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史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

互联网风投与管理者,创业企业是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一

 
 
 

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我是美国风投创始人和管理合作伙伴,曾担任过Jupiter Media公司VP,Paul Kagan Associates机构分析师,我的创业企业Applied Semantics2003年被谷歌收购,是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一。现着重投资互联网领域,对中国互联网和网络新媒体有深刻研究。我写的《零重力1.0》和《零重力2.0》成为彭博社最畅销书籍,比尔盖茨、杨致远也读过我写的商业报告。在中国,我给网易科技独家供稿。hapn.cool try it!

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史蒂夫·哈蒙专栏:互联网时代需要先行者  

2009-03-24 08:59:16|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

    当李小龙电影风靡全球的时候,我也成了中国功夫迷之一。9岁时,我报了一个少林武术学习班,当时班里年级最小的学生,还买了一本李小龙的《截拳之道》自学。长大之后重读这本书,我发现李小龙不仅仅是一名演员,他还是一个武术哲学家。他通过自身在武术上的天赋和后天的刻苦,自创截拳道,最终成就了他作为这个领域先行者的地位。
  
    其实,在商界也有一些这样的先行者。1994年,当互联网刚刚诞生的时候,我认识了一些后来在这个领域取得非凡成就的人士,那时他们大多还默默无闻,比如浏览器之父马克-安德森、雅虎创始人杨致远以及Amazon公司杰夫-贝索斯等人。那个年代,几乎没有什么人关心互联网,更别说在互联网上登广告了。但是,这些先行者们当时就已经开始讨论如何通过刊登广告来为公司盈利了。通过和他们经常的交流,我获益匪浅,开始投资一家网络公司,这就是被谷歌于2003年收购的pplied Semantics公司,也即今天的谷歌AdSense。如今它已成为世界上最大的广告网站,每年为谷歌贡献了三分之一的收入。
  
    这些先行者们预见了未来,并且亲手创建了他们。虽然互联网行业起起伏伏很多年,但是如今它已经融入到了人们日常生活的点点滴滴。不过,在经济危机席卷全球的2009年,到处充斥的却是一群“鸵鸟”们。鸵鸟在危机来临时,只会把自己的头埋在沙子下。这个世界也是如此,很多商业领域的领导者只会向政府求援,而政府只会通过削减税率、为银行贷款来抵消坏账。现在已经很少能看到能在商界、政界或者思想界充当先行者的精英们了。
  
    然而事实也不尽如此。10年前,我曾经到过中国香港。在那里,我遇到过中国发展银行的行长和他们的团队,他们给我留下了深刻的印象。我当时就下定决心有一天一定要回到中国,和中国发展银行进行合作。这个计划可能会在今年成型。
  
    我已经好几年没有到过中国了,最近和来美国的阿里巴巴创始人马云的一次谈话也给我留下了深刻的印象。马云此前他接触了许多公司,比如谷歌和星巴克等。不可否认,马云也是他这个领域的先行者。10年前,马云在美国游说众多风险投资公司,希望能为他的想法获得风险资金,但是当时几乎所有的人都拒绝了他。不过马云没有放弃,他在中国创立了阿里巴巴公司,如今他已经成为拥有1.2万员工的老板,而且公司规模不断在扩大。马云的故事很好的诠释了先行者的概念。
  
   我想要说的是,先行者并不孤独,他们在看到某一行业或领域的前景和希望后能够一往无前的投入其中,而不是在那里只会讨论其他成千上万条不可能的道路。我们这个时代需要这样的先行者。(普莱/编译)

英文全文:
Mavericks: Skateboards & Bruce Lee Keep Your Finger On The Prize

Mavericks. It has nothing to do with U.S. presidential wannabe John McCain and everything to do with authentic originality, daring and guts.

Let me share with you a story. Growing up in Southern California my friends and I took clay skate wheels from roller skates and fastened them to boards and invented skateboarding. We took our Schwinn Stingray bicycles, the ones with the slick tires in the back, the banana seats and big U-shaped handlebars.

