Jeff,有天你會明白,成為善良的人比成為聰明的人更困難。」

What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy -- they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you're not careful, and if you do, it'll probably be to the detriment of your choices.
As a civilization, we will have so many gifts, just as you as individuals have so many individual gifts as you sit before me. How will you use these gifts? And will you take pride in your gifts or pride in your choices?
我想說的是「天賦」和「選擇」的差異。聰明是一種天賦,而善良是一種選擇。天賦得來不費工夫-畢竟它是與生俱來;而選擇往往卻很困難。如果不小心,會因為天賦而誤入歧途,而這可能會損害到你做出的選擇。
身為一個文明人,我們都擁有如此多的天賦,就像坐在我面前的你們,每一個獨立的個體,都有其獨特的天賦。要如何善用你的天賦?你會為自己的天賦感到驕傲,還是為自己的選擇感到驕傲?

 

貝佐斯是一個什麼樣的主管?
1. 開會禁止使用PowerPoint
貝佐斯明令反對公司使用PowerPoint,取而代之的是四至六頁、具有敘述結構的備忘錄(six-page narratives structured)。開會前的20分鐘,與會者必須先詳細閱讀。貝佐斯認為PowerPoint的資訊太過模糊,備忘錄可使思路清晰更具邏輯。

2. 團隊大小遵循兩個披薩原則
貝佐斯認為開會人數過多,會造成溝通複雜,或是沉默螺旋效應。成效最高的團隊規模在6-7人,也就是說與會人數必須控制在「兩個披薩夠吃」的地步。

 

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