(Here’s a photo of an early Schwinn):

schwinn

Original Schwinn Sting Ray bicycle

Not being content with a plain old bike, we pondered how to make it more like what we wanted: a motorcycle. Why not weld a crossbar onto the handlebars? Add a racing plate? replace those tires with knobby tires? take off the old seat and put on a seat from a 10-speed to make it more maneuverable; put motorcycle hand grips on it, paint the frame black…and suddenly we had a whole new bicycle, what we called bicycle motocross, or BMX.  It looked something like this:

Schwinn Stingray modified into BMX bike

Schwinn Stingray modified into BMX bike

The lesson we learned was to create something new from what you had. Use imagination to bridge the gap. Be original. Innovate.

About the same time the first Chinese-made movies began to trickle into movie cinemas in California. The first was “Five Fingers Of Death,” which was not very well made but got my interest. A short while later, another Chinese martial arts movie hit U.S. cinema: Fists of Fury (known as ‘The Big Boss’ in Asia). Its star? an unknown named Bruce Lee.

The U.S. was introduced to a new thing it had never seen before: kung fu. Chinese martial arts. The difference between Lee and the other martial arts films was a “authenticity,” a belief and focus that made Lee more than an actor. He was living the martial arts and his genuine commitment came through in every move.

While some of my friends played baseball with me, none of them studied kung fu as I began to do. At age 9 I became one of the youngest in the local kung fu class and was introduced to Shaolin style fighting. I began to read a book written by Bruce Lee called ‘The Way of the Intercepting Fist’ (which in Cantonese is called Jeet Kune Do).

It was clear to me even at that young age that Lee was not an “actor” but was only living who he was, a martial artist/philosopher. After about 6 months of study I began to study Jeet Kune Do and also my dream was to move to China and study with real Shalolin monks. There was something about the focus and simplicity and incredible discipline, mentally and physically, that appealed to me as a youngster.

Growing up I would re-read Bruce Lee’s book, in junior high school and high school, and it was clearer to me then that he was a maverick, an original. I later learned he was the first Chinese actor to play a real person (himself) and not a stereotype in Hollywood films. Lee wasn’t somebody following the footsteps of others but expressed who he was, his talents and goals. Later I learned he went through a lot of rejections from Hollywood and others early in his career.

In business, I’ve been somewhat of a maverick, recognizing in 1994 that a new industry called the Internet was being born. I recognized in entrepreneurs like Marc Andreessen (created the browser), Jerry Yang (co-founder of Yahoo) and Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) a can-do spirit. When they started their companies I chronicled them as a business analyst and shared thoughts back and forth on how advertising could one day be a revenue source online. At the time there weren’t any ads on the Web, nobody cared about the Internet. I went on to invest in a company that made advertising better at a time when nobody cared about advertising on the Web. Several years later, Google acquired that company and today it is Google Ad Sense, the largest advertising network in the world, about 1/3rd of Google’s entire revenue.

These mavericks envisioned the future and built it. Yes, the industry has had its ups and downs but everyone uses the Web today, everyone emails, everyone buys online. And so here we are in 2009 in a world of ostrichs. Ostrichs are the birds that hide their heads in the sand for fear of the outside world. Business leaders are asking for government help. Governments are taking taxes and paying off banks for bad debts (which is a bad idea I believe).

And being a maverick I’m looking for mavericks. There are very few, even the ones who should be at the head of the pack. There’s a profound lack of leadership at companies, governments, and ideas.

I’ve been to China a few times, Hong Kong, about 10 years ago. I met with the senior leaders (chairman and his team) of China Development Bank and others. I was impressed by them and resolved to one day go back and perhaps partner with CDC on some ventures. Perhaps this year.

But I haven’t been to China for several years now. So it was refreshing for me to hear Jack Ma talk. Jack is the founder of Alibaba Group. He was in the U.S. on a discovery mission last week, meeting with different companies, from Google to Starbucks.

Jack is a maverick. The Alibaba story is one like many in the world of mavericks, one with rejection and doubt from others but belief in yourself and the future. 10 years ago Jack asked U.S. venture capital firms to invest in his idea, they all said no. It didn’t stop Jack. He went on to build Alibaba knowing that small businesses in China needed to be able to trade better using the Internet. Alibaba today employs 12,000 people and is growing. Jack is building value, not hiding under rocks.

So look at your situation, your “regular” basic bike, your roller skates, your companies and say “what can I do to be part of the solution, to pioneer value, to be a leader, be a maverick?”

Mavericks don’t work alone but they do resolve in themselves to see a vision and future and build it rather than discuss the millions ways it cannot be done.


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